Penn Foster College is the brainchild of news editor Thomas Foster, who strove to elevate career skills, knowledge, and training for the working class in Scranton, Penn. Founded in 1890, Penn Foster College was formerly known as International Correspondence Schools (ICS); prolific thinkers such as Thomas Edison prepared course materials for the institution, and celebrities like William Shatner and Sally Struthers have served as official spokespeople. Since its inception, this educational institution has developed a strong support for women’s career advancement and educational opportunities for active military personnel, veterans, and their families. During the rise of computer technology that kicked off in the 1980s, Penn Foster made computer programming literacy and education a priority by offering affordable online courses. More than 10 million students had enrolled at the institution when it took the name Penn Foster College in 2006.
Penn Foster College primarily focuses on trade and industry-oriented curricula provided exclusively online. Penn Foster’s online degree programs include business management, graphic design, criminal justice, medical aid, childhood education, and industrial electronics. Associate and bachelor’s degree programs are available, along with undergraduate and specialized career certificates. Practicum opportunities and work-study roles offer students on-site experience in their chosen fields. The Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools licenses Penn Foster Career School and High School, while the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education licenses Penn Foster College online, and authorizes the school’s associate- and bachelor’s-level science degrees and undergraduate certificates. The 22 college degree programs at Penn Foster are nationally and regionally accredited by five accreditation-granting organizations. More than 25,000 students graduate from educational programs at Penn Foster on an annual basis.
Penn Foster students have access to digital community forums that allow professors, career advisors, and classmates to network and assist one another with course work. Online academic groups help students find peers with similar interests and specialties. Annual student ambassadors are chosen from fields like healthcare, veterinary care, and fashion design to work as leaders in their disciplines. Community profiles help foster student identity and groups, while social boards provide information about upcoming student orientations, campus pride events, career experiences, and industry resources. Penn Foster College partners with dozens of businesses to provide career services like job skill testing, employment listings, and industry expert support to current students and alumni.
Tuition assistance is also offered to students enrolling at Penn Foster College; customized payment plans, student budget timeframes, and pay-in-full discounts are some of the financial options available. Additionally, incoming students are able to transfer high school and other college credits toward their Penn Foster degree, reducing tuition costs and time spent in a particular program. Special seasonal offers are updated regularly on the Penn Foster College web portal. Military personnel, as well as their spouses and dependents, qualify for education funding through various assistance programs.
As students navigate through various universities and institutions in search of a suitable degree program, Penn Foster College places a high value on affordability, reasonable graduation timeframes, and preparation for the workforce. It is an ideal learning center for students who wish to receive hands-on training specific to their field.