Linking the Generations: Communication and Aging

Instructor Name: 
Cindy Koonz
Course Description: 

Linking the Generations, Communication, Aging and Society  Students will engage with older adults to complete a variety of life history projects. Students will address their assumptions and stereotypes toward the aging population and will reflect upon personal barriers and successes in the intergenerational communication process. Communication issues will be addressed in the areas of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intercultural communication. In addition to the community work, the course will focus on interdisciplinary discussions, lectures, and activities to increase awareness of the older population. Fingerprinting also may be required. Contact instructor ( or upon registration to discuss preferred community volunteer location (since this is offered online, this can be flexible to your needs). 

Course Learning Objectives:
1. To realize the importance of communication across generations.
2. To address and analyze personal assumptions and stereotypes of aging.
3. To apply the different contexts and issues of communication to the aging process.
4. To apply theory and course concepts to meet the needs of the community.
5. To explore and connect the student's discipline's perspective on aging.
6. To reflect on student's experience in the community.

Oregon Jewish Life magazine (V.5.4, p. 37-38) published a highlight of the partnership in May 2016. This is best viewed in full-screen (look for FS double-arrow button at bottom of viewer).

Project Description: 

The life history project is the main project in this Capstone course. There is a lot of flexibility to the final product based both on your skills and the needs of the community partner.  Having an ongoing conversation with an older adult throughout the term will foster intergenerational communication.