How 4 Organizations Use a Holistic Approach to Helping Learners Succeed Through Education

Posted by Peter Sorensen on March 6, 2024

Earning a high school diploma or vocational certification can be challenging to learners in the best of times, but it can become almost unreachable when a learner must overcome other hurdles like heavy financial burdens, limited IT access, gang violence, substance abuse, and more. In order to help these learners, many Penn Foster partners adopt a holistic approach.


The success of this approach is a clear demonstration of the positive impact additional support can have on a student's educational journey. It speaks to the effectiveness of a holistic approach, where institutions and partners work collaboratively with their learners to ensure that each student receives the resources, guidance, and encouragement they need to excel.


By recognizing the unique needs of their learners as a group and as individuals and providing that extra layer of support, our partners have set a standard for educational excellence. Here are some of Penn Foster’s partners who have implemented techniques to give additional support to their learners.


Graduates at commencement ceremony looking up at confetti.

YouthBuild Boston – High school education, vocational training, and giving back to the community

YouthBuild Boston acts as a beacon of empowerment for young individuals in the Boston area, particularly those of color, by providing them with a robust toolkit encompassing vital social, vocational, academic, and life skills. These skills are not only instrumental in immediate personal growth but also lay the foundation for long-term success and self-sufficiency. In pursuit of its mission, YBB provides support to their learners through financial help, academic support, personal mentoring, and more.


The extra support in the construction and building industry is a strategic move that helps ensure that these young individuals have access to sustainable and fulfilling employment opportunities after earning their high school diploma. This focus aligns with the evolving demands of the job market, providing learners with practical skills that are not only personally enriching but also highly relevant in today's labor market.


In essence, YouthBuild Boston is not merely an educational institution, but an organization that equips young individuals with the tools, values, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths toward self-sufficiency, community leadership, and meaningful careers. This holistic approach reflects a profound dedication to empowering the next generation and building stronger, more vibrant communities for years to come. Read more about how YouthBuild Boston is changing lives, their community, and the economy.


MetroPower – The results of education as an employee benefit

MetroPower, a leading electrical contractor in the southeast United States, prioritizes workforce development with a focus on lifelong learning for its 14,000+ employees. Since 2009, under the leadership of Tony Varamo, MetroPower has invested in skill development through a dedicated Workforce Development Department. This includes a comprehensive electrical apprenticeship program with customized online content from Penn Foster, offering flexibility and scalability to make it easier for employees to complete the program. The online delivery method allows apprentices to earn while learning, even while traveling for work, showcasing MetroPower's commitment to employee development.


MetroPower’s dedication to its employees has resulted in upskilling over 230 apprentices, with more currently enrolled. This investment by MetroPower is just one example of a company seeing success by investing in their employees’ education. This commitment has not gone unnoticed since employees see that the Penn Foster program serves as a springboard for them to acquire certifications and build essential skills to fill necessary roles in the future.


Project LIFT – Education, hands-on training, and mental health coaching

Project LIFT, a Florida-based nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk teens, combines mental health and substance abuse treatment with vocational training and accredited high school education. Partnering with Penn Foster for online high school, the program offers a rehabilitative alternative to juvenile detention. Their hybrid education model provides hands-on vocational training and online education which results in improved workforce readiness. Participants, like Glen, exemplify the transformative potential the program offers to its students. Glen is far from the only success story that came from Project LIFT as learners are given a second chance with extra support systems which include mental health counseling, personalized mentoring, financial incentives to stop abusing substances, and more. To read more about the program, read this case study.


Chicago CRED – From gangs and guns to caps and gowns

To help reduce gang violence in the windy city, Chicago CRED (Create Real Economic Destiny) searches for young individuals who are at the highest risk of either being a victim or perpetrator of gun violence in hopes of changing and even saving their lives. This nonprofit has seen assuring results by providing therapeutic services and the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. Here are a few of the accomplishments that they have made since starting in 2016.


Although there are countless obstacles their learners face, Chicago CRED has done an amazing job at supporting their students until graduation and beyond. Read more about Chicago CRED has used education to decrease violent crime.


Improving outcomes for learners and organizations

Although these additional support methods are designed to help the learners, many organizations benefit from providing them as well. Many organizations have seen program improvement with higher graduation rates, lower times to completion, and more post-graduation accomplishments. These improved metrics help lead to increased grant eligibility, better brand awareness and help draw in more learners, all of which can quickly grow the organization. One of our previously mentioned partners, Project LIFT, has grown from one location to five after only 14 years of operation thanks in part to the additional support that they provide their learners.


Adding to Penn Foster’s commitment

Even though all Penn Foster programs come with student support, like calls and emails with our education team, individual instructor meetings, additional resources from our Resource Library, and more, many organizations choose to go the extra mile with their programs and provide as much support as possible to their learners. If you’re interested in learning how your organization can increase learner support or work with the support that Penn Foster provides, contact us today.