The Real Faces of Careers in Aging: Interviews with a range of professionals in the field of aging.

Teaching Resources

Standards and Guidelines for Gerontology and Geriatrics

The sixth edition of the AGHE Standards and Guidelines for Gerontology and Geriatrics is an excellent reference for gerontology and/or geriatrics curricula planning. It has also risen in status to be an important resource for an AGHE-approved national program of evaluation: the AGHE Program of Merit. The Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education has been integrated into the Standards and Guidelines and offers consensus-based, recommended core competencies and selective contextual competencies for gerontology programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. The sixth edition of the Standards and Guidelines offers leaders and faculty of gerontology programs the tools to identify and implement competency-based education in aging.

To obtain a copy of the sixth edition of the AGHE Standards and Guidelines for Gerontology and Geriatrics, visit our online store.

Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education

The AGHE Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education were adopted on November 20, 2014, after an Association-wide multi-year effort of gathering and integrating feedback to build consensus. The effort was led by the AGHE Competency Workgroup and was built upon the work of Wendt, Peterson and Douglas (1993) as well as current literature in foundations of gerontology and competency-based education. The AGHE Gerontology Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education are a resource for competency-based gerontology education with liberal arts, professional and/or scientific program orientations. The framework for the competencies encourages gerontology education programs to maintain their specific orientation (e.g., liberal arts), and utilize the competencies with flexibility and creativity. The competencies may be applied to gerontology programs with majors, minors and certificate programs at the associate, undergraduate and/or master’s level. Please find a mapping tool here.

There are three categories of competencies (I, II and III).

Category I competencies represent the essential orientation to the field of gerontology, are foundational and expected to be broadly represented in Associate, Bachelors, Master’s degree and gerontology certificate programs.

Category II competencies are “interactional” competencies that capture the processes of knowing and doing across the field of gerontology and are also expected to be broadly represented in the above types of educational programs. Category II competencies are meant to capture the most relevant skills for contexts of employment in the variety of sectors and areas that gerontologists may work, including education.

Category III competencies are to be selected based on the mission, goals and orientation(s) of the educational program. Competencies in Category III provide gerontology education program leadership with the ability to select and tailor the competency expectations for their particular programs’ needs and orientations. It is suggested that programs select 2 or more Domains in Category III, and use the related competencies within that domain for their curricula. Within Category III, programs may identify additional competency content as appropriate for their program orientations and emphases.

Pianosi, B., Damron-Rodriguez, J., Jukema, J. & Schoenmakers, E. (2016, October). Use of professional gerontology competencies for workplace alignment & use in practice. Poster session presented at the Canadian Association on Gerontology, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Poster PDF)

Schoenmakers, E.C., Damron-Rodriguez, J., Frank, J.C., Pianosi, B., & Jukema, J.S. (2016). Competencies in European Gerontological Higher Education. An Explorative Study on Core Elements. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.

A Hands-on Approach to Teaching about Aging

Hallie Baker PhD, Tina M. Kruger PhD, Rona J. Karasik PhD
This peer-reviewed collection of hands-on activities is designed by noted educators in aging and incorporates Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) competencies. It offers clear, step-by-step procedures for implementing each activity, including preparation, introduction, the activity itself, discussion/reflection, wrap-up or follow-up if appropriate, and assessment. The book also addresses learning outcomes and includes recommendations for number of participants, settings, materials, and time required. All royalties go to AGHE. Order your copy today!

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Institution Resources

AGHE Consultation Program assists community, four-year colleges and universities in:

  • Developing or evaluating a gerontology/geriatrics program
  • Developing a strategy for long-term planning
  • Obtaining an objective assessment, external review, or validation of a proposed or existing program of gerontology/geriatric instruction
  • Obtaining resource materials for executing, expanding, or evaluating gerontology/geriatrics instruction
  • Identifying tools for designing and implementing gerontology/geriatric content/courses

The needs of each institution are unique; therefore the AGHE Consultation Program has been designed to provide dynamic communication between the institution and the consultant they choose. The Institution is in charge of the process with the consultant reporting to the Institution’s Designee.

