Dara Warn

Dara has over 14 years of experience in direct response marketing, brand development, public relations, and integrated communications and business development programs. As Penn Foster Chief Operating Officer, Dara and her team are responsible for advocating for the customer and ensuring that Penn Foster education solutions meet the needs of this diverse base of learners and partners.
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Recent Posts

3 Reasons Employers Should Hire Career College Graduates

Posted by Dara Warn on 3/30/16 10:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers

What Career Schools Can Learn from the 2015 Survey of Admissions Directors

Posted by Dara Warn on 2/17/16 10:00 AM

Admissions directors at four-year universities and community colleges are facing more pressure than ever, the latest Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors found.1 Controversies over admissions practices and student loan debt are just a few of the numerous challenges admissions directors now have on their plate. While career schools may not face all the same challenges as their peer institutions, there are nonetheless many parallels and valuable insights they can draw from these findings.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

How to Implement a Risk-Free Trial Program at Your Career College

Posted by Dara Warn on 1/27/16 9:00 AM

Many products and services, from magazine subscriptions and book clubs to software and digital services offer a risk-free trial program. Career colleges may wish to borrow this tactic and offer prospective students a risk-free trial period at their school. Doing so shows prospective students that you understand their anxiety about enrolling. Some students may not be familiar with the idea of career college, or they may be unsure how it compares with other educational options. Others will be uncertain how they will perform in a career college environment. A risk-free trial gives them a chance to relieve these concerns by experiencing career college firsthand before enrolling. Here are a few best practices to effectively and ethically use this strategy:

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

4 Strategies Quick Service Restaurants can Implement to Recruit & Retain Millennials

Posted by Dara Warn on 1/14/16 11:00 AM

Many employers report struggling with recruiting and retaining hardworking, successful millennial workers. Yet the reality is, millennials are now the largest generation in U.S. labor force, according to the Pew Research Center.1 Employers at Quick Service Restaurants who don't understand what millennials want from their jobs and employers need to learn to accommodate the typical expectations of this rising generation — or continue to face the skyrocketing costs of high turnover.

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Topics: Employee Retention, Employers

Past & Present, Penn Foster Supports Women’s Education

Posted by Dara Warn on 12/9/15 11:00 AM

The first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. It marked the beginning of the official nationwide effort to advance women's rights, from being granted the right to vote and lobbying against job discrimination to the legal use of contraceptives, and it launched the modern feminist movement.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Industry News

5 Effective Ways Career Colleges Can Improve Retention Rates

Posted by Dara Warn on 9/3/15 9:00 AM

About 80 percent of first-time, full-time students enrolled in four-year, degree-granting institutions in 2012 returned the following fall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, whereas the retention rate for first-time students at two-year institutions was 60 percent for the same time period.1 To grow student retention rates, career colleges should focus on establishing and promoting an engaging and nourishing learning environment. Place more emphasis on the conditions of the learning environment rather than on the attributes and behaviors of students.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention

Free College Tuition for Chrysler Employees

Posted by Dara Warn on 6/24/15 1:00 PM

Joining the likes of Starbucks and McDonald’s, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it is going to offer free college tuition to employees at Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat dealerships across the country. Over 118,000 employees can take classes through Strayer University, a private, for-profit college. Chrysler employees can take their classes online or attend classes at one of Strayer’s brick-and-mortar campus locations. Employees at dealerships in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee can already enroll in this new program, and the program will continue to roll out in phases until all of the US dealerships are included.

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Topics: Industry News, College Enrollment & Retention

A Promising Case for Refocusing Your Enrollment Marketing Channels

Posted by Dara Warn on 6/11/15 4:30 PM

It’s no secret that the biggest challenge for career schools today is increasing enrollments. In recent news, Universal Technical Institute experienced a 9.79% decrease in their enrollments between March of 2014 and March of 2015.

What’s encouraging, however, is that the career school saw strong show rates for their second quarter this year (up 500 basis points when compared with their starts from the same time last year!). Due to these strong show rates, UTI expects an increase in new student start growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention

When Youth Succeed, We All Succeed

Posted by Dara Warn on 4/16/15 4:00 PM

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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Topics: Dropout Crisis, Penn Foster News & Events, Industry News

The 2015 ASU GSV Summit on Education Innovation Filled with Hope and Promise

Posted by Dara Warn on 4/9/15 12:00 PM

I am flying back from this year’s ASU/GSV Summit which has become the consummate gathering of the ed tech, investor and digital innovator community. With over 2400 attendees, the event was big and full of promise. From teachers sharing stories of how technology has transformed their classrooms to the students themselves who are blazing a new path to hungry entrepreneurs looking to meet with the investor community, the event attempts to showcase innovation, encourage disruptive thought, and spark this community of education-focused individuals to make a difference.

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Topics: Industry News


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