Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Certificate (STARC)

Penn Foster has partnered with GM-UAW as the exclusive online provider of the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Certificate (STARC) to provide you with enhanced flexibility for your training. This program will help you build the foundational skills you need to become eligible for the GM-UAW Apprentice Program and become a Journeyperson in your trade of choice. If you are retaking any of the courses or paying out of pocket for the program, click here.

Please note: To be eligible for consideration as an apprentice at General Motors, you must complete all steps in the GM Apprenticeship application process and receive a confirmation message to be considered. The STARC certificate is only one step in this application process. Stay tuned to this site for available application dates to complete the process.

Skills-Focused

Programs focused on teaching you the skills you need to become eligible to apply for an apprenticeship.

Flexible

Scheduling hassles eliminated by allowing you to avoid offsite travel to local schools or classrooms.

Learn Anywhere 24/7

Online, mobile-friendly learning portal provides you with 24/7 access for learning when and where you want.

Academic Support

Comprehensive academic and motivational support provided via phone, email, and chat from Penn Foster to ensure your success.

Getting Started

Apply for TAP Voucher

Visit the Tuition Assistance Plan (TAP) page for instructions on how to apply for your voucher. For specific instructions, see the FAQs at the bottom of this page.

Sign Your TAP Voucher

Once your voucher has been approved, print it and sign it. Once you've signed it, take a high-quality photo of it and save it to your computer. You will need to submit it when you enroll.

Enroll in Penn Foster

Fill out the Penn Foster enrollment form, and upload a photo of your signed voucher to this form. After your application has been approved, you will receive an email with instructions to get started.

Important Dates

Semester start dates will be the first Monday of each month.

To see your start date options, click here.

Now accepting enrollments for next cohort:
Semester 1
MAY 3rd, 2021 – AUGUST 23rd, 2021
Semester 2
MAY 3rd, 2021 – OCTOBER 18th, 2021

Getting Started

How do I apply for my Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) voucher with GM-UAW?

Please apply for your voucher through your EdAssist link. If you have questions on this process, please reach out to your TAP Advisor as soon as possible to get started.

When can I apply/register/enroll?

You can apply for STARC beginning on March 26th. Once approved, you will begin your program on the first Monday of the following month.

What are the semester start and end dates?

SEMESTER 1
Start Date End Date
9/7/2020 12/28/2020
10/5/2020 1/25/2021
11/2/2020 2/22/2021
12/7/2020 3/29/2021
1/4/2021 4/26/2021
2/1/2021 5/24/2021
3/1/2021 6/21/2021
4/5/2021 7/26/2021
5/3/2021 8/23/2021
6/7/2021 9/27/2021
7/5/2021 10/25/2021
8/2/2021 11/22/2021
9/6/2021 12/27/2021
10/4/2021 1/24/2022
11/1/2021 2/21/2022
12/6/2021 3/28/2022
SEMESTER 2
Start Date End Date
7/6/2020 12/21/2020
8/3/2020 1/18/2021
9/7/2020 2/22/2021
10/5/2020 3/22/2021
11/2/2020 4/19/2021
12/7/2020 5/24/2021
1/4/2021 6/21/2021
2/1/2021 7/19/2021
3/1/2021 8/16/2021
4/5/2021 9/20/2021
5/3/2021 10/18/2021
6/7/2021 11/22/2021
7/5/2021 12/20/2021
8/2/2021 1/17/2022
9/6/2021 2/21/2022
10/4/2021 3/21/2022
11/1/2021 4/18/2022
12/6/2021 5/23/2022

What if I finish before the semester end date?

Students who finish their current semester before the end date can apply for a TAP voucher and can enroll in their next semester.

How does the payment process work?

GM TAP will reimburse Penn Foster for any semester enrollments not cancelled within 30 days. You are responsible to provide your transcripts to EdAssist within 60 days of semester completion to retain these benefits.

What if I need to drop/cancel the program?

If you need to drop or cancel, you must email [email protected] with your cancellation request within 30 days of the semester or course start date. Please include your student ID in the message, along will the full name that matches your enrollment.

