Friday, June 12, 2020

Reflecting Back on His Time at Peirce – Hear from DeVonte Douglass

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Back in August 2019, Professor Mike Agnello introduced a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice student, DeVonte Douglass. At that point, DeVonte was engrossed in his studies and tackling different internships gaining both knowledge in and out of the classroom.

Now, I am thrilled to re-introduce DeVonte as a Class of 2020 graduate who finished his degree this past May.

Originally earning his Associate in Science in Criminal Justice from Peirce College in 2018, DeVonte moved right into his bachelor’s degree eager to continue his studies in the field where he found his calling.

“I chose the criminal justice program because I have family members who were done wrongfully by the criminal justice system. I want to be the change inside of our criminal justice system,” explained DeVonte. “I want to be able to get the victim or the State of Pennsylvania, the justice they deserve by restoring trust in our criminal justice system for both the victims and defendants who enter those courtrooms.”

With this burning passion, DeVonte plans to take his bachelor’s degree and move onto law school. He said, “I plan on using my degree in Criminal Justice to go back to school and become a criminal attorney either as a prosecutor or criminal defense attorney.”

DeVonte feels equipped to take this next step thanks to all his studies at Peirce College, but feels especially prepared thanks to one professor in particular. “I have gained knowledge from each and every one of my professors, including Associate Professor and Faculty Chair of Legal Studies, Michael Agnello who encouraged me to push forward to become a criminal attorney. He has continued to help put me on the right path with assisting with all of my questions and being there regarding the criminal justice program.”

Reflecting back on his time at Peirce, DeVonte shared, “My overall Peirce experience was a rewarding one. It came with challenges, which is expected when you are trying to better yourself.”

DeVonte elaborated on his challenges, explaining, “The challenges I faced were personal and financial both which could have stopped me from pursuing my degree. I thought about the people I would be disappointing when I felt like I did not want to pursue my degree any longer and it inspired me to keep going. The professors also always encouraged me to keep going no matter what. The professors were more accommodating than they needed to be, but it makes a difference when you have professors who care about you. Also, being a scholarship recipient two years in a row helped significantly with the financial struggle that I was going through.”

Through his challenges, DeVonte learned a lot and is eager to share his knowledge with others. He said, “You should not hesitate about returning to college, but you should know it comes with challenges. Everything in life comes with challenges. You will find, though, that going back to college is a rewarding experience. It betters your life and the people around you. I have set a good example for the little ones that look up to me and even the people in my neighborhood.”

Finally, as DeVonte prepares for his upcoming commencement, he explained who this new degree was really for. He said, “I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me throughout my college career. This degree is dedicated to my Grandmother (Carol Douglass Smith), who lost her battle to cancer in August 2019.”

Congratulations to DeVonte on all his successes! Peirce College looks forward to supporting DeVonte as a new alumnus and cheering him on at the virtual commencement on June 23rd.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mother, Grandmother, Author, and Graduate – Meet Tamara Hawkins

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

In 2012, Tamara Hawkins decided to take her supervisor’s advice on earning her bachelor’s degree and started to look into programs in the Philadelphia area. She discovered a college she once knew as a two-year business college had evolved over time and had just what she was looking for.

That is when Tamara found Peirce College.

“I stumbled across Peirce’s bachelor’s programs and saw the evolution of Peirce over the years. I remember Peirce when it was just a two-year school. To see it grow so much really stood out to me,” explained Tamara. “So, I decided to visit campus and talk to an admissions representative.”

Her visit to campus was eye-opening and allowed for her to understand just how long it would take to earn her degree and how much it would cost.

“When I met with my admissions representative, she told me Peirce would take all of my credits from the Community College of Philadelphia. Having an associate degree from CCP allowed me to save time and money at Peirce because it would take less than 2 years to complete my bachelor’s degree,” said Tamara. “Additionally, Peirce College was the only school that would clearly identify what classes I needed to take and map out my exact route to graduation. After seeing all of that, I said, ‘let’s do it!’”

Tamara enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program and found herself graduating in no time. In 2014, Tamara completed her goal and turned her focus back to her career.

Working in health care for over 20 years inspired Tamara to stay in contact with Peirce and take a few Medical Coding classes here and there to continue expanding her knowledge to bring back to her line of work.

