Warrior Profile: Coulson Strives for Self-Improvement Through Education

There’s many reasons why students decide not to go back to school—financial struggles, time commitment, work, etc.—and Jim Coulson is no different.

Earlier in his life, Jim didn’t want to take on debt while his children still lived at home. So, when time permitted, he took one class per semester at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to obtain his Associate of Arts degree.

After getting his children through college, he decided to take reigns on his education and enroll at Waldorf University. Jim will graduate from Waldorf next year with a B.S. in organizational leadership with a concentration in occupational safety.

“My biggest motivator to finish my degree is just self-improvement,” said Jim. “I always wished I’d have finished school when I was young; this is a regret I can rectify.”

Jim has worked the same job for 28 years, and during that time has been rewarded with multiple opportunities to grow in his field. A supervisor and an environmental health and safety lead, he has already seen benefits of how his degree and concentration coincide in the workforce.

“My main goal professionally is to continue to act as a servant leader in my current role, with a more solid skill set gained through education,” he said. “My main goal academically is to graduate summa cum laude next year,” said Jim.

Waldorf was a perfect fit for Jim because he had acquired DMACC credits, EMT and firefighter certifications and a 30-hour OSHA certification that were able to transfer toward his degree. He also encouraged his company to become a Learning Partner with Waldorf, which opened the opportunity for tuition discounts and scholarship opportunities.

Between keeping up his 4.0 GPA and continuing to excel in his job at PolyOne Pleasant Hill, Jim spends as much time as he can with his family and grandchildren, catching bass and preparing for turkey hunting season.

Author: Elizabeth Burgreen

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