Takeaways from the 2016 NJCA Leadership Training Summit: The Keys to Building a Stronger, More Innovative Youth Workforce

Posted by Erik Hensley on 9/30/16 11:33 AM

Last week I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the 2016 NJCA Leadership Summit in Arlington, Virginia.  This annual conference brings together the Job Corps community comprised of workforce development experts, education practitioners, corporate partners, U.S. Department of Labor officials, Office of Job Corps leadership and staff, as well as members of Congress to discuss and develop strategies for enhancing Job Corps services.­

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations

What We’re Looking Forward to on the 2016 Career College Conference Circuit

Posted by Lauren Scungio on 9/29/16 6:25 PM

Next week the Penn Foster team will hit the road to participate in two of our favorite regional career college conferences: the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools 32nd Annual Conference in Pasadena, CA from October 5th - 7th, and the Career Colleges and Schools of Texas 2016 Annual Conference in Austin, TX from October 10th - 12th. We’re excited as always for the chance to connect with leaders in the private postsecondary education space as we explore opportunities for growth and innovation in the industry.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

How a Goodwill Center is Helping the Local Economy

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 9/28/16 11:42 AM

Your neighborhood Goodwill may offer more than meets the eye. Many Goodwill centers across the nation operate One Stop Career Centers alongside their retail stores/donation centers to assist youth, adults, and families to improve their skills and education. One such Career Center in Conemaugh Valley, Pennsylvania, is now offering locals the chance to earn their high school diploma in a supportive environment. This gives community members who are struggling to find work a second chance to earn the credentials and skills needed to increase their chances for employment.

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, Employers

The Choice is Yours Participants Encouraged to Dream Big at Penn Foster Graduation

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 9/27/16 5:51 PM

“Teamwork makes the dream work.” This past Thursday, this phrase echoed through the Mayor’s Reception Room at Philadelphia’s City Hall, where five participants of The Choice is Yours (TCY) program gathered to celebrate their high school graduation. Alberta Lloyd, Career Instructor for TCY at JEVS Human Services (JEVS), stood at the front of the room to present the five individuals, who were about to be presented with their Penn Foster High School diplomas. “This is more than a program – this is an opportunity,” she noted.

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Topics: Dropout Crisis, High School Completion, Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Employers, Education

How Guidance Counselors and Teachers Can Play a Role in Reducing Absenteeism

Posted by Lauren Scungio on 9/27/16 11:00 AM

A student exhibiting signs of chronic absenteeism misses 10 percent or more of the school year.1 They may miss a consecutive period or spread their absences throughout the year. This behavior has many root causes, such as major illness, fear of bullying and a lack of value placed on education. Most schools focus on average daily attendance, but this figure doesn't reveal the major problem of chronic absenteeism, which impacts 6.5 million students each year.2

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Topics: Public & Private High Schools

3 Ways Stress Negatively Affects Student Performance

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 9/21/16 11:00 AM

Today's students may be more stressed than ever before. In fact, the 2015 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment found that 85.6 percent of students had felt overwhelmed in the past year.1 The pressures of getting top grades, balancing extracurricular activities with studying, and spending time with family all add up. In addition, students manage another identity in the digital world. Social media platforms are one more thing to keep up with and are often rife with stress-inducing comparisons, gossip and bullying.

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Topics: Public & Private High Schools, Colleges & Career Schools

Thought Leadership Roundtable: Bringing Workforce Development into the Spotlight with JEVS

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 9/20/16 11:26 PM

This Thursday, the Penn Foster team will head down to Philadelphia for an exciting double-event in partnership with JEVS Human Services (JEVS), a non-profit, multi-service organization with over 20 programs providing skills development, job readiness and career services, to name a few. The day will bring together thought leaders from the local community and beyond to discuss workforce development trends and education solutions, and celebrate recent graduates of Penn Foster High School. So what is on tap for the day?

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Education

Learning, Technology, and the Workforce: A Discussion with an Industry Leader

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 9/19/16 12:39 PM

I sat down with John Shrader, GM and Executive Vice President at Penn Foster, to pick his brain about the intersections of education, workforce development, and talent management. We discussed implications for the future evolution of these industries alongside the growth of education technology, and why this will change the way we learn and work.