In 2016, though, Tamara heard that Peirce College had developed a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program and this caught her attention. “After my bachelor’s degree was complete, I swore I was done with degrees. Then I heard about Peirce’s MSHCA program and it aligned with my career and interests, so I reached out once again to learn more.”

After gaining a better understanding of the classes she would be taking this second time around, Tamara enrolled and found herself immersed in the content more than she ever thought possible. “In the MSHCA program, my eyes were opened to so many things I never knew before. I gained a deeper understanding of insurance, health care, technology, HIPAA, and more. This program aligned with my interests and career path perfectly.”

In 2018, during her time in the program, Tamara landed a new position within the health care field. “I originally wanted to be a nurse, but when I decided against that career path, I always knew I wanted to be in the health care field. During my master’s program, I started as a Senior Biller at the Temple Dental School. My master’s has helped me significantly in this position because it has taught me the lingo you really can’t learn anywhere else.”

In December 2019, Tamara finished her master’s degree and is now a proud member of the Class of 2020. As Tamara reflected back on her time at Peirce, she said, “My Peirce College experience was phenomenal. I love learning and being challenged and I got all that and more from Peirce. I made so many friends who have now become family. Also, I was able to do so much even as an adult learner. There were workshops, events, trips, etc. for me to take part in as a student, which made my experience that much better. Peirce just offers so much, which made me want to stay as long as possible.”

Tamara is the proud mother of two and grandmother of three. She said, “School can be overwhelming at times as a parent, grandparent, employee, churchgoer, and student. My advice is to try and find balance, which includes time for yourself. I found time for schoolwork, my family, my church, while also scheduling a little downtime here and there to give myself a break. If you stay organized, you’ll be able to achieve this balance and accomplish your goals.”

In addition to all that Tamara has already accomplished, she has also written and self-published two books, within the past year, with a third one coming out soon for children. She said, “Peirce College and all my professors have given me the motivation to believe I can do whatever I put my mind to do, and then go do it successfully!”

Congratulations to Tamara on all her successes! We look forward to applauding her at Peirce’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony on June 23rd.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

No Plate Is Too Full For This Healthcare Hero

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Back in 2017, Peirce College introduced the community to an inspirational student, Joye Lavender, who was chasing her bachelor’s degree. Now, two years later, I am proud to re-introduce Joye as a proud graduate who earned both her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.

When Joye first started at Peirce College, she knew she wanted to earn her degree to not only better her career, but to show her one child – at the time – how as a single mother who was working full time, she could still do it.

As her classes took off and she got deeper into the program, a new blessing came into Joye’s life. She found out she was pregnant with twins! Now, chasing her degree got a bit trickier, but Joye refused to stop.

“During my bachelor’s degree, when I found out I was pregnant with twins, the professors at Peirce College encouraged me to keep going,” explained Joye. “I continued to push to go to class and get my work done. Even when I had to stop working for a while to be off my feet because of my pregnancy, I didn’t stop taking classes.”

Joye used the extra time at home to her advantage and decided to enroll in Peirce’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program, specifically joining the Grad Scholars program. Through this opportunity, Joye could finish her bachelor’s degree while starting to take a few master’s classes at the undergraduate price.

Joye’s twins were born in October of 2017 and by that May of 2018, Joye finished her bachelor’s and was already a couple classes into her master’s program.

“I decided just to keep going because my plate was already full and as the kids continued to get older, I knew it would only get fuller,” said Joye. “I knew the future wouldn’t be any freer than it is now, so might as well keep going and show all my children how you can do it no matter what you are balancing.”

With Peirce’s small class sizes and the resources available to students, Joye knew despite her full plate, she would have no problem finishing this next journey. “Peirce has always made school convenient for me. With the intimate classroom setting and the availability of support for all students, I knew I didn’t want to earn my master’s anywhere else. Peirce made me feel comfortable enough to just do it sooner rather than later.”

Joye took the “sooner rather than later” seriously and finished her next degree in record time. As of August 2019, just a little over a year after graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Joye proudly handed in her final work for her master’s program and ended with a 4.0 GPA.

Joye said her experience in the master’s program was nothing like she anticipated. She said, “When you hear of a master’s program, you immediately get nervous thinking about all the work and assignments. But, at Peirce, they make it possible. There is plenty of time to complete everything and get the help you need from professors and tutors to do it well. In this program, I gained more than just knowledge from the coursework, I learned from both my professors’ and classmates’ experiences.”

