Penn Foster High School

Program Outline

Your program includes the learning materials and instructional support you need to earn your High School Diploma. All learning materials are provided at no additional cost and are yours to use and keep.

Your complete program consists of a total of 21.5 credits. The courses take you step-by-step through the lessons you need to earn your diploma.

Here's how it works
Your first course will be sent immediately after your enrollment has been accepted. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams, so that you will always have learning materials to work with.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, access to a word processing program to complete written assignments, and an email account to complete this program with Penn Foster.

Transfer Credits
Penn Foster gives financial and academic credit for High School transfer credits.  To receive transfer credits, an official transcript from an accredited institution recognized by Penn Foster must be submitted for evaluation. Transfer credits will be awarded for comparable High School subjects where a full credit has been earned. Since High School programs vary, only an evaluation by Penn Foster will determine the actual number of transfer credits to be awarded. The maximum number of transfer credits allowed is 16.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: Students will be able to demonstrate they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to enter the workforce or to continue their education at a college.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate 21st century skills such as the ability to use technology to complete learning tasks and to communicate effectively
  • Use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in English Language Art courses
  • Use declarative knowledge and demonstrate understanding to complete learning tasks in English Language Art courses
  • Use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in science courses
  • Use declarative knowledge and demonstrate understanding to complete learning tasks in science courses
  • Use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in math courses
  • Use declarative knowledge and demonstrate understanding to complete learning tasks in math courses
  • Use critical thinking and reasoning skills to complete learning tasks in social studies courses
  • Use declarative knowledge and demonstrate understanding to complete learning tasks in social studies courses
  • Apply fundamental mathematical skills to solve real world problems
  • Utilize writing skills to complete writing assessments
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete entry level lessons from Penn Foster career modules, academic level electives, or general level electives

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Orientation (.5 credit)

Human Relations (1 credit)
Proven ways to build, analyze, maintain, and improve relations with other people in both personal and working environments.

Reading Skills (1 credit)
Previewing; scanning; dictionary usage; context clues; words with multiple meanings; paragraph structure; making inferences; separating fact from opinion; detecting bias; drawing conclusions; imagery; similes and metaphors; the elements of fiction.

Basic English (1 credit)
Capitalization, punctuation, spelling, the parts of speech, and sentence structure; the basic steps in the writing process.

General Math (1 credit)
Concepts involving whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, and measurement.

Fitness and Nutrition (1 credit)
Managing personal health; nutrition basics; developing healthy eating habits; cardiorespiratory fitness; preventing injury; stress management techniques.

American History (1 credit)
This course focuses on US history from the earliest human settlers in North America thousands of years ago to the modern-day. You’ll learn the story of the native people who lived in this region long before Europeans came to create colonies. Follow the colonists as they faced the unknown and attempted to make new lives for themselves in North America. Finally, you’ll experience the birth and growth of the United States, a young nation that has managed to pack a wealth of world-changing events into its short history.

Practical English (1 credit)
Grammar, punctuation, spelling, word usage, the parts of speech, and writing; expands vocabulary; pronunciation; sentence structure, paragraphs, letters, and composition.

Consumer Math (1 credit)
How to use mathematics in everyday situations involving money; salaries, purchases, credit, loans, household and personal expenses, car buying, insurance, savings, investments, retirement, etc.

Earth Science (1 credit)
The course covers topics in geology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, and astronomy.

Civics (1 credit)
The history of government; how American colonists adopted the English form of government; reviews the changes brought about by the Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederation, the American Revolution, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the other Amendments; the federal governments three major branches; state and local governments; citizenship; political parties; elections; basic issues of government and foreign policy.

Written Communication (1 credit)
Step-by-step instructions for handling sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, and pronunciation; practical writing techniques and library research; increasing vocabulary; understanding others better; expressing oneself confidently, correctly, and effectively.

Textbook: Word Power Made Easy

Biology (1 credit)
In this course you’ll gain insight into the origin of life, the relationships among all living organisms, and discover how your own body works.

General Math II (1 credit)
Review of the four basic mathematical operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; order of operations; factors; multiples; powers; roots; equations; inequalities; introduction to geometry.

World History (1 credit)
From 1,000,000 b.c. to the dawn of the 21st Century, the important facts and significant concepts of our global history.

Textbook: World History

Physical Science (1 credit)
Mechanics; heat; sound; chemistry; light, electricity, and electronics.

Literature (1 credit)
Students can experience literature actively - to become involved both intellectually and emotionally - and to learn how to enjoy reading literature. The assigned material falls into six main categories: short story, novel, poetry, essay, nonfiction, and drama.

• Great American Short Stories
• The Call of the Wild
• Great Short Poems
• Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel & Adventure
• Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
• Great Speeches by Native Americans
• Narrative of Sojourner Truth
• A Midsummer Night's Dream

Here are just a few of the electives you can choose from:

Music (1 credit)
Psychology (1 credit)
Artist (1 credit)
Economics (1 credit)
General Science (1 credit)
Auto Repair Technician (1 credit)
Child Day Care Management (1 credit)
Electrician (1 credit)
Home Inspector (1 credit)
Personal Computer Specialist (1 credit)
Medical Office Assistant (1 credit)
Teacher Aide (1 credit)
Chemistry (1 credit)
Spanish (1 credit)
Trigonometry and Analytical Geometry (1 credit)
American Literature (1 credit)

The Elective Selection Package, featuring over 35 electives, will be sent to you following Instruction Set 15. You are required to take five credits in electives.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.