ALPA partners are non-profit and for-profit organizations currently serving low and middle income older adults where their organizational strategies include leadership development training for staff/volunteers in order to expanded or provide new services based on a self-help/self-advocacy model. ALPA also seeks out educational partners interested in providing ALPA training as part of a continuing education model to assist professionals in the field with leadership development training that links research-based theory to participants work in the field. ALPA also wishes to further develop the current evaluation component to partner with research organizations to document the impact of this innovative approach to serving older adults.
Host partners that have implemented ALPA reflect the flexibility of the ALPA program to address diverse markets. Host organizations include:
- Providers of home-based services for clients who are aging-in-place
- Housing management companies/agencies with substantial numbers of residents who are aging-in-place
- Communities fostering collaboration among all of the providers serving the geographic area to support positive aging
The curriculum can be modified to serve the particular needs of participants (supervisors, policy makers, direct service providers) or of clients (low-income, isolation, multi-generational disabilities).
ALPA Training for Your Organization
As committed advocates for positive aging, curriculum leaders from the Life Planning Network (LPN) are reaching out through partner organizations to engage those who work with older adults in a “train the trainer” process. Partner organizations host the experiential learning program to prepare their employees and volunteers with the understandings and tools to empower pro-active self-management.
ALPA is a program that is fun, challenging, and personally rewarding for the participants. The six session curriculum prepares senior service providers — whether managers, staff providers and/or volunteers — with the understandings and tools to act as positive aging advocates and coaches for themselves and their clients. Program graduates will be better prepared to help their clients to: a) understand changing expectations for aging, b) identify their strengths as well as their needs in relation to positive aging, and c) find and use planning resources that will improve their expectations for the future.
This section of the ALPA website describes the roles and responsibilities of both LPN and Host Partners to assure program success. This material is incorporated in a Memorandum of Agreement signed by LPN and each Host Partner. The Memorandum of Agreement is included in the Coordinators’ folder under “Participants.”
Responsibilities of the Life Planning Network (LPN)
“How can we empower older adults from all economic situations to plan for a more positive life at this time when societal stress and economic insecurity are expanding?” This question was raised at an LPN conference workshop in 2010. Over the last four years, life planning professionals from across the country and across academic disciplines have donated their time and energy as curriculum developers, presenters, and advisers to create the ALPA program.
The free, online curriculum has been piloted successfully by Host Partners in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and the Washington DC region. LPN’s curriculum leaders and evaluation specialist have used feedback from program coordinators and participants to revise the online program. Next, LPN representatives will provide oversight for an expanding number of Host Partners.
LPN representatives will:
- Provide guidance for the onsite coordinators by reviewing the curriculum with them and responding to their questions and concerns on an ongoing basis.
- Facilitate Internet site maintenance including use of material specific to each pilot during the course of the program
- Work with ALPA’s professional evaluator to collect and report on data from each Host Partner.
- Include information about Host Partner in relevant materials (conference presentations, marketing materials, etc.)
- Make available all ALPA reports, promotional materials and presentations.
- Make revisions in the future, based on the evaluation reports.
LPN members may be available to be Onsite Coordinators or to help guide pilots within their local regions.
Responsibilities of the Host Partners
The ALPA program is intended as a training program that supports the values and strategies of the Host Partners. LPN hopes that a partner organization will seriously consider incorporating ALPA into its ongoing training program after a successful trial.
In return for use of the free online curriculum at www.alpa.lifeplanningnetwork.org, Host Partners will be responsible to:
- Provide a comfortable space for six in-person sessions
- Contract with an On-site Coordinator. The On-Site Coordinator may be a current staff person. One pilot organization involved a staff person (human resource manager) as the coordinator/organizer, paired with an educator/coach who facilitated the discussion/learning sessions. If the Coordinator comes from outside the organization, the Host Partner should consider assigning a staff person to work with the Coordinator.
- Print materials distributed at the sessions (most materials will be viewed online at the session or in between sessions)
- Provide a TV/DVD monitor or computer projector with speakers for PowerPoint presentations
- Recruit participants (15 – 20 suggested)
- Collect data for evaluation specialist including responses on feedback reports distributed both at the end of each session and after the final session
- Provide staff time to coach/mentor the participants in their fieldwork projects
- Submit to the LPN representatives any additional materials or changes needed for its secure Participants’ folder, and pay the costs for ALPA’s website manager to make the changes
- If the program is judged successful, allow the Host Partner’s name to be associated with the marketing/media announcements about the program, and be willing to talk with other organizations interested in replicating the project
- The ALPA program was developed by the Life Planning Network, a non-profit organization which is offering the program curriculum and professional assistance at no charge. LPN will appreciate Host Partners mentioning the partnership with the Life Planning Network in promotional materials and articles.
The Host Partners will pay for the costs of these functions (space, coordination, printing, website updates, evaluation).
Checklist of Steps for Host Partnerships
- Prospective Host Partner receives security access to detailed ALPA curriculum on the www.alpa.lifeplanningnetwork.org website.
- Prospective Host Partner reviews curriculum documents, audiovisuals, sample budget, and Memorandum of Agreement.
- Prospective Onsite Coordinator(s) identified by the Host Partner, with LPN guidance as needed
- Prospective Host Partner determines and initiates internal approval process.
- LPN Representative(s) recommends the Host Partner to the LPN Board’s Professional Affairs Committee
- With support from both parties, the Memorandum of Agreement is signed and the program is initiated.
Profile of the ideal Onsite Coordinator
The ideal Onsite Coordinator/Facilitator would be:
- Based in the region where the ALPA Program Pilot is located
- Current or Retired Educator, Life Planner, Human Services Professional with experience facilitating older adult learning in groups
- Reliable in follow-through, detail-oriented, skilled in group facilitation, with a background in adult education, facile use of Internet technology, and experience in community outreach
Functions of the Coordinator/Facilitator
10 hours a week before and after the three month program. 20 hours a week during the course of the program.
Job Description: Work with national experts in life planning and positive aging in developing and managing a six-session leading-edge adult learning program for senior service providers. The goal of the Advocacy Leadership for Positive Aging certificate program is to prepare service providers to empower low and moderate income older adults to: a) understand changing expectations for aging, b) identify their strengths as well as their needs in relation to positive aging, and c) find and use planning resources that will improve their expectations for the future.
Supported by curriculum leaders from LPN, the Onsite Coordinator will:
- Review the course materials with LPN leaders and review reports from prior Coordinators to become thoroughly familiar with the core concepts, values, and tools of the program
- Assist the Host Partner organization with participant recruitment and program set-up
- Make use of the ALPA website to keep track of information about student participants and presenters, and assure well-organized posting of resources.
- Encourage sharing, networking and community building among the participants
- Introduce and facilitate the flow of presentations and lead discussions for each session, encouraging inclusive participation and reflection on the accomplishment of learning objectives.
- Monitor completion of assignments and review performance on those assignments
- Assure use of feedback evaluation forms at the end of every session and for the program as a whole, with timely reports to the curriculum leaders, evaluation specialist, and Host Partner organization.
- Assist with planning, coaching, finding mentors, and reporting on individual fieldwork projects
- Facilitate a “graduation” ceremony for handing out certificates of completion and strengthening ties among participants to develop an ongoing professional development network
- Add comments and suggestions to the final evaluation report.
Contact us to discuss your organization’s leadership development needs.