Laurie Woychick

Laurie has worked in education for five years supporting C-level executives, and is currently a Sr. Marketing Manager for Penn Foster. She believes that a quality education is a basic human right, not a privilege.
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Recent Posts

How to Help Parents and Students Navigate the FAFSA Process

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 1/6/16 10:00 AM

Filling out the FAFSA is one of the biggest barriers for students trying to fund their college education. The form asks more than 100 questions in an attempt to determine student aid eligibility, and while it only takes an average of 20 minutes to complete once the necessary paperwork has been assembled, U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell called that "19 minutes too long."1 Students and their parents get intimidated by the FAFSA's length and complexity, making it tempting to procrastinate until they miss deadlines.

High school counselors and educators can address this issue by informing students and parents about the FAFSA process and motivating them to get the form filled out on time.

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Topics: High School Completion, Public & Private High Schools

Crowdfunding Education? What You Need to Know

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 10/22/15 10:00 AM

As tuition costs and student loan debt levels continue to rise, more students are turning to crowdfunding to cover their educational expenses. According to the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe, the number of campaigns using the word "tuition" increased a stunning 4,547 percent between 2011 and 2014.1 Learn more about how crowdfunding works, so you can help students who show great promise for college, but lack the financial means to get there, set up their own crowdfunding campaign and pay for college.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention

3 Ways to Keep Your Students On Track to Graduate

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 6/9/15 1:30 PM

High school educators have faced significant challenges within the past decade. The dropout crisis and graduation gaps continue to limit opportunities for high school non-completers, resulting in higher unemployment rates. As a result, our communities and economy suffer.

Though national reports show a significant improvement in graduation rates, there is still an opportunity gap that cannot be ignored. According to data released by the America’s Promise, the upward trajectory of high school graduation rates over the past decade continued in 2013, as the national graduation rate hit a record high of 81.4 percent. Despite positive results, 14 states with graduation rates between 70 and 78 percent, still have much further to go.

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Topics: Dropout Crisis, High School Completion, Opportunity Youth

Fresh Start and Penn Foster Graduate 289 Former High School Dropouts

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 5/27/15 4:30 PM

Last year’s record setting graduating class of 214 students was shattered this past week as 289 graduates received their diplomas during two separate ceremonies, with another one scheduled for this upcoming week. The Lakeland campus ceremony was held at Highland Park Church of the Nazarene, Lakeland, Florida with over 1,000 friends and family members in attendance. A few days later, the Davenport campus graduation ceremony was held at Polk State College, Winter Haven, Florida with roughly 2,500 friends and family members gathering to cheer the graduates on!  Gause Academy will celebrate their graduation on May 30th.

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Topics: Dropout Crisis, High School Completion, Opportunity Youth, Public & Private High Schools

SXSWedu: The Future of Mobile Education

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 3/12/15 12:00 PM

This week we presented Penn Foster’s vision for the future of education at SXSWedu during a Future15 session. This Tedx-like format is designed for educators to present their ideas on what education might look like in the future. Our FastClass bus concept brings together four major components:


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Topics: Dropout Crisis, Penn Foster News & Events, Opportunity Youth

Using Data to Improve Retention Rates at Career Schools

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 2/24/15 2:00 PM

According to our recent Career School Industry Survey, over 60% of the schools surveys highlighted retention and graduation as two of the top three success metrics they are measured on. There are a number of tactics career schools can use to increase retention, and thereby increase graduation rates, but they all point back to data. Without a clear understanding of the student demographics and individual challenges, it is difficult to keep hundreds or thousands of students on track and engaged with limited campus advisors.

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Topics: College Enrollment & Retention

Too Old To Disrupt?

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 2/12/15 9:00 AM

When people think about disrupters, particularly in the education space, they think of start-ups, or moocs (massive open online courses), or perhaps an LMS (learning management system). They don’t often think of a 125 year old institution that started out as a correspondence school created to train coal miners on safety after a series of unfortunate mining accidents.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events

Celebrating National School Choice Week at Penn Foster High School

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 2/3/15 3:00 PM

Last week was designated as National School Choice Week and is a nonpolitical and nonpartisan celebration of effective education options for children. The week shines a positive spotlight on all types of education options for children – from traditional public schools to public charter schools, magnet schools, online academies, private schools, and homeschooling.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events, Industry News

125 Years Young & the Opportunity to Share Your Story!

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 1/21/15 10:30 AM

Earlier this year we announced Penn Foster’s 125th anniversary, and today we are excited to announce the launch of our multi-media campaign where students, alumni and partners can share their stories and contribute their experiences and be showcased as part of the larger Penn Foster story. Serving as a time capsule of sorts, this micro-site will live and grow throughout our 125th year, and will highlight Penn Foster facts and figures, highlight student and partner success stories, and spotlights on Penn Foster employees with over 25 years with the school.

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Topics: Penn Foster News & Events

Student Spotlight: Shatea Hill

Posted by Laurie Woychick on 1/20/15 9:30 AM

We recently  sat down and spoke with Shatea Hill. Shatea shared a story similar to ones we have heard before. A smart student heads down the wrong path, and struggles to find an onramp back to higher education. Career schools unfortunately have to turn these students away who lack proof of high school graduation, but Dorsey Schools now offers a High School Completion program through Penn Foster, which allows students like Shatea to earn a high school diploma, find that onramp, and go on to higher education. Here’s her story: 

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Topics: High School Completion, Penn Foster News & Events, College Enrollment & Retention


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