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Department of Communication and Sociology

Martin Bldg., Room 136
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4840

Social Gerontology


We are on the frontier of a demographic revolution which will redefine almost all aspects of life both here and abroad, including health care delivery systems, intergenerational relations, the family, the structure of communities, the architecture of the built environment, attitudes toward death and dying, and perceptions of age grades/life stages. Nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population will be over the age of 65 by 2030, and one-fourth of Missouri’s population will be over 65 by 2020!  These demographic shifts are creating an unprecedented need for innovative approaches to meeting the social and practical needs of older adults and an unprecedented demand for professionals with gerontological expertise.

The study of gerontology encompasses all aspects of aging including the physiological, biobehavioral, psychological, and sociological phenomena associated with the aging experience. Since persons age 65 and over are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States, careers in gerontology are in high demand.The increase in the older adult population will continue to enhance the job market for professionals with knowledge and expertise in aging for decades to come.

UCM offers both an on-campus program in Warrensburg and an extended campus experience at the UCM Summit Center in Lee’s Summit. The program may be completely in its entirety from either campus. Classes on the Warrensburg campus may be offered in daytime classroom seminar format, online, or in evening interactive television (I-TV) format. Classes at the Summit Center campus are designed for our working students and are offered in evening classroom seminar format, online, in accelerated weekend format, and via interactive television (I-TV).

Dr. Novella Perrin serves as the Social Gerontology Program Coordinator. If you have any questions about the Social Gerontology program or would like additional information, please email her at

Program Mission

The mission of the Social Gerontology Program at UCM is to promote lifelong learning and dedication to service while providing our students the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully help guide our communities through the seismic demographic shifts ahead. Our curriculum reflects our commitment to promoting and supporting inventive approaches to old and new challenges, encouraging energetic community engagement, working to enhance the cultural and social life of our aging populations, and actively fostering innovation vis-à-vis the economic well-being of older Missourians, their families, other caregivers, and the community at large.