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This is Our Mission

Penn Foster's mission is to enhance the lives of our students and clients through the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and credentials that can help them work toward their goals of advancing in their chosen field, starting a new career, or pursuing lifelong learning.

These Are Our Institutional Goals

  1. Provide educational programs that enable self-motivated, independent learners to acquire core competencies in their chosen technical and professional fields.
  2. Employ contemporary learning strategies based on academic standards of good practice in distance education.
  3. Develop and maintain systems that optimize student opportunities for broadly participative, interactive learning.
  4. Establish and communicate high standards of academic performance for students and the institution.
  5. Assess student learning and institutional effectiveness systematically in order to improve student performance.
  6. Provide an extensive suite of student support services based on student needs and interests.
  7. Conduct fiscally responsible planning that balances the institution's commitment to academic excellence with its concern for profitable financial performance.


Our mission is supported by an admissions policy that allows students with appropriate prior education to enroll in programs without regard to race, religion, gender, age, color, national origin, or physical disability.


We regularly assess fulfillment of our mission and achievement of our institutional goals through ongoing studies of student learning, measurement of student satisfaction, and evaluation of career outcomes of graduates.

This Is Who We Are

We believe education is for everyone. At Penn Foster, we are dedicated to helping our students achieve their goals through affordable, accessible, career-focused learning. Our mission has remained the same for over 125 years: to provide knowledge that builds career growth and confidence on any budget, around any schedule.

Penn Foster is an innovator with a heart: As the pioneer of distance learning, legendary greats like Thomas Edison and Mary Brooks Picken have joined us on our journey to help people overcome obstacles and lift themselves up. Penn Foster’s online and blended learning programs are self-paced and personalized, flexible and affordable, and easily accessible.

Together with our extensive partner network of leading employers, community-based organizations, and academic institutions, we close skills gaps and are building a stronger workforce through education and skills training. We aim to help businesses thrive by mobilizing their individual workers and energizing communities with opportunities for growth and progress. We are proud to play a role in the success of over 80% percent of our graduates that see improvement within their careers, as they inspire us to keep finding new ways to further our reach and broaden horizons.*

This Is How We Started

In 1890, a newspaper editor named Thomas J. Foster founded the school to provide coal miners with the education to advance in their careers, increase their safety, and improve their quality of life. At the turn of the century, the school was officially known as the International Correspondence Schools (ICS), and one out of every 27 adults had taken an ICS course across the nation.

By 2006, ICS transitioned from correspondence by mail to online education and marked this milestone with a new name, Penn Foster. Enrolling over 13 million students since our establishment, we are proven, respected, and reputable. Today, we offer over 100 accredited degree, diploma, and certificate programs, representing a family of brands across three schools. Our independent learners and employer relations receive customizable programs that directly meet the growing needs of today's career-focused learner.

This is How We Stand Out

As Penn Foster keeps going, we keep growing. Our dynamic community of faculty, advisors, students, and graduates is a force that gains size and strength with every year. With surround-sound support, career coaching, mentoring programs, affordable and flexible payment options, and a state-of-the-art learning platform, we continue to empower youth and adult learners to achieve their academic goals so they may unlock their career potential to ultimately better position themselves for success. We celebrate our past, embrace our present, and look forward to what’s next. Join the Penn Foster movement and start building toward a better future today.

Serving Students with Disabilities

We are dedicated to working towards meeting the needs of our students. We are expanding our reach and inclusiveness by extending the accessibility and usability of our portals and program content for students with disabilities including those of vision, hearing, and manual dexterity. In keeping with our core company values of integrity, empathy, and compliance, we are committed to providing a high quality, online experience for all students. Learn more about our commitment to serving students with visual, auditory or manual dexterity disabilities.

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