Monday, June 18, 2018

Ready For the Next Step in Her Career, Tara Broadie Found Peirce

After over 20 years in the healthcare industry, Tara Broadie felt knowledgeable and experienced enough to continue tackling her career without a glitch. But one day, she had an epiphany. Tara started interviewing and hiring team members who had master’s degrees and, at this point in her life, Tara only held a few medical coding certifications. This is when she knew it was time to head back to school.

Tara decided to seek out a college which would cater to all her needs, so once she finally made the leap of faith to head back to school as a working adult, it would fit her life. This is when she found Peirce College. “I was in search of a program that was flexible and which would allow me to have the credentials necessary to progress,” explained Tara, “Peirce had it all – catered to working adults, accelerated classes and CAHIIM-accredited, so I was eligible to sit for both the RHIT and RHIA certification exams after obtaining my degrees.”

Tara started her Peirce journey in May 2015 by chasing her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology (HIT). As of June 2017, Tara was proudly taking her first walk across the commencement stage. But she wasn’t done yet.

After gaining growth in her career, she found a management position that was exactly what she had been looking for, but there was one catch, “I qualified for the supervisor role with my associate degree, but I knew I was overqualified and I really wanted the managerial position offered. But, in order to obtain my dream career, I needed my bachelor’s degree,” said Tara.

So, keeping with her educational journey, she transitioned flawlessly from the HIT program to the Health Information Administration program at Peirce. During her time in the program, Tara said, “I gained a lot more confidence in my current role and for my future role. I developed necessary skills, knowledge and resources I never would have obtained without Peirce.”

Even after all her experience in the healthcare industry prior to coming to Peirce, Tara explained how she was, “grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. I have been in this profession for so long and I started to think I knew everything and there was nothing else to learn, but then I came to Peirce and learned and gained more than I could have imagined.”

After countless hours of hard work, Tara finally had her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration conferred in December 2017. By January 2018, Tara received a call about her dream career she had been fighting for for so long. Tara said, “I would not have been able to qualify for this role if it weren’t for my degree. As soon as my degree was set, I got the job!”

Tara is now the Coding Manager for the Emergency Department, Outpatient Surgery and Observation at Johns Hopkins Health System.

Not only has Tara successfully completed two degrees and landed her dream position, but she also was the first at Peirce College to sit and successfully pass the RHIA exam. Additionally, Tara was awarded the Alumni Association Raymond L. Palzer ’52 Academic Leadership Award at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony.

As Tara reflects back on all her astounding accomplishments and achievements over the past few years, she shared how the Peirce community really helped get her here, “Peirce is a family. You spend so much time with your classmates, professors, advisor and staff members that you become a family. When you have things happen in your life, they support you and help to keep you going. You are not just a number at Peirce; you are an individual with people surrounding you who want to see you succeed.”

Congratulations to Tara on her recent graduation and new job! We wish her nothing but success as she continues not only achieving her own dreams, but encouraging the next round of healthcare industry professionals to chase theirs.

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Night to Remember: Commencement 2018

“Always take time to celebrate the moments because they come too fast.” – Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia

Last night, Peirce College did just as Mr. Epps recommended – we celebrated the Class of 2018’s biggest moment: graduation. The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts was filled with Peirce graduates, family, friends, community members, alumni, board of trustees, staff and faculty as they all came together to celebrate the Class of 2018. At this special 153rd Commencement Ceremony, Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO, Peirce College, joined us for the first time in her new position welcoming, congratulating and recognizing the 285 graduates. In addition to the new President, Peirce was honored to welcome and hear from Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia as the keynote speaker. The night was filled with inspiring stories, honor, recognition, special awards and, of course, the newest Peirce College Alumni.

If you were unable to attend last night’s festivities or you are looking to relive the moments, check out the YouTube video below of the entire celebration.


