Penn Foster College is part of a system of online schools owned by Penn Foster, Inc. In addition to the college, Penn Foster also operates an online career school and an online high school. Founded in 1890 as a correspondence school, Penn Foster was known as the International Correspondence Schools (ICS) until 2006. At that time, the school changed its name and its format, moving to an online based education rather than correspondence courses. Depending on their course of study, Penn Foster College awards students associate and bachelor's degrees upon completion. Professional certificates are also available for some concentrations.
Penn Foster College is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
Penn Foster's online faculty consists of professionals with practical industry experience. Instructors provide support and encouragement to their students and are dedicated to helping them successfully complete their programs and earn their degrees. The school's stated mission is to provide students with the skills, knowledge and credentials that will enable them to enhance their lives and achieve their professional goals.
All coursework at Penn Foster College is completed online. The school offers an "open enrollment policy," which means that classes are available to start at any time. All learning is self-paced, allowing students to move through their course material as quickly as they wish. Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools help students stay organized and on-track with their course work. At the end of each lesson, students will take an exam to ensure that they have mastered the material that was covered before moving forward. On-demand tutors are available. Students are able to interact with other students and faculty through the online community portal. Penn Foster has teamed with Career Cruising to offer career services to its students and alumni.