We provide a selection of national experts in the field of aging studies for you to choose from to ensure the best possible fit for your institutional needs. The AGHE consultant uses his/her unique expertise to objectively evaluate your proposed or existing program and helps identify opportunities and barriers employing a solution-oriented approach. A consultant also provides unbiased comments regarding gerontology/geriatrics instruction, program development, program change, faculty development, program evaluation, etc., in a final report constructed to support the Institutional mission and goals to enhance education on aging.

The AGHE Consultant Works with you:  
The Institution’s designee(s)

  • Contracts with AGHE to ensure the provision of professional consulting services for the institution
  • Chooses the consultant from a national panel of AGHE Consultants
  • Determines and arranges the process for consultation (a site visit is recommended)
  • Maintains communication with AGHE and the consultant throughout the consultation
  • Reviews the report prior to its finalization
  • Receives a final report complete with observations, recommendations, suggested plan, and a list of AGHE resources.

°  Consultation Program Request Form
°  Does our institution need a Consultant? – Answer these important questions
°  Cost: Scope of work is factored in to determine consultation cost. Click for the fee structure


AFU rgb

The Age-Friendly University (AFU) network consists of institutions of higher education around the globe who have endorsed the 10 AFU principles and committed themselves to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies. The Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) endorses the AFU principles and invites its members and affiliates to call upon their institutions become part of this pioneering initiative.

Joining the AFU AGHE network of global partners offers institutions the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to students of all ages and institutions of higher education alike.

The AFU principles reflect the work of an international, interdisciplinary team convened by Professor Brían MacCraith, President, Dublin City University (DCU) to identify the distinctive contributions institutions of higher education can make in responding to the interests and needs of an aging population. Launched by the Irish Prime Minister, (An Taoiseach) Enda Kenny in 2012 the 10 AFU principles have been adopted by institutions in Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Canada, and beyond.

Why should my institution endorse the AFU principles?
Across communities in the U.S., the number of older adults is growing annually at unprecedented rates and significantly more individuals are experiencing increased longevity. Response to the educational needs and interests of this emerging age population calls for new opportunities and innovative practices of teaching, research, and community engagement that colleges and universities in communities are poised to offer.

The AFU principles give your institution a valuable guiding framework for distinguishing and evaluating how it can shape age-friendly programs and practices, as well as identify gaps and opportunities for growth.

Joining the AFU AGHE network of global partners offers your institution the opportunity to learn about emerging age-friendly efforts and to contribute to an educational movement of social, personal, and economic benefit to students of all ages and institutions of higher education alike.

How does my institution go about endorsing the AFU principles?
Complete the following steps to join the AFU network of global partners working to build more age-friendly institutions of higher education.

1. Meet with colleagues from your department (and interested others from affiliated aging programs or centers) to review the AFU principles and map how they inform opportunities and gaps at your institution. Seek faculty endorsement of the principles at the department, program, and/or institutional level.

2. Arrange a meeting with the appropriate member of your administration (e.g., dean, provost, president) who would approve your institutional endorsement. Some institutions may also wish to discuss the initiative with a faculty assembly, a governance group, or curriculum committee.

3. Send confirmation of your endorsement to Professor Brian Mac Craith, President (DCU) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; and cc Christine O'Kelly (Age-Friendly University Network Coordinator, Dublin City University): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (website: Include in your confirmation notice, the AFU contact at your institution, a link to your institutional website, and a copy of your institutional logo to be used on the AFU webpages. It is also useful to state what you wish to achieve from membership of the network, for example increasing the visibility of older adults on campus or influencing institutional policy reform. Copy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

4. Work with your communications office to develop a press release announcing your institution’s endorsement of the AFU principles. DCU and AGHE are happy to provide comments for your notice. View AGHE’s press release.

Some FAQ’s
Is there a cost? Currently there is no cost to join.

Does my institution need to fulfill all AFU principles? While it is hoped that institutions will strive to address all of the 10 AFU principles to some degree, variation is expected given factors that distinguish institutions and their programs.

