The Geriatric Social Work Initiative is a three-year project to create aging-rich learning environments for all social work students through a process of curriculum change. This is in response to the needs presented by the changing demographics in our state, country, and the world. The initiative focuses on the enrichment of course syllabi and a pilot study: Increasing Awareness of Older Adult Issues. For the pilot study, a quasi-experimental design is employed using pre- and post-measures with students in classes with geriatric enrichment to the syllabi as the subject group and students in classes without geriatric enrichment of the syllabi in a control group. Additional measures will be developed regarding faculty development, process measures, measures associated with changes in syllabi, and use of a resource center.

The aim of the project is to provide students with opportunities to achieve a set of competencies in geriatric social work. Upon graduation, it is expected students will be: 1) aware of the changing demographics; 2) more competent to address the needs of older adults; 3) able to analyze social policy as it affects all age groups in our society; and 4) better prepared to work with intergenerational and transgenerational issue across the lifespan.

The John A. Hartford Foundation

Keywords: social work education