0:00:00 – Pre-Commencement Slideshow
0:51:29 – Processional
1:03:42 – Opening, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost
1:04:45 – National Anthem, sung by Peirce Voice 2018 Winner, Nathaniel J. Griffin
1:06:30 – Opening Continued, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost
1:13:03 – Salute, Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO
1:24:05 – Introduction of Student Speaker, Dr. Adrian Zappala, Dean, Graduate Studies
1:25:05 – Class of 2018 Student Address, Sondra R. Allen ‘18
1:35:24 – Introduction of Keynote Speaker, Wayne Vance ‘18
1:37:12 – Address to the Graduates, Harold T. Epps, Keynote Speaker
1:53:22 – Conferring of Honorary Degree, Barbara A. Prutzman, Chair, Peirce College Board of Trustees
1:55:33 – Presentation of the 2018 Hamilton Award
1:59:15 – Presentation of Special Student Awards
2:08:48 – Roll Call of Candidates
2:09:45 – Master of Science, Healthcare Administration
2:10:35 – Master of Science, Organizational Leadership & Management
2:14:45 – Bachelor of Science, Accounting
2:16:58 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Business Administration
2:24:00 – Bachelor of Science, Human Resource Management
2:25:06 – Bachelor of Science, Integrated Leadership
2:27:21 – Bachelor of Science, Healthcare Administration
2:30:02 – Bachelor of Science, Health Information Administration
2:32:06 – Associate in Science, Health Information Technology
2:34:18 – Certificate of Proficiency, Medical Coding
2:34:38 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Information Technology
2:37:51 – Associate in Arts, General Studies
2:39:33 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Post-Bachelor Certificate of Proficiency, Paralegal Studies
2:42:33 – Bachelor of Science, Legal Studies in Business
2:43:36 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Criminal Justice Studies
2:46:28 – Recognition of 153rd Class, Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO
2:48:56 – Introduction to Alumni Association, Barry James ‘07, President, Peirce Alumni Association
2:50:25 – Congratulations & Recessional, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost

Congratulations, once again, to the Class of 2018! As Dr. Mary Ellen Caro said, “Commencement means the beginning! As you have shown, your journeys are far from over and tonight marks the beginning of another chapter as a graduate of Peirce.” As you all continue on with your future endeavors, never forget that no matter where life takes you, you will always have a home at Peirce.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Convenience of the Peirce at Deliverance Partnership Was Everything Frances Needed!

“I had to get rid of fear. It’s a big thing that holds people back who have been out of school for a while. Once you get rid of fear, you can move forward.” – Frances Johnson

After two associate degrees, Frances thought her educational journey had come to a close. She always knew she wanted a higher degree, but didn’t think a bachelor’s was in her future. Then one day, Celeste Atkins, Coordinator for Education at Deliverance Evangelist Church, told Frances about the new Peirce College at Deliverance partnership and Frances’ educational journey was back in action!

Frances was ready to start chasing her new degree thanks to the convenience of the new partnership. Frances did not want to commute into Center City, so with the accessibility of taking classes right at the Deliverance Evangelist Church, this was the perfect situation for her. Frances said, “It’s much easier for me to get to Deliverance. The parking, the easier commute, the comfortable environment – it is everything I need.”

When deciding on which program to take part in, Frances knew the business-focused degree of Organizational Leadership was the right path. As an aunt of three boys who own their own business and a mother of a son who is going into business as well, Frances wanted to contribute some business knowledge to the family. Frances was ready to gain more insight into the business world that she could directly take to her nephews and son.

Going back to school may seem difficult as a working adult with a full schedule, but it wasn’t for Frances. She said going to school as a nontraditional student is actually better because, “I am able to sit down and apply myself now. I am not running everywhere else putting off my work as I had in the past,” explained Frances.

Now, five classes into the program, Frances is on the fast track to graduation. She said after completing her bachelor’s degree, she isn’t done yet. This has inspired her to continue chasing her dreams by hopefully earning her master’s degree, as well!

One final piece Frances left us with is her words of advice for anyone at any age considering going back to school, “Follow your dreams! Push yourself forward even when you feel like stopping. If I can do it, so can you!”

We congratulate Frances on all of her successes so far and wish her nothing but the best as she continues chasing all of her new degrees!

If you are interested in taking part or learning more about our Peirce College at Deliverance partnership, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Student Commencement Speaker: Sondra Allen!

Back in November 2017, Peirce was honored to share Sondra Allen’s heartfelt story with the community showing her perseverance, determination and tenacity. Today, Peirce is thrilled to announce that Sondra Allen, Class of 1986, 2016, and now 2018, will be the Student Commencement Speaker at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony!

In addition to being the student speaker and receiving her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management, Sondra is also the 2018 Recipient of the Alumni Association Raymond L. Palzer '52 Leadership Award and the Patricia A. Rucker Graduate Studies Award for Academic Excellence. Sondra has certainly left her mark with Peirce College! Before she crosses the stage and becomes an official alumna for the last time, we asked Sondra a few questions as she reflects back on the past 32 years of her Peirce experience.

How does it feel to be receiving your third degree from Peirce? I am proud, humbled and, of course, excited! My goal was always to achieve two degrees, but once Peirce developed the master’s program, the third degree entered the equation. I originally was comparing a few schools when looking into my graduate degree, but once my husband and I came back to visit, it was a no-brainer. Peirce is home for me and I knew I wanted to stay home.

