November 22, 2010 | | Leave a comment As the the baby boomer generation ages and retires, more professionals are expected to be needed for care and support. In response to this trend, Ashford University recently announced the launch of its online bachelor’s degree in gerontology, which will allow students to enter a growing field. College officials said that the program is designed to help students to take classes in healthcare, daily support, community services, counseling, research, advocacy, business opportunities and lifestyle enhancement. "Students who study in this degree program will develop the skills necessary to analyze aging issues, policies and challenges, and make recommendations for improvement and change to promote positive aging models," said Alice Vestergaard, program director of the school’s College of Health, Human Services and Sciences added Furthermore, college officials added that graduates of this degree program will gain insight into aging based on current research, which could enable them to work with a growing aging population. Graduates of this program may be able to launch careers as social and human service assistants. According to a 2008 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for these professionals are expected to grow by 23 percent over the next eight years.