Friday, July 21, 2017

Introducing the Graduate Studies Blog Series

Professor for adult learners, Dr. Adrian ZappalaThe demand for post-secondary adult education in colleges and universities continues to grow as more and more working adult learners seek career advancement opportunities through higher education. Working adults face a number of competing responsibilities while pursuing their education – often balancing the demands of hectic careers and busy families. That means they need programs that directly correlate to their careers.

That means they need Peirce College.

Peirce has been Philadelphia’s leader in higher education for adult learners since 1865. Our career-oriented graduate programs offer you immediate applicability in organizational leadership and healthcare administration. We developed these programs in conjunction with major Philadelphia area employers and organizations, ensuring that classroom learning reflects "real-world" practices. Peirce College continues to build upon its history by offering practical advanced degrees designed to help graduates move up in their careers.

Within the past five years, Peirce College has expanded upon its mission by offering graduate programs in both Organizational Leadership & Management and Healthcare Administration. These master’s degrees were designed for career professionals seeking advancement into leadership positions. Our graduate students gain applied leadership skills through classroom exercises, networking opportunities, and organizational experience.

And just like our undergraduate students, graduate students can complete their courses either online or on campus – or both. Any week when on-campus learners can’t make it to campus, they can take their class online. And any week when online learners need in-person teaching, they can come on campus. Combined with the ability to enroll part-time or full-time, this incredible level of flexibility allows you to balance your career needs and goals with your personal and family life.

Want to learn more about our Graduate Studies programs? Keep following the Peirce blog to read more from the Graduate Studies blog series. We’ll dive more into our graduate programs and discuss faculty and student experiences, highlighting the exceptional value our programs offer you.

Can’t wait for our next Graduate Studies blog post? Visit peirce.edu/masters and get more information right now!

Adult learners and now Peirce College graduates
2017 Peirce College Organizational Leadership & Management Graduates

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Turning negatives into positives – Meet Malana Williams

Persistence is the key to success.

That’s what Malana Williams reminded herself every day as she continued pushing through her educational journey to earning her bachelor’s degree.

Malana started her Peirce College experience back in 1998 with the hopes of finally earning a degree. She was inspired to go to college when she was reminded of the importance of a degree. “I was motivated to return to Peirce College because I lost my position to a person that held a degree,” said Malana. “Their degree was unrelated to my position but it was simply because they had a degree. That decision was the best decision I made in my life.”

Despite being a union employee, her lack of a degree meant her job was not safe. Malana worked hard and began to climb the ladder but quickly had a realization when she was told she was the “exception to the rule.”

Peirce College Undergraduate Degree Recipient Malana WilliamsMalana said, “It did not matter how awesome I was at my job. What did matter was I did not have a college degree, and that had become a mandatory requirement for my position. The years of experience I had were no longer my edge, especially in an economy that was plummeting at the time. I was laid off and [became] a member of the ‘long-term unemployed.’”

Instead of letting this encounter keep her down, Malana decided to better herself by heading back to school. Malana knew she wanted to find a school that would allow her to work and go to school simultaneously and that had small class sizes, so she could have more individualized support. After searching the Philadelphia area, Malana found that Peirce College was the school that best matched all her needs.

“The curriculum [at Peirce College] is designed for the working adult. The staff is there not only to teach but to ensure your success if that is something you truly want,” explained Malana.

As of June 2017, Malana finally was able to accomplish her goal after years of perseverance. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Professional Studies.

Now that she has her degree, Malana has some big plans to give back to those who may be in similar life positions as she once was. She wants to “focus on building a non-profit organization which provides resources for Philadelphia students that exhibit strong potential for success. If I can assist in removing the roadblocks as Peirce College did for me, I believe many more students will have the opportunity to go on to college and follow a road that leads to success.”

We look forward to watching Malana continue to achieve her goals and inspire others to follow an educational journey to success. If you or someone you know is interested in finally achieving your goal of going back to school, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

50 never felt so good – Meet Brian Gombert, 2017 Graduate

Brian Gombert took a nontraditional educational path, serving our country immediately following his high school graduation.

“I joined the Navy right out of high school, leaving for boot camp just 11 days after turning 18,” he says.

After completing his six-year enlistment, Brian moved directly into a banking job. He eventually found his way into education, but as most Peirce students can relate, life got in the way.

“Family illnesses, financial responsibilities, buying, then selling my first home – all of these things consumed my time and energy, and my college education moved to the backburner,” says Brian.

