November 1, 2010 | Adam Sorensen | Leave a comment The number of Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 has increased by 38 percent since 1997, reports the United States Administration on Aging. In response to this trend, Ashford University recently announced that it will begin offering a bachelor’s degree in adult development. The online degree is designed to benefit professionals in industries such as healthcare, social services, public administration, legal representation and law enforcement. Students can choose to specialize in gerontology, teaching, workforce services or health studies. College officials report that the degree does not lead to licenses or certification, but instead provides a foundation for students who wish to pursue degrees in other fields. "This new degree mirrors changes in the world around us, as more and more disciplines focus research on adulthood," said Alice Vestergaard, health, human services and sciences program director at the university. "Multi-disciplinary perspectives of adulthood incorporate psychology, education, health, social sciences and anthropology.” The program concentrates on the growing aging-specific demands on the public and private sector, including education, health and human services.