CONNECTIONS EDUCATION NAMED ''TOP WORKPLACE'' BY THE BALTIMORE SUN

-- Employees Praise Online Learning Innovator for Stand-out Work Environment, Compensation and Benefits, and Company Leadership --

/ PRNewswire / — Connections Education (www.ConnectionsEducation.com), leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual education solutions for students in grades K–12, has been named one of Baltimore’s best places to work for the second time this year.  The Baltimore Sun has selected Connections Education as one of the top five of The Baltimore Sun Top Workplaces for 2013, an award based solely on employee feedback. Connections Education was ranked fourth among large companies (400+ employees) and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Dreyer received special honors for her leadership based on employee survey results. This latest accolade comes on the heels of Connections Education’s “Best Places to Work 2013” Award from Baltimore magazine – also based on employee nominations -- announced earlier this year.
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Connections Education was one of a select group of employers to be honored with The Baltimore Sun Top Workplace 2013 Awards. The Company's employees praised the online learning leader for its stand-out work environment, compensation and benefits, and executive leadership, among other factors. Baltimore magazine similarly praised Connections Education for a number of reasons, including: an atmosphere that makes employees happy to go to work in the morning; a devotion to helping employees advance in their careers; stellar benefits; above average compensation; employee- and family-friendly policies like flexible work arrangements; and inspiring leadership.

The Baltimore Sun Top Workplace for 2013 accolade reflects Connections Education's long-standing corporate culture of caring and excellence. It also confirms the extraordinary levels of satisfaction with their work experience that Connections Education employees themselves have expressed in the Company's annual Employee Satisfaction Surveys. In the most recent survey, 88% of employees rated their overall satisfaction working at Connections Education an A or a B; 93% of employees rated their satisfaction with benefits as good, very good, or excellent; 93% said that the work environment is better or significantly better than at their previous job; and 90% said training and development is better or significantly better than at their previous job.

The Connections Education workforce numbers over 3,000 nationwide. More than 300 work in its Baltimore headquarters, roughly 1000 across Maryland, and, perhaps unsurprisingly for an e-learning company, 42% of company employees nationwide work from home.

Since it was founded in 2001, Connections Education has helped to re-define public education in the United States, by supporting high-quality, highly accountable virtual and blended schools for students in grades K-12. In its earliest days, the e-learning pioneer served roughly 400 students in two full-time Connections Academy virtual public schools. Today, 33 Connections Academy and Nexus Academy public schools spanning 23 states serve more than 50,000 K-12 students. Additionally, the online private school, International Connections Academy, serves students throughout and outside the United States. More than 1,000 schools, school districts, state departments of education and other educational institutions, serving tens of thousands of students throughout the United States and beyond, also utilize the Company's digital learning solutions.

This growth is testimony to Connections Education's commitment to expanding quality education through technology – and its equally strong commitment to its employees, who are responsible for the Company's success, according to Connections Education Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Barbara Dreyer.

"We are really proud that Connections Education has once again been publicly acknowledged as a great place to work, especially since this latest award is based solely on employee feedback," Dreyer commented. "All of our employees are fantastic, whether they're teachers, counselors, curriculum specialists, multimedia developers, or members of our essential support teams. It's their talent, dedication and hard work that have enabled us to help so many students succeed over the past decade. So we owe it to our employees to provide the best possible work environment."

Among the benefits Connections Education offers at no cost to employees:

  • Life insurance
  • Short-term disability benefit: 100% paid salary for 6 weeks
  • Long-term disability plan
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • 401(k) plan
  • Health plan with no co-pays for preventive care visits or drugs
  • Tuition Assistance Plans
  • Financial aid for adoption
  • Comprehensive Professional Development and Training Programs

Voluntary benefits include: critical illness insurance; accident insurance; discounted renter, homeowner, and auto insurance; discounted cell phone plans; and a discounted pet care plan.

"At Connections Education, our culture is very important to us, and to employees," observed Annie Marhefka, Connections Education's Vice President of Human Resources. "Entrepreneurial, empowering, rewarding, high-energy, and fast-paced – these are words often used to describe us. Employees are given the tools and resources to get the job done in a flexible manner. Getting the job done to our high standards is our focus, not how, when or where they get the job done. But at the end of the day, we all hold each other accountable for top-notch service and deliverables."

The Baltimore Sun published the complete list of Top Workplaces on Sunday, December 8. For more information about the Top Workplaces lists and WorkplaceDynamics, please visit www.topworkplaces.com and www.workplacedynamics.com.

About Connections Education
Connections Education is a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual education solutions for students in grades K–12. Since 2001, the company's Connections Academy division has delivered individualized learning to students through virtual public schools and a private online academy. In the 2013–14 school year, 26 Connections Academy virtual (online) public schools operate in 23 states and expect to serve more than 50,000 students from across the U.S. The Connections Learning by Pearson division meets the needs of schools, school districts, and other institutions looking to develop and enhance their online learning programs. Connections Learning by Pearson delivers a full range of targeted digital learning solutions to the K–12 education community including online courses, a program for homebound students, a digital learning platform, a private online school and a line of blended learning programs called Nexus Academy schools. More than 1000 schools, school districts, state departments of education and other educational institutions, serving tens of thousands of students throughout the United States and beyond, are already utilizing Connections Learning by Pearson products and services. Connections Education is committed to expanding quality education through technology and helping students achieve both academic and personal success. For more information, call 800–382–6010 or visit www.ConnectionsEducation.com. Connections Education is part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO).

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