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Earlier this year we announced Penn Foster's 125th anniversary, and today we are excited to announce the launch of our multi-media campaign where students, alumni and partners can share their stories and contribute their experiences and be showcased as part of the larger Penn Foster story. Serving as a time capsule of sorts, this micro-site will live and grow throughout our 125th year, and will highlight Penn Foster facts and figures, highlight student and partner success stories, and spotlights on Penn Foster employees with over 25 years with the school.
We recently sat down and spoke with Shatea Hill. Shatea shared a story similar to ones we have heard before. A smart student heads down the wrong path, and struggles to find an onramp back to higher education. Career schools unfortunately have to turn these students away who lack proof of high school graduation, but Dorsey Schools now offers a High School Completion program through Penn Foster, which allows students like Shatea to earn a high school diploma, find that onramp, and go on to higher education. Here's her story: 
It is important to understand these students' backgrounds, and fears towards education and potential mental roadblocks holding them back from taking the first step towards earning their high school diploma. They might be hesitant to return to school, and may have struggled in a traditional learning environment, or have had failed attempts at the GED program. Here are three rebuttals educators or enrollment teams can use when talking with potential students who question their ability to return to and complete high school:
The new year is a time for fresh starts, and for career schools, 2015 is the year for successful student outcomes. The focus on student outcomes serves as a solution for overcoming two major 2014 challenges: declining enrollment and government regulations. Enrollment at public two-year institutions has declined by 2.7% between spring 2013 and spring 2014, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.1 And recent rulings by the Department of Education have also negatively affected academic institutions, from funding and tuition assistance to languishing enrollment rates.
Along with years of dedication, studying and preparation, certain careers require minimum passing scores on tests necessary to be successful in that profession.  These exams are often labeled "high stakes tests" due to their "all or nothing nature": if you don't pass the test, you can't get the job you had dreamed of.  Lawyers have to pass the bar exam. Accountants have to take the Series 7. There are high stakes tests to become a career diplomat at the State Department. Special forces branches within the military have tests. Elite colleges and universities have minimum scores for both undergraduate and graduate admissions based upon the SAT and GMAT exams.  None of these exams are easy, but that is the point.  Professionals within the industry know what specific domain knowledge it will take in order to be successful in that field. If you can't pass the test, it might not be the best match for your career. 
Many colleges are consistently turning away students who want to attend their school but lack the credentials and already have a steady stream of candidates. Position your school as an on-ramp to higher education. As your admissions or enrollment teams discover a candidate does not meet your enrollment requirements (HS diploma or GED), offer them the chance to enroll in the high school diploma program and keep the conversation going. Students who are serious about getting started in a career program will be eager to get their high school diploma to start their journey towards the career of their dreams.
Late last year, we announced our goal of graduating an unprecedented 20,000 high school students in 2014. This stretch goal at times seemed like an impossible goal, given we "only" graduated a still impressive 13,000 high school students in 2013. We are pleased to announce that over 20,000 students graduated from Penn Foster High School last year, a nearly 54% increase year over year. 
A successful high school completion program will generate inspired students who are eager to continue learning. Many of the students who did not succeed in a traditional high school classroom, took a hit to their self-confidence during the process of dropping out of high school. With an adult diploma program designed to meet the unique needs of these students, they emerge from the program confident and inspired, and often times looking to immediately enroll in a college program. Here are some key attributes of what a successful program looks like:
In 2014, we graduated nearly 20,000 high school students, in addition to over 12,000 career and college students who received certificates and degrees in over 127 different programs. As we reflect on the record-breaking year, we can't help but focus on the amazing students who found success with Penn Foster in 2014. Here are ten amazing stories:
Many career colleges are beginning to offer a high school completion program on their campuses. A high school completion program is an option for adult learners to earn an actual high school diploma " accredited and licensed " which builds confidence, knowledge and skills on their path to pursue post-secondary education.

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