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Mention the words "summer school," and you'll likely garner some eye rolls and groans from students eager to take a break. After all, sitting in a classroom on a partially empty campus doing schoolwork cannot rival the warm-weather vacation escapes that loom on the horizon. It's no wonder going to summer school feels like punishment. But summer school has its benefits and luckily, you're there to point them out to your students. Whether they are suffering from low grades and falling behind schedule or they have the potential to get ahead, encourage your students to take advantage of this powerful academic offering.
Ability to Benefit (ATB) is a national policy through which students lacking a high school credential can prove their "ability to benefit" from college by taking a general skills test. If students perform well on these standardized exams, they can enroll in college despite never having earned the necessary credential (usually a high school diploma or a GED). ATB also allows students who do well on these exams to receive  financial aid . In 2012, there were approximately 82,000 ATB students in public two-year colleges (about 1% of the total community college population), though not all of them were receiving financial aid. A longitudinal study from the National Center for Education Statistics found that only 33% of students admitted under ATB in 2003 had earned a college credential by 2009.1 Ability to Benefit was eliminated by Congress in 2012 to cut spending on Pell Grants, but in late 2014 it made a comeback.
Waiting for Superman is a "gripping, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful documentary" about the crisis of public education in America. The battle to solve many of our country's problems starts with addressing one of our biggest ones: education. A great education is crucial for the success of the young students in our school system right now - the same kids who are the future of our country. And to reach their full potential, they need a great education. But the school system in the United States is failing so many of these kids, despite years of well-intended reforms and large sums of money spent on the problem. Today, 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year in the US. And dropouts are more likely to go to prison, to need social welfare assistance, and are less likely to vote. Watch this short video, designed by Jorge R. Canedo Estrada and published by Buck.tv, to learn more about these serious problems plaguing our country today.
The student loan crisis is often talked about, but what the headlines rarely show are the changes to legislation that help lessen the burden of student debt. Small adjustments to statutes for student loan repayment are making a big difference in terms of education affordability. Legislation is in place right now to help make college attainable to all students willing to put forth the effort. To best inform your students of their tuition payment options, it's important to understand the past, present, and future student loan programs.
When you start a High School Completion program on your campus, you can take advantage of the resources you already have to make the implementation an easier, more seamless process.  
Job Corps was born out of The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which was part of President Johnson's broader "war on poverty." Since then, 2.5 million students have graduated from Career and Technical training programs offered through Job Corps.  Today, there are 127 Job Corps centers and for the first time they will be operating in all 50 states. This is a fitting milestone to achieve during their 50th year of operation.
"Dropouts" aren't bad people cast into a hopeless life of failure and dead ends. They're looking for an on-ramp to better opportunities to create a positive change. As a follow-up to our first post, here are three more characteristics of successful high school completion students:
Institutions such as companies, nonprofits and even the government also make promises, and their earnestness and follow-through are a direct reflection on their values. Unfortunately, the reality is that not all organizations embrace the "promise is a promise" philosophy today. But when you find one that does, and that is focused on important issues, the best response is to "go all in" to help them fulfill their aspirations.
This week, Penn Foster is excited to head down to Washington DC. as a main sponsor of the Job Corps 50th Anniversary Celebration. The week's schedule of events brings together past and present Job Corps practitioners, Operators, student ambassadors, members of congress, and Job Corps advocates to celebrate 50 years of success in building the future of America's youth.
I just got home from the Inaugural America's Promise Night " an event centered around the belief that every child should have the opportunity and support to pursue his or American dream. The event was a celebration of leaders who are living and supporting the promise of giving every child a chance and an opportunity and it showcased the broad private and public support of this great cause. While it is easy to get excited about the glamour and drama of an event, what really struck me was how simple and pure the mission is. America's Promise is focused on 5 promises that we as member of America's Promise and ultimately citizens should make. Every young person should be able to say, I have . . .

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