Table of Contents
A Message from the Chief Academic Officer ....................2
Dear Future Penn Foster Graduate,
Congratulations on your decision to pursue a Career Diploma from
Penn Foster. You have taken an important first step toward success,
and I am proud to welcome you to our student body.
This Student Handbook features general information about your Penn
Getting Started is Easy ......................................................3 Foster experience, from how to contact us to details on achieving your
goal of a Career Diploma. Information about how to get started begins
Contacting Penn Foster .....................................................5 on page 3.
The Penn Foster Career School administrative office is located
Academic Policies .............................................................7
in Scranton, Pennsylvania. If you have any concerns or questions, feel
free to contact us via our website www.PennFoster.edu or call us,
Frequently Asked Questions.............................................11 anytime. We’re here to help you make the most of your distance
Study Tips and Taking Your Exams ..................................12
I wish you the best of luck with your studies, and look forward to
awarding you your Career Diploma!
Submitting Your Exams.....................................................12
Exam Results ....................................................................12
On the Road to Success ..................................................14 Connie C. Dempsey
Chief Academic Officer
Here’s All You Have to Do…
Getting Started is Easy! Just follow the four simple steps
below and you will be on your way!
Mission Statement You’ve already taken the most important
step toward success — making the
decision to enroll. Now you are ready 1. Find your Student ID Card. It’s part
Penn Foster Career School is one of the of the shipping label on the package
to begin your Penn Foster program.
oldest and largest distance learning these learning materials arrived in.
institutions in the world. The school Getting started takes only a few minutes. You’ll find your student number on
provides programs and services that are First, let’s look at what you’ve received in your ID card, which you need to
designed to meet the lifelong learning this first package: have available whenever you contact
needs of the adult learner. Programs of • Your Student Handbook — Special
study lead to career-specific diplomas. information on the Penn Foster 2. Find your Program Outline. Your
experience. Program Outline lists all of your
The mission of Penn Foster is to lessons and the order in which you
• Program Outline — The information should study them. Look on your
empower adult learners to advance or you will learn in your program and the Program Outline to determine which
change their careers, learn a new skill, order in which you will learn it. of your lesson books is Study Unit 1.
or gain personal satisfaction. The
school strives to fulfill this mission by • Your First Set of Lesson Materials — 3. Read Study Unit 1 thoroughly.
All you need to get started. Make sure to use the self-tests in
providing breadth and depth of
courseware, applicable technology, your lessons to help you prepare
• A Special Offer for You — Earn
for your first “open-book” exam. If
and a wide array of flexible services $50.00 cash for every student you
you have any questions about your
aimed at the needs of the adult learner. recommend to us! (See the enclosed
lessons, call or e-mail your instructors
Programs teach current marketplace brochure for details.)
or visit www.PennFoster.edu, your
skills which prepare for a wide variety • Your Test Materials Envelope — resource for answers to any question
of entry-level vocational positions. The Details on submitting your exams. you might have.
mission is supported by an admissions 4. You’ll find your first exam at the
If you have not chosen our convenient,
policy that allows students with automatic payment method, your coupon end of Study Unit 1. When you feel
appropriate prior education to enroll in book will be mailed separately. you’re prepared, open the envelope
programs without regard to race, marked “Test Materials,” and follow
religion, gender, age, color, national Also, if you need to contact us in the instructions for submitting
regard to this package, please go to the exam on the Web at
origin, or physical disability.
www.PennFoster.edu or call Penn Foster www.PennFoster.edu, over
at 1-888-427-1000. Otherwise, it’s time to the phone, or through the mail.
The school assesses fulfillment of its move on — read the next page and you’re
mission and achievement of institutional ready to begin. That’s all there is to it. The rest of this
effectiveness through ongoing studies book contains useful information on
of student learning, measurement of contacting Penn Foster, taking exams,
and answers to other questions you
student satisfaction, and evaluation of the
might have. You should review the
career outcomes of graduates. information to gain the most from
your Penn Foster experience.
