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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

With new commentary about the value of a college education constantly filling our airwaves, career schools are right in the middle of the discussion. Career schools are designed to help students train for and prepare for careers in skilled professions. But the current regulatory environment and the mounting pressures on outcomes have been a challenge for the sector.
The mission of Penn Foster is deeply connected to its educational roots from the 19th century - to educate workers and help them improve their expertise, job skills and workforce safety. Today, Penn Foster specializes in several academic areas including accredited workforce development, high school completion and college degree programs, and career diploma and certification programs.
Education today is more important than ever, but it's not always getting the attention and respect that it needs and deserves. Did you know that the US currently ranks 12th in terms of the number of college educated adults in the population and that every year 1.2 million students drop out of school? We must reprioritize education in the US and remember that education is crucial and not something to be neglected. Here is a close look at the current state of education in the US:
Many career colleges are recognizing the value of offering a  High School Completion Program. You can provide high school non-completers interested in your career school with a second chance to graduate high school, and many of these graduates  enroll in the career school at a lower cost per start. While offering a high school diploma option may not be a core business objective,  it makes financial sense for your school's leadership to show interest in the program. Implementing the High School Completion Program delivers qualified candidates, boosts matriculation and ultimately increases your college's graduation rates.
When people think about disrupters, particularly in the education space, they think of start-ups, or moocs (massive open online courses), or perhaps an LMS (learning management system). They don't often think of a 125 year old institution that started out as a correspondence school created to train coal miners on safety after a series of unfortunate mining accidents.
This year Penn Foster is celebrating our 125th year anniversary as a distance learning education institution dedicated to serving our students and meeting them where they are at, both physically and academically.  As a recent blog post about Penn Foster on the Christensen Institute website recently pointed out, you can never be "too old to disrupt". We are proud that we continually innovate within the online and blended learning education sector. We deliver affordable, accredited paths to academic credentials to tens of thousands of students across America every year.
Frank Britt, CEO of Penn Foster, was recently featured on The Hill's Congress Blog for lawmakers and policy professionals for his point of view on the trends of workplace training and education, and the evolving role of employers in education.
I was able to attend the YouthBuild USA 2015 National Directors Association Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting brought together directors from over 100 YouthBuild programs across the country. Here are my top three takeaways from the conference:
Last week was designated as National School Choice Week and is a nonpolitical and nonpartisan celebration of effective education options for children. The week shines a positive spotlight on all types of education options for children " from traditional public schools to public charter schools, magnet schools, online academies, private schools, and homeschooling.
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The U.S achieved an 80% high school graduation rate in 2012, a triumphant milestone for education. But the remaining 20% still represent a population of young people who not only exclude themselves from a future of opportunity, but inadvertently produce negative consequences for higher education, local job markets, communities, and the overall economy.

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