Penn Foster College

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Penn Foster College
Penn Foster College (Logo).png
TypeFor-profit college
President Frank Britt
Location, ,
United States
Colors Blue, white

Penn Foster College is a private, for-profit online college with its headquarters in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1890, [1] as International Correspondence Schools and also formerly known as the Center For Degree Studies. [2] Penn Foster College offers bachelor's and associate degree programs as well as certificates. [3]

Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via post. Today it involves online education. Courses that are conducted are either hybrid, blended or 100% distance learning. Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education. A number of other terms are used roughly synonymously with distance education.

Scranton, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States of America

Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat and largest city of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley and hosts a federal court building for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. With a population of 77,291, it is the largest city in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 570,000.



In 1890, a newspaper editor named Thomas J. Foster founded the school to provide coal miners with the education they needed to advance in their careers and increase worker safety. At the turn of the century, the school was officially known as the International Correspondence Schools (ICS), and one out of every 27 adults in the US had taken an ICS course. In December 2009, Penn Foster college was purchased by test preparation and educational support company The Princeton Review from its previous owner, the Wicks Group, a private equity firm that had bought the school from Thomson Corporation in 2007. On May 18, 2012, the Princeton Review brand name and operations were bought for $33 million by Charlesbank Capital Partners, a private-equity firm. The parent company was renamed Education Holdings 1, Inc. [4] In 2013, Education Holdings 1 filed for bankruptcy; it exited two months later. [5] [6]

Charlesbank Capital Partners is a private equity investment firm focusing on management-led buyouts and growth capital financing of middle-market companies. The firm typically invests $50 million to $250 million of equity per transaction in companies with enterprise values of $150 million to $1.5 billion. Charlesbank's strategy emphasizes investing across a broad range of industries, transaction types and levels of the capital structure. With the addition of a credit strategy in 2016, the firm also engages in opportunistic or special situations credit investing.


Penn Foster College provides students with the opportunity to earn bachelor's degrees, Associate degrees, and undergraduate certificates through online courses and instruction. All Penn Foster programs are asynchronous, meaning they can be started at any time.

The college does not participate in any federal or state aid programs, claiming that its education is affordable. [7]


Penn Foster College is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission ( [8] DEAC). The DEAC Accrediting Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), formerly known as the National Home Study Council and then as the Distance Education and Training Council, is a non-profit national educational accreditation agency in the United States specializing in the accreditation of distance education programs of study and institutions.

Penn Foster College’s Veterinary Technician Associate Degree is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) through their Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

American Veterinary Medical Association organization

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), founded in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 91,000 U.S. veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services.


Penn Foster College is licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, authorizing Penn Foster College to award Associate of Science Degrees, Bachelor of Science Degrees, and Undergraduate Certificates.

A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years, or a person holding such a degree.

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  1. "Penn Foster Mission and History". Penn Foster. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  2. "About Penn Foster". Penn Foster. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  4. "Princeton Review to sell test prep business name". Associated Press. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  5. Penn Foster parent seeks bankruptcy protection
  6. Ex-Princeton Review Owner Wins OK For Ch. 11 Exit Plan