School of Social Work's Aging and Longevity Studies program earns AGHE Program of Merit designation

School of Social Work's Aging and Longevity Studies program earns AGHE Program of Merit designation

The University of Iowa’s Aging and Longevity Studies Program’s (ALSP)  certificate program, housed in the School of Social Work, has earned the Program of Merit designation from the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE), a national membership organization of colleges and universities that offers education, training, and research programs in the field of aging. AGHE has more than 130 institutional members throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad—and the UI’s undergraduate ALSP certificate program is the first program in Iowa to achieve this distinction.

“This is a big deal for the University of Iowa,” says School of Social Work Director Sara Sanders. “The achievement brings us national visibility and tells the world that gerontology—a crucial field of study worldwide as our global population ages—is a priority at the University of Iowa, and that we are leading the field.

“Iowa is already known nationally as an excellent place for gerontology education and research. The Program of Merit designation further elevates our program’s national reputation and status—and it emphasizes the need for this kind of understanding across disciplines,” Sanders says.

The certificate in Aging and Longevity Studies is administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in cooperation with other colleges and is housed within the School of Social Work. The certificate can be earned in person or online, at the undergraduate or graduate level. School of Social Work Professor Mercedes Bern-Klug serves as program director.

“For the first time in human history, most people in developed countries can expect to live long enough to experience decades as older adults. No matter what field you study or what career path you pursue, you will be affected by population aging. Our certificate and minor offer students important skills and knowledge to serve this rapidly growing portion of society,” Bern-Klug says.

More information about the Aging and Longevity Studies Program, visit:


Jen Knights, School of Social Work, 319-335-3750

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