COVID-19 Announcements and CARES Act Resources

The coronavirus pandemic affects us all, and as the weeks unfold, we’ll be making changes to help you continue your studies and keep learning. We’re here to answer your questions and provide news, updates, and resources regarding our school as we move forward, together.
If you have questions about available government assistance as a result of COVID-19, please visit our CARES Act Resources page for some helpful information.

A Message from our Vice President of Education:

Celebrating commencement is among our greatest honors. It’s something we look forward to every year. Exercising caution for the health of our faculty, students, and their families, it is with a very heavy heart that we are announcing the cancellation of our in-person 2020 commencement ceremony, which was scheduled for Sept 12, 2020.

We realize that this is a great disappointment to many, yet I am confident that most, if not all, of you will agree that this is a prudent decision that protects the best interests of our faculty, students and family members.

Federal and state health officials across the country continue to enforce social distancing rules and, consequently, many large gatherings have been cancelled, including sporting events, conferences, festivals, and other in-person commencements. Our commencements attract 2,500+ people and, thus, is much like other large events with the same risks. It appears COVID-19 will be with us much longer than any of us had hoped and we must be safe, careful, and decisive in our actions.

We are exploring ways to celebrate with you virtually and have begun work on a digital yearbook for our 2019 - 2020 graduates. We will announce soon, via email and social media, how graduates and their families can participate in our yearbook.

Thank you and be well,

Lisa Rutsky,
Vice President of Education
Penn Foster

Click here for additional details.

Important information on shipments & mailings (Updated 7/24/2020)

We are open and operating as close to normal as possible. Many of our employees continue to work remotely and remain focused on providing the support you expect. In order to best support your needs, below is list of our current operations and timeframes. In general, for the fastest service or response, please email us if that is an option vs. Traditional mail. You can find the appropriate contact information via your online Learning Center or Student Portal.

We are currently shipping course materials for programs which include physical items. Over the past few months, we have improved our ability to support students digitally so that not all programs require physical materials.

  • Graduate diplomas, degrees, certificates and transcripts: We are currently mailing these documents to our graduates. Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive your documents.
  • Materials that are mailed to the school: Please expect delays of up to a week or more for processing depending on the volume of mail we receive. We are doing everything we can to ensure that mailed documents are getting to the right people within our organization in a timely manner.
  • Incoming transcripts: Official transcripts are required in order to receive academic and financial credit for previously completed coursework.
  • Physical projects: Our faculty is working to develop digital alternatives which can be submitted online for many programs and courses. You will receive specific details on these projects if and as alternatives are developed. We encourage you to contact your instructor prior to mailing in any projects for the time being.
  • Offline proctor exams: There may be a delay in mailing and grading offline proctor exams. Please use remote proctoring tools if possible.
  • Online proctor exams: Please use remote proctoring tools whenever possible. If your course uses proctor codes, we will continue to email proctor codes to your designated proctor. We understand it may be difficult for you to complete your online proctor exam if you are prevented from meeting in person. Proctor codes do not expire until the exam is started.

If you have additional or program specific questions, we encourage you to review your self-service tools and send us an email via your online Learning Center or Student Portal.

COVID-19 Testing Practices & Procedures Training

Attention healthcare students and professionals:

In partnership with Guild Education and Southern New Hampshire University, we’ve developed an easily-accessible, informative course for qualified healthcare volunteers and professionals. This COVID-19 Testing Practices and Procedures Training is free and can be completed online in just 30 minutes to help you to gain the broad understanding needed to safely administer these tests in the coming weeks.

Here’s what’s covered in this course:

  • Learn how COVID-19 spreads, how to recognize symptoms, and how to prioritize patients.
  • Understand the diagnostic kit contents, throat swab procedures, and proper specimen identification and storage.
  • Review how to keep yourself safe, standard precautions, and more.

We appreciate you taking the time to educate yourself on the COVID-19 virus, and hope this training contributes to your safety on the path ahead.

Learn More >

Externships

As developments related to the COVID-19 outbreak continue to unfold, we want to make you aware of this important information related to your externship. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

As you are aware, many businesses and local communities are putting in place policies to limit the number of people in shared spaces. These policies may impact the ability for you to complete (or begin) your externship at this time.

As of now, students will be able to place their externship on hold for 6 weeks at a time, as well as extend their semesters of study for as long as needed during this COVID-19 crisis. Please know that we are continuing to monitor this situation and will report on any changes. Our goal is to ensure that you complete your requirements. Also, know that we will be waiving fees if extensions are needed to complete your studies because your externship has been delayed.

What you should do now:

  • Stay in touch with your site supervisor/preceptor to make sure you are up to date on any changes to staffing for your site. Each site may have its own unique policy.
  • If you are currently in externship, notify your evaluator, coordinator, or program director of any difficulties or if you are not able to complete your externship related to COVID-19, they will assist in setting up the hold if required.
  • If you have not yet been approved to begin your externship but you’re worried about study time, reach out to us. We’re here to help.

Please click on your school below to find out how to contact us for more information.