What is the benefit of taking these courses?

Upon successful completion of all four courses in the STARC program, you can apply for entry to the GM-UAW Skilled Trades Apprenticeship program eligibility lists. To be eligible for consideration as an apprentice at General Motors, you must complete all steps in the GM Apprenticeship application process and receive a confirmation message to be considered. The STARC certificate is only one step in this application process. Stay tuned to this site for available application dates to complete the process.

What is included in each course?

Each course contains several modules, with information broken down into smaller, more manageable sections. Students must test at least once on each module exam, as well as the proctored final exam. All tests, including the module exams, will be part of your final grade. And remember, the proctored final exam can be done remotely as well.

Is there a specific time to take exams?

Module Exams can be taken at any time; however, proctored Final Exams will not open for testing until all Module Exams for the course have been taken. Semester 1 allows you 16 weeks to complete all exams and Semester 2 allows you 24 weeks to complete all exams.

How do I take my remote proctored final exam?

You’ll need a webcam, a microphone, and a high-speed internet connection to use Remote Proctor Now (RPNow). As such, it cannot be taken at a library or any public location. Use of any support material is prohibited. If the proctor review determines that support materials were used while taking an exam, a failing grade will be assigned to the test. If you do not pass the proctored exam and wish to continue in the program, you must re-take the course at their expense.

What additional materials am I allowed during proctored exams?

• Blank paper and pens/pencils are allowed.
• Any non-graphing calculator can be used during the exam, excluding calculators on a phone or computer. A basic scientific calculator like the TI 30 series is suggested.
• The help sheet provided at the start of the exam – you may print this out if you wish to have a hard copy.

Are proctored exams open book?

Proctored exams for STARC 1, 2, and 3 are closed book. The proctored exam for STARC 4 is open book.

What is a passing grade to be eligible for apprenticeship?

You must earn at least a 75% average score to be eligible to apply for the apprenticeship program (80% for NAETC, Milford, Pontiac PPO and Warren Tech Center). If you do not meet the passing threshold for your location, but score above a 65%, you may still submit your transcript to TAP in order to retain your education benefits.

How much of my final grade do exams count for?

This chart shows how lesson exams and final exams are weighted in each course:
Course # Lesson Exams Lesson Exam Weight (each) Final Proctored Exam Weight
STARC 1 6 5% 70%
STARC 2 4 5% 80%
STARC 3 5 5% 75%
STARC 4 5 0.2% 99%

What if I fail an exam — can I retake it?

If you fail an exam, you have the ability to retake it once. In that case, the higher of the two attempts will count towards the final grade. The final remote proctor exam cannot be retaken. Only one attempt is allowed.

Can I request an extension?

You may only request an extension in the following circumstances:

• You have experienced a verifiable technical error within your student account that prevented you from completing your coursework.
• You have a verifiable extreme personal situation that has halted your ability to continue coursework (i.e. extended in-patient hospitalization, death of an immediate family member, loss of home, etc.).

If your request falls into one of these categories, you may submit a request for extension with documented proof of the circumstances to our Support Team [email protected]. If there is no documentation submitted, your request will be denied. Each request will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If your request does not fall into one of the above categories, you may not request an extension.

Will I still be invoiced for the algebra course if I transfer credits?

If you have transfer credits you wish to apply to the algebra course, you will need to submit your transcript for transfer credit within the first 21 days of enrollment in order to avoid an invoice.

What do I get when I complete the program?

When you successfully complete the program, you will be mailed a Certificate of Completion. All learners will also receive an emailed transcript that can be submitted to EdAssist.

How do I request an ADA form?

To request an ADA form, please email us at [email protected] and use the subject line "ADA Form Request."

What technology is required to complete the coursework in this program?

You will need a webcam, microphone, and high speed internet connection to complete the remote proctored exams. If your computer does not meet these requirements, you'll want to make arrangements to take the exam at a GM training facility, borrow equipment from a friend, colleague, or family member, or purchase this equipment at your own expense.