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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Perspective frames everything we do " the challenges we face, the obstacles we overcome, and the goals we accomplish. Yet it's not until we go outside of our own frame and look into the lives of others that we are truly able to grasp where we stand.
Last week Penn Foster attended the 2014 Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) 2014 Annual conference, where we co-presented a panel discussion with Dorsey Schools. Denise Fox Pratt (VP of Institutional Effectiveness), Gerrit Ketelhut (Penn Foster program facilitator) and Nikkiya Gentry (Penn Foster High School graduate and Dorsey Culinary Arts student) provided their unique perspectives on how Penn Foster's High School Completion program is creating positive outcomes for local students, Dorsey Schools, and the greater Detroit community. Here are my big takeaways from the panel: 
What's a high school diploma worth? In terms of salary earnings, about $10,386 a year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.1 Yet, 32 percent of students who drop out of high school do so to find employment.2 Having a high school diploma not only presents opportunities for higher wages, but it also opens the door to a boosted socioeconomic status.
For many teens and children, homelessness seems a safer environment than living under a roof filled with emotional stress or abuse. The grim reality is that many of our marginalized youth feel they have no choice but to abandon their home and try to make it on their own. Barbara Duffield, director of policy and programs at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, told U.S. News & World Report that young people may even be homeless with their family and take on the role of caretaker for younger siblings.1
In GradNation's campaign to raise the national graduation rate to 90% by 2020, they surveyed noncompleters to gain further insight on the real reasons they left school. Based on these survey results, Penn Foster in partnership with America's Promise hosted a panel of academic professionals to discuss an action plan for fulfilling our promise to provide children with a pathway to graduation. Among the panel experts was Elayne Bennett, Founder & President, Best Friends Organization. Below she provides as with more insight by answering questions that arose from the Google+ hangout discussion.
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.
In partnership with America's Promise, Ray McNulty, Chairman, Penn Foster High School Board, participated in a panel Penn Foster co-hosted to address the nation's state of high school graduation. Ray also serves as the Dean of Education for Southern New Hampshire University, Senior Fellow, International Leadership and Education and Chairman, National Dropout Prevention Network. The group panel discussion, hosted via Google+ hangout, aimed to detail success metrics for raising the nation's graduation rate. Below, McNulty shares his professional take on the matters discussed.   
 In today's K12 education system, there's an expectation that students master content and coursework the first time that they are exposed to the material. Credit recovery programs, like those offered by Penn Foster, provides students with who have either failed a class or fell behind for a second chance at success. Often a single course credit can stand between a student and graduation, and credit recovery enables the student to earn the single credit and graduate on time. Credit recovery is also known as a dropout-prevention strategy, summer school and even "grade forgiveness," as it's called in Florida.

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