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Penn Foster High School Profile

Online High School Diploma Program

By K.C. Campbell

Penn Foster High School Basics:

Website: www.pennfosterhighschool.com
Phone: 800-275-4410
Address: 925 Oak Street
Scranton, PA 18515

Penn Foster High School Academics:

Penn Foster High School is an online school that offers both a full diploma program and individual courses for students in grades nine through 12. Because the emphasis is on basic academics, practical study and vocational development, the school is probably best suited to those students seeking a diploma to improve their job prospects rather than to prepare themselves for college.

There's not much room for customization, though: All students take the same courses, at the same level, in the same order. Toward the end of the diploma program students can choose five electives, which range from more traditional coursework such as art, music, chemistry and Spanish-language instruction to job-oriented courses like "Home Inspector," "Teacher Aide," "Auto Repair Technician" and "Electrician." Even the art elective is called "Artist," which suggests it may be more about job skills than creative exploration.

Exams can be taken online or by mail, and instructor support is available via e-mail or a telephone hotline. Students also have access to an online library for research purposes - including a librarian to answer questions via e-mail - as well as Penn Foster's Career Services department, which offers assistance with crafting a resume, preparing for a job interview and other job-search skills.

Penn Foster High School Accreditation:

Penn Foster is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools and the Distance Education and Training Council.

Penn Foster High School Degrees and Programs:

The curriculum for the high school diploma program consists of 16 standard classes and five electives, for a total of 21.5 credits. Students have up to three years to complete their work.

Students who need transfer credits can also enroll in individual courses, which must be completed within 15 weeks.

Penn Foster High School Admissions:

Penn Foster enrolls students on a year-round, rolling basis. There are no prerequisites for the high school program; students just have to be over 18 or have parental consent to enroll. The school will accept transfer credits earned at other high schools.

Because students are following individual courses of study, they can start as soon as their enrollment is completed - which means new students can begin downloading study materials as soon as they receive their login information.

Penn Foster High School Costs:

Penn Foster is one of the least-expensive online high schools. The full cost of the diploma program is $1,295, which includes tuition, fees, books and materials. Individual courses cost $219 each.

Interesting Fact:

Penn Foster Career School, the parent school of Penn Foster High, is one of the oldest distance-learning programs. Founder Thomas J. Foster started the school in 1890 to help coal miners learn new skills; after working a lengthy shift, the miners would return home to study and gain the engineering acumen they needed to advance within their field.

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