Webinar Essay Penn Foster

Q. Is Penn Foster accredited?

A. Penn Foster High School is regionally accredited for grades 9 through adult by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (CSS-MSA) and nationally accredited by the AdvancEd Accreditation Commission and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited for non-degree granting postsecondary programs by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 215-662-5603, www.msa-cess.org. In addition, Penn Foster Career School is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Penn Foster has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Penn Foster College is nationally accredited for our college programs by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits.

Semester 1

Basic Skills Assessment

All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

Business Orientation (1 credit)

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn how to effectively manage your time, talents, and resources in your personal life, academics, and in your career.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Examine your individual life goals and the steps needed to fulfill them.
  • Recognize how your personal financial goals mirror that of most businesses.
  • Use time management skills to make the most of your day.
  • Determine personal financial goals.
  • Set up a typical budget.
  • Explain why creative thinking, research, planning, gathering resources, and production and marketing are vital for the start-up and maintenance of a business.

Information Literacy (1 credit)

Get better at finding and using information!


  • Search the Internet more effectively.
  • Get tips about search engines and reliable websites.
  • Learn how to search libraries and other information centers for important, useful information.

Introduction to Business (3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce you to basic business concepts, theories, and perspectives. It will serve as a basis for further learning in your program.


  • Understand the principles of business ethics and basic economics.
  • Compare the different types of business ownership.
  • Describe the basics of organizational structure.
  • Identify the differences between management and leadership.
  • Understand the importance of information technology in today’s business environments.

Principles of Management (3 credits)

This course will review the functions of management and its role in planning, leading, organizing, motivating, and controlling.


  • Define and correctly use business terms.
  • Explain the importance of communication.
  • Identify the steps of managerial decision making.
  • Explain the relevance of the basic skills required by managers.
  • Describe major components of various management perspectives.
  • Discuss the ever-increasing employee diversity and the management activities required for the changing workforce.

Music Appreciation (3 credits)

In this course, you'll understand how to appreciate music by learning about the roles of the composer and the listener, the principles of music theory and instrumentation, musically significant historical periods, and varying styles of music.


  • Identify the building blocks of music a composer can use to create a piece, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, and timbre
  • Explain the evolution of Western music through history, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century
  • Differentiate between the music of the baroque era and the musical styles of previous time periods
  • Recognize the major characteristics of classical music, including form, melody, and instrumentation
  • Discuss the musical trends and innovations that occurred during the romantic era
  • Trace the evolution of American popular music in the twentieth century
  • Recognize the influence of world music on modern Western composition

Additional Course Material:
Textbook:Experience Music, Fourth Edition

Mathematics for Business and Finance (3 credits)

This course will hone your math skills so you are able to successfully use them in business and finance industries.


  • Use percentages, discounts, and interest formulas effectively.
  • Analyze present worth and sinking funds.
  • Understand how to buy in installments and price merchandise.
  • Explain depreciation, insurance, equations, and formulas.
  • Discuss investments and statistics.

Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 2

Computer Applications (3 credits)

This course will allow you to build your computer skills through a combination of reading and hands-on practice. You will navigate popular software tools such as Windows® and Microsoft® Office.


  • Create, edit, and illustrate Microsoft® Word™ documents.
  • Apply formulas and functions to large data sets in Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs to summarize data.
  • Add, delete, sort, and lay out table data.
  • Create presentations in Microsoft® PowerPoint® using advanced tools, tables, and charts.

English Composition (3 credits)

This course will allow you to polish and enhance your writing skills.


  • Effectively use free writing and brainstorming.
  • Perfect your ability to edit and revise your writing.
  • Apply techniques for getting the reader’s attention.
  • Write descriptive essays, first-person narratives, reflective essays, persuasive essays, and effective thesis statements.

Intermediate Algebra (3 credits)

This course introduces basic algebraic concepts that you’ll need to be successful in your career.


  • Understand the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals.
  • Factor polynomial expressions.
  • Simplify rational expressions.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

Financial Accounting (3 credits)

This course provides a basic introduction to the study of finance, including financial institutions, investments, and corporate finance.


  • Solve problems that involve the time value of money.
  • Perform a basic analysis of financial statements.
  • Describe the components of financial assets.
  • Explain the role of a financial intermediary.
  • Describe the role of security markets.
  • List the components of financial decision making.

Nutrition (3 credits)

This course will allow you to develop a healthier lifestyle by making smarter nutritional decisions.


  • Explain the various components of nutrition as a science.
  • Describe nutrition from a global viewpoint.
  • Understand the importance of water and exercise.
  • Identify the basics of human growth and aging.
  • Discuss food safety procedures.

Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 3

World Civilizations (3 credits)

This course will allow you to understand the importance of studying history as it relates to the individual and society as a whole.


  • Discuss the major events of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
  • Explain the consequences of events and the trends that they cause.

