Monday, July 13, 2009

Rio Salado Awarded Grant to Help Retrain Boomers for Encore Careers

Rio Salado College was recently awarded a $25,000 grant to support a targeted retraining program aimed at adults over the age of 50 who are eager to prepare for new careers in education.

The grant, which was awarded from Civic Ventures and Metlife Foundation, allows Tempe-based Rio Salado to customize its online teacher certification programs for eligible adults, who are interested in re-careering and pursuing teaching positions in early childhood, elementary, secondary and special education.

“Many adults over the age of 50 are facing unemployment and depleted retirement funds,” said Kimberly Tobey, Rio Salado College’s community liaison director. “Now, they are turning to Rio Salado to retool their careers with a goal to combine meaningful work and income.”

Based on adults’ areas of interest, experience, educational backgrounds, and employment situations, candidates will be able to enroll in one of four online teacher certification programs.
The programs are:
  • Post Baccalaureate Teacher Prep for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and may be working fulltime.
  • Teacher in Residence for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree and are working in the classroom while completing their teacher certification.
  • Teacher Education for candidates who do not have a college degree.
  • Troops to Teachers for military personnel transitioning from the military to second careers.
“This program will prepare future workers and fill the need for qualified teachers in high demand sectors,” said Tobey. “There is still need for teachers in Arizona’s rural areas and certain subject matters.”

Rio Salado was one of eight community colleges selected from a nationwide pool of 100 applicants and chosen for its innovative approach to matching boomer talent with social purpose jobs that fill specific local workforce needs.

Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation launched the project to provide support to community colleges that are updating their offerings to help people over the age of 50 prepare for encore careers combining continued income, personal meaning, and social impact.

The grants were awarded to community colleges that are piloting, marketing or expanding courses to retrain boomers for jobs in education, social services, health care and, new this year, green jobs.

“Even in good economic times, it’s not easy to get from the end of a midlife career to the beginning of an encore career,” said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Civic Ventures. “In these tough times, community colleges are stepping up to provide a vital bridge to older job seekers who want work that means something to them and that matters to the world.”
Rio Salado College is developing an orientation video, which will be available to view online and in-person at the Rio Lifelong Learning Center in Surprise, the Tempe Public Library, and at additional locations throughout Maricopa County.

For more details about the Rio Salado College program and to inquire about enrolling, please contact Rio Salado’s Enrollment Services at 480.517.8580.