Members of the newly renamed Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) -- formerly the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education -- have approved a set of bylaws that fully integrates Academy activities into The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), where AGHE had previously been a separate unit. The vote on these bylaws took place on March 2 at AGHE's recent Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
AGHE was founded in 1974 and operated independently until becoming a unit of GSA in 1998. As stated in its bylaws, AGHE's mission is twofold: to advance gerontology and geriatrics education in higher education globally; and to provide leadership and support of gerontology and geriatrics education administrators, faculty, and students in educational institutions.
"AGHE's integration with GSA offers the great potential for more impact and reach given the considerable resources, membership, and compatible mission of GSA," said AGHE President Judith L. Howe, PhD, who recently chaired the Strategic Planning Task Force charged with determining what steps AGHE should take to ensure its long-term success. "I would like to thank everyone who worked together over the last year to ensure a smooth integration and the continued global presence of AGHE in gerontology and geriatrics education."
Moving forward, AGHE's operations will be aligned with those of GSA, which is the country's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging.
"Education and research. Research and training. These appear to be separate activities but they fold together under the concept of 'knowledge.' With AGHE as an integral part of GSA, our focus on knowledge about aging -- generating it and sharing it -- is stronger," said GSA President David J. Ekerdt, PhD.
AGHE will now convene as part of GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting and offer programming there, allowing both constituencies to participate in all sessions. AGHE will have an Executive Committee comprised of volunteer leaders and the schedule of elections, as well as award and fellowship nominations, will now coincide with GSA's.
"Now in its 44th year, AGHE is nationally and internationally recognized as the preeminent organization in the world providing leadership and support to its members in promoting gerontological education -- both within academic institutions and society at large." said Nina M. Silverstein, PhD, the immediate past president of AGHE who established the Strategic Planning Task Force. "The clear focus on education in AGHE's mission makes it uniquely qualified to fulfill our vision and ensure that the current and future workforce have the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the lives of older people, their families, and communities across the globe."
AGHE will offer four membership categories: educational institution, educational affiliate, organizational affiliate, and individual. GSA members may choose to elect affiliation with AGHE as well. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education will continue be AGHE's official journal; this publication is devoted to improving awareness of best practices and resources for gerontologists and gerontology and geriatrics educators.
"Gerontology as a discipline or infused across the curriculum in educational settings from K-12 through higher education is valuable to combat ageism, subtle or overt, that is prevalent across societies today -- and to assure that individuals who work directly or indirectly to benefit the lives of older people, their families, and communities have the knowledge and skills necessary to demonstrate the competence needed to achieve that benefit," Silverstein said.
More details about AGHE's transformation, as well as a list of commonly asked questions and answers, can be found at http://www.
The Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) is the educational organization of The Gerontological Society of America, the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. AGHE seeks to advance gerontology as a field of study at institutions of higher education through conferences, publications, technical assistance, research studies, and consultation with policy makers. It is currently the only institutional member organization dedicated to gerontology and geriatrics education worldwide.