Business and Technical Writing (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Students will compose business documents using the ABC method. These include memos, emails, outlines, reports and proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Students also work on honing their grammar skills.


  • Describe the basics of the writing process and the ABC method of organizing material for a document
  • Identify the parts of speech in a sentence
  • Demonstrate correct pronoun use
  • Choose proper and effective words for writing documents
  • Identify the elements of a well-written sentence
  • Demonstrate how to use length, directness, emphasis, and variety to craft impactful sentences
  • Explain how to construct a coherent paragraph
  • Describe how to write an effective cover letter and resume
  • Format and write an interoffice memorandum, a routine business letter, and an effective email
  • Identify the different ways to write for blogs, the Internet, and social media
  • Describe how to create an organized formal outline
  • Identify the types of research and methods of documentation used in business and technical writing
  • Explain how to create visual interest and clarity in reports with illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, and overall design
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various types of informal reports
  • Describe the nature of formal reports and identify their components
  • Differentiate among external, internal, informal, and formal proposals
  • Describe an object or a process and prepare a set of instructions
  • Describe the preparation and submission of professional and technical articles and manuals

Managerial Accounting (3 credits)

This course provides an introduction to managerial accounting; analysis: C-V-P and management; budgeting and performance evaluation; decentralized operations; differential analysis and product pricing; capital investment analysis, and cost activities.


  • Understand cost classifications as applied to preparing financial statements, predicting cost behavior, and making decisions
  • Understand the flow of cost in job-order costing and use activity-based absorption costing to compute product costs
  • Understand the flow of process costing, computing the cost per equivalent unit using the weighted-average method and FIFO method and allocating department costs using the direct and step-down methods
  • Explain how changes in activity affect contribution margin and net operating income and examine cost-volume-profit relationships, such as margin of safety and break-even points
  • Explain how variable costing differs from absorption costing and prepare income statements using the different approaches as tools for management
  • Understand activity-based costing and how it differs from a traditional costing system
  • Understand budgets, the process used to create budgets, and the preparation of various kinds of budgets
  • Compute and record various variances
  • Understand and compute various performance measurements
  • Prepare differential analysis as a key to decision making
  • Evaluate calculations for capital budgeting decisions
  • Prepare a statement of cash flows using the direct and indirect methods and compute free cash flow
  • Compute and interpret financial ratios Textbook: Managerial Accounting

Speech (3 credits)

This course provides students with a foundation in the basic concepts of public speaking. Students will learn how to research, organize and write effective speeches, incorporate presentation aids, and rehearse and deliver speeches effectively. Students will prepare, rehearse, record and submit speeches in a number of rhetorical styles to be graded.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the importance and benefits of public speaking
  • Demonstrate knowledge of communication apprehension, identify the causes of communication apprehension, and apply strategies to overcome communication apprehension
  • Identify the audience for a speech
  • Identify the purpose of a speech, select a topic and write a thesis, plan supporting materials and organize a speech effectively
  • Use research and presentation aids appropriately and effectively
  • Prepare speeches in different rhetorical styles, including narrative, informative and persuasive
  • Identify and develop effective delivery and presentation techniques through practice and rehearsal

Economics 1 (3 credits)

This course will offer you an overview of macroeconomics and the modern market economy.


  • Identify the basic function of economics in our society
  • Examine various economic tradeoffs that people face
  • Explain the laws of supply and demand
  • Use the concept of elasticity to explain changes in a market
  • Discuss the pros and cons of trade restrictions
  • Calculate and interpret the unemployment rate and the labor-force participation rate
  • Describe the notion of deadweight loss and its relevance to taxes
  • Draw and interpret short-run and long-run Phillips curves
  • Explain why economists focus on GDP, inflation, and unemployment when assessing economic health
  • Describe how comparative advantage and specialization affect international trade
  • Describe how differences between world prices and domestic prices prompt exports and imports
  • Describe how changes in income affect consumption and saving

Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 4

Art Appreciation (3 credits)

In this course, you will gain an understanding of artistic media, historical periods and artistic movements, the roles of the artist and the viewer, and the principles of art criticism.


  • Define the language, visual elements, and principles of design of art
  • Identify two-dimensional media
  • Identify three-dimensional media
  • Explain the evolution of art from ancient Mediterranean cultures through eighteenth century Europe
  • Identify features and popular examples of art throughout the history of African, Asian, Pacific, and American cultures
  • Compare the genres of the Modern and Postmodern eras of art from around the world

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Living with Art, 11th Edition

Business Statistics (3 credits)

This course will provide you the opportunity to explore statistics and how they affect business.


  • Interpret and present data.
  • Analyze frequency distribution, averages, dispersion, and index numbers.
  • Conduct time series analysis.
  • Forecast business.
  • Apply the theory of probability and statistical inference.

Advanced PC Applications (3 credits)

In this course, you'll learn to use computer software that's important to any business.


