Frank Britt

Frank Britt is the CEO of Penn Foster, a leading career-focused online and hybrid education institution that annually supports over 100,000 active students and 1,000 institutions nationwide. His mission is to create a national movement to better connect education, career pathways and job creation, and to promote affordable learning.
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Recent Posts

The Troubling Erosion of Trust between Youth and Established Support Systems

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/30/17 9:00 AM

Across America, young adults are experiencing a macro erosion of trust towards established support systems. This trust deficit cuts across all income classes, but it is especially prevalent among youth in traditional institutions, and most acute in the school setting.

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Top Takeaways from ASU + GSV Summit 2017

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/15/17 6:15 PM

Last week, we were honored and thrilled to have participated in this year’s at-capacity ASU + GSV Education Technology Summit which assembled leaders from more than 400 of the world’s most important enterprise learning and talent companies to discuss education and technology innovations. It was inspiring to join the conversation on how we can build bridges between local and national organizations in order to address the skills shortage and improve worker employability and workforce effectiveness. I wanted to share my top takeaways from this incredibly energizing summit:

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Topics: Employers, Training, Skills Gap, Skilled Trades

Witnessing Innovation at the Spark Point

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/5/17 9:00 AM

Last weekend, I had the privilege and honor to be a guest judge for the Open Track of the President’s Innovation Challenge at the Harvard Innovation Labs. The Innovation Challenge aims to support Harvard students on their journeys to turn their desire for a
better world into a sustainable venture. Specifically, this year’s finalists are trying to solve social issues (equitability, sustainability, safety), to respond to the desperate need for innovation within the health and life sciences industry, and to innovate in other areas that
would help a cross section of industries such as computing.

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Topics: Industry News, Higher Ed

How Organizations of All Kinds Can Support High School Dropouts

Posted by Frank Britt on 8/25/16 1:01 PM

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972-2012 published in 2015, the average high school dropout costs the economy approximately $250,000 over his or her lifetime. With the average life expectancy of 79 years, this equates to $4,166 as an annual cost to the economy. Employers, educators, and government organizations are making purposeful commitments to providing pathways for young people who have aged out of compulsory school to achieve their high school diploma and prepare for the workforce or higher education. Here we touch upon how myriad stakeholders can help these students that have typically aged-out of the traditional k-12 system - and why they’d want to.

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Topics: Youth Organizations, Public & Private High Schools, Employers, Colleges & Career Schools

How We Can Make CTE More Efficient and Effective - Part III, Filling the Middle Skill Jobs of Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Frank Britt on 6/14/16 11:00 AM

For many Americans, “higher education” still means a four-year degree. However, with unemployment hovering around 5.5 percent and with many students graduating from four-year institutions unable to find jobs, our perception of the costs and benefits of education needs to change. Degrees that prepare students for middle-skilled careers are often ignored or rejected, but education leaders need to realize that, as valuable as four-year degrees may be, they are not practical for every student, especially given that these students are saddled with an average of $26,600 of debt overall,1 and $32,700 when graduating from for-profit colleges.2

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, College Enrollment & Retention

How We Can Make CTE More Efficient and Effective, Part II: CTE at the High School Level

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/31/16 11:12 AM

Employment-focused education for “middle-skill” occupations is becoming increasingly relevant. More than 850,000 K-12 students in the U.S. are classified as “vocational,” which encompasses CTE fields and makes up just around 2% of total students. The cost to educate these students is nearly $14,000 or 20-40% greater than that of traditional academic instruction. In recent years, approximately $13 billion has been spent annually by federal, state and local governments to support youth-focused vocational education systems across the U.S., with federal funding constituting only about 4-8% percent of all state and local spending.1 This is in addition to the $16 billion post-high school trade and technical school-industry.

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, Public & Private High Schools

How We Can Make CTE More Efficient and Effective - Part I

Posted by Frank Britt on 5/17/16 12:49 PM

To date, a lot of good has been done for Career Technical Education (CTE). Lives have been changed and skills have been built, as institutions and dedicated faculty have been well-preparing students for careers in CTE.  In this series, we’ll talk about how to build on the strong foundation of CTE and evolve the system while innovating for the future.

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Topics: High School Completion, Middle Skills Gap, College Enrollment & Retention

Penn Foster’s Rich History: 125 Years of Adapting to the Needs of America’s Workforce

Posted by Frank Britt on 12/23/15 10:00 AM

American education evolved into its current system by adapting to advancements in technology and changes in the labor market. Penn Foster’s history is rooted in response to and growth from these very same changes. Our career-oriented courses not only provide vital training to American workers looking to advance their careers and quality of life, but they reflect the education and training needs of the American employment market and help employers fill important jobs with skilled workers. Penn Foster’s offerings reflect America’s education and employment trends over the last 125 years and highlight the vital role we continue to play in equipping today's students to become tomorrow's workforce.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Penn Foster News & Events

A Day to Be Thankful For: A Letter from the CEO

Posted by Frank Britt on 11/25/15 11:00 AM

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.

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Topics: High School Completion, Penn Foster News & Events

How to Break the Unemployment-Enrollment Link

Posted by Frank Britt on 11/18/15 11:00 AM

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.

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Topics: Industry News, College Enrollment & Retention, Colleges & Career Schools

 

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