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Where Talent Meets Career Opportunity

This week, we'll discuss the specific, unique benefits of online modalities harnessed by the blended approach - and why it really matters. As discussed in the Findings of the Center for Promise Report: Blended Learning Offers Promise as a Strategy for Re-engaging Students, blended learning can help schools build the 21st century workforce through personalized, tech-based learning. Not only is this model dynamic in that it fits the unique needs of the student body, but it aligns with the lifestyle of the modern learner, helps students build social capital, and provides new benefits to instructors so that they may provide individualized support for the student. Below are the most salient aspects of how technology in the blended learning space can help prepare students for brighter futures:
PayScale recently filtered its College Salary Report data to identify careers in which workers report the highest levels of job satisfaction.1 A significant number of well-paying, meaningful jobs only require a two-year associate's degree. This is good news for career colleges, who can now offer and promote programs of study in these fields and help produce better student outcomes.
Today, The Center for Promise, a research institute for America's Promise Alliance, released a new report titled "Blended Learning Offers Promise as a Strategy for Re-engaging Students." The take home points are resoundingly clear: blended learning is education for the future. Not only can this model work to re-engage at-risk youth and adult learners alike, blended learning offers a scalable solution to rehaul the way we teach as a whole. Alternative education schools and programs, workforce and community development programs all over the nation have taken the first steps in implementing, testing, and expanding blended learning classrooms and best practices.
For the second year in a row, Penn Foster is excited to be returning to the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Annual Conference this weekend! Hosted in Boston, MA the conference brings together more than 7,000 school board members, superintendents, and education leaders from across the country to share new ideas and best practices on technology, leadership and supporting student achievement in the education.
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The youth organizations of today are helping to develop the workers, parents and leaders of tomorrow. And one of the best ways youth organizations can prepare our nation's young people for a successful future is by partnering with local colleges and businesses to sponsor a joint college and career fair. This is a wonderful opportunity to get the youth you serve in front of employers and acquaint them with some options for post-secondary education. When organizing such an event, keep these four best practices in mind:
Employers across a wide variety of industries report not having enough qualified candidates to fill their open positions. This talent shortage is expected to grow in the coming years, especially in fields that don't require a four-year degree. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of jobs requiring associate's degrees will grow 17.6 percent during the decade between 2012 and 2022.1 As the demand for workers with associate's degrees, career diplomas and career certificates grows - particularly in healthcare, technology and the skilled trades - employers will find a growing pool of career college graduates on the job market. Here are three great reasons to hire them.
Last week, I was given the opportunity to travel to Atlanta, GA for the first time for the celebration of three very special women " Sherray Harley, Joann Jaso, and Brittani Seymour " and their recent graduation from high school with the Church's Chicken Stride for Success program. Hosted at the Church's Chicken headquarters, these ladies were recognized for their accomplishments and dedication to the company by the entire corporate office and executive team, including CEO Jim Hyatt, Chief People Officer Ed Brett, and COO Ed Williams.
I recently attended the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) Forum. It was four valuable days focused on addressing the needs of businesses, career seekers, workforce boards, and local economies.  Due to Penn Foster's sponsorship of the event I was able to attend a variety of sessions and had the opportunity to meet with several Workforce Investment Boards and NAWB board members. Everyone I met was committed to sharing their challenges, tools, and strategies so they could learn from one another's ideas. With so many diverse topics covered I realized it could be challenging for workforce boards to decide where to focus. Therefore, after listening and participating in these discussion, I identified the three key areas I believe will have the biggest impact on outcomes for WIBs.  
On Friday, March 11th I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker for the 2016 Graduating class of Pima Medical Institute " Albuquerque. The Kiva Auditorium in downtown Albuquerque was brimming full and the excitement was palpable. Graduation is always a special time and this ceremony marked a milestone for four special graduates, out of the hundreds in attendance. This was the first graduating class of Penn Foster High School Students in partnership with Pima Medical Institute. The graduation speech I prepared turned out to be particularly fitting as it highlighted the power of gratitude and fortitude, which these four graduates exemplify.
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A large piece of the gainful employment compliance puzzle is ensuring career colleges are doing everything they can to help students get jobs with local businesses after graduation. Sometimes though, local businesses aren't aware that the career college in their own community prepares students with the exact skills their company is recruiting for. Make local businesses aware of the pool of skilled and qualified job candidates your school is producing with the following tips.

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