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Age-Inclusivity Grants

December 29, 2021

The RoseMary B. Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies at Lasell University, under the leadership of Director Joann Montepare, has received two grants to examine age-friendliness in U.S. higher education institutions. The grants were received in collaboration with colleagues at UMass Boston. 

The two seminal studies aim to examine how campuses can best advance age inclusivity. They also aim to provide information on best practices for partner institutions in the Age-Friendly University (AFU) global network, of which Lasell is a member among 85 institutions worldwide.  

The first study, “Taking the Pulse of Age-Friendliness in Higher Education in the U.S. Today,” is supported by a grant from the Retirement Research Foundation for Aging. The study aims to identify the nature of age-friendly practices across a sample of AFU network institutions, along with perceptions of students, faculty, and staff about those practices.

“In this study, we developed and administered a new comprehensive assessment instrument, the Age-Friendly Inventory and Campus Climate Survey (ICCS). The ICCS measures age-friendly campus practices as reported by administrators, perceptions of age-friendliness by students, faculty and staff, and the fit or alignment between objective practices and subjective perceptions as an overall indicator of campus age inclusivity,” says Montepare. 

The second study, “Moving from Age-Friendly Principles to Practices in U.S. Higher Education: Strategies to Enhance Learning and Workplace Environments,” is a continuation grant also supported by the Retirement Research Foundation for Aging. The study aims to identify challenges and strategies for implementing age-friendly campus practices related to three institutional functions: teaching and learning, personnel, and student affairs; as well as to recommend specific strategies for expanding age-friendly practices related to these academic functions in higher education. The study will commence in January 2022.