Thursday, July 2, 2015

Help us Preserve Peirce History with the Peirce 150 Photos Contest!

As part of the College’s 150th anniversary celebration, we’ve been collecting your favorite Peirce stories.  Thanks to all who shared their favorite Peirce memories, and congratulations to Karima B. for winning the drawing for a $150 gift card!  

Now, we’re taking it a step further and asking you to submit your favorite photographs from your time at Peirce!

Students, alumni, employees, and members of the Peirce community are all invited to share their favorite photographs.  Selections will be included in the College’s official 150th anniversary digital scrapbook. 

There are multiple ways you can share your Peirce photograph with us:
  • Leave us a comment with your photograph in the comments section of this Facebook post
  • Share your photograph on Facebook with your friends, but be sure to tag Peirce College
  • Submit your photograph  via email to
  • Mail a hard copy photograph  to 1420 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 c/o Katie Taylor
  • Everyone who submits a photograph will have an equal chance to win another $150 gift card!
We’re excited to have you join us in celebrating this special year, and we look forward to being able to preserve your experiences.

*Please note selections of photographs to be featured are at the discretion of the College and due to the number received and their length, not all memories received may be used.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Master’s Degree Graduate Discusses the Differences between Undergrad and Grad School

Graduate school is often a whole new world compared to undergraduate education. While undergraduate programs often include many courses outside of your major, graduate programs tend to dive deeply into one field. Graduate programs also usually emphasize research more and an even greater application of theories into practice.

As such, preparing for graduate study takes a slightly different approach compared to what you might have experienced entering undergraduate school. We learned some great insights recently from Kim Lawrence, one of the first graduates of Peirce's Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management degree program (MSOLM). She also told us about what it was like to get her graduate degree at Peirce and several other takeaways to help adult learners who are considering going back to school.

Why did you choose to return to school?
I went to Peirce as an adult learner to earn my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I
Kim Lawrence
graduated in 2013. When I heard that Peirce was starting to offer master’s degrees, it grabbed my attention. I thought that I would have an advantage since I was going back to Peirce and the school was familiar to me. My husband and best friend encouraged me to go for it, so I enrolled.

What was your experience like at Peirce in the graduate program?
I think I thought it would be very similar to earning my undergraduate degree, but it was actually very different. In my master’s classes, there was a big focus on applying what I learned as an undergrad to real-world situations. I came up with a lot of my own original ideas and perspectives on how to solve business problems and learned how to trust my instincts.

What do you think are some of the biggest lessons you learned in your master’s degree program?
Don’t undermine your capabilities. Don’t be scared to be a leader. 

How are you planning to use your degree to help you in your career path?
I’m in a supervisor role now, and I want to keep growing. The good thing about having a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Management is that I’ll be able to apply it in lots of different areas within business.

Do you have any advice for students who are considering going back to school for their master’s degree?
Make sure you know what your learning style is. Do you like online or on-campus classes, or a combination of both? And find a support network. If it wasn’t for my husband, I would not have made it.  He was constant encouragement. If you’re on the fence, going back to school is definitely worth it. It’s an investment in your security, career-wise. It’s also a huge confidence boost. My first year of graduate school was also my first year working as a supervisor, so I was able to directly apply lessons I was learning in the classroom to how I managed my employees. 

Great insights, Kim, and congratulations on earning your master’s degree!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Peirce College Boasts Highest National Minority Enrollment in Online Bachelor’s Degrees

At Peirce, we firmly believe in providing students of all ages and backgrounds with access to higher education. Last week, our mission received national attention when the College was ranked first in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for having the highest percentage of minority-students enrolled in an online bachelor’s degree program!

In a June 16th analysis of data from nearly 300 colleges and universities, Peirce tops the chart with 76 percent of students pursuing online coursework reporting to be either Hispanic, black, indigenous, Asian, Polynesian or multiracial.

Peirce College’s large population of minority online undergraduates counters the national trend. A recent study by Aslanian Market Research and The Learning House, Inc. says nearly 70 percent of the nation’s online students are white.

