Monday, September 19, 2016

Peirce College Celebrates 151st Founder’s Day

On September 19, 1865, Thomas May Peirce opened the doors of what would originally be named Union Business College.  His vision was clear; deliver practical, career-focused education to non-traditional learners in Philadelphia, and develop a workforce that would meet the evolving needs of Philadelphia employers. 

Peirce President & CEO Jim Mergiotti cuts the cake at the College's 151st Founder's Day celebration.
Now, 151 years later, Peirce College is still building on what Thomas May Peirce first set out to do in 1865.  “We live his mission every day,” said Peirce president Jim Mergiotti today during a small celebration on campus.  “We meet students where they are, ensure employers have the talent they need, and most importantly, give something back to our community—every day.” 
Thomas May Peirce founded Peirce College in 1865 when he was just 27 years old. 

With Peirce College’s newest innovations, particularly the only competency-based degree in Information Technology from a Philadelphia college, and Peirce Fit TM, our unique course format that
allows students to choose week-to-week if they prefer to attend class on campus or online, the College is continuing Thomas May Peirce’s vision in the 21st century.

“If Thomas May Peirce were here today, if he was walking the halls and knew what Peirce College was doing, he would be so excited,” said President Mergiotti.  “He would be proud that we are following his example of connecting students to opportunities and challenging the status quo.”

To learn more about how Peirce has been educating adults in Philadelphia for 151 years, click here

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Are you an ITT Tech student trying to figure out your next move? We can help!

With the recent shutdown of ITT Technical Institute, many ITT students may find themselves struggling with what to do next.  Peirce has opened its doors to ITT students to provide them with a seamless transition to keep their education on track.

Peirce College has more than 150 years of experience serving Philadelphia’s adult learners.  Being a non-profit institution, our students’ tuition is re-invested into providing a quality educational experience.  Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education* and offers practical associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees developed in alignment with employer needs.  

Peirce is a great fit for ITT students looking to continue to complete their degrees in a nurturing and supportive environment. To help former ITT Tech students learn more about their transfer options, Peirce College is hosting a dedicated information session on Tuesday, September 13th.  ITT students who attend will receive one-on-one guidance and support from our enrollment counselors to continue their education at Peirce as well as these great benefits:


  •          $50 application fee waived
  •          A $100 book voucher for registered students
  •         Access to a Peirce orientation course at no charge
  •         48-hour unofficial transcript evaluation

ITT students will enjoy the unique flexibility of Peirce Fit™ across our entire curriculum (business, healthcare, legal studies, and information technology programs). Our competency-based bachelor’s degree in Information Technology could also be a fit for ITT students with work experience in the IT field.

The Peirce enrollment and student financial services team is briefed and ready to support ITT Tech students on credit transfer; credit-by-examination test options; ITT loan forgiveness; and any other questions they may have to make a seamless transition to complete their degree.

If you are a former ITT student or know someone affected by the ITT Tech closure, encourage them to  register for our upcoming information session, click here or contact Peirce today.  Our next session starts on September 26th so it’s not too late to enroll for fall!

We look forward to seeing you at Peirce College!

To learn more about Peirce College, and how we can help you earn the degree you need for the career you deserve, click here.

Know someone who could benefit from this information? Share this blog post with them!


*The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, phone 267-284-5000.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Peirce College Success Story: Meet Carl

This week on the blog, we’re getting to know some of the faces featured in Peirce College’s current advertising campaign. Today, meet Carl!

Tell us how you first heard about Peirce College.

I had first noticed Peirce College from their advertisements around the city on buses, bus stops, etc. I knew very little about the school aside from the fact that it was the only ABA approved school in the area for Paralegal Studies bachelor’s degrees. I decided to do some research on Peirce College and had an on-campus interview.

What made you decide to return to school to get your certificate in Paralegal Studies?

After college, I worked for two years but was laid off.  I felt like I was in a rut, so I started to explore certificate options that would pair nicely with my Bachelor's Degree in American History and make me a little more marketable to employers.  Peirce has a long history of career focused degrees, and with it also being an ABA approved school, it seemed like the best fit.

