The field of online education has grown tremendously over the past few years. Better access to the internet, and the convenience associated with such programs have contributed to their immense popularity. There are more than 2,500 colleges and universities offering online degrees in a variety of fields including psychology, business, education, health care and liberal arts. Thirty states, including Washington D.C. have fully online preK-12 schools with more than 1.8 million enrollments. Several educators and entrepreneurs have played an important role in the success of online education. Charles Thornburgh is undeniably one of the top contributors.
Thornburgh, a Stanford University graduate, developed a passion for education while teaching high school students over the weekend during the college days. He went on to create TestTakers.com, an online SAT preparation program. The diagnostic and perspective test preparation course trained the students and then offered them tests. The business was acquired by Kaplan in 2002. He spent the next nine years as an in-house entrepreneur at Kaplan. He played a pivotal role in the creation of their educational technology businesses and K-12 and higher education programs.
Charles Thornburgh also founded ClickSafety.com, an online safety training program that uses flexible, student-centered platforms to help employers increase productivity and reduce operational costs. The company has helped more than 700 organizations worldwide, including several Fortune 100 and 500 companies. It also offers online training programs to individual in a variety of fields including Spanish and Safety Training.
Currently, Charles Thornburgh is the Founder and CEO of Civitas Learning, Inc. Civitas uses technology to identify trends from the data collected by various schools and school districts. The company strives to reduce the gap between demand and supply of trained and highly qualified professionals required by the industry. They provide innovative tools, data infrastructure and technology to educators across the globe. Civitas’s platform can be used in a variety of ways:
- Colleges and universities can use it to produce quality higher education.
- Students, educators, and advisors can make informed academic decisions about classes, teaching methods and degree programs using the required data infrastructure.
- Teachers can also identify students who are at a greater risk of dropping out, and work harder with them.
- Students can use the information to choose the right degree programs during college and university enrollment.
With data from eight million school records, Charles Thornburgh’s Civitas is the largest multi-institutional database platform of its kind in the world.
Charles Thornburgh lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, son and dog. He is considered an expert in the field of modern education. He has been invited to speak at various education conferences across the globe. He has received CODiE Award for excellence in software development two times during his career. He is also the former director on the Education Board of the Software & Information Industry Association. Charles Thornburgh and Civitas Learning, Inc are also joining hands with Adam Dell of Austin Ventures to invest $3.2 million to further expand Civitas projects and programs.
- International Association for K-12 Online Learning – http://www.inacol.org/press/docs/nacol_fast_facts.pdf
- Civitas Learning – http://www.civitaslearning.com/
- Citybizlist – http://southflorida.citybizlist.com/6/2011/7/11/Startup-Led-by-Charles-Thornburgh-and-Adam-Dell-Raises-3M–cbl.aspx
- TechnaPex – http://www.technapex.com/2012/05/civitas-learning-community-brings-students-and-educators-better-data/#more-539