“Peirce College has embraced diversity and inclusion and is committed to creating an environment that provides access to employer-valued education for all students,” said President James J. Mergiotti.  “Our interchangeable course delivery format eliminates many of the obstacles faced by adult learners, allowing students of all ages and backgrounds to reach their full potential and be successful in the workplace.”

Peirce is fully committed to breaking down barriers toward degree completion for all students.  As we mentioned in March beginning this fall with four of our health programs and our graduate studies program, and then rolling out across the rest of the curriculum over the next year, Peirce students can decide from week to week whether to attend their classes in person or online as part of the College’s unique flexible delivery format. Peirce is the first institution in the Philadelphia region – and among the first in the nation – to roll out this adaptable environment over its entire curriculum.  

As a major supporter of Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s education efforts, we were also one of the first schools in the region to participate in the Returning to Learning Partnership program, providing City of Philadelphia employees and their families with a 25% tuition discount. By partnering with major local employers, the College plays a large role in training the region’s workforce and positively impacting the local economy.

“Peirce College has long served the diverse needs of its students, no matter their race, age or background.  With flexible degree programs focused on meeting the demands of the 21st century workforce, Peirce prepares Philadelphians for future careers,” said Mayor Nutter.  “I want to thank Peirce College for supporting its students throughout the post-secondary learning process, both in class and online, especially minority students who are frequently underserved.”

Peirce College is proud of the diverse experiences and identities that make up our community, and we’re always excited to celebrate those differences.  To learn more about how Peirce College stacks up nationally, you can read the full U.S. News & World Report article here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Balancing Work, Life, and Education, a 150 Year Focus at Peirce College

Thomas May Peirce first opened the doors in 1865 for returning Civil War vets to gain the skills needed to compete in a shifting workplace. Since then, Peirce College has remained committed to the vision of being the recognized leader in higher education for providing adult learners a direct and customized path to employer valued skills and credentials.

By maintaining this focus over the past 150 years, Peirce has gained valuable insights into the challenges working adults face when trying to balance work and family while pursuing their education. Based on this understanding, we’ve continuously rolled out new, flexible learning models to help students achieve a balance and meet their goals.

Examples of this can be seen dating back to the school’s founding when classes offered a great deal of flexibility to accommodate fully-employed students. At that time, students could begin classes at any time and take as long as they needed to complete them, evening classes were available, and classes were offered year round – an innovative concept at the time.

Fast-forward over 100 years to 1999 and this focus on making education more accessible for working adults continued with the piloting of online courses. Since their launch, Peirce has been featured on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of the best online bachelor’s degree programs numerous times.

Today we continue our support of working adult students by offering a variety of class formats to best meet the challenges of students’ busy lives. These formats include day and evening classes, innovative online courses, and our newest course delivery system which allows students to choose on a class-by-class basis whether to attend online or in person. In addition, Peirce recently began offering weekend intensive classes that allow students to complete an entire three-credit course in only three weeks. 

As we celebrate our 150th anniversary, we look forward to another 150 years of offering the latest innovations that allow adult students to customize their education in the manner most convenient for their busy lives.

To celebrate with us, click here.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Sibling Support Makes All the Difference For A Pair Of Peirce Grads

We told you earlier this month about Renee Martin, Ramona Watson, and Brenda Eldridge—the mother and two-daughter trio who graduated together in Peirce’s Class of 2015. Family ties run through this year’s graduating class in other ways, too: On June 11th, siblings Rahim Bey and Teanna Payne completed their bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration together. Rahim, 27, earned his degree with a concentration in Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management, while Teanna, 39, concentrated in Management.

 It’s not surprising that Rahim and Teanna majored in the same subject. The two have been close for most of their lives and now have a goal to start their own business together.

 “I had a vision of running my own business and knew I had to go back to school to achieve it,” said Rahim when we talked to him about his Peirce experience. “At first I felt like I wasn’t going to be ready and might have jumped into it too fast. But with support from family, advisors, and faculty, I was able to stick with it.”

