SCRANTON, PA, (January 10, 2017) — Penn Foster, a leading skills solutions organization focused on providing competencies, credentials and career pathways for today's evolving workforce, today announced it graduated more than 44,000 students across its high school diploma, career school and college degree programs in 2016, setting a new record for number of graduates in a year. Significantly, post-graduate surveys show Penn Foster graduates are more confident than ever, and are finding jobs in high-demand fields, including allied health, skilled trades, hospitality and early childhood education, as a result of their level of preparedness.
According to Penn Foster's most recent Student Outcomes Survey, graduates report positive changes in their lives as a result of their Penn Foster education. Among the top outcomes, 86% of graduates say their quality of life has improved overall, and 86% feel more confident their newly learned skills will help them succeed in the workplace. In addition, 78% of employed graduates said they had a positive change in job status within six months of earning their diploma, certificate or degree. Of those graduates already in the workforce, 81% said they believed studying at Penn Foster has enhanced their work performance.
"Penn Foster has succeeded in responding to an incredibly important need by preparing people left behind by traditional educational offerings for the types of high-demand and skilled positions that America's 21st Century economy is creating," said Seth Harris, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor and current Penn Foster board member. "In addition, Penn Foster is one of the few education organizations partnering with youth services and other nonprofits to better serve their constituents. Penn Foster's educational programs are a perfect complement to these organizations' skills-building services; together, we're greatly increasing the likelihood the people we serve will succeed in the labor market and workplace."
Penn Foster focuses on a variety of students, including adult learners, opportunity youth (people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working), and individuals who are employed but wish to earn a diploma or degree while working, typically full time. To enable this type of education, Penn Foster partners with a range of employers, such as Church's Chicken, VCA Animal Hospitals and Penske Corporation to integrate Penn Foster diploma and degree programs into their employee enhancement offerings.
In addition, Penn Foster has successfully partnered with national youth organizations including Job Corps and YouthBuild for a range of complementary career-focused educational programs, and with regional workforce investment boards and other nonprofit organizations including Philadelphia's JEVS Human Services, which runs The Choice is Yours (TCY), a "collective impact" program administered in partnership with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, the Philadelphia Municipal Court and the Defender Association of Philadelphia. TCY is designed to offer first-time nonviolent drug offenders the opportunity to earn a high school diploma in lieu of incarceration.
"We strive to deliver value to our students on three key dimensions: academic, personal and professional," said Dara Warn, chief outcomes officer, Penn Foster, Inc. "By providing student support first throughout their time earning a diploma or degree from Penn Foster, we can simultaneously focus on assisting them in the personal and professional aspects of their lives—with components ranging from individual class support from faculty and student academic support, financial advice and student advocacy, to helping secure externships and career coaching. We are dedicated to helping our learners far beyond the classroom. Look for us to announce even more structured support in 2017."
About Penn Foster
Students, employers and partner organizations rely on Penn Foster to build the skills and knowledge to power the 21st century workforce. For over 125 years, Penn Foster has been dedicated to helping people lead more meaningful and productive lives and to improving social outcomes through education. Penn Foster provides career pathways for opportunity youth and adult learners through diverse and affordable online diploma, certificate and degree programs, offered via its high school, career school and college. With more than 44,000 graduates each year, Penn Foster's online and blended learning programs are delivered in a self-paced, competency-based model wrapped by comprehensive academic, professional and personal support and coaching. For more information, visit http://partners.pennfoster.edu/.
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