I posted the below press release, because this is a very telling sign for times to come, and I do believe that GMU is very forward-thinking in this industry!!!
George Mason University Establishes Nation’s First Degree in Senior Housing Administration
Master’s in Senior Housing Administration Targets Need for Executives in Assisted Living and Related Communities as Population Ages FAIRFAX, Va.—Building on its reputation as a pioneer in the senior housing field, and in recognition of National Careers in Aging Week (April 4-10), George Mason University has announced the launch of the nation’s first degree for executives seeking to manage the country’s nearly 50,000 active adult, assisted living, continuingcare retirement, and related senior housing communities. As approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the new Master of Science in Senior Housing Administration (MSHA) will begin in the fall 2010 semester.“The first of 78 million baby boomers will turn 65 next year, and their interest and expectations for retirementhousing will be high,” says Andrew Carle, a former senior housing executive and director of the Program inAssisted Living/Senior Housing Administration. “Just as the Cornell School of Hotel Administration set the standard for the hospitality industry, we want to set the standard moving forward for senior housing.” Administered through the College of Health and Human Services, the degree will offer coursework in senior housing and health care administration, as well as an interdisciplinary range of topics including business administration, aging, ethics, health policy, assistive technology, therapeutic recreation, and Alzheimer’s disease. For the university, the degree expands its existing Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration curriculawhich, when launched in 2001, was the first in the nation to offer both undergraduate and graduate concentrations dedicated exclusively to the field. More than 300 students have completed coursework within the Program to date, including internships within more than 60 senior housing communities. A cottage industry through the 1980’s, senior housing today is represented by a host of national and regional providers, with up to 400 communities each. Assisted living communities typically combine housing, hospitality and basic health care under one roof. Continuing care retirement communities, which include independent as well as assisted living and skilled nursing services, may house more than 2,000 seniors, employ more than 1,000 staff and manage real estate valued at more than $500 million. In addition to community administrators, large companies require regional, divisional and corporate executives. Administrator positions in current communities are typically filled by individuals with degrees in business, health care or nursing, but with the National Institute on Aging estimating that one of every five people in the U.S. will be over the age of 65 by 2030, demand for executives trained in the unique aspects of senior housing will grow. “The industry is projected to double to more than 100,000 communities housing 5 million seniors in the next two decades,” says P.J. Maddox, chair of Mason’s Department of Health Administration and Policy. “We expect executive positions in the field to be among the fastest growing career paths in the U.S.” Applications for admission for the new degree will be accepted through the College of Health and Human Services beginning April 1, 2010. The deadline to apply for Fall study is July 1, 2010. Additional information, including degree requirements, is available at http://assistedliving.gmu.edu, or by calling the Program in Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration at 703-993-9131.
About George Mason UniversityNamed the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreakingresearch in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. ####