Best Practices
September 7, 2007

IBM’s Transition to Teaching Program

Since 1994, IBM has been doing work in school reform through Reinventing Education, the company’s flagship program. Similarly, through On Demand Community, IBM has organized tens of thousands of employees to donate hours of community service. Transition to Teaching is an extension of this impressive effort to improve education, but with a very different method.

Transition to Teaching (T2T) is a program which allows IBM’s employees to become fully accredited teachers in their respective communities when they choose to leave the company. Under T2T, IBM reimburses participants up to $15,000 while they student-teach, and provides online mentoring and other support in conjunction with partner colleges, universities and school districts. Participants of the program take online courses and traditional classes, to prepare for their second career, while still working for IBM. Some requirements of participants include having worked for IBM for more than 10 years, a bachelor’s degree in math or science, and a history of volunteering with schools.

“Many of our experienced employees have math and science backgrounds and have made it clear that when they are ready to leave IBM they aren’t ready to stop contributing,” says Stanley Litow, president of the IBM International Foundation and vice president of IBM Corporate Community Relations.

These soon-to-be math and science teachers are greatly needed in American public schools. T2T is helping address the critical shortage of math and science teachers by making use of IBM’s most experienced employee’s backgrounds and passion for math and science. Nearly 100 IBM employees graduated from T2T in 2006. IBM is hoping that its example will inspire other corporations to create similar programs for their employees to benefit their own communities.