There has been a substantial increase in the number of aging-related educational programs in the United States over the last two decades. Many of these programs utilize an experiential-learning approach, such as intergenerational service-learning, to train gerontology students to work effectively with older adults. This paper presents a model of training called the Bridge program, which is based in experiential learning and incorporates some of the broader goals of service-learning. Launched in 2003, the Bridge program involves graduate students residing in a retirement community for at least one academic year. The main goals of the program include: educating the students and the public about the aging process, recruiting future gerontologists, providing research opportunities for the Bridge students, and contributing to the retirement community. Evaluation of the program reveals several critical issues for successful implementation.
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- Experiential learning
- Gerontological education
- Partnership between university and community