How was your time with Peirce College? Going to Peirce has been such a great experience for me. I had the privilege to study under the tutelage of great professors. I had the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of fellow students and build networks. I was able to form and develop life-long friendships. The Lord knew what He was doing when He sent me here. Everything happens according to His plan. I first attended Peirce right out of high school back in 1984. At that time I felt it was a necessity. My focus was earning a degree to allow the opportunity for a permanent position and set a positive example for other teenage parents. When I returned to Peirce in 2014, I was here because I wanted to be. I wanted to learn and grow. This was not a forced decision; it was for personal growth, development and self-achievement.

What are some of your favorite memories from Peirce? There are so many! Joining the Graduate Student Association (GSA) board allowed me the opportunity to participate in many Peirce events, network and dine on delicious food Peirce provides at these events. My fellow GSA board members and I had some great times hanging out after class and building bonds. I enjoyed participating in Peirce Open House events where my fellow GSA Board members and I had the opportunity to interact, encourage and share our Peirce stories with potential graduate students. Participating in those events, allowed peer-to-peer networking that I hope in some way helped increase student enrollment. Also, I enjoyed participating in Capstone Boot Camp events; it provided a great foundation and overview of what’s expected in the OLM 590 Capstone Course. It provided a wealth of information, tips and steps needed for a strong preparation for the final course of the program. Further, it allowed for an opportunity to ask questions of faculty and other students who have been through and completed their capstone. I encourage ALL graduate students to participant in Capstone Boot Camp. Another fond memory was working on the many team projects throughout the graduate program. It was so much fun creating and developing processes and sharing ideas. Working in teams is a great opportunity to enhance your skills, share your strengths, and learn from others.

What are some of your most influential moments from Peirce? Witnessing the strength of my fellow classmates. Even when my classmates were going through personal hardships, I saw them press on and complete all their assignments; that was very encouraging and inspiring for me. Also the pure passion for success of each student from my professors was influential for me. The professors believed in me, saw my potential and motivated me beyond my comfort zone. Whether it was through learning APA or how to write a purpose statement or even just workplace skills and experiences, they helped my development. With the influence of fellow classmates and professors, I got through this journey. I appreciate and value every single one of them.

What advice would you offer to other working adults who are considering going back to school? If furthering your education is one of your top goals then please go for it! It is never too late. If it continues to be in the back of your mind then you need to reflect on why it’s there and why you’ve been pushing it aside. Develop a list of pros and cons and create a plan. Furthering your education will be so rewarding in the end whether it is personally, professionally or a combination of both. I am so glad I did it and I don’t have a single regret.

What advice would you offer to fellow students who are not quite at graduation yet, but are chasing their educational dreams? I am proud of you. I know not many of us hear that enough, so I am proud of you. You are here. You are pursuing your educational dreams and that is so wonderful. I encourage you to allow time for studying, work, family and personal activities - work-life balance is important. We all have a journey and will experience difficulties along the way; but we will also experience achievements and success. Don’t give up, stay focused, work hard and remember the reason why YOU are chasing your educational dreams. One day soon you will get to look back and say, “I did it” and that feeling makes it all worth it.

Congratulations to Sondra Allen and the entire Class of 2018!

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Creating Bridges Between Education and Workforce Development

As part of its continued efforts to increase our city and region’s socioeconomic mobility through workforce-ready education and strategic partnerships, Peirce College recently joined forces with the Urban League of Philadelphia to host its Urban Tech Jobs Program.

This free program, with the goal of bridging education and workforce development, offered fourteen students the opportunity to participate in classroom learning and job readiness and resiliency workshops – all in preparation for the CompTIA A+ Certification exam and stepping stone into the tech space. By completing the certification exam, students became well equipped to compete for living-wage jobs in a booming industry. The Urban League covered the cost of the certification exam and Peirce College provided both instruction and a pathway to earning their associate’s degree.

“The responsibility for battling unemployment in Philadelphia does not fall to any one entity. It is up to all of us in the higher education, non-profits, for profit, and government sectors to work together toward our shared economic goals,” said Uva Coles, vice president of institutional advancement and strategic partnerships at Peirce. “We are thrilled that the Urban League has chosen us as a collaborator in its Urban Tech Jobs Program and that we can play an integral role in this work.”

Through the nine-week program, participants learned how to assemble components; install, configure and maintain devices, PCs and software; diagnose, resolve and document common issues; and provide appropriate customer support. Students found value in this training and provided their own personal feedback on the experience:

“The Urban Tech program was an awesome learning experience, and a great opportunity to take part in. It is designed to stretch you into what is current, and prepare you for a complex work environment. I feel that I am now provided with enough information to engage in the future and contribute to the tech world.” – Valerie Tartt

The partnership with the Urban League is just one example of the connections Peirce College has built throughout the Philadelphia region to help in its efforts to improve the lives of working adults and their families through targeted educational and workforce programs. Peirce College looks forward to working with the Urban League on future cohorts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Turning A Passion for People Into A Career – Human Resource Management

From generalists to specialists, Human Resource Management is a top field to get involved in if you have an interest in working and developing employees in businesses of all sizes. As a continuation of our Program Feature of the Month, for May we are introducing a program at Peirce College that is full of possibilities: Human Resource Management.

