The Life Course Scholars Program (LCS) was created in October 2016 with pilot funding from the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging. Housed in the Urban Studies and Planning Program, the Life Course Scholars Program creates a unique interdisciplinary, cross-generational, multi-site learning experience for UC San Diego undergraduates that aims to transform their understanding of aging, health, learning and research, as well as connect them more deeply to the people and places of surrounding San Diego communities.


This two-quarter sequence in the winter and spring of every year combines place-based, experiential, and traditional classroom-based learning methods, Learning Exchange Groups (LEGs) comprised of small clusters of Elder Partners ((EPs) and LC Scholars, and both participatory planning and collaborative research activities, on and off campus. The program culminates in LCS teams designing and implementing community-based Healthy Aging Projects (HAPs) under the guidance and mentorship of the course instructors, Dr. Leslie Lewis and Dr. Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, with support from interested EPs. HAPs are typically developed and organized in the winter quarter and implemented in the spring quarter.


The hypothesis of the LCS program is that fostering meaningful intergenerational connections, new competencies in participatory research on healthy aging, and collaborative knowledge production and action planning will have multiple positive, measurable effects for both students and elders involved in the program.


For all participants, we anticipate:

1) Gains in individual knowledge and competency around healthy aging;

2) Broadened perspectives about the depth, diversity, pathos and possibilities of people’s lives in their later years; and

3) Critical awareness of policies and structures that create disproportionate negative impacts on particular individuals and communities across the lifespan.

Life Course Scholars Program Application 2017-2018