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AGNG 160 - The Aging Process: Gerontol

This course is designed to provide the student with the means to develop an understanding of the biological, physiological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging.  This course will provide a foundation for understanding the aging process which can be applied practically to working with older adults professionally.  It will also help the student prepare self and others for a successful aging experience.

Credits                3

Prerequisites      None
Instructor           Jennifer FitzPatrick
Office                  ST 149
Phone                 (443) 416-7710

Overall Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the theories, myths, and stereotypes about aging.
  2. Identify the biological and psychological changes which occur in the normal aging process.
  3. Understand that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not a normal part of the aging process.
  4. Identify the services, including alternatives to institutionalization, available to seniors through government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.
  5. Understand the myths and realities about sexual activity during later years.
  6. Identify the stressors of caregiving, warning signs of elder abuse, and issues of crime targeting the senior population.
  7. Identify the factors that contribute to loss of independence in later years.
  8. Understand the dying process, formulate an opinion of the right to die controversy, and identify stages of dying and bereavement.
  9. Develop sensitivity to different perspectives of varied cultural groups in relation to the aging process.
  10. Intelligently discuss and formulate opinions on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

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Major Course Topics

  • Biology of Aging
  • Mental Health & Aging
  • Retirement
  • Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia
  • Health & Aging
  • Caregiving

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Course Format

  • Is not self-paced.
  • The Schedule of Assignments lists deadlines for all course reading, homework assignments, quizzes and exams.
  • This schedule is posted within the course and is available for students all semester.
  • Does not require on-campus meetings, except it may have a proctored exam in the HCC Test Center.  (For more information, see the "Exam" section below.)
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • The communications will take place through e-mail and scheduled posted threaded discussion questions (weekly).

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This course has no required face-to-face orientation.

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Course Requirements

Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the eLearning home page.

  •  Two papers and two examinations

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Texts and Materials Required:

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Acrobat Viewer
  • Internet Explorer
  • PowerPoint Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

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For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course may have online testing or proctored exams at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.

If you have any questions or comments about this class, please send a message to

Jennifer FitzPatrick;

Last updated on 8-April-12
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