What was your student experience like at Peirce?  

Class sizes were intimate enough to be personal, and the professors were all passionate. Glenn Barnes and Carol Sherman were professors who I had multiple classes with early on, and they left remarkable impressions on me.  Their classrooms were a great combination of humor and learning.

How did Peirce’s curriculum prepare you for a real world career as a paralegal?

It gave me a great foundation for my career as a paralegal.  In the legal field, all cases, venues, and locations are different and have their own nuances. You can’t really learn the specifics of every situation, so you really need to understand the legal system, know how to find information, and be able to analyze that information.  Peirce College gave me the ability to do that.

How has the certificate you earned at Peirce made a difference in your career?

I currently work as a paralegal at a law firm in Philadelphia. Peirce helped prepare me with a strong understanding of all legal systems, as well as the research that would be required of me.  My time at Peirce definitely helped prepare me for what I would eventually be doing.

What advice would you give to adults who need to earn their degree and are thinking about going back to school?

It doesn’t have to be difficult; it can be as easy as you make it.  If you apply yourself fully, you can complete the required classes as quickly as possible and get up-and-running with your new career. Don't wait! Be enthusiastic. Want to learn.

What’s next for you?

I love my job. Since graduating from Peirce, I’ve had multiple opportunities for promotions and my
quality of life has definitely improved. I see myself continuing to be a paralegal for quite some time.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Carl! Keep an eye out for Carl as you ride SEPTA regional rail lines or PATCO.

To find out how you can experience the Peirce Difference, click here.



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Success Story: Tymeka McCaskill

This week on the blog, we’re getting to know some of the faces featured in Peirce College’s current advertising campaign.   Today, meet Tymeka!

For Peirce College student and soon to be graduate Tymeka McCaskill, choosing to pursue her education was both a personal and professional choice.  “I had spent a year working in the custodial field,” Tymeka explains.  “I didn’t want to be stuck in a menial job with little hope for retirement or benefits.  And, I knew that furthering my education would improve my quality of life.”

Wanting to find a college that had experience working with adult learners, Tymeka started googling Philadelphia area colleges and doing some research.  It didn’t take her long to come across Peirce College.  “I read about Peirce after a Google search, and was excited to learn that not only were they a smaller institution with a history of catering to adult learners, but they offered more flexibility and lots of options for adults compared to other schools with similar missions.”

Shortly after, Tymeka enrolled in Peirce to earn her bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management.  She describes her student experience as “phenomenal.”  The flexibility offered at Peirce allowed her to continue working while earning her degree, and enabled her to participate in extracurricular college events.  Tymeka also formed close relationships with many faculty members who she describes as “unofficial mentors”.  However, it was her course work at Peirce that she feels built the foundation for her success working in her dream field of Human Resources.

“I could directly apply my coursework at Peirce to entry level HR assignments,” Tymeka explains.  “I remember learning what an LMS (Learning Management System) was in class one week, and just a few days later being asked by my manager to update my company’s LMS.  The real world case studies, scenarios, and projects that I practiced in my Peirce course work allowed me to feel confident taking on assignments at work that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to complete independently.  I owe my career in HR to my education.”

Now, Tymeka looks forward to graduating from Peirce in December of this year.  She hopes to continue to grow in her career, and has made it her goal to earn her SHRM certification within the next two years.   “If I hadn’t decided to pursue my education, I would probably still be working in the custodial field.  Enrolling at Peirce was life changing.”

Tymeka’s advice for fellow adult learners thinking about furthering their education? Don’t wait.  “I always tell people that time is going to pass whether you are working towards your degree or not.  Why not make the most of your time?”


To experience the Peirce Difference, click here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Peirce College adds local industry leaders to Board of Trustees


At Peirce College, we’re committed to ensuring our programs continue to align with the skills demanded by local employers, and we’re always looking to engage experienced industry professionals about what our students should know and how we can help the College grow.


