Friday, October 12, 2018

Meet The First Ever Peirce College Master of Science In Healthcare Administration Graduate: Hilda Rivera

In 2014, Hilda Rivera started her academic journey with Peirce College in hopes of gaining the degree she needed for the career she deserved. By June of 2016, Hilda proudly accomplished this goal when she earned her bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration.

But her story doesn’t end there – Hilda decided to continue on with her education by looking into earning her master’s degree. Due to her previous experience with Peirce College, the opportunity to earn graduate level credits during her undergraduate experience and because the College was officially launching a master’s program in her field of study, Hilda knew where her next journey would take place. So without any further hesitation, Hilda was the first student to enroll in Peirce’s new Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHCA) program!

Dr. Stephanie Donovan, Professor and Faculty Chair, Health Programs, reflects on Hilda’s decision to transition from bachelor’s to master’s, “Hilda exemplifies the student who enters the undergraduate program with extensive work experience in the field and for whom continuing at the master’s level is a natural progression.”

Fast-forward to June 2018, after balancing work, school and life once again, Hilda was ready and eager to cross the commencement stage once again, but this time Hilda would cross as the first ever graduate of the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program.

After earning two degrees at Peirce College, Hilda reflected back on how she got started with this incredible journey. Hilda said, “I decided to return to school only after my son completed his degree. Being a single parent was difficult and I could not afford to complete my degree because I had to care for him, but education has always been a priority for me. Knowing that I still have over twenty-five years until retirement and working for an organization where there are many opportunities for advancement, I was inspired to go back to school.”

Once inspired and ready to head back to school, Peirce College was a top choice for Hilda not only because of their corporate partnership with her employer, but she was also impressed with Peirce’s unwavering commitment to working adult learners. Adult learners have the complexity of juggling work and family obligations with the added element of returning to school. “My experience was different from a traditional-age student. I focused more in class, managed my time wisely and was able to integrate what I learned in class with my experience at work,” Hilda remarked.

After connecting with Peirce College and learning of the corporate partner tuition discount and the dedication to working adults, Hilda found another piece of Peirce she just could not resist. Peirce’s non-clinical healthcare degrees drew Hilda in as they were a perfect fit with Hilda’s work background. “I chose this degree because healthcare is my passion. My entire career has been in healthcare and, at this point, I would love to retire from my current employer,” explained Hilda, “With a master’s degree, I know that I will have the ability to advance within this field.”

Now, a two-time Peirce graduate, Hilda looks back on her time with Peirce, saying, “Returning to Peirce for my education was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Peirce professors and staff were with me all the way.”

In addition to the internal support received, Hilda also is grateful for her financial relief following graduation, “I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees debt-free. At Peirce, I was able to take advantage of the corporate partner discount provided to my employer and was given the opportunity to go on a payment plan for the remainder of my balance per session.”

Since returning to school at Peirce, Hilda has gone from a part-time position to a full-time position and a promotion. She is currently a Senior Concierge in a healthcare organization. Hilda said, “I am in a good place and love my job. My master’s degree has provided me confidence to have the ability to rise when an opportunity comes along.”

We are so very proud of Hilda’s accomplishments and congratulate her on the completion of the MSHCA program.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Funding Your Education With Student Scholarships

Financing a college education can be one of the trickiest parts of heading back to school as a working adult. Luckily, there are college scholarships and grants available to assist students in funding their dreams one degree at a time.

In addition to student scholarships found online through places such as fastweb.com, Peirce College offers a variety of our own scholarships for working adults to apply for and receive.

Over the next few months, I will highlight a small sample of the financial aid scholarship opportunities to spread the news on these incredible offerings, as well as, offer scholarship tips and advice to ensure all students are able to get the most support during their academic journey.

This month, we start off with the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship started in 2017. This reward was created to honor the late Professor Edwin B. Miller and to provide college scholarships to current Peirce Legal Studies students in need of financial assistance. Recently, the first ever recipients of this scholarship were awarded and they were eager to share their insight on the benefits of applying for scholarships, such as this one.

