Are you looking for education or training opportunities to help you launch your encore career as a teacher, caregiver, nurse, or other in-demand profession? You’ll find resources here to help you find an encore program that suits your needs.

Learn about the Encore College Initiative

Check out innovative encore program models

Read case studies about colleges that have already created encore programs
Meet people who retrained for encore careers
Find out more about the Encore College Initiative


Check out these programs to help individuals find, prepare for, and transition to encore careers:

  • Pace University offers the Encore Transition Program, a five-session program that helps professionals move into their encore careers. More >
  • Portland Community College uses peer mentors to help older gerontology students survive the classroom. More >
  • Virginia Community College System offers a hybrid online and in-person program that allows people with busy schedules to become teachers in a year. More >
  • Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative is a 10-month program combines Harvard classes, special forums, and the chance to develop an entrepreneurial project aimed at solving a pressing social problems. More >
  • University of Connecticut offers training to help corporate professionals transition into the nonprofit sector through its Encore!Hartford program. More >
  • Evolve: Re-ignite Self & Community is an eight-week course offered at community colleges in Minnesota, Washington, and Colorado that strengthens leadership skills and connects boomers to people who share their passions to make positive change. More >
  • The University of the Pacific offers an online social entrepreneurship certificate program that can be completed in six months. More >

To learn details of these and other programs, check out the links above and encore college case studies.


  • The American Association of Community Colleges, the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges, developed the Plus 50 Initiative to expand and improve the services and programs that community colleges offer to older learners.
    • Learn more about the Plus 50 Initiative
    • Use AACC’s Community College Finder
    • Follow AACC’s practical tips for students going back to school after age 50.
  • Some colleges offer credit for knowledge gained outside of the classroom. Listen to the experiences of students from one college, and check with your local colleges to learn if they offer similar programs.
  • Not sure what field you’re interested in? Find a local organization that can help you determine your next steps in transitioning to an encore career. Some organizations partner with community colleges to help you explore fields of interest.
  • Would you prefer online education or training? If so, there are many online programs, offered through colleges and other organizations, that can get you the training and certification that you need. But first, consider using this self-assessment to gauge your readiness for online learning.