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AGING STUDIES ONLINE PROGRAMS

Master of Arts in Aging Studies Course Descriptions


Aging Studies Program Core (15 hours)

AGE 717 Health Communications and Aging (3).
There are many facets of communication and aging. This course is a multidisciplinary, empirically-based consideration of emotions, behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes related to aging and the process of communicating with older adults. Topics include: approached to communication and aging, current evidence about communication and the aging population, interpersonal and intergenerational communication, mass communication and aging, health and healthcare interactions (patient-physician communication, etc.), older adults and technology, and cultural change. Students will develop applied skills and critical thinking. Applications to Public Health will be explored throughout the course.

AGE 765 The Medicare System (3).
This course is designed to explore the many intricacies of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The course emphasizes the application of course material to the development of the student’s understanding of how these two programs affect the use of medical services among covered populations. Course format will include lecture, group and individual examination of the literature, and analysis of case studies.

AGE 798 Interprofessional Perspectives on Aging (3).
Introduction to the advanced study of the process of aging from a multidisciplinary point of view. Not open to students with an undergraduate major or minor in gerontology. Prerequisite: admission to Graduate School.

AGE 818 Advanced Biological Perspectives of Aging (3).
Designed to provide students with the most up-to-date information on the current understanding of the aging process. Students develop an understanding of the biology of aging with a system-by-system description of aging phenomena. Students are expected to develop an understanding of the complexities of the aging process from various perspectives.

HP 800 Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice (2).
This online course provides foundational and advanced knowledge and skills regarding research methods to prepare students to develop research studies and locate, appraise, and apply health related research to answer clinical questions. The course emphasizes principles of evidence-based practice, research ethics, professional and scholarly training, research design and methodologies, framing research questions, and interpretation of basic and advanced statistics necessary to critically evaluate, interpret, and apply healthcare and health policy research to patient/client care and healthcare systems. Prerequisites: Admission into a graduate level health professions program and instructor consent.

HP 801 Interprofessional Evidence-Based Practice (1).
This interprofessional course utilizes small group discussion and practical exercises to advance students’ skills in evidence- based practice. Students will practice integration of clinical expertise and patient/client preferences and values with the best available healthcare and health policy research
Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Department of Public Health Sciences
to optimize individual healthcare, public health outcomes, and healthcare systems. Students will also have the opportunity to practice and develop skills in working in an interprofessional team. This course assumes advanced knowledge and skills in research methods and evidence-based practice. Prerequisites: Concurrent or prior enrollment in HP 800 or prior completion of an approved graduate-level research methods course with instructor consent.


Social Science Concentration Core (12 hrs)

AGE 813 Advanced Sociological Perspectives of Aging (3).
This course provides an overview of the significant sociological perspectives, social issues, and social science research pertaining to the phenomenon of aging in society. The course will examine the major theories of social aging, analyze the changing demographic trends and the political economy issues facing aging societies; describe how the broader societal context affects the nature of family relationships, community involvement, and the experiences of retirement and widowhood among the older adult; and examine the current issues in health and social service delivery for the care of the older adult. The course examines a substantive field which has a major social policy as well as personal significance in contemporary life.

AGE 814 Advanced Psychological Perspectives of Aging (3).
This course provides a comprehensive exploration of the psychology of aging. Students will examine of the issues surrounding the adult aging process. Topics include personality and intellectual change, mental health of the older adult, and the psychological issues of extending human life. The course will teach aspects of successful aging, normal aging and age-related illness such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and heart conditions. Emphasizes the strengths of the older adult and prevention of psychological problems of the older adult.

AGE 804 Social Policy and Aging (3).
Analyzes and evaluates policies and programs related to aging and old age. Emphasizes the importance of social values and historical context for understanding current policies, programs, and practices. Prerequisite: AGE 798, 12 hours of gerontology, or instructor's consent.

500+ Elective (3).


Public Health Concentration Core (Select 12 hrs)

PHS 804 Principles of Statistics in the Health Sciences (3).
Introductory statistics for graduate students in the social and health sciences with little or no background in statistics. Provides first year (or equivalent) MPH students with a basic understanding of certain statistical techniques, the appropriate application of these techniques, and use of the software package, SPSS.

PHS 808 Principles of Epidemiology (3).
An introductory graduate-level course concerning epidemiological principles and how these form the scientific basis for public health.

PHS 812 Health Care Policy and Administration (3).
An in-depth look at policy and management issues in the health system from a public health perspective. Topics include health policy, trends in the health care system, and administrative issues. Topics are critiqued with regard to public health goals, the interests of consumers and providers, and ethics.

PHS 814 Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health (3).
Examines the characteristics, beliefs and behaviors of individuals and groups involved in the process of health care. Draws on concepts and principles of the social, behavioral, and clinical sciences, especially dynamics that define the interactions of providers and consumers of health care. Explores why people react to perceived symptoms the way they do, the reasons providers respond as they do to patients with different social attributes, the factors which predispose individual reactions to illness and its correlates, and the effects on health of societal agreements and expectations.

PHS 816 Environmental Health (3).
This course introduces students to the importance of the environment to human health by examining the causes and controls of major environmental health problems. Course topics are structured around the things we do as individuals and societies that result in environmental health hazards including energy production, industry, food production, and the modern lifestyle as viewed through both a local and global lens. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental risk factors to susceptible populations and how they translate into public health policy and prevention. Students additionally will learn what they can do to protect and enhance their health, and to influence the quality of the environment. The course will include lecture, film, group analysis, and discussion.

AGE 822 Advanced Perspectives of Public Health and Aging (3).
This course explores the study of aging and advanced perspectives on the aging theories, their application to current issues, current published research on public health and aging and a range of health issues that older persons, their families, their providers and society will face in the next decade. Presents an in-depth review of aging from numerous perspectives including a systematic review of aging at the local, state, national and global levels.
Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Department of Public Health Sciences


Administration Concentration Core (select 12 hrs)

AGE 562. Human Resource Management in Long-Term Care (3).
Builds a solid foundation in human resource management principles for professionals working in long-term care. Intended for students who need a skillset in HR management principles for an administrative role, or who will be managing HR professionals. Key human resources functions covered include HR’s role as a strategic partner, employment law, recruitment, compensation and payroll, training and development, discipline and termination, and labor relations. Case studies, contemporary issues and discussions focus heavily on becoming an employer of choice in a long-term care environment.

AGE 564. Long-Term Care Management & Operations (3)
Designed to broaden the understanding of operating and managing a long-term care community — specifically assisted living communities. Students gain an understanding of human capital demands, cross-functional departmental dependences, financial and budgetary requirements, as well as the relationship between operational excellence and quality of life for the resident.

AGE 710. Systems in Long-Term Care (3).
Analyzes long-term care in the U.S. as a response to chronic illness and disability emphasizing the diversity of long-term care systems and addressing the needs of persons of all ages. Addresses system and organizational aspects that affect organizational outcomes and quality of long-term care services. Considers long-term care policy and management issues. It explicitly applies a trajectory model of chronic illness, conceptualizing formal long-term care services as one series of responses to chronic illness and disability.

AGE 822 Advanced Perspectives of Public Health and Aging (3).
This course explores the study of aging and advanced perspectives on the aging theories, their application to current issues, current published research on public health and aging and a range of health issues that older persons, their families, their providers and society will face in the next decade. Presents an in-depth review of aging from numerous perspectives including a systematic review of aging at the local, state, national and global levels.

PHS 621. Supervisory Management in Health Care Organizations (3).
A study of supervisory management concepts and techniques that apply to health care organizations and programs. Emphasis is on understanding the health care environment and its various health care settings, the identification of issues facing front-line employees, supervisors and mid-level managers, and the development of administrative and leadership skills necessary to successfully lead health care work teams. Identifies, analyzes and solves problems that clinical department heads, supervisors and other health related mid-management personnel encounter in their work. The principles of effective management techniques-planning, decision making, organizing, budgeting, time management, leadership, direction, delegation, communication, motivation, discipline, performance appraisal, management of change, teamwork, effective meetings, working with unions, quality improvement and career development-are covered.

