Douglas Carlson

Douglas AJ Carlson is an education, technology, and student outcomes advocate, dedicated to empowering people through learning. Douglas has experienced the power of education as a former university admission counselor, and the role technology can play to accelerate learning, working with technology start-ups. His role with Penn Foster brings these experiences together to drive student and school outcomes for our clients.
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Recent Posts

What Types of Learning Analytics Should your Training Provider Offer?

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 1/8/19 11:00 AM

When you select a training and education program for your staff, you’re looking for more than ways to upskill employees. You’re looking for a training partner who can help you realize a positive return on investment for your efforts. By using the right learning analytics, you can not only monitor the effectiveness of your training programs, but also improve them over time. A quality training partner will help you by offering valuable learning analytics data.

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Topics: Education, Learning and Development, Upskilling, Skilled Trades, Staffing

What Adult Learners Want From a Career College

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 11/17/16 11:00 AM

Too many career colleges cater to students fresh out of high school, leaving adult learners without the support and programs they need for success. Adult learners have varied academic and life experiences, and need specialized consideration and attention to make the most of their education. Making sure your school a welcoming environment for this experienced and diverse demographic can open up a new channel for enrollments, and help you cater to students who are eager to further their careers. To help guide your marketing and outreach efforts, here are a few things adult learners look for in a career college.

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Topics: Colleges & Career Schools

3 Ways Stress Negatively Affects Student Performance

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 9/21/16 11:00 AM

Today's students may be more stressed than ever before. In fact, the 2015 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment found that 85.6 percent of students had felt overwhelmed in the past year.1 The pressures of getting top grades, balancing extracurricular activities with studying, and spending time with family all add up. In addition, students manage another identity in the digital world. Social media platforms are one more thing to keep up with and are often rife with stress-inducing comparisons, gossip and bullying.

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Topics: Public & Private High Schools, Colleges & Career Schools

5 Metrics to Help Predict Your Students’ Success

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 9/6/16 12:00 PM

How much student data do you have available at your career school? You have access to demographics, GPAs, classes passed and failed, online course activity and many more metrics. These numbers aren't just for record keeping -- you can also predict student success and failure with student analytics tools.

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Topics: Colleges & Career Schools

4 Tips for Career Schools to Adapt to Changing Student Needs

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 7/7/16 11:00 AM

Institutions of higher education could soon face an existential crisis as more young people decide that college debt is too oppressive. A substantial number of them may even choose to skip the traditional college experience altogether. It might seem more appealing to get a job or start a business right after high school.

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Topics: Colleges & Career Schools

Help First-Generation Students Succeed With a Soft Start program

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 5/10/16 5:00 PM

Being a first-generation student at a post-secondary school can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. In addition to the pressure of changing their family landscape, first-generation students often lack the support and encouragement that traditional students have. According to The Atlantic, youth who are the first in their families to go to school are much more likely than their peers to drop out before graduation1. Many first-generation students are also balancing families and work obligations along with their studies, making support from their school vital.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

Gratitude and Fortitude: Lessons from Pima Medical Institute’s High School Completion Graduates

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 3/22/16 11:00 AM

On Friday, March 11th I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker for the 2016 Graduating class of Pima Medical Institute – Albuquerque. The Kiva Auditorium in downtown Albuquerque was brimming full and the excitement was palpable. Graduation is always a special time and this ceremony marked a milestone for four special graduates, out of the hundreds in attendance. This was the first graduating class of Penn Foster High School Students in partnership with Pima Medical Institute. The graduation speech I prepared turned out to be particularly fitting as it highlighted the power of gratitude and fortitude, which these four graduates exemplify.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

3 Ways to Foster School Spirit at Your Career College

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 3/15/16 10:00 AM

There's no one defining aspect of a career college that determines student success. Quality academics, flexible programs, a supportive learning environment and ample resources all help pave a path toward student achievement. And now, it's even more apparent how a strong sense of community can affect students. In fact, school spirit has been linked to higher academic performance and greater general happiness. But how do you generate school spirit without sports teams and events to rally spirit organically?

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

How to Help Students Transition From the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 Coding System

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 2/9/16 10:00 AM

As September drew to a close, the medical community was bracing itself for the long-awaited transition from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 medical classification system.1 Not everyone was prepared for it, however — according to a readiness survey by the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange, a quarter of physician practice respondents said they weren't ready for the Oct. 1 deadline, while another quarter wasn't sure if they were ready.2 Despite this, the initial transition seems to have gone well, and no major problems have been reported.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

5 Reasons Education Programs That Close the Skills Gap Are Good for Everyone

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 1/20/16 10:00 AM

Thirty-eight percent of employers report having trouble filling jobs, according to ManpowerGroup's latest annual Talent Shortage Survey.1 This is a 2 percent increase over 2014, demonstrating that the skills gap is a growing problem for employers. The jobs most impacted by this skills gap are skilled trade workers (including plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics and HVAC technicians), administrative professionals, drivers, sales representatives and accounting and finance staff.

Fortunately, career colleges and other career-related organizations stand in a perfect position to help employers solve this problem. By offering certification programs in fields with high demand and low numbers of qualified applicants, we can help our students, further our own mission and help employers close the skills gap.

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, Colleges & Career Schools


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