MARQUETTE – There will be a new minor offered at Northern Michigan University beginning in the Winter 2003 semester. The sociology and social work department will be offering gerontology, a 22-credit minor.

            According to Patricia Cianciolo, an associate professor in the sociology/social work department at NMU, a lot of schools are developing gerontology programs, due to aging demographics. More jobs are available in fields working with the elderly.

            “They’re honestly rewarding jobs,” Cianciolo said.

            A gerontology minor can also dispel myths and stereotypes about aging and the elderly, she said. Some people handle the aging process well, and others do not. Growing old can mean many things.

            It is too early to predict whether the gerontology program will eventually offer a major. One of the new gerontology courses offered next semester already has about 20 students enrolled, according to Cianciolo. She also said that a lot of NMU faculty are currently researching topics in the field.

            Students interested in taking the gerontology minor should declare it early in their academic studies. It needs to be approved by the gerontology program coordinator and forwarded to the Degree Audits Office.

            For more information call 906-227-1116.

Prepared By
Jessica Holman