The mission of the Interdisciplinary Center on Aging is to create innovative partnerships between CSU, Chico and the North State Community that will focus on education, research, scholarship, and community service related to aging and attending to the aging needs of our region.
- To facilitate research at CSU, Chico in topics relating to aging, particularly research that is interdisciplinary, related to evidence-based practice, and/or explores the issue of aging in rural areas.
- To transfer knowledge from the University to the community on topics relating to aging, contributing to the development of a knowledgeable and aging-friendly environment and workforce.
- To boost the impact and efficiency of aging endeavors in Education and Community Service through enhanced coordination and collaboration across disciplines, and between the community and the University.
- To enhance the aging knowledge, experience, and intergenerational exposure of the CSU, Chico student body, introducing students to a greater variety of perspectives and experience through curriculum enhancement, community service and increasing the number of older adults in campus classrooms. For example, this may include the coordination of a class project at local senior center or assisted living facility, utilize older adult community members as guest speakers, and/or develop a website that provides matching services of volunteers (both older adults and students) with persons in need.
The first mention of the need for a Interdisciplinary Center on Aging (ICOA) at CSU, Chico was made by a community service provider at a meeting with representatives from the New York Academy of Medicine, during a site visit for the Hartford Partnership Program in Aging Education (HPPAE) in September 2007. Gayle Hutchinson, Dean of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Social Work Faculty and community members were present; all were discussing the needs of the area and one community member stated that "what we need is a Center on Aging."
Upon the recommendation of the Academic Senate and with the concurrence of the Provost, President Zingg approved the establishment of the ICOA, effective Fall 2009.
Urgent and Growing Needs of Northern California
In the 19-county region (equal to the size of Ohio) served by CSU, Chico, 15.4% of the population is 65 years or older. This is substantially higher than the rest of California (10.6%) or the U.S. (12.4%).
- As baby boomers age, we will see the impact on all systems.
- Northern California will experience the positive and negative impacts for more than 15 years, way before the majority of the nation will witness them.
- Education, research and innovative partnerships are needed to serve older adults and their families.
- Effective policies to expand practice must be developed.