The C2LS was established in May, 2009 as a collaboration between the Department of Sociology and the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State University. It is situated organizationally in the College of the Liberal Arts, and is administered by the Department of Sociology. We grew out of the former Center for Population Health and Aging (CPHA) [a National Institute on Aging Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging Center grant, 2004-2010]. That center focused on population aging and/or the demography of aging. The Center mission was changed to include a much broader focus on the life course.
The original rationale for establishing the C2LS was to provide a home for intellectual activities of faculty and students interested in the principles underlying life course theories and to assist in the mobilization of research informed by the life course perspective. Specifically, the founding principles of the Center were to develop an interest group on “life course and longitudinal studies” and to provide an environment for mentoring graduate students and junior faculty who have an interest in life course research.
Center activities are developed under the leadership of a Director, and an internal advisory committee. C2LS also receives ongoing advice and guidance from the head of Sociology and the Office of the Dean, College of the Liberal Arts.