Teanna, a mother of three, also told us about the difference her family made in her educational journey. “I was 35 with teenagers running around. I didn’t know what to expect with going back to school. What kept me motivated was that I always tell my children to finish what they start. I knew I couldn’t preach that and not practice it.”

The duo also told us they had instructors that they felt they could rely on, including Business Faculty Chair Dr. Mike Schirmer. “He is really invested in his students,” Teanna said.

Looking back on their experience, Rahim and Teanna have some advice to share for other adult learners earning their degrees. “Time management!” they chimed in together.

“You also need a positive support system,” Teanna added. “We had each other.”

Now their degrees are the stepping stones they need to move into the next phase of their careers.

“Remember, in today’s job market you need a degree to do anything,” Teanna said. “Giving yourself an education is the biggest investment you can make in yourself. If you love yourself and know you’re worth it, don’t be scared to invest.”

And it’s family that helped Rahim and Teanna get there. The siblings reflected on their mother at the end of our conversation and told me they wanted to dedicate this blog post to her. “Her choices made us stronger and want more for ourselves and our families,” Teanna said.

Congratulations on earning your degrees, Rahim and Teanna! We can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Class of 2015 Grad Gets Closer to Her Peirce Family

Mary Grassia has been a part of the Peirce community for 9 years, working in the Registrar's office. But this month she’s added a couple new connections to the Peirce family: She's one of the first graduates of our Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management degree program (MSOLM), and she’s the first award recipient of our Patricia A. Rucker Graduate Studies Award for Academic Excellence.

We caught up with Mary to talk about her Peirce educational experience and what she’s planning to do with her new degree. Here’s what she told us.

Why did you decide to go back to school at Peirce?

I’m the first one in my family to earn any kind of college degree, so I wanted to do it for myself and for my family. A master’s degree would let me grow within my career. I was looking for a positive educational experience, and I knew from working at Peirce that completing a degree program here would fit with my schedule and my goals.

What was your experience like at Peirce in the MSOLM program?

I had a great experience. Time management and scheduling were very important. As a working adult, I had to balance school in between work and personal responsibilities. I also was able to get involved in the Graduate Student Association, which was a great forum for learning more leadership skills.

How will your degree help you in your career path?
My degree program helped me build leadership skills that I can use right now in my professional life. One of the books I read as part of my program was “Working with Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. It’s a good example of some of the lessons in professional development that I learned in the MSOLM program—things like how to listen better, give and receive feedback, resolve conflicts, and build stronger relationships in all aspects of your life.

What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering pursuing their master’s degree?
Breathe. Going back to school can be challenging sometimes, but keep pushing! Earning my master’s degree is something I really wanted for myself, and I committed to it. I’m so glad I did. The whole Graduate Studies team is so supportive. They make it easier.

What are your plans now that you’ve earned your master’s degree?
I want to keep growing within my career. I’m considering pursuing a Ph.D. And of course, I will be celebrating with my family and friends!

Way to go, Mary! We’re proud of your success and thankful for all you do at Peirce!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Peirce Master’s Degree Tuition Sees no Increase for 3 years, Provides High Value to Students

More and more people are seeking Master’s Degrees to advance their education and further their careers. However, with the cost of college tuition continually increasing, many are finding this pursuit financially challenging.

In light of these developments, Peirce is proud of the fact we’ve been able to keep tuition for our Master’s degree flat for the past 3 years.

It’s very unusual for any type of a program to hold tuition flat for 3 years in a row, particularly in today’s higher education climate in which we see regular tuition hikes from both public and private institutions as well as rising student loan debt levels.

In the midst of all of these developments, we’re in a pretty fortunate position in that we’ve been able to keep tuition flat. We’ve been able to do this by keeping our costs low, keeping operations very conservative, and by using our resources very wisely. For example, our faculty members perform a number of different roles such as course development, teaching, recruiting, admissions, and advising.  We’ve also leveraged the College’s existing resources in order to provide support structures for the Graduate program. These efficiencies create savings that we’re able to pass on to students as a non-profit institution.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Peirce can help you take the next step in your career, visit our Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Management (MSOLM) page or email us at