With both of her degrees in hand and a vast amount of knowledge, Joye took her education right into the workplace. “I earned a management position once I earned my bachelor’s degree. I manage two departments, pre-certification and appeals, at Temple Hospital.” Joye explained how now with her master’s degree, she is working to incorporate her new skills and experience to amplify her career even more.

Working in healthcare, this current year has definitely presented some difficulties for Joye, but nothing she can’t handle. “I am still working during COVID-19. It’s definitely difficult and different with the social distancing guidelines and the fear it creates. As an employee in the healthcare field, I want to provide for my employer and help as much as I can while also caring for my family and doing everything I can to not bring anything home. It’s a tough balance between being a dedicated employee while protecting my family.”

Peirce College commends Joye not only for balancing a full plate of work and family while earning two degrees, but also for her dedication to serving the community during this pandemic. Thank you for all you do, Joye.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Inspired by Her Son, Driven by Her Goals: Meet Ayanna Abdullah

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

As a young, working mother and wife, Ayanna Abdullah was determined to do more by earning her degree. Originally looking into a bigger university, Ayanna found they didn’t have the programs or curriculum that aligned with her career plans.

After a fellow coworker recommended Peirce College, their alma mater, Ayanna began to look into what the College had to offer and quickly found her place.

“I started doing some research on Peirce College online and discovered the curriculum for the program I was interested in aligned with my goals,” said Ayanna. “I also realized Peirce would be a great fit as a mother and wife because of the option to do things both online and on campus.”

As Ayanna began to really take an interest in Peirce, she found out even more great news. As a member of 1199c district, Ayanna was able to receive a corporate partner tuition discount. All signs pointed to Peirce College, so Ayanna enrolled in the Associate in Science in General Studies program in 2015.

After working hard, she was able to complete her first degree in 2018, but she immediately knew she was not done yet. “I have a family full of individuals with their master’s and doctorate degrees. I knew it was important to follow in their footsteps to get to where I want to be, so I started my bachelor’s right after finishing my associate degree,” explained Ayanna.

Transitioning seamlessly into Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership program, Ayanna found this degree path offered her the variety of skills, experience, and knowledge she was seeking. “What sold me on the Organizational Leadership program was all the different avenues you can take with this degree,” said Ayanna. “Human resources, leadership, corporate business, medical world, etc. are all covered within this degree path.”

As Ayanna went through the program, she gained even more than she initially thought possible. “In this program, I really got a better understanding of how organizations work, different techniques in the business world, unique leadership styles, how to communicate effectively, how to manage a team full of diverse individuals, and more,” Ayanna said. “The diversity within the classroom and within the lessons taught gave me a bigger outlook on how to operate an organization within a leadership role with individuals from all different backgrounds and walks of life.”

In addition to the valuable knowledge she gained from her classwork, Ayanna said one of the things she valued the most during her time with Peirce is the Walker Center for Academic Excellence. She explained, “The Walker Center has absolutely been the best experience for me. Working one-on-one with tutors got me through some of my toughest classes, such as statistics. I would come to campus again and again for appointments and my tutor always gave me the help and attention I needed to do well. The entire team was always patient, kind, and willing to help with whatever I needed.”

Now, as Ayanna quickly approaches the end of her bachelor’s degree journey, on track to complete her last class next month, Ayanna is still moving her educational goals forward thanks to her true inspiration. “My son has been my inspiration through all of this. He has always driven me to want to do more. That is why as of May 12th I will be starting in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management program.”

While finishing her second degree and preparing to start her third, Ayanna continues to work hard as a Team Lead for Patient Registration at a health care facility. Her job consists of training employees, which is a place where she can take her classroom knowledge right into her line of work.

Congratulations to Ayanna as she finishes up her second degree in May and moves onto earning her third. Peirce College is proud to serve students like Ayanna who have a drive to do more each and every day.

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Peirce Positive Project

Peirce College understands how challenging your current situation may be as COVID-19 continues to impact our world. To help bring some positive light to your day, members of the Peirce College community have come together to share positive words of encouragement and inspiration that have helped us keep going each and every day.

We call it the Peirce Positive Project.

