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New Graduate Certificate Program Prepares Local and Global Health Care Professionals to Meet Needs of Aging Population

New Graduate Certificate Program Prepares Local and Global Health Care Professionals to Meet Needs of Aging Population

A new UArizona Health Sciences program will prepare students to work in the field of gerontology, where demand for specialized professionals is high.
Students who complete the Innovation in Aging graduate certificate will have the skills and experience to become a certified gerontological coordinator through the National Association of Professional Gerontologists.

Innovations in Aging, a new graduate certificate program at the University of Arizona Health Sciences, is now available to prepare future health care professionals and others to meet the diverse needs of aging populations and provide solutions to help older adults live longer, healthier lives.

By 2034, U.S. Census data show that the number of Americans age 65 and older will for the first time outnumber those under 18. By 2050, there will be an estimated 2.1 billion people in the world age 60 and older. With more people living longer, the demand for professionals specializing in aging is growing across a wide range of disciplines, including health care, long-term care, social services and business.  

“On top of the emerging demographic trends, COVID-19 has revealed particular vulnerabilities of older adults. With more and more people understanding the importance of studying aging, we’re seeing increased demand around the world for this type of education and research,” said Carol Gregorio, PhD, assistant vice provost of Global Health Sciences and interim director of UArizona Health Sciences Global and Online.

Students who complete the program will be prepared to apply for professional certification. The curriculum aligns with the Association of Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Competencies and provides students with the coursework and experience needed to become a certified Gerontological Coordinator through the National Association of Professional Gerontologists (NAPG).

The 100% online Graduate Certificate in Innovations in Aging was developed in collaboration between the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, College of Medicine – Tucson, College of Medicine – Phoenix, College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and gerontology experts from the Arizona Center on Aging. This interdisciplinary approach enables interprofessional communication and collaboration among learners, which has been shown to improve outcomes in health care settings.

“We’re aiming to expand global access to high quality, one-of-a-kind interprofessional education and research,” Dr. Gregorio said. “The new Innovations in Aging program accomplishes that while spreading knowledge on an incredibly important topic that's going to be both impactful and innovative.”

The program is open to students around the world. It is designed to meet the needs of busy students and professionals as part of the Health Sciences Global and Online mission to expand access to health sciences education and address the global health care delivery gap.

Students will benefit from learning strategies and technologies like flexible pacing, podcast-style content delivery, and motivational badges to mark progress and demonstrate desirable competencies to potential employers. 

Applications are now open for the Innovations in Aging Graduate Certificate. For more information, visit innovationsinaging.uahs.arizona.edu.