The Colorado Education Initiative weighs in regarding Project Based Mentoring and Teach to Work


From Alex Carter, Ed.D, Vice President of Implementation

When we first became aware of Patty Alper’s Teach to Work book and her framework to support business and industry professionals to work closely with students and teachers through her Project-Based Mentoring ™ system, we immediately saw this for what it is: a breakthrough process that will allow schools and communities to join forces to improve outcomes for all students. Project-based mentoring ™ has the promise to affect all three Rs – the opportunity for students to build meaningful relationships through authentic mentor-mentee interaction, the opportunity for students to see the relevance of what they are learning in school by connecting the content to real-world problems and projects, and the opportunity for students to challenge themselves with more advanced content and concepts, since they will be mentored and supported by expert business and industry professionals.

I am thrilled to have learned about Ms. Alper’s innovative approach and look forward to helping schools throughout the Centennial State apply her strategies to forge deep partnerships with their local economic partners to redesign their learning programs for their students. …


By Phil Klutz

You might not be drawn to Teach To Work unless you are in the teaching or mentoring arena. If that’s not you, stay with me anyway. This book has good things to say about how we train and teach the next generation. This will be important for us as business people and families. Written by Patty Alper in 2017, Teach To Work outlines what she has learned and how to be successful in guiding younger generations to be successful in the world.

Alper hits the ground running in the introduction and first chapter by outlining why mentorship is so important and how it benefits students, mentors, and the companies that sponsor mentors. … The full review can be found here.



Donald Miller (2017) asserts that good stories usually have a guide or mentor in them to guide the hero of the story. The guide is not always necessary to the story but he/ she makes the story better. For example, the story of Stars Wars might not have been as engaging, had it not been for Obi-Wan Kenobi, and later Yoda, guiding Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan and Yoda functioned not just as teachers but as mentors who were Jedi themselves and provided individual attention to their mentoree Luke Skywalker by helping him attain the skills he needed to become a skilled Jedi. They mentored him not through lectures but by helping him gain the skills by applying the knowledge that they gave him and by passing on their knowledge to him. TVET learners need this same mentorship to gain the skills that they need to thrive in their careers.


Mentoring Kids To Teach Them Critical Workplace Skills

“Patty Alper, author of the new book Teach to Work, has a clever idea addressing two big national issues: the employers’ plea to get young hires with essential workplace skills and the desire by Americans over 50 to give back, especially by helping the nation’s youth. Alper calls it “project-based mentorship.” That means a person with decades of business experience mentors a student on a project the child devises, plans and implements.”



When GE polled business executives from 25 countries at their Global Innovation Barometer meeting, the biggest concern was a need to better align the education systemteach to work with business needs. In addition, a recent Gallup study, Great Lives Great Jobs, asked business leaders a series of similar questions regarding preparedness of students for future employment. The response was clear and speaks volumes to our schools. According to the business leaders, we are failing to provide recent graduates with the requisite skills. In fact, only 11% of business executives agreed that college graduates have the skills their workplace needs. Yet in striking contrast, 96% of chief academic officers at colleges and universities stated they believed their institution was effective at preparing students for employment.

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management

Are you a professor of an environmental science discipline—toxicology, risk assessment or contaminated sites–with an interest in engaging students in real world challenges? Are you a consulting or industry scientist that can contribute to building capabilities by mentoring and ‘hands-on’ training of young people entering your field? Teach to Work is a book you would find compelling. Alper makes a strong case for changing learning paradigms to include and integrate practical, project-based, experiential learning into current secondary and college curricula. The book will have widespread appeal in corporate and academic realms–particularly sectors suffering from skills gaps–as well as or educators and their affiliated organizations. I wholeheartedly support Ms. Alper’s call to action for a cultural revolution featuring mentoring as a foundational learning and skills development activity.

Innovative education programs key to future job markets, experts say

There’s a lot of teeth gnashing these days about how our kids aren’t going to be equipped for the workforce of the future. Should they all learn to code? Should they get a jump-start on the entrepreneurial life with lemonade stands and dog walking?

Providing Contextualized Learning Through Mentorship

Getting Smart

Too often school initiatives, whether they promote technology or grammar or social-emotional wellness, are offered up in a void. They have no real context in which to unfold, and they are spooned into the school day like so many doses of cough syrup. Thus, they become all too easy to dismiss, as valuable as they may be, because they offer no real context for learning.

Is This the Best Way to Build Leaders?

HRM Online

Is this the best way to build leaders? HR professionals know the great value of in-house mentorship programs, but encouraging your staff to leave the office and teach outsiders can be just as valuable for creating leaders.

Teach to Work: Critically Important and Highly Recommended

Midwest Book Review

Synopsis: From the birth of our nation to the recent crushing defeat of the first female presidential candidate, “Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those Who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box” by Angela P. Dodson (who is currently a contributing editor for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, and has served as senior editor for The New York Times and executive editor of Black Issues Book Review) highlights women’s impact on United States politics and government.

Mentoring Kids to Teach Them Critical Work Skills

Forbes’ Richard Eisenberg

Patty Alper, author of the new book Teach to Work, has a clever idea addressing two big national issues: the employers’ plea to get young hires with essential workplace skills and the desire by Americans over 50 to give back, especially by helping the nation’s youth. Alper calls it “project-based mentorship.” That means a person with decades of business experience mentors a student on a project the child devises, plans and implements.

Why Mentors Are Needed to Spark Future Entrepreneurs

Huffington Post’s Martin Zwilling

As a long-time mentor and advisor to new business owners, I can attest to both the need for mentoring, and the satisfaction that comes from watching an aspiring but tentative entrepreneur grow into someone capable of changing the world. Business is not rocket science, and one-on-one guidance face-to-face, with a real project, trumps the classroom and mistakes every time.

Review of ‘Teach to Work: How a Mentor, a Mentee, and a Project Can Close the Skills Gap in America’

Charles Ashbacher, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

Five out of five stars
This book is definitely the old made new again, a concept just as valuable now as it was at the dawn of humanity and the cooperative hunt. The theme is directed education based on the mentor/mentee relationship that was known for millennia (and in Star Wars) as the master/apprentice. A person with expertise in a field develops a relationship with a student where they teach them their skills, give them projects to work on, then coach them through the production process.