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A guide to Penn Foster College

Penn Foster College is a for-profit distance learning institution, based in Arizona, which offers higher education to Americans via distance learning. Aimed at adult learners, the service aims to help people who are working acquire the educational skills they want much more conveniently than attending a college or university full-time.

History and location

Origins Established in 1890, by a Pennsylvania-based newspaper editor named Thomas J.Foster, the Penn Foster College prides itself on allowing ambitious people to improve their education. He developed the distance learning method as a way of helping Pennsylvania miners acquiring the qualifications which would help them earn promotion.
Developments in the college More than a quarter of a million students enrolled at the college in the first decade, making it a great success. Originally formed as International Correspondence Schools, it became a college in 1977, known as the Center for Degree Studies. It acquired its present name in 2006, when it moved its base of operations from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Scottsdale, Arizona. The college is now owned by test preparation and educational support company The Princeton Review. Around 13 million people choose to study with the college.

Learning and lifestyle

Accreditation and prestige The college receives its national accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Penn Foster College is licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Post-secondary Education. This grants it the right to grant Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science Degrees. The college's national accreditation may mean that other institutions with regional accreditation may not transfer credits.
Courses available on the website Full information about the range of courses and the programmes of study offered is available from the college's official website, and potential students can also request to have an information pack sent to them by mail. Applicants can also discuss their options with the college over the telephone.
Degrees offered Penn Foster offers Bachelor's degrees in Criminal Justice and Business Management, while Associate degrees are offered in a host of subjects, ranging from Veterinary Technician and Paralegal courses to Electronics and Finance. A range of undergraduate certificates are also offered, as are individual courses in Technology, Education and Business. Penn Foster offers High School level opportunities, with students being able to study for their diploma at their own pace and in their own home.

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