But Brian realized he would never be able to move up in his current field if he didn’t return to school. “I became increasingly aware that my chances to advance and be promoted were hindered by my lack of a college degree. One day I decided that I had to take charge of my life and my career. If I wanted to be promoted or get to the next level, I needed a degree,” recalls Brian.

He returned to college at age 41 to earn his associate degree from Gloucester County College in New Jersey. After seven years of persistence and determination, Brian earned his Associate Degree in Business Administration in 2014.

Despite the accomplishment Brian was feeling, he knew he wasn’t done yet. “Once I graduated in May 2014, I knew I wanted to continue on for my bachelor’s degree, but I didn’t want to spend another seven years getting to my goal,” Brian explains.

Brian looked around and found the best fit was Peirce’s adult life-friendly approach to college. “The flexibility of online and in-person classes, coupled with the accelerated pace, offered me the hope that I could achieve my goal of earning my bachelor’s degree by the time I turned 50,” says Brian.

Returning to school as an adult learner may seem like a disadvantage to some, but Brian found it was quite the opposite. “I tell everyone that I was more disciplined and focused as an adult learner. My life experiences, both personally and professionally, allowed me to approach projects and homework assignments from a different vantage point. I achieved better grades as an adult learner, than I ever did in my previous college experiences.”

It was close, but with Peirce’s help, Brian achieved his goal of graduating by age 50. “As fate would have it,” Brian tells us, “my final class was scheduled for August 16, 2016 – my 50th birthday!”

As of June 2017, Brian has officially earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Integrated Leadership. He currently works for Bank of America and hopes to land a new position utilizing his new skills and degree within the company.

Brian shared one final piece for anyone considering going back to school: “Just do it! Don’t wait another minute! It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 50, take that first class. My experience has encouraged me to be a ‘champion’ to other adults considering returning to school. If I can do it, anyone can!”

Congratulations to Brian on all of his accomplishments! If you or anyone you know is considering heading back to school, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Get to know three new Peirce College team members!

When can you get access to student services and advising? All year round at Peirce College! Our large team of enthusiastic advisors are ready to assist students with class registration, tutoring, disability services, and so much more. We recently added three new members and it’s time for you to get to know each one of them:

1. Meet Stephen Bernardini – 

“I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and my Ph.D. in Childhood Studies, both from Rutgers University-Camden. While taking classes at Rutgers, I served as an Academic Advisor. In addition to working at Peirce College, I also teach classes at Rutgers University and Wilmington University. At Peirce, I am the Academic Advisor for the Legal Studies programs, which includes Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, and Legal Studies in Business.”

What inspired you to join the Peirce College community?
“I really enjoy working with non-traditional, first-generation students. It’s really inspiring to meet people, learn where they are in their lives and find ways to help them complete their degrees. I was a first-generation student who worked a full-time job and a part-time job while finishing my bachelor’s, so I have a personal investment in helping others who are in similar situations coming from similar backgrounds.”

What advice would you give to students considering returning to school?
“Utilize all of Peirce College’s resources. Do not be afraid to reach out to faculty or staff if you need assistance. Many students constantly apologize for ‘bothering me’—Don’t do that! We want to help you!”

2. Meet Danielle Frank – 

“I joined Peirce College this past May as the Facilitator, Perkins Grant/Student Disabilities Coordinator and an Academic Advisor for Business Administration and Human Resources Management. Prior to my new role at Peirce, I worked in higher education at Arcadia University and Bucks County Community College and interned at Temple University in their Disability Resource Center. I graduated from Holy Family University in 2016 with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in higher education. In 2012, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Sociology from Arcadia University. I recently completed the University of Alabama’s ADA Professional Training Certificate Program regarding workplace accessibility.”

What inspired you to join the Peirce College community?
“The college has experienced over 150 years of success in offering working adults a variety of degree programs and the flexibility of choosing day, evening, weekend and online classes. The programs help students to truly advance in their careers and gives students connections to corporate partners for job opportunities.”

What advice would you give to students considering returning to school?
“First, view peirce.edu to get familiar with the programs and even talk to any friends/coworkers who attend or have graduated from Peirce College. Next, make an appointment to meet in person with the admissions team to get your questions answered, talk about any concerns you may have and take a campus tour. It can sometimes seem overwhelming choosing a major, financing your education and fitting college into your busy life and work schedule. However, our faculty and staff welcome the opportunity to walk you through the process so that you have a rewarding college experience that leads to a fulfilling career.”

