Age-Friendly University

Age-Friendly University Logo

San Diego State University achieved designation as an Age-Friendly University (AFU) in 2021, aligning with an expanding global network of higher education institutions dedicated to championing age-friendly policies and programs. Our commitment spans education, innovation, research, and fostering a holistic, inclusive approach to promoting health and aging across the lifespan.

An age-friendly university embodies 10 principles on how a college or university can prepare for the future and meet the needs of students, faculty, and people of all ages.

The 10 Age-Friendly University Principles 

To encourage the participation of older adults in all the core activities of the university, including educational and research programs. 

To promote personal and career development in the second half of life and to support those who wish to pursue second careers. 

To recognize the range of educational needs of older adults (from those who were early school-leavers through to those who wish to pursue Master's or PhD qualifications). 

To promote intergenerational learning to facilitate the reciprocal sharing of expertise between learners of all ages. 

To widen access to online educational opportunities for older adults to ensure a diversity of routes to participation. 

To ensure that the university's research agenda is informed by the needs of an aging society and to promote public discourse on how higher education can better respond to the varied interests and needs of older adults. 

To increase the understanding of students of the longevity dividend and the increasing complexity and richness that aging brings to our society. 

To enhance access for older adults to the university's range of health and wellness programs and its arts and cultural activities. 

To engage actively with the university's own retired community. 

To ensure regular dialogue with organizations representing the interests of the aging population.

Intergenerational Gerontology Alliance (IGA)

The IGA is a recognized student organization at San Diego State University with a mission of bridging relationships between students, alumni, older adults, and aging community organizations.

IGA members are driven by a shared commitment to:

Advancing Gerontology Awareness: We strive to increase awareness and disseminate knowledge about Gerontology as a major and a vital topic.
Promoting Intergenerational Engagement: We actively engage with individuals from different generations through a diverse array of intergenerational activities. 
Fostering Interdisciplinary Collaboration: We collaborate with various disciplines across campus to build relationships and further the cause of diversity and inclusion. 
Facilitating Mentorship: We create pathways for mentorship opportunities, connecting students interested in the aging field with experienced mentors. 
Contributing to Age-Friendly Universities: We actively participate in committees dedicated to enhancing SDSU's status as an Age-Friendly University.

For more information, contact Norman Jackson at

Intergenerational CallHub

The Center for Excllence in Aging & Longevity (CEAL) partnered with Determined Health to create an innovative Intergenerational CallHub for students and older adults to connect.

The CallHub is an evidenced-based program that provides a non-clinical approach to social connections to mitigate the negative impacts of isolation and loneliness. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine highlights that nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are socially isolated and according to Generations United, two in three Americans want to spend more time with people outside their age group. Research shows that bringing older and younger generations together has major benefits including reducing levels of social isolation and loneliness, combating stereotypes and ageism, increasing sense of purpose, and delivering unique learning opportunities.

For students interested in getting to know someone in your community and share stories, click here to sign up.

For older adults who want to learn more about our friendly telephone connection program, email

Intergenerational Housing Program

SDSU CEAL is currently exploring innovative intergenerational housing opportunities. Stay tuned for more updates on this innovative initiative that aims to create inclusive living environments for students and older adults.

For more information, contact Emily Allison at

Resources for Lifelong Learning

Osher @ SDSU is a lifelong learning institute designed for adult learners aged 50 and older who want to fuel their passion for learning, develop new interests, and share a forum for friendship and socialization.

Tools for Advancing Age Inclusivity in Higher Education is designed by the Gerontological Society of America and the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education, with support from AARP, to provide resources to advance age inclusivity in institutions of higher education for faculty, students, administrators, and other campus leaders.

CSU Over 60 Fee Waiver Program is for degree-seeking California residents over the age of 60.

Part of a Growing Movement

CEAL is actively engaged in the Age-Friendly Ecosystem including AARP Network of  Age-Friendly States and Communities and Age-Friendly Health Systems.

The Age-Friendly Ecosystem: Age-Friendly Health Systems, Age-Friendly Public Health, Age-Friendly Universities, Age-Friendly Cities, Age-Friendly States, All contribute to Age-Friendly Policies

The SDSU Social Policy Institute/CEAL works in partnership with AARP and municipalities in San Diego County to create Age-Friendly Communities where people of all ages can thrive. These communities prioritize accessibility, social engagement, and support services to ensure that older adults can age gracefully while remaining active, connected, and valued members of the community.

Click here to learn about our Age-Friendly Communities work. For more information, contact Brenda Bothel-Hammond at

CEAL is also engaged in the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement which is guided by an essential set of evidence based practices (4Ms), causes no harms, and is consistent with what matters to the older adult and their family.

4ms: What matters, Medication, Mind, Mobility