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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

Since the 2008 implementation of the Penn Foster Dropout Retrieval program, thousands of organizations, communities and people have seen results from this educational opportunity. Success stories such as the Polk County School District-where more than 700 students got a second chance at high school graduation-pave the way for future partnerships. The program's proven results, marked by 82 percent graduation rate and 96 percent student satisfaction rates, gave way to another winning partnership with the Scranton School District.
More and more career colleges are turning away potential students because they lack a high school diploma or equivalent. Recent changes to the GED make it more difficult to pass and the elimination of federal financial aid programs like AtB, and many career colleges are seeing their pool of qualified, prospective students declining. Eligibility, or a lack of a high school diploma, prevents individuals from pursuing post-secondary education and changing their futures, and negatively impacts enrollment for colleges. See how one career college solved this growing problem with a new type of enrollment solution " a High School Completion Program.
Poverty, income inequality, and crime are combustible forces that can destroy families, corrupt communities and harden society in countless ways. The good news is that the common vaccine to all these ailments is education, starting with a high school diploma. More than 90% of jobs demand this credential to get a job, and the imperative for all stakeholders (students, parents, schools, businesses and government) is to build a cohesive plan of attack.
The cost of putting a student through school is less than the cost of imprisonment.  On top of that, an individual has a much higher financial (and social) benefit to their community as a high school or college graduate than as an inmate.
Youth entrenched in monetary struggles without a high school education are at high risk for being involved in crime, arrest, and incarceration. Crime rates are linked to educational attainment, according to a 2013 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, entitled "Saving Futures, Saving Dollars: The Impact of Education on Crime Reduction and Earnings," asserts that if male high school graduation rates increased by just 5 percent, the nation could save about $18.5 billion in annual crime expenses. The lower the education attainment levels, the higher the rates of arrest and incarceration.
In April, Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the high school graduation rate in the United States has reached its highest point in history. 80% of the nation's students received a high school diploma in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics were available. Duncan called the news a "profound milestone" during a speech he gave before the America's Promise Alliance, and he recognized the teachers, families, and students who made it possible.1
Job seekers with the right skill set can find a wealth of opportunities in the grey-collar sector. Demand for skilled trade workers in specialized career fields including healthcare, forestry, paralegal services, and manufacturing (among others) are expected to grow by nearly 50 percent, while the supply of qualified employees for these industries is expected to decrease about 12 percent, according to Manpower Group's Talent Shortage Survey.1 Employers continually struggle to find qualified applicants due to a lack of training.
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One of the biggest barriers that is preventing the Education sector from wholesale technological transformation is regulation.  Unlike other industries that have been disrupted due to advances in technology, Education's "Internet Moment" is continually delayed due to 150 years of complex local, State, and Federal regulations.  While many of the regulations seem impervious to market forces and disruption, there are more and more signs that people are beginning to question the existing "status quo".

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