3. Meet Tammi Wrice –

“I was born and raised in West Philadelphia and come from a family of nine. In 1977, my family and I moved to the Midwest, where I completed middle and high school and college. I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education from Iowa State University in 1989 and quickly returned to Philadelphia. I’ve been working in higher education for 19 years (12 years Recruitment Health-Related programs and eight years advising) where I’ve worked at several area colleges and universities. In 2005, I received my Master’s of Science in Organizational Development Leadership while working at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Currently, I am a First Year Academic Coach in the Walker Center.”

What inspired you to join the Peirce College community?
“Its approach to students. I think Peirce College gives students a choice. I love our “Executive Style Approach.” Peirce understands that students have to work and go to school, which is recognized in the newest format, Peirce FIT®. This option gives students a choice on how they complete their education week to week.”

What advice would you give to students considering returning to school?
“Please do not think there is a time limit on your education. Build a foundation first (i.e. start out with two classes per session), use all the resources that are provided, and touch base with your advisor frequently.”

Thank you Stephen, Danielle and Tammi! Looking to connect with one of these new team members or any of the Advising and Walker Center team? Contact the Advising Center at advisingcenter@peirce.edu or 215.670.9177 or contact the Walker Center for Academic Excellence at wcae@peirce.edu or 215.670.9251.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

From Community College of Philadelphia to Peirce College – Meet Efrain Aponte, Jr.

Efrain Aponte, Jr. began college as an 18-year-old traditional student. He aspired to pursue a career in Information Technology, so he took his young and eager mind to the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to begin working toward a degree. At age 24, after many years of part-time classes, Efrain graduated with his associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems.

Information Technology Degree Recipient Efrain Aponte, Jr.But Efrain struggled with where to go next after graduation. “I found myself contemplating on whether I should either seek employment in my desired program of study, or perhaps enhance/elevate my education,” Efrain recalls. His family and friends advised him to look around and see what colleges were available to him that would be willing to accept his credits from CCP.

That’s when he discovered Peirce College. “I learned that [CCP] had recently partnered with Peirce College in terms of credit transferal, all while finding out that Peirce has a brilliant IT program,” he says. “I spoke with an advisor one week before I registered, and I was delighted to discover that over 95% of my classes/credits from CCP would be transferred.”

That wasn’t all Efrain discovered in his research of Peirce College. “In addition [to the credits transferring], I would also qualify for a scholarship—due to my associate degree—that would eventually aid me per my education.” Knowing this, Efrain felt motivated to continue his education at the age of 25 at Peirce College in the fall of 2014.

Efrain quickly transitioned into Peirce, finding support and flexibility everywhere he looked. “The administration at Peirce College [e.g. faculty, staff, professors, advisors/specialists, students] have guided, assisted, and even molded me towards success in my 2+ year tenure.

“Peirce (re)introduced me to online classes/learning, and with their recently implemented 'Peirce Fit' format, it enabled me to decide if I wanted to enjoy the pleasures of on-campus learning, or learning while embracing the comforts of my own home.”

After starting his educational journey as a traditional-aged student, Efrain could see how different going to college was as a working adult learner. “By the age of 25 and with a job [two in 2016, thanks to the work-study program at Peirce], I did notice that things were clearly different; it was a little more challenging to handle both work and school,” he says.

But Efrain didn’t let the challenge of work/school balance get in his way. Just a few weeks ago, he graduated from Peirce College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration and Information Security, while also receiving the Margaret Obozian Excellence in Writing Award at Commencement.

Efrain found his path by continuing his education and earning his bachelor’s degree, but not without taking many days and nights to deliberate over all his options. He advises anyone who is considering going back to school to “see if they have online learning [options], rather than [just] traditional on-campus education, which could optimize your chances of managing work/children/responsibilities alongside school. This way, you can perform your respective duties throughout the day, and then prepare to partake in your collegiate duties during, say, the evening and/or on weekends.”

Congratulations to Efrain Aponte, Jr. on graduation and his award! We look forward to watching him continue to soar into the Information Technology field.

If you wish to begin your educational journey or continue on, like Efrain did, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu. Or if you’re interested in learning more about the partnership between CCP and Peirce College, contact Tom Tschop at 215.670.9203 or ttschop@peirce.edu.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First, newlyweds – now, Peirce College graduates

Having a support system is vital when heading back to school as an adult learner. And for Melissa and Brian Phillips, their support system was right by their side as they attended class.

