Friday, December 15, 2017

Peirce Wins Talent Innovator Award from Main Line Chamber of Commerce!

Exciting news! Yesterday, at the Main Line Chamber of Commerce's 2nd Annual Summit on Business Leadership and Corporate Volunteerism, Peirce was honored for our work as a Talent Innovator and recognized for the innovative ways we serve our students.

The Chamber selected Peirce for this honor after learning about our commitment to non-traditional learners and product offerings that provide students with greater flexibility, affordability, and choice. Our flexible delivery options – like Peirce Fit® and competency-based education – along with our collaborative partnerships with regional employers were what made Peirce standout.

The award was accepted by Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President of Academic Advancement, on Peirce’s behalf in recognition of her extraordinary leadership and impact here at the College.

Working with organizations like the Main Line Chamber of Commerce and other regional partners like Comcast and Wells Fargo, has better positioned the College, our students, and our alumni in the market. Awards like this highlight just how special the Peirce community is.

Many thanks to everyone involved who has worked so hard on these innovations and thank you to our students and alumni for representing Peirce so well!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Nothing Could Stop Melissa Jackson from Earning Her Dream Degree

No employee wants to hear their boss tell them, “You cannot move up any further without another degree.” But more often than not, companies are requiring higher degrees in order for their employees to move up the ladder.

Melissa Jackson, a 14-year employee for YouthBuild, felt this pressure when she was approached and told she had the potential and ability to move up to a director position but needed to earn her master’s degree first.

As a lifelong learner, Melissa found no issues in this new challenge, but where would she go?

She started researching and realized Peirce College had a program that seemed to fit her interests: Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management. But Melissa wanted to learn a little more before she signed up. That’s when she got the call.

Melissa had a previous relationship with Peirce College as she sent many of her students from YouthBuild to Peirce for the Year Up Program. This connection inspired a phone call from Uva Coles, Peirce College’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships, who worked closely with Peirce's internship and mentoring program at the time.

On the phone call with Melissa, Uva invited her to mentor and host an intern in the computer science and technology program Melissa ran with YouthBuild. Melissa, of course, accepted, and the relationship began to bloom.

As the two continued to stay in touch, Uva soon learned of Melissa’s desire to return to school.

“I made a connection with Uva, and this connection immediately pulled me in. She invited me to Peirce for an impromptu conversation about the master’s program,” says Melissa. “She told me about the Peirce Fit model, the flexibility.”

After learning of all the opportunities available to her, Melissa found herself applying to Peirce! As she now puts it, “Uva was the icing on the cake.”

Melissa joined Peirce College officially in January 2016 ready to start her new journey. She began taking classes and found herself finding a family with Peirce.

“Out of all the schools I went to, Peirce is the most family-oriented. I know a lot of people say that, but I really mean it. I appreciate the small classroom sizes, the fact that the professors care about you and the accessibility to opportunity,” Melissa explains.

But, as life would have it, in the middle of her graduate studies experience, Melissa got some tough news. She was diagnosed with cancer during one of the toughest sessions in the program. She was enrolled in two courses and knew things were going to be busy. Melissa immediately connected with her professors. They not only supported her academically, but also personally.

“My professors cared, really cared. They kept on me about my studies while still checking in. They allowed me to do work ahead of time, so I wouldn’t fall behind,” explains Melissa. “I had two surgeries during the 8-week session, and I was still able to do it. The professors were flexible and helped me make it work.”

After focusing on her health and getting back to a more normal schedule, Melissa returned to her usual self, attending all her classes and getting the most out of her educational journey.

“I never missed a class unless it was absolutely necessary,” says Melissa. “I learned a lot more from the experiences in class with my classmates and professors than I would have gained online. When you read the textbooks, case studies, etc. they are very high level, but when you’re in class and the professor talks about that topic in their real life and maybe a student has a similar experience then you think about how it comes together with your life. It makes it more enjoyable.”

Now that Melissa is approaching the end of the program, she wants to give one more final shout-out to her fellow Graduate Studies Association (GSA) board members after serving as a student senator while enrolled at Peirce. “I am extremely proud of my GSA board members. We are all graduating and walking in June together!” says an excited Melissa. “I think the past two years we have done and made a lot of changes within the student body.”

After conquering her classes and life’s challenges, Melissa is officially graduating with her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management this month! She has overcome so much in her time with Peirce, and we are extremely proud to watch her go from a student to an alumna.

Congratulations, Melissa!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Earn More Credits While Enjoying the Holidays

Happy Holidays, Peirce Community!

As you continue your holiday preparations, don’t forget to keep your education in mind. The cold winter months leave most of us inside, keeping warm by the fire (or maybe just the heater vent). So why not make the most of your inside days by earning some additional credits?

Did you know Peirce College offers an Online Winter Intensive Session for those of you looking to get ahead and make your way to graduation even faster? It has everything an 8-week course has but only takes three weeks, so you’re able to get more done faster.

