Age Friendly

May 30, 2017

CCSU joins Age-Friendly University network

Comes during “Older Americans Month”  



NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) is marking Older Americans Month by committing to become an Age-Friendly University (AFU). By doing so, CCSU joins a global network of 150 higher education institutions in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom providing programs and developing practices that serve the needs of an aging population.

CCSU is the first in Connecticut to adopt the concept developed at Ireland’s Dublin City University several years ago and is endorsed by The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

“We welcome CCSU to the network and, as it continues to grow, we eagerly anticipate increased exploration and enhanced opportunities for collaboration for all our international AFU partners over the coming years,” says Trevor Holmes, vice president of Dublin City University External Affairs.

Connecticut is home to the seventh oldest population in the U.S. and, in another decade, 25 percent of the state’s population will be over the age of 60.

“As the population continues to live longer and grow in number, becoming an age-friendly public university and community partner is essential to our educational mission,” states Zulma R. Toro, CCSU president. “Our students will benefit from a deeper understanding of the physical, mental, and social needs of an aging population and will be prepared to integrate that knowledge in their chosen fields.

The Age-Friendly framework centers on 10 principles. Among them, involving older adults in educational programs and research, promoting and supporting second career and personal development, and enhancing access to health and wellness programs and to arts and cultural activities. The University already adheres to many of the tenets, according to Carrie Andreoletti, associate professor of Psychological Science, who advocated for the adoption of the age-friendly initiative.

“In addition to a gerontology minor for undergraduate students, CCSU is now accepting applications for a new Graduate Certificate in Gerontology designed to meet the growing demand for professionals who understand the opportunities, concerns, and needs associated with aging,” Andreoletti explains.

CCSU’s Office of Continuing Education has partnered with the gerontology faculty and AARP to host workshops on a number of topics, including expert advice on disrupting aging, careers in aging, and fraud protection. Coming up on June 16, CCSU will host the AARP’s Changing Aging Tour.

Andreoletti, whose teaching and research focus on the benefits of intergenerational service learning and promoting well-being in older adults, says that she and her gerontology colleagues look for opportunities in and out of classrooms to break down negative stereotypes and misinformation young and old people have about one another.

“We’re interested in increasing opportunities for intergenerational learning, which could include service-learning projects that could provide younger and older adults opportunities for collaboration and community engagement,” she says.

For additional information about CCSU’s gerontology programs and the Age-Friendly initiative, go to


CONTACT:  Janice Palmer, Media Relations, (O) 860.832.1791, (C) 860 538-2649

Carrie Andreoletti, Assoc. Professor of Psychological Science, 860.832.1646