University of Massachusetts – Boston Suspends Gerontology Program
Although it was founded more than 30 years ago,has been regarded as a leader in aging studies and elder care, the the gerontology program at the University of Massachusetts Boston is suspending its program primarily due to low enrollment.
There are about 40 undergraduate gerontology programs across the country, according to the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. For UMass Boston, the department’s struggles are a “chicken-and-egg problem,” said Norman: low enrollment has been causing low visibility for the program, and vice versa.
Aging services coordinators are dismayed that the university has been unable to maintain the prestige of its gerontology program, saying that such studies are now more vital than ever to aid a rapidly aging population. People 65 and older now constitute about 13 percent of the populace, according to the federal government’s Administration on Aging, and that is expected to balloon to 19 percent — 72 million— by 2030.