Meet and hear from some of the 2018 Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship winners:

“Applying for scholarships can be intimidating; it definitely was for me. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why would anyone want to invest in a woman my age?’ I soon came to realize, though, the answer to that question is because this woman has a lot to offer, based on age and life experiences, and so do you! The first step is to apply; you will never know unless you try. The cost of education can prove to be expensive, but there are money and opportunities out there to help. I encourage everyone to take that initial step, because we all have a lot to offer, and I'm sure we all could use some financial support. Fill out that application, write that essay, wait with anticipation and feel that relief when you receive the reward.” – Juwaurne Hughes, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Student

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“The best advice that I can give to those considering applying for college is very simple: tell your story. We all have a story about what motivates us to go to school, or in my case, go back to school after fifteen years. Who has helped you to make the decision to go through the long days and sleepless nights? For me, it is my children, and my fiancée, Heather. I talked about going back to school and the regrets I had about not completing my degree and Heather pushed me relentlessly to stop talking about it and do it. Once I started, my children remained behind me, motivating me to show them that if you want something in life, you have to be willing to put in the work to get it. Share these types of stories and open up about your experiences during the scholarship application process!

Another piece of advice is after you have written out your story, let someone read it. It is important to remember that the people who will be making the selection are looking for a well-written and professional looking essay. Let someone whose opinion you trust read it and critique it. Many times they will find grammatical errors or just give you a better way to say what you mean. So use your surrounding resources and take your time! It is worth it in the end.” – Christopher Hinckley, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies Student

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“When I graduated in June 2018 from Peirce College with my associate degree in Criminal Justice, I honestly did not think that I would be able to complete my bachelor’s degree for financial reasons. At first, I was afraid to do anything about my situation, such as apply for scholarships, but the Peirce College staff and faculty recognized that I maintained good grades and had a high GPA, so they introduced me to multiple financial assistance opportunities. To my surprise, after applying to many scholarships, I received not only the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship, but five others to assist with my next educational step.

For those considering applying, do it; never be afraid to be considered for candidacy! You have to take your time and make sure you are giving the committee exactly what they need and state your case for why you are a great candidate. I advise providing recommendations from professors and professional colleagues. Applying for scholarships can result in a large burden being taken off your shoulders during your college career. I cannot thank Peirce College enough for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to earn my bachelor’s degree.” – DeVonte Douglass, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Student

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“As I recently approached my final year at Peirce College for my bachelor’s degree, I was faced with the disappointing news that I only had a limited amount of undergraduate financial aid left. I was scared, sad, frustrated and disappointed; because I was finally so close to reaching my goal of being the first in my family to graduate. Instead of losing hope, though, I persevered and sought out advice from my family, friends and Peirce College advisors for other ways to pay for my tuition and that’s when I was able to obtain the information on several scholarship opportunities. I was lucky enough to receive four scholarships!

I think that it is imperative to apply for scholarships because it is vital to for not only a student’s success during college, but also post-graduation. Attending college is expensive, but rewarding, so that’s exactly why finding, applying for and receiving scholarships are critical steps for any college student. Show eagerness when searching and applying for scholarships as it will show your dedication and passion. Due to my eagerness, my Academic Advisor invested so much of her time to find and assist me with scholarships to make sure I made the most of my opportunities. You can get so much by applying for scholarships; it certainly opened many doors for me.” – Patrina Hope, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies in Business Student

Thank you and congratulations to all our 2018 Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship recipients! Check back in next month for a new scholarship highlight and some more advice on funding your education as a working adult.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Study Skills For Success

Developing and maintaining strong study skills is key for academic success during a student’s college experience, especially for working adults who are balancing a family, a career, and school. As Peirce College students continue to tackle the current session, the Walker Center for Academic Excellence wanted to provide some guidance on how to stay ahead, stay prepared and stay on track. Check out the following study tips to keep in mind as you take on your final assignments:

1. Study Smarter, Not Harder! Review class and reading notes within 24 hours of your test to help material move from short-term to long-term memory. In addition to this technique, review class and reading notes on a weekly and cumulative basis, so the material stays fresh and relative in your mind.