  • Learn about Microsoft® Access,® Word,™ PowerPoint,® and Excel.®
  • Create new Access® databases, forms, and reports.
  • Sort and filter your data with queries. 
  • Analyze your data using Access.®
  • Create PowerPoint® presentations by placing and manipulating clip art.
  • Choose a background template and add notes to a PowerPoint® slide show.
  • Embed and link Word™ and Excel® material in PowerPoint® presentations.
  • Add sound, movie files, and hyperlinks to PowerPoint® presentations.
  • Embed an Excel® worksheet, chart, or graph into a Word™ document.
  • Learn the difference between object linking and embedding.
  • Study the procedure for linking an object to a Word™ document.
  • Use Microsoft® Access® to create a data source.
  • Develop a form letter with form fields.
  • Merge a database with a form letter.

Economics 2 (3 credits)

The course provides an overview of microeconomics by investigating the decisions people and businesses make at the individual level.


  • Explain how supply and demand influences price levels.
  • Understand the role of government in the economy, including the tax system design and labor markets.

General Elective (3 credits)

(Choose one) ...

ACC201 - Intermediate Accounting 1


  • Compute earnings per share.
  • Study lease transactions, cash flow, pensions, and benefits.
  • Learn about income tax accounting.
  • Analyze financial statements.

ACC202 - Intermediate Accounting 2


  • Study the differences between current liabilities and long-term liabilities, and focus on short-term liabilities and the contingencies they present.
  • Discover the treatment of long-term liabilities.
  • Find out the effects and treatment of income taxes.
  • Account for pensions and retirement benefits.
  • Study invested capital and earned capital in relation to the creditor’s interest in the assets of a corporation through shareholder’s equity.

ACC210 - Cost Accounting


  • Recognize how the knowledge of product and service costs is used to set selling prices.
  • Discover techniques used to measure the performance of managers and subunits within an organization.
  • Learn how the accounting system is used as a tool to motivate managers toward the goals of an organization.

ACC211 - Computer Applications in Accounting


  • Explain how to install, register, and update the Sage 50® accounting software
  • Print reports and back up data files using Sage 50®
  • Record, post, and complete the accounting cycle for a service and merchandising enterprise using an automated accounting system
  • Analyze the business flow of transactions in automated accounting systems, including customer lists, vendor files, inventory records, and employee files
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the voucher system, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll systems, and departmentalized accounting
  • Analyze and solve management accounting problems relating to operations and business profitability and financial reporting

COM110 - Public Relations 1


  • Learn strategic writing in public relations, advertising, sales and marketing, and business communication.
  • Discover the art of persuasion and the public relations planning process.
  • Develop your research skills and get tips for writing clearly and simply, and for using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Examine the writing styles and processes for emails, memos, letters, reports, proposals, news releases, broadcasts, ad copy, material for the Internet, speeches, newsletters, brochures, magazines, and annual reports.
  • Discover the proper protocol for communicating information during a crisis.

COM115-Public Relations 2


  • Get tips on research techniques and planning and evaluating a public relations program.
  • Discover how to prepare and handle printed and video news releases, media alerts and media kits, and pitch letters.
  • Explore the use of social media and the function of trade shows and exhibitions in public relations.
  • Examine conflict management and how to manage public opinion.
  • Analyze the role of public relations in a variety of sectors and settings, such as corporate, government, global, educational, nonprofit, and sports public relations.
FIN101- Financial Management


  • Learn about investing in long-term assets.
  • Study capital structure and dividend policy.
  • Learn all about financial planning and working capital management.

FIN210 - Personal Financial Management


  • Apply money management skills to personal financial goals and plans
  • Formulate a plan for saving, protecting, and managing financial assets and debt
  • Develop strategies for consumer and housing purchases
  • Evaluate various types of investing
  • Determine the type of investments that best suit your financial goals
  • Construct a will, a trust, and an estate plan

HRM210 - Compensation Management


  • Learn about the different forms of pay, the pay model, and compensation strategies.
  • Determine the sources of competitive advantage.
  • Study internal alignment and what factors shape internal structure.
  • Create a skills analysis and a competency analysis.
  • Learn the factors that shape external competitiveness.
  • Determine how performance pay can motivate employee behavior.
  • Analyze strategies for measuring job performance.
  • Discover the key issues in benefits planning, design, and administration.
  • Study unions and the impact of unions on wage determination.
  • Learn the laws that regulate pay in the workplace.
INT205 - Introduction to Internet Multimedia


  • Learn about graphics, sound, video, and animation.
  • Study the best practices for how to incorporate multimedia into your website and for a user-friendly web design.
  • Learn how to add databases to your website for greater functionality.
  • Discover the basics of e-commerce for the web and how to effectively advertise your online business.
  • Plan and design an attractive website using multimedia.

Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.


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