Human Resource Management students at Peirce will gain practical experience through simulations, case studies, and hands-on work with the latest industry technology. They will have the option to go into careers such as human resource generalist, benefits and administration, recruiting and organizational development, training and employee development and more! With the opportunity to earn your Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management, you are also directly positioned to go on and earn your Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Peirce.

In addition to being a part of a program which includes courses accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), students also will be participating in a curriculum that directly aligns with the competencies for human resource professionals spelled out by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Plus, program graduates are prepared to sit for professional and senior professional SHRM certifications. Peirce offers the only program of its kind in the region!

While gaining the classroom skills, students will also have the opportunity to take their education outside the classroom. Students can join SHRM as an active member and not only gain team and leadership experience, which is crucial for your career, but also take part in activities such as human resources educational and networking events. The most recent one was held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in New York City. Peirce’s SHRM Chapter traveled to the Plaza Hotel to listen and learn from speakers ranging from licensed New York attorneys to successful CEO's who spoke with the attendees on career engagement and lessons learned in their years of career experience.

One of the most well-known speakers in attendance was Pro Football Hall of Fame member and Dancing with the Stars Alum, Jason Taylor. Taylor spoke to the group on leadership and leading from the present into the future. He provided his secrets for success and spoke of resiliency and adversity, which resonated with the audience members, especially our Peirce students. Jason Taylor left the audience with a strong piece of advice saying, “Good leaders put people in a position to succeed. They provide support, resources, and training.”

Events such as this one with inspirational leaders and speakers like Jason Taylor are just one reason potential students should consider joining the Human Resource Management program at Peirce College. There is so much to gain as you develop and grow into your desired career.

To get started or to learn more about our Human Resource Management program, please contact us at 215.670.9000 or Check back in next month to see what program feature will be up next!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eager for Advancement, Ricky Neff Found Peirce’s CBE Program To Be Just What He Needed

As a single father eager to achieve his educational dreams of earning a bachelor’s degree, Ricky Neff knew he needed to find a college and a program that would fit his life.

As a current employee for AmeriHealth Caritas, Ricky quickly learned of Peirce College through the partnership with his employer, but would it have what he was looking for? After much research, Ricky found out Peirce was exactly the place for him, “As soon as I learned of the Competency-Based Education program at Peirce and spoke further with Christa Donato about it, I was hooked.”

Peirce’s Competency-Based Education (CBE) program is an opportunity for students in the Information Technology field to earn their bachelor’s degree in the quickest and most efficient way possible. With the help of past professional experience, students have the opportunity to earn their degree faster than ever before.

Ricky had previously earned his associate degree in Information Technology, so he had the prior knowledge to get started right away. The transition back to school to earn his bachelor’s was smooth thanks to his passion for the subject. He said, “The fact that I am going to college for something I love makes the experience positive. It is easy to write papers on things I have personal and professional experience with.”

Peirce’s CBE program allows for Ricky to have the flexibility necessary to complete his degree in a relaxed yet effective way, so he can continue to have a passion for education without the stress. Ricky said, “With CBE, there are not constant deadlines stressing you out. CBE is done on my own schedule when I find the right time to work on the material rather than feeling forced to get it done for a certain time frame.”

Additionally, Ricky adds how he can, “fly through the courses because I have the experience and prior knowledge to earn credits faster.” CBE allows for students to earn as many credits as they can in one semester for one flat rate. This allows for a quicker path to graduation!

Ricky also gave a special shout-out to Peirce’s CBE Coach, Christa Donato, while explaining his experience with the program. He only had great things to share on how she has really helped make the process even better. “Christa is a rockstar!” exclaimed Ricky, “She answers all my questions and is always there for me. It’s nice to have such individualized support.”

Currently working as the Senior Technical Support Analyst, Ricky hopes to continue improving in his position, but also achieve advancement opportunities in the future with his new degree. He said, “I have done desktop support for 10 years and would love to broaden my skill set through advancement, but most high-level positions require a bachelor’s degree, so I am ready to achieve that step.”

After just one semester in, Ricky is already on the fast track to earning that next degree by achieving 13 credits in just one semester. Ricky hopes to earn even more for this upcoming summer session! Congratulations to Ricky on his success with the program so far and we wish him nothing but continued excellence as he further chases his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.