Assessing Needs for Gerontological Education in Urban and Rural Areas of Ohio

Daniel J. Van Dussen, Suzanne M. Leson, Eric S. Emerick, Joseph A. Voytek, Heidi H. Ewen


Purpose of the Study: This project surveyed health care professionals from both urban and rural care settings in Ohio and examined differences in professionals’ needs and interests in continuing gerontological education.

Design and Methods: The survey data were analyzed for 766 health care professionals descriptively, using cross-tabulations and c2 tests.

Results: The key findings were that professionals are willing to drive a maximum time of one-hour per week to travel one way to attend classes/workshops to earn gerontology certificate among both urban and rural drivers [(4,N=514)=11.65,p=.020]. Distance learning was the most preferred method for furthering gerontological education for both urban (39%) and rural (49%) participants. One quarter or fewer of the professionals were interested in obtaining a master’s degree. Of slightly greater interest was pursuit of a graduate gerontology certificate (25% urban and 28% rural). It is concluded that there is a need and desire for professionals working with aging populations in Ohio to pursue additional education. Preferences for obtaining education inform us of the ways in which education can best be delivered.

Implications: Youngstown State University can apply to increase gerontological education access in both urban and rural areas. Such educational opportunities will be a great service to the urban and rural areas of the aging population in the state of Ohio.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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