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Despite dramatic increases in the older adult population, curriculum development in the area of physical activity and aging has been minimal or nonexistent in most physical education departments in higher education. As a consequence, many practitioners leading programs for older adults have had to rely primarily on self-study and on-the-job training for the knowledge and skills they need. The purpose of this paper is to suggest minimum competencies for preparing specialists in the field of physical activity and aging and to recommend corresponding curriculum development. Suggested core offerings for a concentration in physical activity and aging are presented, including specific course content for three specialty courses: physical activity and aging, physical assessment and exercise programming for older adults, and therapeutic exercise for age related chronic conditions. In view of the fact that many departments are faced with declining budgets and program cutbacks, alternative strategies for curricular revision and for integrating gerontological content into the existing physical education curriculum are discussed.
C.J. Jones and R.E. Rikli are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92634.