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The Penn Foster Blog

Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

In 2012, the Library Journal called non-traditional students the new majority. That trend has not changed - non-traditional is the new traditional. In response, the academic landscape and higher education institutions have shifted to meet the needs of non-traditional students with diverse backgrounds. As these students graduate and eagerly enter the workforce, employers may be hesitant to embrace this new majority.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Paul Simon Job Corps Winter 2015 graduation ceremony where 80+ young people graduated from the Job Corps, many with a Penn Foster High School diploma. Every opportunity I get to speak at a graduation ceremony, I am humbled by the level of grit, determination and commitment these young people have exhibited to get to this important milestone.
The high school graduation rate in the United States hit 81% in the 2012-2013 school year, the highest it's been since states adopted a new, uniform method for calculating graduation rates five years ago. This measurable improvement in our nation's schools, revealed in new data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, is something that "we can take pride as a nation in," according to U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. "This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country, and these improvements are thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, students and families."
20-25% of students who inquired about enrolling at Dorsey Schools didn't have the GED or High School Diploma that they need to enroll. Dorsey Schools noticed this discrepancy and began looking for a way to enroll this population of potential students. After implementing a High School Completion program, they found that the majority of these students matriculated into their schools, and that these students are more confident and motivated learners after having gone through the program. Denise Fox Pratt, VP of Institutional Effectiveness at Dorsey Schools, spoke during a breakout session at the 2014 ACICS Annual conference about the three criteria they were looking for in a High School Completion partner.
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2015 is an exciting year for Penn Foster. We celebrate 125 years in education and honor a history that has shaped Penn Foster (formerly known as International Correspondence Schools) into the profound educational institution it is today.
This week we presented Penn Foster's vision for the future of education at SXSWedu during a Future15 session. This Tedx-like format is designed for educators to present their ideas on what education might look like in the future. Our FastClass bus concept brings together four major components:
Career schools continue to seek out new marketing channels to help improve recruitment and drive enrollments, but the quality of the student is important for driving retention and graduation outcomes. Often times, career colleges are turning away potential students because they lack a high school diploma or other POG credential. The Penn Foster Career Schools: 2014 Year In Review inaugural industry survey and data analysis provides the following insights:

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