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How Can Boomers Strengthen Education?

Two papers from Encore.org help experienced professionals understand how they can help deliver services to young people, including working with schools to strengthen instruction in math- and science-related fields.

A New Equation: How Encore Careers in Math and Science Education Equal More Success for Students delves into a hot topic in education: how people in encore careers can help improve science, technology, engineering and math education. Author Elizabeth Foster of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future focuses on three individuals in encore careers to illustrate three model programs:

  • Rick Marquart, a math teacher who coordinates activities for a NASA 21st Century Learning Studios program in a Maryland public school district.
  • Alan Cleland, a mechanical engineer who is an apprentice teacher through California’s EnCorps Teachers Program
  • Robert Abrams, a finance manager who is an EcO15 program facilitator

The report includes recommendations about how to attract more individuals to math and science encore careers, and how to make it easier for schools to use the expertise of these professionals more effectively. Download the paper here.

Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Boomers in Encore Careers That Help Students Succeed, by Michelle Hynes and Cal Halvorsen of Encore.org and Ellen Pechman of EMP Consulting, highlights four organizations that are using boomers’ professional expertise and life experience to help deliver more and better services to young people.

The paper explains how organizations are strengthening staffing for after-school programs, boosting high schools’ support for first-generation college applicants, expanding leadership for the nation’s largest dropout prevention network and improving the performance of education nonprofits and their overall ability to help young people.

The programs highlighted are:

  • Aspiranet’s Encore After-School Initiative, which is helping to build a stronger after-school work force
  • ReServe’s READY program, which uses encore talent to help New York City students go to college
  • Communities in Schools’ Baldwin Fellows program, which engages experienced and emerging leaders to tackle strategic and leadership challenges for the nation’s largest dropout prevention network
  • Encore.org’s Silicon Valley Encore Fellows program, which places experienced professionals in education reform and youth-serving organizations to build their capacity

The report also recommends ways to tap more encore talent to serve young people. Download the paper here.

Make a comment, or add your own encore career examples, in the Encores for Education & Youth discussion group. (You must be a member of Encore.org to join discussions.)