To do just that, we recently welcomed four executives from the region onto our Board of Trustees. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to the four newest Trustees: Thomas M. McLaughlin ‘84, Toni Pergolin, Lawrence (Larry) Scanlan, and Dr. Brian G. Swift!


Thomas M. McLaughlin ‘84 is the Senior Vice President and Director of Technology Management Services at Wells Fargo & Company, where he’s responsible for the strategy, technology support, execution and delivery of multiple technology-based services.  He’s held leadership positions throughout his impressive 30 year career. He’s also a Peirce College alumnus, having earned his associate degree in computer science in 1984, and has served as a mentor to Peirce’s IT students. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in management from Eastern University and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. McLaughlin’s insight into the regional IT industry has already been utilized in the development of the College’s new competency-based education program, launching in September.  
Toni Pergolin serves as the President, Chief Executive Officer at Bancroft, a regional human services provider. Her focus is the continued growth and diversification of the organization, as well as the services and programs provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism and acquired brain injuries. She received her undergraduate degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and her master’s in health administration from Saint Joseph’s University. Her decades of experience in healthcare will provide guidance as the College expands its healthcare portfolio to meet the evolving demands of area employers, including its newest program, a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.
Lawrence (Larry) Scanlan, CPA, FHFMA serves as the President of Scanlan & Associates, LLC, a
consulting and executive coaching firm. He previously held executive and financial leadership positions for more than 40 years. A nationally recognized expert on healthcare, he served as president of one of the country’s premier healthcare consulting firms, The Hunter Group, and most recently was a founder and president of Insight Health Partners, LLC. Scanlan has previously  served on Peirce’s Board of Trustees, including a term as chairman. He attended Peirce prior to receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from Philadelphia University. With his years of healthcare and business acumen, Scanlan will provide key thought leadership in the continued development of new programs that respond directly to regional employer needs.
Dr. Brian G. Swift is the Vice President, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and Associate Dean for Professional Affairs at Jefferson School of Pharmacy.  Dr. Swift is responsible for acute care pharmacy operations servicing approximately 1,000 patient beds, four outpatient retail pharmacy operations, a health system based home infusion program and a specialty pharmacy program. He received his bachelor of science in pharmacy and his doctor of pharmacy from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and an MBA in healthcare administration from Saint Joseph’s University. As a longtime industry practitioner and academic, he brings a unique perspective to the College’s continual development of employer-valued healthcare curriculum.


For more information about our four newest board members, and how they’ll be assisting the College as we continue to provide innovative, life friendly options for adult learners, click here.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Success Story: Jonathan Turner

Heroes come in all different shapes; this Peirce hero happens to wear a Marine uniform. 

Jonathan Turner first joined the military in 1989, and was on active duty in the US Marine Core until 1993.  He fought in the Gulf War and was one of the first in combat.  After being honorably discharged in 1993, he applied to work for SEPTA where he went on to be employed for 23 years.  Despite having a busy career in transit, he still felt the need to serve and joined the PA Army National Guard in 1999.  Things were good at first, but Jonathan was about to experience a significant change.

“At first it was fun, like a club, but everything changed September 2001 with 9/11,” Jonathan explained. “Our focus changed.  We were preparing for real combat, and were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008-2009.”

During his time in the National Guard Jonathan didn’t just see combat, he was also deployed during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.  He achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class, but despite his impressive service record he still felt like his life was missing something.  Jonathan had served his country, gotten married, and had a wonderful family, but there was one thing he lacked: a college degree.

“I raised children, married, and served.  I wanted to evolve, and better myself for all of those I love.  I wanted to go back to school before, but life got in the way,” Jonathan explained. “I wanted to be a role model for my sons and family.  By going to school and graduating from college, I can be an example for my grown sons to go back to school.”

Jonathan had to make sure that he went to college that would understand his unique education and scheduling needs, luckily he had heard about a certain school that sounded perfect for him from a friend.

“A former first sergeant of mine, William Blackman, graduated from Peirce and is now in the MSOLM program,” Jonathan explained. “[He] told me that Peirce will steer me in the right direction and push me to my potential.”

