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Gerontology Minor

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Viterbo University offers a minor program in Gerontology which is a multidisciplinary field examining the biological, psychological, and social aspects of aging. This minor is in the department of sociology, social work, and criminal justice and was developed to meet the emerging needs of the elderly based on changing demographic trends.

Why Gerontology? 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • The population over the age of 65 will increase from 37.9  million in 2007 to 71.5 million in 2030.
  • The population over the age 85 will increase to 6.6 million in 2020.
  • Current statistics show about one in every eight Americans (12.4%) is over the age of 65.
  • Demographic trends in Southwest Wisconsin and Southeast Minnesota mirror national trends showing a growing need for individuals who are trained to work with the older population.
  • While state-wide statistics show 5.4 percent of Wisconsin residents in the 65+ category live in care facilities, in La Crosse that number is 7.2 percent.
  • The aging of the population is also a world-wide trend; by 2030, one in eight or one billion people in the world will be 65+, representing a global challenge. Most of these increases will occur in developing countries (an increase of 140 percent by 2030).

For more information contact:
Connie Fossen
Associate Professor, Social Work
Program Coordinator, Gerontology Minor
Murphy Center 528