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Teacher Certification Receives 'Encore Career' Grant

August 21, 2007 -- The grant is a one-time, one-year award totaling $24,750.

The purpose of the grant is to create and market new ways for individuals 50 years of age and older to transition into "encore" careers in education, healthcare and social services -- all three are areas facing critical labor shortages. Projects will, for example, provide support and training for those over 50 who want to transition to teaching jobs, work in gerontology, become nursing instructors, or work in nonprofits.

Through the grant, Collin College will train boomers transitioning to an encore career. The focus is on boomers interested in teaching especially those laid off from engineering and technology careers who want to become certified high school math teachers in one year.

"We are very excited to receive the MetLife Foundation/Civic Ventures Encore Career grant. Our Teacher Certification Program is expanding to day classes allowing for flexibility for those who want to transition to teaching jobs. The grant will be a tremendous help to local school districts who are facing critical shortages for high school math teachers," Sabrina Belt, director of the Collin College Center for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development, said.

In 2005, MetLife Foundation and Civic Ventures conducted the first national survey asking Americans in their 50s and 60s what types of work they aspired to in the second half of life. Half of those polled expressed interest in jobs to help improve the quality of life in their communities, but a majority also said that finding such employment would not be easy.

Collin College is only one of 10 community colleges out of 115 to receive the Civic Ventures grant.

"For tens of millions of baby boomers, a new phase of life and work is opening up between the end of midlife careers and the beginning of true old age," said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures. "Traditional educational offerings for 'seniors' just won't cut it anymore, particularly for those seeking to make a difference in their communities."

Civic Ventures announced today the winners of a national competition to develop innovative ways to prepare boomers for careers in education, health care, and social services.

The non-profit organization is a think tank and program incubator helping society achieve the greatest return on experience.

MetLife Foundation ( was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its long-standing tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support education, health, civic and cultural programs, with a focus on addressing shifting U.S. demographics, including the growing number of older adults in America.

For more information about an encore career or the grant, contact the Collin College Teacher Certification program at 972.377.1060 or visit

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.