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The Penn Foster Blog

Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

2015 was the year of student outcomes for the education industry. Ed tech, school districts, career schools, colleges, and youth organizations alike took a step back to review the educational landscape holistically. Stakeholders raised important questions on the future of education: how can we revise current policies and structures in order to benefit students directly? How will technology begin to play a pivotal role in the classroom? How do we reframe what it means to be a "traditional' learner, to ensure students of all ages, demographics, locations, and socioeconomic backgrounds get the education they need to succeed? Below are the ten most popular posts from Penn Foster Partners in 2015, that help provide some answers to these poignant questions:
American education evolved into its current system by adapting to advancements in technology and changes in the labor market. Penn Foster's history is rooted in response to and growth from these very same changes. Our career-oriented courses not only provide vital training to American workers looking to advance their careers and quality of life, but they reflect the education and training needs of the American employment market and help employers fill important jobs with skilled workers. Penn Foster's offerings reflect America's education and employment trends over the last 125 years and highlight the vital role we continue to play in equipping today's students to become tomorrow's workforce.
Because innovations in technology and changes in career practices occur so often in certain industries, the people working in those fields frequently must return to school for continuing education. About 44 percent of adults participate in some form of continuing education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics ("continuing education" includes skills training, work-related courses, personal interest courses, apprenticeships, ESL courses and part-time degree programs).1 This is a sizable amount of potential students, and it can be of great value for career colleges to offer these "refresher" classes to students.
Recently, Wal-Mart began piloting an initiative to train entry-level service workers through a 6 month blended learning program. The corporation will implement this training program nationwide in more than 4,500 U.S. stores in early 2016. Most notably, this program fundamentally challenges the company's well-known mantra of low-costs and efficiency by developing a new model based on investing in workforce development. This shift has tremendous implications for millions of entry-level workers across the service industry, especially for the retail, foodservice, and hospitality spaces.
All college students experience at least some stress during their college career. Most students get stressed while learning how to juggle personal responsibilities with coursework, for example, and as final exams approach. But stress levels for certain college students can soar during such times, and without resources to cope or get help, they become at risk for a variety of physical and emotional side effects. Their academic performance may suffer as well and, if it goes on long enough, they may decide to leave school.
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The White House recently announced two major changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, designed to make it easier for students to apply for aid:1
Amidst a growing trend of employers implementing in-house training programs, JetBlue has recently announced that it will launch a recruitment program which will train students with no flying experience to become pilots. The program, called Gateway 7, will complement JetBlue's six existing recruitment programs and will train two dozen students on an introductory basis in summer 2016.1 Although this particular program is highly specialized to the aviation field, employers from a variety of industries can reap tremendous rewards from applying this type of initiative to their own recruiting efforts. Read on to learn how an employee training program can benefit your business:
This afternoon, the White House announced a new bipartisan victory: President Obama has officially signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. On the heels of the House of Representatives favorable vote of 359-64 last week, the Senate voted 85-12 in favor of the Act on Wednesday. The ESSA is the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a replacement of the dated and universally unfavored No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. It marked the beginning of the official nationwide effort to advance women's rights, from being granted the right to vote and lobbying against job discrimination to the legal use of contraceptives, and it launched the modern feminist movement.
Transportation issues are preventing some people from getting a college education. The Congressional Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance identified the lack of efficient transportation as one of the barriers to postsecondary education1 - it limits one's choice of schools, prevent students from arriving to class on time and causes such hassles as difficulty visiting financial aid offices and libraries during business hours.

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