Contacting Penn Foster Penn Foster
On the Web
At Penn Foster, your success is The Penn Foster World Wide Web Page
important to us. That’s why we’ve features information on the school and
made it easy for you to find answers details on every program we offer, as well
and solutions when you have as links to other educational resources.
questions or problems. From our website, you can view your
student record, take exams, e-mail your
• On the Web — Visit instructor, and more. If you have a
www.PennFoster.edu for easy computer, a modem, and Internet access,
access to your student records, visit our site at www.PennFoster.edu.
exams, assistance, and more. Take
advantage of the comprehensive
Questions and Answers section,
compiled from years of student
service excellence. The Penn Get your education quickly and
Foster student website is your conveniently with online learning.
one-stop solution to any questions
you might have. (See page 6
www.PennFoster.edu — your home for 24-hour-a-day
• Over the Phone — If you student services. With a few clicks of your mouse, you
don’t have access to the Internet,
are in control of your education! Be sure to visit the
you can contact our 24-hour,
toll-free Student Support Lines
enhanced Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section for
at 1-888-427-1000. Our staff of helpful information.
instructors and Student Services
Access program material, grade and shipment records,
representatives are available to
answer questions about your
and account information, all online. Download study
program from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., guides and still get hard copies by mail to keep as
Eastern time, Monday through references. Make payments the easy way or quickly
Friday. After that time, and on access tuition information.
weekends and holidays, you can
leave a message and your call will Support from your instructors, and from Student Services,
be returned the next business day. is available via e-mail at your convenience.
Exams can be taken and submitted online, with instant
test results and feedback. Avoid postage costs and
waiting for “snail mail.”
a) Up to and including completion of the the work yourself. Any act of plagiarism
first 10% of the program assignments will not be tolerated from students at Penn
Academic Policies — 10% of the tuition. Foster. Students who submit plagiarized
work will be disciplined. Possible measures
b) Beyond 10% and up to and including may include expulsion. The best way to
Institutional Goals Units (CEUs) for the Penn Foster Career
School programs you’ve completed. CEUs
25% of the program assignments — avoid plagiarism is to do your own work.
25% of the tuition.
Provide instruction that enables adult serve as a nationally recognized unit of Online Behavior
learners to achieve their educational goals measure for continuing education and c) Beyond 25% and up to and including Penn Foster Career School expects
and acquire core competencies. training. 50% of the program assignments — students to behave properly and use good
50% of the tuition. judgment when communicating online
Employ sound pedagogy based on academic All Penn Foster Career School programs are with the school. Illegal or improper use of
standards of good practice. affiliated with DANTES, which qualifies U.S. the Web within the school’s environment
d) Beyond 50% of the program
military personnel for tuition reimbursement. will not be permitted and may result in
Maintain systems that maximize the Many Penn Foster Career School programs assignments — full tuition cost
opportunities for broadly participative of the program. disciplinary action.
are approved for U.S. Armed Forces veterans
interactive learning. training benefits. Reservists may also qualify Disciplinary Action
Establish and communicate high standards
for veterans training benefits. Check your Academic Integrity Any inappropriate behavior can result in
local or regional VA office for eligibility several forms of disciplinary action. This
of academic excellence for students and the requirements. Expectation
institution. would include anything from awarding a
All Penn Foster Career School students are “0” grade on an exam to termination.
expected to conduct themselves with the
Assess student learning and institutional Cancellation Policy highest academic and ethical standards.
Faculty members will report inappropriate
behavior by students; this will be
effectiveness systematically in order to
improve the quality of student learning. Students can request cancellation in Failure to do so will result in disciplinary forwarded to the Academic Standards
any manner, but a written request is action. Committee for action and a final decision.
Provide an extensive suite of quality student recommended. Tuition refunds will be
support services. Cheating
based on the date of cancellation and the Cheating can be defined as any Student Grievances
amount of assignments completed, as inappropriate collaborative activity in
Conduct fiscally responsible planning that follows:
balances continuing academic institutional which the work submitted to the school Student Grievance Policy
excellence within an effective financial does not represent the work of the Most student complaints can be handled at
1. Cancellation within seven days after first point of contact with the school. Student
structure. enrolled student. This would include
midnight of the day of signing the Student complaints are addressed using the policies
submission of someone else’s work,
Enrollment Agreement (the “Cancellation submission of answers obtained through and provisions of the enrollment agreement,
Accreditation Period”): all monies paid to Penn Foster inappropriate measures, or providing student handbook, and academic
Career School will be refunded. answers to another student. If cheating is requirements of the school. Students who
and Licensure suspected, the student will be notified and have a complaint should contact their
2. After the Cancellation Period but before instructor regarding academic issues or a
Penn Foster Career School is accredited by required to respond in writing to the
submitting any assignments to Penn Foster charges made. The response will go before student service supervisor regarding servicing
the Middle States Commission on Secondary
Career School for correction: a registration the Academic Standards Committee for a issues. The instructor or student service
Schools for its high school and vocational-
technical programs. Penn Foster Career fee of 15% of the total program tuition decision on the student’s enrollment. supervisor will provide a verbal or written
School is also accredited by the Accrediting will be charged. The first $85 we receive Disciplinary action can be applied up to response depending on the student’s
Commission of the Distance Education and from you in student payments will be and including termination of the student’s preferred choice of communication. If the
Training Council (DETC), which is listed by applied toward your non-refundable enrollment. Any inappropriate behavior on student believes that the complaint has not
the United States Department of Education as credit application fee, technology fee, and the part of a student will result in an been properly handled at that point, the
a nationally recognized accrediting agency. shipping & handling charge. invalid exam, which must be repeated student should use the following procedure
Penn Foster Career School is licensed by the as a make-up test. to register a grievance.
Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed 3. After the Cancellation Period (or, if you
Plagiarism Steps in Grievance Procedure:
Schools. Penn Foster Career School has been are using the GI Bill, after the 10-day
Plagiarism is another form of unethical 1. The student should contact the
reviewed and approved as an Authorized affirmation period) and after submitting at
behavior. Plagiarism is dishonestly using Department Chairman for academic
Provider of continuing education and training least one assignment to Penn Foster for
programs by the International Association for another person’s ideas or finished work as issues or the Student Services Manager
correction: financial obligation will be a
Continuing Education and Training. This your own without giving credit for the either by phone or in writing expressing
registration fee, the Technology fee, and
means you can earn Continuing Education source. It includes copying or paraphrasing his/her concern within 30 days of
part of the program tuition as follows: something and using it as if you had done receiving a response to the original
complaint. The Department Chairman or Extensions Accommodating succeed at a job interview and how to
Student Services Manager will respond follow-up after the interview, and
either by phone or in writing within two Depending on the program, students are Students with information on negotiating and
weeks of receiving the complaint. given a certain amount of time to complete Disabilities understanding compensation levels and
all the lesson assignments. Students may offers. There are many job listings
2. If the student feels that the issue is still request a six-month paid extension. Penn Foster Career School believes in categorized by subject also shown in the
unresolved, he/she has 30 days to express Students who do not complete the program opportunity for everyone. Therefore, the Career Center.
continued concerns either by phone or in within the required time may need to re- school strives to meet the needs of all
writing to the Chief Academic Officer or enroll in the program that is current at that
time. Previous work would be evaluated
students by providing instructional support
and student services which will enable
Senior Student Services Manager. A
response will be sent to the student against the current curriculum to determine them to reach their maximum potential. Penn Foster Career School operates 12
within two weeks. which courses or lessons could be The school does not discriminate on the months of the year. The Student Service
transferred into the new enrollment. basis of race, color, gender, religion, Center is available Monday through Friday
3. If the student still believes the grievance national origin, age, or physical disability. from 8:00 a.m. E.T. to 7:00 p.m E.T. The
is unresolved, he/she may complete the Online Library The school will offer a reasonable instructors are available Monday through
school’s grievance form within 30 days accommodation for any qualified student Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
from receiving the response from the Students at Penn Foster Career School will with known disabilities provided the
have access to an online library for use accommodation does not pose an undue The school is closed for ten holidays
Chief Academic Officer or Senior Student during the year. The holidays usually
Services Manager. This form can be during their studies with the school. Students hardship on the school or does not force
can use this library to do the required the school to fundamentally alter the include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther
obtained by contacting student services. King Jr.’s Birthday, Presidents Day,
research in the courses they complete or can educational course, compromise its
The form can be e-mailed, faxed, or academic standards, or place the disabled Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor
use it for general reference and links to
mailed to the student. individual in a better than equal position Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas
valuable resources. The library contains
helpful research assistance, articles, with nondisabled students. Students who Day. The other days may vary. The
4. All grievance forms will be returned to school’s phones will have a “closed”
databases, books, Web links, and e-mail need special accommodations should write
the Chief Academic Officer, who will turn message on these holidays.
access to a librarian. Students can access the a letter to the Chief Academic Officer
them over to the Dispute Resolution indicating the nature of the special needs.
library from their home page.
Committee. The Dispute Resolution The student must also provide documented
Committee will meet and render a evidence of the disability.
decision within two weeks of receipt of Librarian
the grievance form. The decision of the
Committee will be final and will be sent
A librarian is available to answer questions Military Benefits
on general research-related topics via
to the student in writing. e-mail and assist students in research Penn Foster participates in both the VA
activities during their studies with Penn and DANTES programs for the U.S. Military.
5. All grievance forms and final decision Tuition benefits are available under each of
Foster Career School.
notifications will be filed in the office these programs to qualified service
of the Chief Academic Officer. personnel. Students are encouraged to
Family Educational contact their Education Service Officers for
6. If the complaint cannot be resolved after
exhausting the institution’s grievance
Rights and Privacy details on these reimbursement policies.
