Jack Bartlett teaches online general education courses to Carrington College students, including those working towards an Associate of Science degree in Health Studies, our degree completion program. Based in Reno, NV, Jack’s credentials include a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University, an MBA from Santa Clara University, and more than 20 years as an educator.
Thanks for your time Jack; tell us more about your teaching background.
I happened to get into teaching around 1990, I discovered that I loved it, and have been doing it ever since. Before teaching I’d spent 15 years in the semi-conductor industry.
So what made you switch from semi-conductors to teaching?
I’d lived all my life down in the Bay Area in Silicon Valley, and I was laid off. I enjoyed being off work for a while, but when I started looking again I couldn’t find work back in the industry. I got an opportunity to teach math at a junior high school; I never looked back, it was the best job I ever had.
When did you join Carrington College?
I started teaching computer and math courses at the San Jose campus back in 2008. I moved out of the classroom and started teaching online courses in 2009.
Do you enjoy teaching online?
I do. One of the best parts of being an online instructor is that I can work from pretty much anywhere. About a year or so ago I took a little time off and went to Hawaii with my daughter and her family. I taught a class from the beach and no-one was any the wiser! Most of the time I work from Starbucks.
Tell us a little about your students.
I’ve taught close to 80 online courses and 1500 students in the past 5 years, so there’s been a lot of variety. Most of the students I teach now are studying for a degree, so they have a lot more courses to complete after they’re done with mine. Most of them are a little older than students on campus; most have families and are working. They’re very committed and very serious about what it is they’re trying to achieve. Most of them seem to find it interesting and a lot of fun. And I do try to have fun!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an attorney. I put myself through college, I studied aeronautical engineering, and had to work 40 hours a week just to do that. I didn’t have the money to go to law school.
Aside from teaching, what was your favorite “other” job?
The first thing that comes to mind is raising a family. I have two wonderful daughters and four grandkids. My older daughter and her husband are both in education; she’s a science teacher. They have a son and a daughter; my grandson was adopted from Ethiopia. My younger daughter works for Apple and her husband has his own business; they have two sons.
Tell me something unusual about you.
Well that’s a difficult one…
I used to spend a lot of time prospecting out in gold country. I guess that’s pretty unusual! Unfortunately I never found anything of notable value, but what I liked most about it was the adventure.
How do you keep your students motivated?
I give them a lot of encouragement to help them to keep up with everything. One thing I constantly tell them is that it’s very important to me that they become successful. That’s why I tell them I’m available 24/7.
What advice to do you have for students or alumni reading this?
Pick goals that lead to your dream, then pick priorities that will help you accomplish those goals. Setting priorities and goals will ultimately help you reach your dream. And always help others; make yourself an example for others to look up to no matter what you do. Learn to live excellent!
If you didn’t have to work, what would you be doing if money was no object?
I’d probably be a world traveler. Maybe I’d do some teaching abroad too. I’d like to go to Malaysia and the Philippines first – their arts and customs have always intrigued me. I don’t have any travel plans right now, but some day I’d like to do more traveling.
If you could choose to have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would that be?
There are a lot of people but I lost my dad when I was 9 years old, so I think he would be the one. I’d like to learn more about his side of the family. He was a very high spirited, very moral man, so I’d like to learn more about life back in his day. He was a commercial artist.
If you knew you going to be stranded on a desert island, what book, movie & music would you take?
I would definitely take the Bible; for a movie, I love Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. And music… I’d take along some country music; definitely some Johnny Cash.
If you got an unexpected afternoon off work, what would you do with the time?
I’d go fishing. I never bring any fish home; if I catch anything I always release them. I could go fishing in a lake with no fish in it and still enjoy it! It’s so relaxing for me.