This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 25, 2007

IBM Helps Its Retirees Transition to Teaching

Studies tell us that over one-half of the measured growth in United States' income per capita was due to technological change. Yet almost 70 percent of our children through middle school are taught math and science by teachers without those degrees. Many school districts now pay premiums to respond to the dangerous shortages of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educators. Virtually every state in the Union and many foreign countries suffer with this problem.

To answer this mission critical need, in January 2006 IBM launched an innovative program called "Transition to Teaching". This leading-edge program provides financial assistance and other support to eligible retiring IBM employees who want to move into teaching as a second career.

Offering assistance with customized certification programs, including both traditional and on-line courses, this initiative helps people with bachelor's degrees or some credentials in mathematics, science, and related fields to acquire the education courses they need. The best part for IBM's employees is that there is no cost for these services or for taking the courses.

Transition to Teaching also helps with a three-month student teaching opportunity. As if that weren't enough, the company provides further support with vital online mentoring and peer networking, so participating employees can make a successful transition. Participants may receive up to $15,000 per employee in grants and other financial support to defray the costs of schooling.

The firm has 85 employees who will soon transition out with their teaching credentials. Currently, this program is in operation in two states, New York and North Carolina, both of which have major IBM installations, and the company has arrangements with a total of 16 states. Their lofty goal is to have this program operational in all 50 states and to scale the program to work outside of the US as well. IBM also wants to encourage other companies to join them. Want more information? E-mail

As Nick Donofrio, IBM's Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology, so succinctly phrased it, "Government can't do it all. We'd like to help more companies get focused on things that matter." Kudos to IBM!

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