The Education Direct Veterans
procedure, the student may file a Act (FERPA) Representative is also available to assist
complaint with the Pennsylvania State Penn Foster Career School respects the right with administrative processing of the
Board of Private Licensed Schools. to privacy for all of its students. To that end, benefits requests.
Grade Appeal complies with the Family Educational Rights Career Assistance
and Privacy Act (FERPA). No information
Students who wish to dispute a grade or regarding an individual student record is The Career Center, which is located in the
an answer to a question should contact released to anyone other than the student library, offers many resources to help with
their instructor. Only an instructor has the until a signed release form from that student career planning and job search efforts. In
authority to change a grade. If the student has been received. Signed release forms are addition to the resources for researching
is not happy with the grade appeal results, transferred to a laser optical scanner for companies and businesses, there are guides
he/she should follow the “Student permanent storage and reference. Release for career planning, instructions for writing
Grievance” procedure listed in this catalog. forms can be obtained from the Student a winning resume, tips and advice to
Frequently Asked Questions Study Tips & Taking Your Exams
Q. Where can I find my student number? * Students enrolled in the Court Reporter and Each of your study units features an exam, exams can be sent online if applicable
A. The number is on your Student ID Card Telecommunications Programs are allowed which you complete and submit to Penn or mailed to the Student Services Center.
(see page 4 for information on your ID three years to complete their program.
Foster for grading. Study units also feature You will receive instructions on mailing
Card). Your student number will also be Q. Are there any additional fees? helpful self-tests you can use to determine subjective exams in your course materials.
on the shipping labels of your future A. The following fees are charged, if how well you understand the new concepts
lesson shipments. applicable: additional six-month you have learned. Remember that future Exam Results:
Q. How often do I get my lesson extension fee of $75.00; technology fee lesson shipments are sent when you submit Regardless of whether you take a test
shipments? of $35.00; change of program fee of exams, so avoid delays in your training by online, use Tel-Test, or Exam Express, you
A. Your lessons are mailed to you as soon $50.00; shipping and handling fee of submitting them promptly. must go to www.PennFoster.edu to get
as you complete certain exams. That’s $25.00; credit application fee of $25.00. your evaluations. This will tell you which
why it’s important to submit your exams Q. What is your cancellation policy? Suggestions for More Effective Studying: answers (if any) were incorrect and, in
for grading as soon as possible, so there A. The cancellation policy is provided in • Set up a special place in your home to most cases, provide you with the page
is no delay in receiving your materials. detail on page 7 and on the Enrollment do your studying, and keep all your numbers on which the correct answers
Agreement you signed. A copy of your materials there, within easy reach. can be found. If you have a question or
Q. How do I submit exams? • Schedule your study time. Make sure problem with your exam evaluation,
A. The preferred method is via the website Enrollment Agreement will be returned
to you after your application is it doesn’t conflict with other important contact Penn Foster immediately.
www.PennFoster.edu. If you don’t have activities.
access to the Internet, you could use approved.
• Frequent, brief study sessions are You are given two chances to pass each
Tel-Test or Exam Express (see page 12 Q. Can I earn credit for previous exam. If your score on your first attempt
for more information). coursework completed? more effective than long, “cramming”
marathons. is below passing, review the material again
Q. What if I change my address? A. In most programs, Penn Foster does and use your exam evaluation to help find
not evaluate life-work experience or • Make sure to do all the self-test
A. The easiest way to change your address exercises in the study unit. the correct answers you missed. Then
is to log on to www.PennFoster.edu. previous work taken at another school simply submit the ENTIRE exam again, via
Click “Update My Profile” (at the bottom for transfer credit into a vocational Tips on Completing Your Exams: online, Tel-Test, or Exam Express (Note:
of your “Personal Homepage”). Make the program. • When it comes time to take your exam, Makeup exams are graded on a pass/fail
necessary changes and submit. Q. Is Penn Foster Career School make sure you follow the directions basis, and the highest grade you can attain
Q. How do I make payments? accredited? carefully. If you don’t understand what is 70%.) You must wait at least five days to
A. If mailing in your payment, please submit A. Yes. Penn Foster Career School is you are supposed to do, don’t hesitate take a retest.
payment along with the appropriate accredited by the Middle States to contact Penn Foster and ask for help.
