Higher education can be a key part of preparing for life’s encore phase. To date, 40 colleges have teamed up with the Encore College Initiative to create pathways to encore careers in education, health care, social services and the environment.

The result? Higher education institutions are creating new opportunities for boomers who want to make a difference in their communities and a salary.

Are you ready to capitalize on this growing trend to prepare people over 50 for jobs as teachers, caregivers, nurses, and staff members in other in-demand fields? You’ll find resources here to help you get started in creating an encore program.

Learn more about the Encore College Initiative.

Check out innovative encore program models

Learn some practical tips on starting an encore program
Read case studies about colleges that have already created encore programs
Learn about people who retrained for encore careers
Find out more about the Encore College Initiative


Check out program profiles, practices, research, lessons and tips from colleges that are preparing older students for encore careers. More >


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.