National Labor College to Launch Online Program for Working Families in Partnership with The Princeton Review

Jan 14, 2010, 13:34 ET from AFL-CIO from ,National Labor College

College Established by the AFL-CIO Will Offer Affordable, High-Quality Online Degree Programs

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Labor College today announced plans to establish a new online service that will bring high-quality degree programs to the AFL-CIO's 11.5 million members and their families.  Tentatively named the College for Working Families, the program will build upon the College's existing distance learning curricula to combine the advantages of online learning with the on-the-ground resources of labor unions throughout the nation to provide programs specifically suited to the special needs and interests of union members and their families.  

Richard Trumka, Chair of the College Board of Trustees and President of the AFL-CIO, also announced that the College's Board of Trustees has approved the selection of The Princeton Review, Inc. and its subsidiary, Penn Foster Education Group, Inc. leading providers of postsecondary educational services, as its partner to implement the College for Working Families.

"Expanding good jobs is a top priority for the AFL-CIO and to achieve this, workers' skills and knowledge must match the role of employers in a changing job market," Trumka said. "This new online education venture demonstrates our strong commitment to playing a significant role in ensuring that quality education for America's workers and their families remains affordable and accessible. We believe this is one of the best ways to retain and grow good jobs in this country."

According to Trumka, the College programs will enable working adults to build on their prior training and experience, notably in formal and informal learning provided through union- and industry-sponsored training programs, as well as through local institutions, particularly community colleges.  

"In the course of their work union members gain a wealth of knowledge," Trumka said.  "The College for Working Families will be able to leverage an intimate understanding of the nation's organized workers to provide efficient, effective programs leading to a range of academic degrees that will support the increasing need of working men and women and their families to expand their knowledge in an affordable and accessible manner."

Today's approval is expected to result in the formation of a joint venture that will bring together the skills and significant financial resources of The Princeton Review and Penn Foster in development and delivery of the College's programs with the expanded academic offerings of the National Labor College to ensure a quality educational experience.  The College will retain majority control of the joint venture, and will continue to be solely responsible for the integrity and quality of the programs of the new College for Working Families. The joint venture is subject to the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements among the AFL-CIO, the College and The Princeton Review which are currently expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2010. Implementation of certain anticipated programs may be subject to regulatory approvals.

National Labor College President William Scheuerman said the College went through a thorough evaluation process before selecting The Princeton Review and Penn Foster. "We underwent an extensive process to identify a partner with deep experience helping working Americans achieve their educational goals," he said. "We were particularly impressed with Penn Foster's demonstrated expertise in providing high-quality student services and support, elements that we consider essential to the success of this ambitious undertaking."

"It is critical that the American workforce can be successfully educated and retrained without driving tuition costs beyond the point of affordability," explained Michael Perik, The Princeton Review's President and CEO. "We are confident that, through this partnership, we can help ensure that the students who enroll in the College will have a successful learning experience and will contribute in important ways to the growth of the American economy."

About The AFL-CIO

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 57 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO was created in 1955 by the merger of the AFL and the CIO. The AFL-CIO union movement represents 11.5 million members. We are teachers and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and engineers, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and plumbers—and more.

About the National Labor College

Established as a training center by AFL-CIO in 1969 to strengthen union member education and organizing skills, today the NLC is the nation's only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union leaders, members and activists. The NLC became a degree granting college in 1997 and first earned accreditation in 2004.  The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent, regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review (Nasdaq: REVU) has been a pioneer and leader in helping students achieve their higher education goals for more than 25 years through college and graduate school test preparation and private tutoring. With more than 165 print and digital publications and a free website,, the Company provides students and their parents with the resources to research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for higher education. The Princeton Review partners with schools and guidance counselors throughout the U.S. to assist in college readiness, test preparation and career planning services, helping more students pursue postsecondary education. The Company also owns and operates Penn Foster Education Group, a global leader in online education.  Penn Foster provides career-focused degree and vocational programs in the fields of allied health, business, technology, education, and select trades through the Penn Foster High School and Penn Foster Career School (, which are headquartered in Scranton, PA.

SOURCE AFL-CIO; National Labor College