coupon from your payment book to: Commission on Secondary Schools for • Be sure you understand the questions. Expectation:
Penn Foster Career School its high school and vocational-technical • Answer every question and complete All Penn Foster students are expected
925 Oak Street programs. Penn Foster Career School is every item on the exam. Write the to conduct themselves with the highest
Scranton, PA 18515-0001 also accredited by the Accrediting answers on the examination pages academic and ethical standards. Failure to do
Commission of the Distance Education in your lesson booklet. so will result in disciplinary action. Students
Please be sure to include your student and Training Council (DETC), which is who do not achieve passing grades may be
number on all payment materials. Allow • Review your answers thoroughly
listed by the United States Department before submitting them to the school. subject to academic probation or dismissal.
one week for your account to be updated. of Education as a nationally recognized
Q. How long will it take me to complete accrediting agency. Penn Foster Career Submitting Your Exams: The Penn Foster Grading System:
my program and receive my Career School is licensed by the Pennsylvania Students can submit exams online at the Each of the exams you submit will be
Diploma? State Board of Private Licensed Schools. school’s website by selecting the “Take graded on the following scale:
A. Completion times vary, depending on Penn Foster Career School has been an Exam” option. It is the easiest, fastest Lesson Grade Letter
the program in which you are enrolled. reviewed and approved as an option to take your exams. Plus, you’ll get (Percentage) Equivalent Rating
Many Penn Foster programs can be Authorized Provider of continuing your grades instantly. Special instructions
completed in a year or less.* (If it seems education and training programs by the are available for any essay exams that must 92-100 A Excellent
you will need to take longer than the International Association for Continuing be submitted. Students who don’t have
time allotted to complete your program, 81-91 B Good
Education and Training. This means you online access can take exams via Tel-Test
you may contact Penn Foster and request can earn Continuing Education Units or Exam Express. With Tel-Test, students 75-80 C Average
an extension.) (CEUs) for the Penn Foster Career take exams with a touch-tone phone and 70-74 D Passing
Your Enrollment Agreement specified School programs you’ve completed. get the results within minutes. Students can Below 70 F Failing
the completion time for your program. CEUs serve as a nationally recognized also submit exams by mail using Exam
unit of measure for continuing education Express — it takes 10 to 14 days to see An overall program average of 70%, or above, is
and training. your results on our website. Subjective required to graduate and earn your Career Diploma.
Graduation On thenRoad to Success
O the Road to Success
When you have successfully You have started on a journey toward a
completed your program and your better future — a future that brings more
account is paid in full, you will money, security, and greater career
achieve your goal — a Career satisfaction. All of us at Penn Foster Career
Diploma. To be awarded your School will do everything we can to make
diploma, you must have: that journey a rewarding one. But there
may be times when you find it hard
• Successfully completed all exams. going…maybe your job or family is
demanding more of your time, or
• Achieved an overall average of
completing your program seems too far
70% or above.
out of reach. If you start to feel that way,
• Met all your financial obligations. just remember these important facts:
Penn Foster can also provide you • A good way to stay motivated is to
with a laminated or plaqued Career remember why you enrolled. You have
Diploma, at your request. Just a dream of building a better life for
complete the order form you’ll yourself, and you have already shown
receive in your last lesson shipment, you have the dedication to make that
and return it to Penn Foster with dream come true. Don’t let anything
the required payment before you stop you from achieving your goals.
complete your final lesson.
• Anytime you have a problem with
Transcripts something in your lessons or a question
Along with your Career Diploma, about your Penn Foster experience,
you will receive a copy of your contact the school. Every student is
Upon the recommendation of the Faculty
Official Transcript. If you desire important to us — and we want to see
is hereby awarded a
additional copies, they are available you achieve success. You can always
for the completion of the program
at a cost of $10.00 each. Contact turn to your instructor or our helpful
In testimony whereof, the undersigned have subscribed their names and
affixed the seal of the institution this our Student Services Department to Student Service staff for help.
15th Day of September 2005
submit your request. On the Web,
• Stick to your study schedule as much
you can use the “Contact Us —
1890 Daniel Conrad Connie C. Dempsey
R President Chief Academic Officer
as you can — but it’s okay to give
Student Services” feature to submit
yourself a day off now and then, too.
your request. Be sure to include the
Holidays, special occasions, or just a
name and address of the employer
day to “recharge your batteries”…but
or school you want the transcript
don’t take too many, because you want
sent to. You can also make your fee
to keep moving toward graduation.
payment on line by going to “Make
Other Payments.” (You must be • Most of all, take pride in what you
current in your payments to receive are accomplishing. So many people
this service.) never try to make their dreams come
true — just by enrolling, you have Good luck
shown you are someone who sets
goals and works to achieve them. from all of us
You have much to be proud of.
at Penn Foster.