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The Penn Foster Blog

Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

To date, a lot of good has been done for Career Technical Education (CTE). Lives have been changed and skills have been built, as institutions and dedicated faculty have been well-preparing students for careers in CTE.  In this series, we'll talk about how to build on the strong foundation of CTE and evolve the system while innovating for the future.
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the first annual Academic Advisory Council at the New Hampshire Job Corps center, in Manchester New Hampshire. The council was held to foster an open dialogue between community stakeholders and identify academic best practices for increasing literacy and numeracy levels. During our visit, we also had the chance to celebrate the success of the center's very first Penn Foster High School graduate, Tyler Eaton, and present Tyler with his diploma during the monthly all students awards ceremony.
Welcome to my inaugural blog post for Penn Foster! Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the  excellent and informative 2016 Southwest Pathways Conference. It was the 2nd annual conference hosted by the Global Pathways Institute that focuses on collaboration between educators, workforce development, and industry to provide young people, especially those disconnected from both school and work, the necessary tools to lead productive and successful lives.
There are a number of factors contributing to the need for workforce boards to expand the reach of their programs: economic conditions, an oversupply of job seekers, underemployment, the need for skilled workers and growing expectations of funders and stakeholders. To meet this challenge, it falls upon workforce center directors to drive recruitment outreach. Here are seven strategies workforce center directors can implement to help their case managers recruit more clients.
Being a first-generation student at a post-secondary school can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. In addition to the pressure of changing their family landscape, first-generation students often lack the support and encouragement that traditional students have. According to The Atlantic, youth who are the first in their families to go to school are much more likely than their peers to drop out before graduation1. Many first-generation students are also balancing families and work obligations along with their studies, making support from their school vital.
For the past two years, Penn Foster has had the privilege of attending the YouthBuild National Directors Association (NDA) Meeting. This year's meeting will take place next week in Arlington, VA and we're excited to  continue to build upon the strong relationships we've developed with YouthBuild USA and many of the YouthBuild programs nationwide. The two-day conference will be full of YouthBuild and industry updates, professional development seminars, award ceremonies, and a myriad of networking opportunities.
As we've explored throughout this series, it's clear that blended learning sounds like an incredible opportunity to disrupt the status quo in education. Between its ability to prioritize student learning, its focus on skills acquisition, how it weaves technology and holistic support for a personalized experience, to its incredible ability fit to the needs within the classroom: it would seem obvious that this is the education solution for states to adopt. So what's standing in the way of blended learning taking off? What are the setbacks? In this fourth and final part of this series, we explore what the path forward looks like for blended learning, and what you can do to make a difference.
Next week, Penn Foster will travel to Scottsdale, Arizona to take part in the 2016 Southwest Pathways Conference. The three day event, run by Arizona State University's Global Pathways Institute, seeks to bring together leading employers, educators, and workforce development experts to discuss the most promising ways to improve college and career readiness among America's youth. As both a sponsor and a speaker, we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this year's conference. Here are the top three sessions we're looking forward to at the event:
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Blended learning takes on a unique form in that it extends beyond the classroom to support students. Not only does this approach integrate technology to augment personalized learning, it's also structured to incorporate career preparation, supportive counselling, and opportunities to allow students to develop skills and habits for adulthood. Drawing from 'Don't Quit on Me' themes, the new report from the Center For Promise praises the wraparound services offered by successful blended programs. These services help enable students to attend school, as teachers use creative thinking, community involvement, and dedication to harbor positive, productive environments for blended learners to thrive.
Last weekend, over 6,000 school board members, superintendents, and school administrators came to Boston, MA to experience the workshops, networking, knowledge sharing and excitement of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) 2016 Annual Conference. At the conference for our second consecutive year, the Penn Foster team proudly attended as both exhibitor and sponsor, having the opportunity to meet with hundreds of new and old faces at the conference. Below, I share with you the top three moments that stood out at this year's conference.

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