International Correspondence Schools

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ICS Learn (International Correspondence Schools Ltd)
Industry Education
Founded USA 1890
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Products Distance Learning Courses

International Correspondence Schools Ltd, also known as ICS and ICS Learn, is a provider of distance learning courses.

The company was first established in 1890 in the United States of America. The US branch of ICS has since been renamed to Penn Foster Career School. The British branch of the company operates under its original name in the UK and has their headquarters in Glasgow.

ICS offers over 150 home learning courses that enable students to attain professional and vocational qualifications. The courses cover a range of subjects such as Human Resources, Business, Marketing, Education, Child and Elderly Care, Hospitality Management, Construction and Engineering.


ICS works with a number of professional awarding bodies to provide widely recognised and respected qualifications.


ICS offers a wide range of GCSEs, IGCSEs, A Levels, professional and vocational courses.

With more than 150 courses to choose from ICS caters for a variety of people's development ambitions and goals.

Teaching methods[edit]

The majority of courses are supplied via paper-based study materials. The materials consist of several units and modules that students complete as they progress through their course.

The students' learning experience is broadened by the virtual learning community, also referred to as student community, where they have access to additional online resources, study materials, interactive learning aids and progress checks. The student community also enables students to interact and engage with fellow students and gives them the chance to discuss their study experience, assignments and exams.

Tutors and Mentors[edit]

All ICS students are assigned a dedicated tutor who provides them with academic support and guidance from enrolment right through to completion of their course. Tutors answer any queries students may have regarding the course content itself as well as assessments. Throughout their studies students complete test papers and mock exams which the tutor marks constructively. These effective revision aids help both the student and tutor to assess and determine the student's progress and areas of improvement.

Students who are enrolled on one of the CIPD or Degree courses are additionally supported by a team of mentors who monitor their study progress and assume all administrative tasks for them so that students can fully focus on their studies.


Further information: Distance education

ICS was originally founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania by journalist and editor of the Mining Herald Thomas J. Foster. Alarmed "by the frequent mine accidents causing serious injury or death to his neighbours," (Kennan,1940) Foster played an instrumental part in setting up statues to safeguard the welfare of miners. The new requirement for miners to be certified led to a new Question and Answer column in the Mining Herald which educated his readers on the certification test they had to pass in order to qualify as mining workers. Due to popular demand Foster eventually opened an education institute offering one course - Mine Safety Engineering. By 1901 International Correspondence School was incorporated in the US.

By 1992 ICS had enrolled more than 9 million students in its programs.

External links[edit]