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Topics: Industry News, Employee Retention, Employers, Education

Developing a Career-Ready Workforce, Part 4: Four Ways Your Organization Can Encourage Power Skills Development

Posted by Rachel Levy Wexler on 9/15/16 5:51 PM

In parts one through three of this series, we have explored power skills and their role in the workplace, examining the impact that the Power Skills shortage has had on employers. By diving into both personal effectiveness skills and workplace competencies, we have also highlighted some of the most sought-after employee characteristics by employers. In a 2013 Harvard Business Review article, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor at Columbia University, emphasized that emotional intelligence (EI) - a key part of many Power Skills - can be developed and improved (unlike IQ, which is static.)1 This assertion is most significant when considering the fact that EI has been shown to be twice as important as cognitive abilities in predicting outstanding employee performance.2

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Topics: Employee Retention, Opportunity Youth, Employers, Colleges & Career Schools

NJCA 2016 Leadership Summit: Charting a Course for a Stronger, Innovative Youth Workforce

Posted by Erik Hensley on 9/15/16 4:32 PM

Penn Foster is excited to be sponsoring the NJCA Leadership Summit next week (September 19-20) in Arlington, Virginia. And, on behalf of the rest of the Penn Foster team that will be joining me, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with Job Corps leaders and students from across the country.

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Topics: High School Completion, Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Colleges & Career Schools

Celebrating New Partnerships: BluePearl Brings Education to its Employees

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 9/15/16 4:12 PM

You could say it’s a good time to become a Veterinary Technician. Boasting over 95,000 workers in the United States, the occupational outlook is only positive; between 2014 and 2024, the veterinary technician profession is expected to increase by 19 percent – much faster than the average growth rate of 7% for all occupations.1 This industry growth and demand for technicians was one of many factors behind BluePearl Veterinary Partners’ recent partnership with Penn Foster to offer a Veterinary Technician Associate Degree program. Announced today, the program is available to eligible BluePearl associates at their 50+ hospitals across the nation.2

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Employee Retention, Employers, Education

Church’s Chicken is Serving Up Education to its Team Members with Penn Foster

Posted by Lauren Mackie on 9/13/16 3:37 PM

When we think about the service industry, our first thoughts tend to gravitate toward creating an outstanding customer experience, having consistent processes, and putting the consumer first. However, the concept of serving the employees in the workforce often comes second. In a recent article on RestaurantNews.com, Ed Brett, Chief People Officer at Church’s Chicken, addresses the importance of “service” at the most fundamental level – with the employees in your own organization.

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Topics: High School Completion, Industry News, Employee Retention, Employers

Achieving Impact At Scale: Penn Foster Wins Tyton Growth50 Award

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 9/12/16 11:05 AM

Recently, Penn Foster was honored with the recognition as a 2016 Tyton Growth50 company. The Tyton Growth50 celebrates innovative organizations achieving impact at scale through a combination of demonstrated outcomes across the preK–12, postsecondary, corporate training, and consumer education spaces. As one of 50 organizations selected this year, this achievement marks a significant milestone in Penn Foster’s 126-year history in distance education.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Employers

Employers are Demanding Soft Skills: 3 Things We Learned from LinkedIn’s Latest Member Analysis

Posted by Dara Warn on 9/8/16 5:00 PM

Soft skills are defined as the personal attributes that help people interact effectively and harmoniously with others. These skills are important, yet have historically played a supporting role next to the essential hard skills required for any given profession. However, as the search for candidates with soft skills has grown increasingly challenging, employers have begun to focus on these attributes over the technical and job-specific skills they traditionally prioritized.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Employers, Colleges & Career Schools

Helping Opportunity Youth Gain Access to Postsecondary Education

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 9/8/16 3:04 PM

At Penn Foster, our mission is to empower youth and adult learners with knowledge to help them succeed in their careers. Last month, Penn Foster lived up to its mission by announcing a new scholarship program that will help at-risk youth gain access to postsecondary education. The new scholarship program has been made available to YouthBuild students who have graduated from Penn Foster High School. The scholarship covers one college semester’s tuition for five students each year, and honors outgoing YouthBuild founder and CEO, Dorothy Stoneman.

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Topics: Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations

5 Metrics to Help Predict Your Students’ Success

Posted by Douglas Carlson on 9/6/16 12:00 PM

How much student data do you have available at your career school? You have access to demographics, GPAs, classes passed and failed, online course activity and many more metrics. These numbers aren't just for record keeping -- you can also predict student success and failure with student analytics tools.

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Topics: Colleges & Career Schools

Developing a Career-Ready Workforce, Part 3: The Foundational Value of Workplace Competencies

Posted by Rachel Levy Wexler on 9/1/16 4:23 PM

In the professional world, employers seek a wide variety of worker competencies to ensure their workforce leads the business to success. While industry and occupation-specific competencies are important to performing well in a particular job setting, foundational competencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration as a prerequisite for workers to learn industry-specific skills, and provide the base for success in school and in the world of work.1

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Topics: Employee Retention, Opportunity Youth, Youth Organizations, Employers, Colleges & Career Schools


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