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:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Competency-Based Education for IT Professionals at Peirce College Featured in Philadelphia Magazine

Staying at the forefront of innovation is part of Peirce’s DNA. For more than 151 years, we’ve continuously pushed the boundaries on how students earn their degrees – all the way back to Thomas May Peirce himself, when he opened the school’s doors in the evenings and on weekends to help working adults get the skills they needed for better careers. 
Our newest innovation, competency-based education (CBE), follows in this great legacy. Peirce’s first CBE program in IT is affordable, efficient, and gives students access to the most direct path to their degree. 
This caught the eye of Esther Yoon, a writer with Philadelphia Magazine, who sat down with Peirce’s Dr. Brian Finnegan, associate dean of IT and general education, and Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President of Academic Advancement, to learn more.
Her article, published this week, focuses on the benefits of the new CBE program, and highlights the College's long history of providing working adult learners with the most innovative learning opportunities in Philadelphia. 
Read the article here.
Wondering if CBE is right for you? Check out the web page or take our 2-minute self-assessment!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ready for Something Different? It starts at PEIRCE NIGHT on August 2nd!

At Peirce College, serving adult learners isn’t different for us—it’s been a part of our mission since we first opened our doors in 1865.  Here’s what is different- our revolutionary Peirce Fit ™ learning model is offered across our entire curriculum, and lets you choose week-to-week to attend class in person or online.  And, we’re the only college in Philadelphia to offer a competency-based bachelor’s degree in information technology. 

Want to learn more about the Peirce difference?  You don’t have to take our word for it.  You can take Amanda’s.  Amanda is the face of Peirce Night this month, but she’s also a real student who found success at Peirce. Click here to learn how Peirce helped her access the most direct, affordable path to her degree and gave her the flexibility they needed to make it to graduation.   

In addition to great food, on the spot transcript evaluation, and one on one college counseling with your personal enrollment expert, you’ll also get access to the following exclusive offers:

A free swag bag of Peirce Pride goodies to enjoy as you start to earn your degree
We’ll waive the $50 application fee
A $100 book voucher when you register for classes *
Entry to win a Peirce Fitbit®

Your time is now.  Experience the Peirce Difference, and let us help you earn the degree you need.  Start your journey today!

To learn more about the Peirce Difference, click here.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Success Story: Marisol Ortiz

It was always Marisol Ortiz’s dream to go to college.  Growing up, education was always a priority; Marisol’s mother was a single parent and worked a factory job just to be able to afford to send her two daughters to a Catholic school.  

Life got in the way of her dream when Marisol started working right out of high school, and then began a family of her own.  When her kids were teenagers she made the decision to enroll in community college, and she graduated in 2013.  It didn’t take long for Marisol to set her sights on Peirce so that she could earn her bachelor’s.  She  heard about the school from a friend that had already attended, and was eager to start.

“Starting Peirce was the best thing I’ve ever done,” Marisol exclaimed. “You guys make it absolutely possible for working adults and mothers to pursue our life long dreams.”

Even though her older two children were  grown by the time she enrolled at Peirce, she still had to juggle the demands of being a working mother to her youngest child while attending school.  Taking online classes helped make things much more manageable.  

“I was able to [take classes] online which was fabulous.  One of my biggest fears was that I wouldn’t be able to engage with my professors as much online, but I never felt that way; the discussion board made me feel like I was right there.  You never feel disconnected from the professors.  Recently, I sent my professor a personal e-mail.   My mother and father were both hospitalized at the same time, and he would e-mail me to ask how I was doing and encourage me.  His words empowered me to do my homework [so I could] catch up to make it through the semester.”

Since she had already taken classes at a different school, Marisol was concerned about having her credits transfer.  The credit transfer process was easy, and she didn’t have to worry about retaking classes.  Her advisor helped her develop an efficient registration plan that ensured she was only taking classes that she truly needed.  Marisol also had an excellent support network when she was at Peirce.  Her boss and husband encouraged her every step of the way, and she made some friends in her classes.  

Despite having 32 years of experience in her field and already having a leadership role at work, Marisol found that her experiences in the classroom brought her out of her comfort zone, and encouraged her to learn new skills that proved invaluable in her workplace.  As a leader, Marisol found that the group projects she participated in with classmates improved her communication skills with her team at work, and made her more trusting.  

When Marisol finally graduated in June 2016 years of hard work had finally come together.  She has so many cherished memories from that day.

“Seeing all of the faculty members cheering us as we were walking into the auditorium was overwhelming  I was shivering with excitement.  I had goose bumps,” Marisol described.  “Hearing my kids yell ‘that’s my mom’ while I crossed the commencement stage was amazing.  My CEO called to congratulate me on earning my degree- and it meant the world to me.  For the first time, I was like “ I did it!”

Marisol encourages  new Peirce students to  commit to their studies.  She knows that once you have the drive to do something, anything is possible.  

“You have to be willing to focus, especially when taking classes online.  Manage your time wisely, so that you are able to do the work.  .  Take advantage of the resources at Peirce (Walker Center, Library, etc.)  It’s not impossible and t's absolutely doable.”

To learn about the Peirce Difference, click here.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

CBE: A new way to earn your bachelor's degree!

Whoops! A previous version of this post didn't link to our CBE video.  Check it out and learn how competency-based education can put you on the most direct path to your degree. 

Peirce College is proud to be the first Philadelphia-based school and one of only six institutions in the entire country to offer a competency-based IT degree.  This unprecedented level of flexibility provides the most direct-path to a college degree and can make going back to school more affordable.
Still have questions about how it works? Click here to watch our new video and then visit to take our self-assessment!

If you want to speak with someone directly, Enrollment Representative Kenny Blair is available to answer all your questions at 215.670.9216 or email Competency-based education at Peirce College: the most direct route to your college degree. Get started today!

To learn more about competency-based education at Peirce College, click here.