William’s glowing recommendation certainly helped Jonathan’s decision to go to Peirce, but what really impressed him about the college was its perks for military members.  Peirce College is a Yellow Ribbon School, Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) approved, and has been included on the Military Friendly Colleges List for several years. The school has a variety of military scholarships available to help make earning a degree more affordable. 

At Peirce, military benefits also cover students’ spouses, so Jonathan’s wife Robin made the decision to go back to school with him.  He liked that Peirce had excellent tutoring services and support, small class sizes, and a positive community.  He was even given a student advisor that knew how to cater to his specific military background and needs.

“I was nervous about being an older student and not being able to cope with the fast pace that these younger students are used to.  But once I felt the support of Peirce, I thought ‘you can do this’.  Peirce works with enough military members so they know our schedules.  At Peirce you’re not just a number, their family approach reminded me of my military experience.”

Jonathan started to study at Peirce in 2014, and is expected to graduate in 2017.   His experience so far has been phenomenal, and he recommends it to other soldiers.

“I’ve already recommended Peirce to my junior soldiers in my platoon and two of them have enrolled!” Jonathan exclaimed.

He encourages other people, whether they’re military or not, to enroll in Peirce. 

“You can do it.  If you need the extra support, Peirce can help you finish.  If you work hard, no matter how long you’ve been out of school, you will succeed.” 

Ready to start your Peirce journey? Click here. 

To experience the Peirce difference, click here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Top 5 Reasons Why Now is the Time for You to Earn Your Degree at Peirce College


We've just added a second date for Peirce Night; a night that's all about you and achieving your goals. We understand it’s the middle of summer. It's your time to relax, and thinking about adding college to your already full plate is tough. At Peirce College, we believe that it might not be as tough as you think. Here are our top five reasons why there’s no better time to start earning your degree. 

1.       Transfer-friendly degree programs.  When you’re an adult student returning to college, every credit you’ve already earned counts. Choose from our three bachelor’s degree completion programs in business, legal studies, and information technology.  They’re programs that are especially designed to maximize the credits you already have and put you on an accelerated path to degree completion. Peirce also has transfer agreements with over twenty community colleges in the region to ensure their students a smooth transition and transfer of credits.
2.       One on one wrap around support.  At Peirce, you’re not just a number.  That’s why we assign you a personal enrollment representative to walk you, start to finish, through the process of going back to school. They’ll coach you through registering for classes, buying textbooks, and be your cheerleader as you manage any back to school jitters.  It’s their job to get you ready for class and keep you focused on your main goal; graduation.
3.       Unmatched flexibility.  Everyone knows that working adult learners need flexibility, but at Peirce, we know they also need something extra; innovation.  That’s why we’re the first college in the nation to offer our entire curriculum in Peirce Fit™, a revolutionary learning format that lets you choose each week either to attend class in person or online.  We’re also the only Philadelphia-based school to offer a competency-based bachelor's degree in Information Technology, putting IT professionals on the most direct path to earning their degree.  
4.       You can save money*. $150 to be exact! Don’t let a fear of finances keep you from investing in your future.  When you attend Peirce Night and register for Session 1 classes, we'll waive your $50 application fee and give you a $100 book voucher to put towards your textbooks. Plus, if you’re employed by one of our corporate partners, (or if your spouse or parent is an employee) you’ll also have access to a 25% tuition discount!
5.       You can earn money.  The facts are that people with a bachelor’s degree earn on average $500 more per week more than those that didn’t graduate from college.  That’s $2,000 more a month, and $24,000 more a year.  What’s more, the unemployment rate among workers with a bachelor’s degree is less than half the rate compared to workers that didn’t complete their college education.**  Don’t let procrastination get in the way of achieving your goals and living the lifestyle you want for you and your family.


For more information on how Peirce can help you earn the degree you need for the career you deserve, click here.  

*$100 book voucher will be awarded to students who register for classes by the week of 9/6/16 for textbook purchases only.
** Source: http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm