Penn Foster High School Reaches More Than 45,000 Students, Becomes One of the Largest High Schools in America

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Penn Foster High School Reaches More Than 45,000 Students, Becomes One of the Largest High Schools in America

Milestone Highlights Growing Need for Online and “Blended” Learning Options for Traditional and Non-Traditional Students

Scranton, Pennsylvania (July 16, 2014) - Penn Foster, a leader in career-focused online and hybrid education with a commitment to addressing the middle-skills gap in America, today announced it has become one of the largest private high schools in the country with more than 45,000 students. Penn Foster High School provides students with an accredited high school diploma through its online delivery platform, as well as through hybrid or “blended” learning programs in partnership with school districts, career colleges and post-secondary institutions, at-risk youth organizations and non-profits, and corporations, allowing students to combine in-class, hands-on instruction with online learning.

Together with the school’s growing enrollment—up 35 percent over the first half of 2013—comes an increase in graduates, with 1,658 students graduating in the month of June alone. That brings Penn Foster High School to 9,468 graduates for the first half of 2014—up 47 percent over 2013.

Regionally and nationally accredited and licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools, Penn Foster High School’s growing enrollment points to a growing trend in America: the rising need for new, 21st century learning models for both traditional and non-traditional students ranging in age from 13 to 70.

Penn Foster’s online-based curriculum is especially well tailored to serve the unmet needs of students that do not fit the traditional student profile but who can thrive in a more personalized learning environment that is flexible, independent and customizable to individual needs. This important segment of students includes learners above the typical age limit set by school districts, students who cannot attend class during the typical school day, or those who seek alternative education options due to personal reasons of culture, geography or health factors.

“Penn Foster has become an education sector leader in crafting innovative solutions to keep students on track—and our enrollment and graduation numbers support our leadership”, said Frank Britt, chief executive officer of Penn Foster. “Our goal is to create confident learners who are able to develop the needed skills, competencies and habits of the mind, through a curriculum delivered with a combination of self-paced pedagogy and teachers as learning coaches. Because of this, students who never thought they could earn a diploma are graduating and launching careers or moving on to post-secondary education.”

Penn Foster High School’s fastest-growing segments of its student population include:

“Students’ lifestyles and learning styles have shifted dramatically in the last few decades, and the boom in online education and other non-traditional education methods are a direct result of these changes,” said Ray McNulty, chairman of Penn Foster High School’s Advisory Board.  “Not only has technology changed the learning dynamic, it’s now an important factor in how content and instruction is delivered. Instead of just embedding technology in the current system, we at Penn Foster use technology as the foundation for the new system. Our online student community—a virtual campus, if you will—is a great example of how technology is shaping the learning experience. We know that connecting to peers, to the school and to each other is key for students’ success, and we support that through the community.”

¹ http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009030.pdf


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