Education in Gerontology in Texas Schools of Social Work
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Will the supply of social workers trained in gerontology meet the increasing demand for social services from the elderly population? The research study evaluates the present situation concerning formal education in gerontology in Texas schools of social work. Questionnaires were mailed to all accredited undergraduate and graduate programs, plus three new, nonaccredited graduate programs. Follow up telephone calls produced a 100% response rate from the research population. The results of the survey indicated that the majority of undergraduate programs use field settings involving the elderly, but less than half of these programs offer specific courses in aging. All accredited graduate programs have courses and field practicums in aging; however, only one program offers a specialization for advanced study in gerontology. None of the new graduate programs have courses or specializations in aging. When social work students do enter field internships in agencies which serve the elderly, they generally do not receive stipends. Of the of 25 undergraduate and seven graduate programs surveyed, only one social work program had more than one stipend available annually.