2. Plan Your Study Sessions! Schedule study times on a daily and weekly basis, and stick to your study schedule. By committing to a structured time and date, you will find yourself creating a regular routine you will want to stick with.

3. Mark Your Calendar With Your Due Dates! You can use the calendar built into your Canvas account to view assignment due dates in order to keep track of what is due when for all your classes. You can also add your own due dates and study sessions to this calendar to keep a full repository of your upcoming academic requirements.

4. Utilize Support Services! Walker Center staff, tutors and your Academic Advisor can help you with study skills, time management and goal setting. Get to know all of the Peirce staff and faculty who are eager to see you succeed.

5. Enjoy the Journey! Keep your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals in mind as you attend class, study and complete assignments. Always strive for excellence, and find satisfaction in gaining the knowledge and skills you need for success at Peirce and in your career.

In addition to these tips, don’t forget to keep in mind if you are looking to get personalized attention with your schoolwork, reach out to the Walker Center for Academic Excellence to schedule an individual tutoring session. You can also join the team of expert tutors this Saturday, October 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on campus for Study Day. Carve out time to get extra support with your upcoming assignments, papers and even test preparation. Let the Walker Center know you’re coming by contacting them today at 215.670.9251 or wcae@peirce.edu.

Congratulations on making the decision to chase your educational goals and good luck as you continue to get closer to achieving your academic dreams every single day!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Combining Two Passions Into One Successful Career: Legal Studies in Business

Interested in a career that intersects law and business, but haven’t yet committed to finishing your degree? If you’ve earned at least 45 credits from college-level courses, Peirce College has the perfect program for working adults just like you! Our degree completion program is a convenient, flexible option that allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies in Business leading you into the career you’ve always wanted.

A bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies in Business prepares you for a successful career in business law with intellectual tools and practical skills like analytics, problem solving, oral communication, legal and business research and more by taking courses such as business law, legal research and writing, business litigation, corporations, human resource management, ethical leadership and contract law.

This Legal Studies in Business program will prepare you for a variety of roles that focus on the legal side of business, such as regulation, compliance, contacts, research analytics, lobbying and corporate practice. The program also provides a strong foundation for those who choose to pursue a career as an attorney.

In alignment with our dedication to this program, Peirce College has hosted the Mid-Atlantic Academy of Legal Studies in Business Conference three times in the last ten years. Peirce College Professor Cynthia Gentile served as Conference Chair of the event. This year, the two-day conference featured presentations by faculty from institutions throughout the region. Topics included Ethics, Freedom of Speech, Crowdfunding, an analysis of Federal Court decisions in law and business and the #MeToo movement.

The variety of these subjects demonstrates how the law and all aspects of business intersect in a meaningful and challenging way. This, of course, has a significant impact on everyday life. The connection between the law and the business world has never been more complex.

Because of this complexity, it has never been a better time than now to get involved in this career field and to take hold of your future by earning your Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies in Business.

To learn more about the program and ways to get started, contact Peirce College’s Admissions Team at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu today.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Build Your Network By Meeting Peirce’s Health Programs Faculty

Building relationships with faculty outside of the classroom is an important part of being an engaged student and having positive classroom and overall college experiences. The Peirce faculty is composed of skilled and involved individuals who are eager to share their career and workforce knowledge. The faculty members value the opportunity to connect with students on their experience and guide them along with their career goals and aspirations.

Unfortunately, sometimes, the letters that follow your professor’s name on the syllabus are the most students know about our faculty members’ educational, credential and networking history. In this month’s Health Programs blog series, we dig a bit deeper into Peirce’s healthcare faculty members’ professional backgrounds, so you can feel more connected to your current or upcoming professor and know who to go to when you are seeking career advice, networking opportunities or educational next steps.

To start, my name is Dr. Stephanie Donovan and I am an Associate Professor and the Faculty Chair of the Health Programs division at Peirce College. I completed my doctorate degree in Higher Education Leadership from Delaware Valley University, earned my MBA from LaSalle University and undergraduate degrees in Health Information Technology (HIT) and Health Information Administration (HIA) from Gwynedd-Mercy University (College). After completing the HIT program, I sat for the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®) exam and after completing the HIA program I took the Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA®) exam. I have held volunteer positions at the local, state and national levels of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) including president of the Lehigh Valley Health Information Management Association (LVHIMA), state advocacy coordinator for Pennsylvania Health Information Management Association (PHIMA) and member of AHIMAs Council for Excellence in Education. I am currently a community member of Einstein’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). To contact me, Dr. Donovan, please email sadonovan@peirce.edu.

Now it is my pleasure to introduce my experienced and knowledgeable team:

Professor Jamie Loggains, Assistant Professor, returns to school this fall as a student in Maryville University’s Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership program. Professor Loggains currently holds the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT®) credential through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) credential through the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC). She is the current Member Development Officer for the local Yardley/Levittown AAPC chapter. Professor Loggains expertise is in medical coding and billing. Students pursuing the Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding or associate degree in Health Information Technology should consider connecting with Professor Loggains, especially those exploring medical coding certifications. To contact Professor Loggains, please email jmloggains@peirce.edu.

Professor Todd Nickelsberg, Assistant Professor, also returns to the classroom this fall as a student in Rowan University’s Doctor of Education in Higher Educational Leadership program and holds a Master of Health Administration with a concentration in Health Informatics from Saint Joseph’s University. In addition to teaching at Peirce College, Professor Nickelsberg is a clinical consultant for the City of Philadelphia Dept. of Behavioral Health and performs clinical audits at providers that receive local, state and federal funding. Professor Nickelsberg also sits on the City of Philadelphia’s Opioid Task Force as a subcommittee member. He is also an active member of the Healthcare Leadership Network of Delaware Valley through the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), as well as the Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). To contact Professor Nickelsberg, please email tnickelsberg@peirce.edu.

Professor Jackie Penrod, Associate Professor, holds a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Business Administration, both from Temple University. She also earned her undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She recently completed the Teaching in Higher Education Certificate at Temple University, where a portion of the program focused on teaching with technology. Professor Penrod is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and continues to advise clients with respect to healthcare privacy and contract negotiation. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals and the American College of Healthcare Executives. To contact Professor Penrod, please email jpenrod@peirce.edu.

Now that you’ve met the team, it’s time to get started learning and networking with them! Reach out to any of the professors above to learn more about Health Programs, Peirce College, careers and so much more.

Check back in next month to see what the Health Programs division has to share next!

Friday, September 21, 2018

From An Interest To A Career; Information Technology Was Right For Jocelyn

Peirce College students and alumni exemplify what it means to be adult learners, and 2018 Information Technology graduate Jocelyn Valentine is no exception. Jocelyn graduated high school in 1989 and had every intention to attend college, but had to put her education on hold because she couldn’t afford it at the time. She took a job working as a secretary and enjoyed it for a while, but after a few years she began to think about a career change.

Jocelyn had an interest in computers, so she enrolled in a class to earn a networking certification and switched her role at her place of employment from a secretary to the IT Help Desk. After some time working at the Help Desk, she knew that she’d need to earn her college degree if she wanted to climb the ladder, so she enrolled at Cumberland County College, a community college partner of Peirce College, in 2006.

After attending Cumberland County College as a part-time student (since she worked full-time while attending school), Jocelyn graduated with her associate degree in Computer Science and Information Systems in 2010. Soon after that, though, Jocelyn experienced an unexpected layoff at work, so she decided that the best thing she could do would be to continue on with her education and earn her bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.

To find the best fit at a four-year school where she could obtain her bachelor’s degree, Jocelyn reached back out to Cumberland County College’s transfer office for help. Considering her busy schedule and need for flexibility and online classes, and because all of her Cumberland County classes would transfer, Peirce College was recommended to her as the most logical fit. It was a recommendation that Jocelyn is still thankful for to this day, as she speaks fondly about her experience at Peirce.