For more information about becoming a member of the AFU global network, contact Christine O'Kelly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Becoming an Age-Friendly University Partner, January 9, 2019 (recording of webinar)
One Vision, Many Paths: Making an Age-Friendly University Work for You, February 6, 2019 (recording of webinar)
A Starting Point for Looking at Age-Friendliness on My Campus: AGHE Can Help, March 1, 2019

The 10 Age-Friendly University Principles

1. To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs.
2. To promote personal and career development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to pursue second careers.
3. To recognize the range of educational needs of older adults (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue Master's or PhD qualifications).
4. To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages.
5. To widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults to ensure a diversity of routes to participation.
6. To ensure that the university's research agenda is informed by the needs of an aging society and to promote public discourse on how higher education can better respond to the varied interests and needs of older adults.
7. To increase the understanding of students of the longevity dividend and the increasing complexity and richness that aging brings to our society.
8. To enhance access for older adults to the university's range of health and wellness programs and its arts and cultural activities.
9. To engage actively with the university's own retired community.
10. To ensure regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population.

The AGHE is Pleased to be Part of the AFU Initiative and Growing AFU Network:
Arizona State University (USA)
Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland)
California State University, Long Beach (USA)
Central Connecticut State University (USA) — View Press Release
Concordia University Chicago (USA)
Daejon Seniors Centre (South Korea)
Dublin City University (Ireland)
Eastern Michigan University (USA)
Fielding Graduate University (USA)
Florida State University (USA) — View Press Release
Lasell College (USA) — View Press Release
Leeds Beckett University (England)
Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
Massachusetts Gerontology Association (USA) 
McMaster University (Canada)
National College of Ireland (Ireland)
National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland)
Niagara College (Canada)
Northeastern Illinois University (USA)
Portland State University (USA)
Purdue University (USA)
Royal College of Physicians (Ireland)
Ryerson University (Canada) — View Press Release
Stockton University (USA)
Strathclyde University Glasgow (Scotland)
Trent University (Canada)
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Ulster University (Ireland)
University of Akron (USA)
University of Bratislava (Slovak Republic)
University of Calgary (Canada)
University of California Los Angeles (USA)
University College Dublin (Ireland)
University of Hartford (USA) — View Press Release
University of Manitoba (Canada)
University of Massachusetts, Boston (USA)
University of Montana (USA)
University of New England (USA)
University of Pai Chai (South Korea)
University of Rhode Island (USA)
University of Sherbrooke (Canada)
University of Southern California (USA)
University of the Pacific (USA)
University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse (USA)
Washington University at St. Louis (USA)
West Valley College (USA)
William James College (USA)

The National Review of Educational Programs in Gerontology

The Program of Merit is a voluntary program of evaluation for AGHE member and nonmember institutions that offer either gerontology programs (degree and non-degree granting) and/or health professions programs whose curricula integrates gerontology/geriatrics content. The Program of Merit designation gives gerontology and health professions programs an AGHE “stamp of excellence” that they can use to verify program quality, lobby within their institutions for additional resources to maintain program quality, market the program, and recruit prospective students.

Each program is evaluated according to its own goals and objectives. The Program of Merit Brochure describes the program evaluation process, lists resources to use in the evaluation, answers frequently asked questions, describes how to apply, and includes an evaluation form. The new Program of Merit Brochure for Health Professions is now available. For more information on applying for the Program of Merit designation for your school, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education congratulates these Programs of Merit:

American River College, Associate of Arts Degree in Gerontology

Ithaca College, Major in Aging Studies

McDaniel College, Undergraduate Minor in Gerontology Program

Missouri State University, Bachelor of Science Degree in Gerontology

Northeastern Illinois University, Master of Art in Gerontology

Stockton University, Undergraduate Minor

University of Indianapolis, Master of Science in Gerontology

University of Massachusetts Boston, Frank J. Manning (Undergraduate) Certificate in Gerontology

University of Nevada Reno, Gerontology Certificate, Undergraduate Minor

University of Utah, Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program (GIP) Master of Science

Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Applied Gerontology

Winston-Salem State University, Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology

Links to resources:

POM Reviewer Application | Standards and Guidelines | Gerontoloy Competencies for Undergraduate and Graduate Education | Core Principles and Outcomes

aghe logo

Welcome to GSA's education organization, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education. The Academy programs and services are available to all GSA members such as programming at the annual meeting, the AGHExchange newsletter, the Online Directory of Educational Programs in Gerontology, technical assistance in the development and expansion of academic gerontology programs, research on gerontology education, and the advocacy of public and private support for aging education and research.



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