What does a career college have to do with graduating high school students? A valid question, for sure, and one that Penn Foster aims to answer as we head to the 2014 Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) Annual Conference the first week of November. At the conference Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster, will lead a discussion with panelists from Dorsey School on how career colleges can help more students gain access to post-secondary education.

A little background on Dorsey Schools " founded in 1934, the mission of Dorsey Schools is to prepare men and women for the best possible career opportunities with programs in fields including Culinary Arts, Dental Assisting, Cosmetology, and Healthcare. With 10 campuses in Michigan, and the majority in Metro Detroit, Dorsey Schools has seen firsthand the decline the city has experienced over the past half century, including the city's low high school graduation rates. Too often, Dorsey was seeing students wanting to enroll in their school, wanting to make a better future for themselves, but for whatever reason lacked the proper credentials to do so. This led to Dorsey Schools, in partnership with Penn Foster, to set up a high school completion program on their campuses that help students earn their high school diploma and then enroll at their school " bridging the cap to post-secondary education.

Frank will be joined by three outstanding panelists from Dorsey Schools:

  • Denise Fox Pratt " VP for Institutional Effectiveness
  • Gerritt Ketelhut  " Penn Foster Program Facilitator
  • Nikkiya Gentry " Penn Foster High School Graduate and Dorsey Culinary Arts Student

These panelists will offer their unique perspectives on how this program works at Dorsey, what results they have seen, and why other career colleges should care about a program like this. With over 24 million American's over the age of 25 without a high school diploma today*, and a significant Middle Skills Gap, more career colleges can follow Dorsey Schools' example and work to increase the number of American's with a high school diploma, and get them career ready.

Will you be attending ACICS 2014 Annual Conference? What breakout sessions are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.


*http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2013/tables.html, table 1; Photo