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High schools that take an active role in encouraging their students to pursue higher education should consider offering a dual enrollment program. Dual enrollment is a partnership between a high school and a local college that enables students to take college classes for credit while earning their high school diploma. In some cases, classes are taught at the high school by college-approved teachers, and in other arrangements, the high school students are taught by college faculty on the college campus. There are many benefits of such programs and many ways they encourage success in high school students.
Earlier this month, our team had the opportunity to travel down to Atlanta, GA to join Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) in celebrating their most recent class of graduates " including two Penn Foster High School graduates from LCB's Pathway Program! With over 1500 attendees, the graduation ceremony brought in family, friends and alumni who came to celebrate the recent graduates.
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The whole reason students go to college is better employment opportunities, making your school's career center vital to its mission to serve students. In addition, a good career center helps your school thrive under the new gainful employment regulations, in which a career college's eligibility for federal student aid depends on how well its students are prepared for "gainful employment" in a recognized occupation. The Department of Education recognizes a program as leading to gainful employment if the estimated annual loan repayments of its graduates do not exceed 20 percent of their discretionary income or 8 percent of total income.1 To help students land a good job after graduation, your career center should offer the following services and resources:
As we take the time to reflect upon what we're most thankful for this holiday season, I am filled with gratitude whenever I get the chance to witness something truly remarkable. Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to attend Penn Foster's Scranton-based graduation and student meet-up event, orchestrated for 60 students and their 200+ family and friends. Our students have overcome some of the toughest obstacles and have faced myriad hardships throughout their lifetimes - yet have defied the odds and persevered in order to gain their education. Seeing the joy, the tears, the proud families and friends standing by as each of our graduates walked across the stage fills me with a sense of utter gratitude to have the privilege of being a small part of something meaningful.
Each year, the Penn Foster team has the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious conferences in the career college and private postsecondary education space. This year, we rounded out our circuit with a quick succession of trips to the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS), Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST) conferences. After attending numerous sessions and speaking with attendees from various schools, it quickly became evident that the industry is shifting its indicators of success. Schools are placing more emphasis than ever on student outcomes, and are using new technologies to help them adapt to these new standards. Read on to discover what technologies schools are using to ensure improved student outcomes:
A simple, yet troubling rule of thumb drives enrollment to community colleges, for-profit colleges, and some four-year open-access institutions. As reported by Inside Higher Ed, employment and unemployment rates drive spikes in enrollment at these institutions, and play a much greater correlation than other population trends. It's a logical and consistent link: when unemployment rises, so do enrollments to community colleges. This is due to the fact that when people of low-income become unemployed, they are freed up to invest their time in higher education. When unemployment is down, low-income students do not have the luxury to go to school, because they have immediate monetary needs, and must go to work while employment is an option.
While most students don't apply to colleges until senior year, educators should encourage them to explore their options throughout their high school years. By introducing the different types of post-secondary education to students earlier, students are able to make a more informed decision on what to do after graduation. Here are three things that high schools can do throughout a student's four years to help them decide on what to do after graduation:
The ESL Academy at the University of Colorado Denver prepares students in English language fluency and helps these students pursue a degree upon completion of the ESL Academy program. As students progress in the ESL program, they are eligible to enroll in one or two courses on the main campus for credit. This concurrent enrollment in the ESL Academy and in a university course or two enables them to get a head-start on university academics while engaging in American cultural standards, building on-campus social connections and receiving support from the ESL staff1.
Earlier this week, the White House hosted its first ever summit on Next Generation High Schools, bringing together teachers, administrators, students, philanthropists, edtech companies, and entrepreneurs to discuss big, bold ideas on how to profoundly change the current state of our nation's public high school system. Attendees were invited to set aside the traditional schooling blueprint in order to make way for new, innovative educational models that puts the student first by empowering them through agile, creative, and endlessly relevant learning systems. 
Last week, Penn Foster had the opportunity to attend the 2015 National Job Corps Association (NJCA) Leadership Summit. The event, which brought together Job Corps leaders, policy makers, and partners from across the country, focused on the challenges and opportunities for Job Corps heading into 2016. Here are Penn Foster's top three takeaways from the event:

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