“My admissions specialist, Karen Hun, was very knowledgeable and worked to make sure I had full transferability with all of my classes. She guided me through the process of getting set up for school, and then once I became a student, my advisor Holly Tillery was always there for me with any help I needed.”

Since she worked while she was a Peirce College student and because she lives an hour away from Philadelphia, Jocelyn attended all of her classes online. She credits her teachers with providing exceptional guidance and support even though she never physically got to meet them. “I had a great experience with all of my IT instructors, but Professor Patrick Coyle, specifically, was amazing. He’s incredibly knowledgeable and he has a great style of teaching that forces you to not only learn the information, but retain everything as well.”

Due to her experience and education, Jocelyn has now worked for several years at a new job as an IT Support Specialist in the local government office in Cumberland County. Even after graduating with her bachelor’s in June 2018 with a 3.96 GPA, Jocelyn is not quite done with her academic achievements yet; she is now taking graduate classes in Cybersecurity. Though she doesn’t have as much free time as she’d like, Jocelyn enjoys road trips and traveling (she hopes to visit all 50 states!) and watching zombie movies.

Peirce College salutes Cumberland County College for providing Jocelyn with a wonderful educational background, and wishes her well in all of her future endeavors!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Partnerships, at 215.670.9203 or ttschop@peirce.edu.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It’s Time To Elevate Your Equity Through Business Ownership!

Peirce College prides itself on the opportunity to assist in the development of soft skills for our students and alumni through our experienced faculty and staff, as well as, through unique events where students and alumni can learn from local experts on a variety of topics. Next month, Peirce College is honored to be partnering with the Office of Economic Opportunity, Department of Commerce | City of Philadelphia in support of Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week.

Through the partnership and support of this city-wide, week-long tribute to minority businesses and resources, Peirce College is proud to host a special event on Peirce’s campus called Elevate Your Equity through Business Ownership. This community-wide event is an opportunity for all those business-focused individuals who seek advice and guidance on starting and building their own company to learn from Philadelphia entrepreneurs and professionals.

To start this fundamental event off, attendees will get the opportunity to speed network with three successful entrepreneurs who are ready to share their knowledge on how each started their own business while discussing professional business structure including financing, marketing and much more.

Wondering who the three entrepreneurs will be? Take a look:

1. Donna Allie, President & Founder, Team Clean, Inc. – Ms. Allie first launched Team Clean, Inc. in the mid-1980s as a solo entrepreneur. Since then she has grown the privately held company tremendously and has hired thousands of employees in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

2. Elaine L. Johnson, CPA, MBA, President & Founder, Financial Business Solutions – Ms. Johnson began her career with the international accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia. She then transitioned into building and running her certified woman owned small business, Financial Business Solutions!

3. Angelina Perryman, Vice President of Administration, Perryman Construction – Ms. Perryman represents the third generation of Perryman Construction managing contracts, risk avoidance, human resources, technology and next generation strategic and corporate planning.

Immediately following this fantastic networking and learning experience, attendees will get to hear a keynote address from Iola Harper, Deputy Commerce Director, Office of Economic Opportunity, Department of Commerce | City of Philadelphia, who will share her knowledge on business ownership in Philadelphia. Iola Harper is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for small businesses and urban neighborhoods. Prior to joining the Kenney Administration, she had spent well over two decades working diligently with minority and women-owned firms and economic development agencies across the Delaware Valley, helping them gain access to needed financial, technical and contract opportunity.

So come out to Peirce College’s campus located at 1420 Pine St., Philadelphia, PA 19102 on Tuesday, October 2 at 5:30 p.m. to meet and hear from these amazing business-driven and passionate women. Let us know you’re coming, though, by registering today at peirce.edu/elevateyourequity. For any further information, please reach out to me, Dr. Charlene Glenn, at cglenn@peirce.edu.