PHS 622. Human Resources Management in Health Care Organizations (3).
Intended for clinical health care professionals who have responsibility for managing people in health care organizations. Also intended for health care management students who will have responsibility for managing people in health services organizations. An introduction to the essential theories, components, and issues of human resources management in the health care field. Includes the study of the effectiveness of the human resource management function, employee recruitment, selection, training, performance appraisal, benefits and compensation, employee relations and other relevant legal requirements affecting employment. Covers issues of contemporary relevance for human health services resources departments such as employee health and safety, employee assistance programs, occupational stress and job burnout, violence in the workplace and work/family issues. Students are required to learn and to demonstrate the ability to analyze human resources problems and to present sound solutions. Students are expected to learn and demonstrate effective group working skills as they join small groups and engage in collaboratively solving a number of human resources management problems.

PHS 642. Financing Health Care Services (3).
Examines the principles of financial analysis and management used in health care institutions, which are most useful to nonfinancial personnel. Emphasizes understanding and application of general financial concepts crucial to the health setting; considers financial organization, sources of operating revenues, budgeting and cost allocation methods. Uses examples for various types of health service organizations.

PHS 648. Concepts of Quality in Health Care (3).
Addresses quality management in health services organizations, with a focus on a systematic approach to meet the Institute of Medicine's aim to provide care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. The history and current status of quality management initiatives, as well as the role of quality in organizational strategic management are presented. Students learn the role of quality from theory to application in a broad base of organizational settings.

PHS 804 Principles of Statistics in the Health Sciences (3).
Introductory statistics for graduate students in the social and health sciences with little or no background in statistics. Provides first year (or equivalent) MPH students with a basic understanding of certain statistical techniques, the appropriate application of these techniques, and use of the software package, SPSS.

PHS 812 Health Care Policy and Administration (3).
An in-depth look at policy and management issues in the health system from a public health perspective. Topics include health policy, trends in the health care system, and administrative issues. Topics are critiqued with regard to public health goals, the interests of consumers and providers, and ethics.

PHS 833. Health Economics (3).
An application of classical economic theories, principles and concepts to traditional U.S. medical care. Both the traditional and unique determinants of demand and supply are considered with emphasis on the role of need for care, provider-induced demand, and health insurance. The legitimate role of government in health care is also considered.


Culminating Experience Options (Select 3hrs)

AGE 895. Thesis Research (1-3).
Individual guidance in the development of a specific research problem. Potential thesis topics should be formulated by the student and discussed with their thesis advisor. Maybe repeated for a maximum of 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: completion of, or current enrollment in, all academic coursework for the master’s degree.

AGE 810. Aging Studies Practicum (1-3).
Integrates academic aging studies and practical experience through supervised placement of students in an agency or organization engaging in planning, administering or providing direct services to older people. Practicum requires 160 contact hours for each 3 hours of credit. A practicum internship paper is also required. AGE 810 is a letter-graded course. Students may substitute the S/U course AGE 781, Cooperative Education, for AGE 810. Prerequisites: 12 hours of aging studies credit and instructor's consent prior to registration.

AGE 660. Administrator-in-Training Long-Term Care Practicum (1-3).
An academic long-term care administrator training program. Develops a professional competency and personal code of ethics for the field of long-term care administration. Gives students the practical experience required by the state of Kansas in order to sit for the state and national nursing home administrator licensure examination. The required text is the study guide for the national exam. It is the student's responsibility to work through the study materials and seek guidance from their preceptor regarding questions over the material. A total of 480-clock-hours are required by the State of Kansas and must be completed in a licensed long-term care facility under the guidance of an approved preceptor. Repeatable for a total of 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: instructor's consent.

Elective 500+ (3).
Any 3 credit hour graduate level course in AGE or PHS could count as an elective with advisor approval. Outside graduate level courses in SCWK may also be considered. See your graduate advisor for approval.


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