In 2013, Brian Phillips was beginning to mentally prepare himself to head back to school. He knew that he would need to achieve a degree in order to advance from his current role. That’s when Brian met Melissa. Melissa had already obtained her associate degree from Harrisburg Area Community College, but she had done it 10 years prior, so, she too had been thinking of returning to school. As the sparks flew, so did the ambition. The couple decided to challenge one another to go back to school and finally earn the bachelor’s degrees they had always wanted.

Brian heard of Peirce College through fellow co-workers and service members of the PA Army National Guard, so he encouraged Melissa to become a fellow classmate and attend Peirce together. They both chose programs based on their current positions. For Melissa, that meant the Business Administration program, which complimented her current work as an Operations Manager at The Hershey Company. Brian, meanwhile, went with the Information Technology program to compliment his current work as a Network Administrator for the PA Army National Guard.

Peirce College adult learners Melissa and Brian PhillipsMelissa and Brian knew going back to school as adult learners would not be easy, but with the help of Peirce College they were able to make it work. “With working full-time jobs, we both needed a school where we could take classes online at our own pace,” said Melissa. “As we began taking classes, we quickly realized how helpful and knowledgeable the professors were and how pleasant the learning environment was. Both of these [factors] made our experience extremely enjoyable.”

In addition to the professors and the learning environment, the couple expressed their gratitude for one another during the entire process. “It’s been great having the support of someone else going through the same thing at the same time,” recalled Brian. “It is easier to focus on your tasks when the person you are spending your life with is doing the same. It allows a couple to not be a distraction to each other, but more of a support system.”

Throughout their college experience, Melissa and Brian grew to be more than just a classroom support system for one another. They officially tied the knot on March 26, 2016. Following marriage, the couple was only a little over a year away from another great milestone – college graduation. As of June 8, 2017, both Melissa and Brian became official Peirce College graduates, earning their bachelor’s degrees. As they passed that milestone, a new one came into view. Melissa and Brian are expecting their first child October 2017!

Everyone at Peirce College is excited for all that Melissa and Brian have accomplished, individually and as a couple. We wish them nothing but the best for all of their future adventures as husband and wife, college graduates, and soon-to-be parents.

If you or someone you know is ready to advance in their current career by earning a degree like Melissa and Brian did, connect with an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9214 or admissions@peirce.edu to learn how you can take the first step to making your dream reality.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet the team behind the money - Student Financial Services

Scholarships, grants and filing the FAFSA can be intimidating steps of the college process, but here at Peirce College we have a knowledgeable and eager team who are ready to answer and assist with all of your financial questions and needs. Take some time to learn a little about each team member of the Student Financial Services department, so you know who to talk with to get the help you need to succeed.












Ruthann Wyatt, Director, Student Financial Services
Email: rmwyatt@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9332
Peirce College Family Member For: 17 Years
Who She Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team













Cherita Brown, Manager, Student Financial Services
Email: CDBrown@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9195
Peirce College Family Member For: 23 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with A and B




Hannah McKeever, Financial Aid Specialist
Email: HRMckeever@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9011
Peirce College Family Member For: About 2 Weeks
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with C through G and all Year Up




Joe Valentin, Financial Aid Specialist
Email: JValentinhernandez@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9354
Peirce College Family Member For: 5 Months
Who He Works With: Students whose last names begin with H-M




Charlotte Murphy, Financial Aid Specialist
Email: CMurphy@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9172
Peirce College Family Member For: 9 Months
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with N-V




Ashley McLaughlin, Student Financial and Veterans Specialist 
Email: ALMcLaughlin@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9184
Peirce College Family Member For: 5 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with W through Z, and all Military




Desiree Hernandez, Manager, Student Billing
Email: DMHernandez@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9289
Peirce College Family Member For: Over 17 Years
Who She Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team




Wanda Phillips, Student Billing Processor 
Email: WPhillips@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9227
Peirce College Family Member For: 7 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with A-L




Cindy Major, Student Financial Services Associate 
Email: CMajor@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9222
Peirce College Family Member For: Over 11 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with M-Z




Aithen Wesleyan, Financial Aid Technical Specialist
Email: Awesleyan@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9229
Peirce College Family Member For: 6 Months
Who He Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team




Priscilla Maxwell, Accounts Receivable Temp
Email: Finaidtemp@peirce.edu
Phone Number: 215.670.9148
Peirce College Family Member For: 6 Months
Who She Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team

For more information on Tuition and Financial Aid, visit peirce.edu/tuition-financial-aid/tuition-fees, call 215.670.9600 or email SFS@peirce.edu.