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Press Release:


FAU Launches Aging Academy to Address Geriatric Training

BOCA RATON, FL (March 7, 2011) - Florida Atlantic University’s School of Social Work in the College for Design and Social Inquiry will host a kickoff event for its new Aging Academy on Tuesday, March 22, at 4 p.m. in the Live Oak Pavilion, FAU Student Union, on the Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. The event, free and open to the public, will introduce the Aging Academy, celebrating the expansion of the school’s current curriculum and internships in the geriatric social work field.

As South Florida’s population of senior citizens continues to rise, the Aging Academy will provide specialized instruction and training for individuals interested in becoming leaders in eldercare service provision. The first cohort of geriatric scholars in the Master of Social Work program is scheduled to begin in the fall 2011 semester.  FAU will be offering stipend opportunities up to $5,000 per semester to help build interest in and commitment to the specialization.

FAU’s School of Social Work currently offers an elders certificate program that requires students to complete aging-specific classes alongside their standard coursework. When the academy launches, geriatric issues will be incorporated into the entire social work curriculum in the form of lectures, class projects, service learning and research.

The initiative will be directed by Stephen Ferrante, MSW, who will be responsible for recruiting, coaching and coordinating funding opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate social work students who specialize in aging. “For years, South Florida has and continues to maintain a large senior population,” said Ferrante. “Coupling this with the increasing number of local, retiring professionals creates a significant demand for a skilled geriatric workforce."

According to the Social Work Leadership Institute, less than 10 percent of the nation’s MSW graduates are presently educated and trained to work with seniors, which happens to be the fastest-growing demographic in the country. The National Institute of Health estimates that the United States currently needs 60,000 more social workers who specialize in geriatrics. Instead of growing, the overall social work labor force is shrinking, with 30 percent of current practitioners nearing retirement.

The March 22 kickoff event will offer faculty, students and community stakeholders the chance to learn about the Aging Academy’s goals, activities and giving opportunities. Ms. Corrine H. Rieder, executive director of the John F. Hartford Foundation, will provide a keynote address regarding the emerging need for geriatric competence in the social work field. For more information regarding the event and the Aging Academy, contact Ferrante at or 561-297-2720.


- FAU -


About the College for Design and Social Inquiry

The College for Design and Social Inquiry is a unique configuration of professional programs offering 11 undergraduate and graduate programs by a nationally acclaimed faculty. The college is composed of five academic units: the School of Architecture; the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice; the School of Public Administration; the School of Social Work; and the School of Urban and Regional Planning. Together they promote safe, healthy and sustainable communities through education, research and design.


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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