Check it out below:

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Registering for 20/21 Virtually & On Time

Have you ever heard the saying the early bird catches the worm? Well, this is certainly true when registering for classes.

At Peirce College, we recommend that you contact your Academic Advisor to register early for the entire upcoming academic school year. Why? It’s simple: You will reap the benefits of:

1. Getting the Classes You Want: Popular classes fill up quickly. If you register for all your classes now, you won’t have to worry about a class being full later.

2. Seeing The Bigger Picture: In viewing the class schedule for the entire academic year, you will see that there are some classes that are only offered certain sessions or just once per year. Missing out on these classes could hinder your ability to graduate on time. Therefore, seeing the full academic schedule can help you register for the right classes at the right time.

3. Avoiding Roadblocks: When you register early, you can get a jump start on common roadblocks such as textbook issues, financial aid issues, and unexpected holds on your account.

4. Avoiding Class Cancellations: Nothing is more frustrating than having a course that you need get cancelled. We run courses based on class enrollment. If enough students register early for a class, we will run it. It is as simple as that.

5. Planning Your Schedule in Advance: Registering for classes early allows you to lock in your schedule for work, family, and summer vacations. After all, who does not want to take a nice vacation?

Currently, with the global pandemic, we know that our “new normal” involves doing everything remotely. With that being said, here are some tips to manage registration without ever having to come to campus:
  • Call or email your Academic Advisor to set up a phone or virtual appointment for planning out your next academic year
    • Or click on your Academic Advisor’s appointment calendar found under his or her email signature to set up an appointment on your own
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor by phone, Google Hangout or Zoom
  • Request that your Academic Advisor send you a recommended schedule by email for review
  • Register yourself for classes on under the My Classes Tab and Add/Drop Section and then send your Academic Advisor an email asking him or her to review your schedule
    • Or send your Academic Advisor an email or a Google Hangout chat message to register one on one through the chat box
Even during this time of online communication, there is no reason to wait. Registration for 2020-2021 opens Monday, April 20th. Contact your Academic Advisor today at 215.670.9177 or and take the first step to securing your next academic year and getting even closer to reaching your goal of graduation.

Monday, April 6, 2020

From Morocco to Peirce College: Meet Naima Qadimi

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

After leaving 19 years of middle school education experience behind and moving from Morocco to the United States, Naima Qadimi was seeking a way to reshape her career, find a new opportunity that fit her new life, and advance her education.

Naima was eager to start her journey in Philadelphia and began asking around and looking into different programs. She learned of Peirce College and came to visit campus seeking guidance on next steps. What she found was so much more.

“When I came to Peirce at first, I was looking for advice on earning a degree,” explained Naima. “I met Steve Bird, who I am so thankful for, because he was so helpful and warm immediately welcoming me and making me feel comfortable. I knew this was the place where I could improve my career and earn my degree.”

Originally enrolling in 2014, Naima started with her associate degree in the Business Administration program. She chose this degree path because, “it is the field that can fit into so many opportunities in the labor market. Also, because of my ability to speak multiple languages (Arabic, French, English) I would love to open my own business as a translator one day.”

After applying herself to her new educational goal, Naima completed her first step in 2016. She immediately moved on to the bachelor’s program once again focusing on Business Administration and this time adding on a concentration in management.

During both programs, Naima said she gained so much from skills on managing a business to real-world lessons and information. She said, “In the Business Administration programs, I was able to earn degrees that can serve me better in my career. I learned how to be an ethical leader while managing a business; practical knowledge on the United States market; time management skills; and skills to help my future business grow and expand.”

Beyond the skills she learned within the classroom, Naima said she really appreciates the relationships she gained at the College. “I really value the professionalism and friendships of all the College staff and faculty. There is a huge support system for working adults to help students achieve their goals and advance their skills in many disciplines.”

In December 2019, Naima proudly completed her second degree and said, “My Peirce experience was the best experience of my life because it allowed me to learn so much and meet new people. Pursuing my degree was always a dream of mine and Peirce College helped me turn that dream into reality.”

Naima is continuously working towards her dream of opening her own business, which she hopes to do soon. In the meantime, she has some future goals in mind that may lead her back to Peirce. “When it comes time for me to think about earning another bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, I will definitely be back at Peirce College to once again be with the team that works with me side-by-side to empower my career and life.”

Congratulations to Naima on all her accomplishments!

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!