With a low cost of living and plenty of housing options for seniors, the Roanoke Valley is an attractive place for retirees. All that’s lacking is a cadre of professional gerontologists trained in understanding and promoting optimal aging.
Annette Clark, Program Liaison for Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Allied Health Professions at the Roanoke Higher Education Center, says gerontologists are in high demand in many fields, including medicine, administration, public policy, education, pharmacology, social services, physical therapy and marketing.
VCU is the only university in the state offering a Master of Science in Gerontology, and it especially caters to non-traditional students who can’t take time off from work or family and need a more flexible program.
As a member of the Roanoke Higher Education Center, VCU offers this program in a hybrid format. Students can take classes online, in-person at the VCU campus in Richmond, or in combination. Full-time students can complete the course work in two years.
While they are enrolled, students have access to VCU’s library services, academic support program and the school’s Health Writing Center - which assists with professional academic writing.
The Higher Education Center also has a library, a computer lab with printers, a student lounge, and a café, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Applications for the MSG program are accepted through VCU’s Graduate School website. For more information, contact Annette Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come to the open house at the RHEC on June 1.