All our winter intensive courses are online, so no fear on ever having to trudge through the snow and ice to get here. We bring it all to you in the comfort of your living room!

Students who’ve previously taken Winter Intensive Session courses agree that there are many benefits:

“The three-week intensive course is great for those working professionals who are trying to obtain credits in their major quickly. I highly recommend the program because you are able to earn the normal three credits in a shorter timeframe. That’s huge for those working full time with little time to spare,” says Laura Vu, a current Peirce student. “My motto: study hard and complete the work for three weeks, then on to the next. Three-week courses demand intense work and studying but you know it’s only for three weeks, so it is possible!”

As Laura mentions, you’d be earning the same three credits as you would from an 8-week course. The work amount is the same, so you’ll need to focus in on those time management skills, but like Laura adds, “it’s only for three weeks, so it is possible!”

If you’re interested in taking a Winter Intensive Course, check out the full list of available classes for 2017-2018:
  1. PRC101 – Peirce College 101
  2. HUM102 – Introduction to Ethics
  3. MGT310 – Ethical Leadership
  4. PSY270 – Abnormal Psychology
For more information and to get registered, reach out to your Academic Advisor today at 215.670.9177 or

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Peirce’s Competency-Based Education Program Is Just What Malik Hadi Needed

Malik Hadi had landed his dream job working in Information Technology for the City of Philadelphia. He started to grow in the organization and position but came to a shocking realization one day when he began interviewing new potential employees.

During interviews, Malik asked about experience, certifications and degrees, yet when he took a step back, he realized he himself didn’t hold the degree he was looking for in the candidates.

“I interview new hires where I always ask about certifications and degrees and there I was…without a degree,” says Malik. “So for the younger people coming into IT, it is considered important for them to have a degree, so I knew it needed to be important to me, as well.”

This was a moment of truth. A moment when Malik decided it was time to return to school.

Malik had always wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree. He attended college at the traditional age for a little over a year, but he wasn’t quite ready to complete his degree just yet. “You come to a point where you completely lose focus and track of what you want to do. I didn’t devote the attention to the work it needed,” says Malik of his first college experience.

Now in his second time around, he knows he’s ready. Malik just needed to find the right school to fit his work and life balance. He has a wife and a 5 year old, so he needed some form of flexibility with his education. He found it at Peirce College.

Thanks to a fellow co-worker, Malik was introduced to Peirce’s Competency-Based Education (CBE) program where he would be able to do all his work online while being rewarded for his current work experience and IT knowledge.

“CBE works with my work schedule, and with having a family at home it’s really hard for me to attend class at a physical location, so CBE was perfect,” said Malik.

In addition to learning online, the ability to earn as many credits as he wants per semester has been extremely helpful for Malik. “Life can throw curve balls. Last year, I could fly through a lot of credits, but this semester is a little heavier with life, so I am taking it a bit slower. The flexibility of CBE allows for this.”

Malik also appreciates how practical the lessons he’s learning are. “The stuff that I am learning with CBE is stuff I am doing directly at work,” he says, “but taking the classes has allowed for me to dive deeper into the subject and learn even the smallest bit of information that I may have not gained elsewhere.”

Malik knew returning to college as a nontraditional student wouldn’t be easy, but for him, personally, he knew this time around was the best fit. He says going to school as an adult has its advantages. “You have the ability and desire to concentrate, read, write, etc. You have the ability to motivate yourself. I wasn’t able to do that in my younger ages. I wanted to live life back then and not stay in class.”

Now, Malik is earning more credits each semester than he’d be able to with traditional college classes. He’s getting closer and closer to that end goal of graduation. Malik advises other adults in similar situations to consider going back to school, especially if you want to move up. “You will be stuck without the degree. It will be hard to move. It depends on how far you want to go in your career, but if you want to continue up, you need a degree.”.

Malik has found success with the competency-based education program, and you can, too. To learn more, visit or reach out to me, Christa Donato, CBE Coach, at 215.670.9492 or today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

#GivingTuesday at Peirce College

Today, Tuesday, November 28, 2017 is not your average Tuesday. Today is #GivingTuesday where families, organizations and communities come together to support the causes they believe in.

At Peirce College, we focus our efforts every day on equipping our students with the credentials, supports and tools they need to become workforce-ready within and well beyond the classroom walls. On #GivingTuesday, you have the opportunity to invest in our Annual Fund, which will directly support our holistic approach to education and, most importantly, our students.

You would be supporting students like Josh Slocum who is a current Business Administration student at Peirce College chasing his dreams of obtaining a degree, so he can not only move up in his current department, but make his parents proud.

“My main inspiration for returning to school was to get my degree for my parents. I made a promise to them to graduate and remain focused on becoming a great leader someday,” said Josh on coming back to school as a working adult.

Josh, like many of our Peirce students, did not take the traditional college route. Josh is returning to school as a full time employee balancing work, life and school all at the same time. During the day, Josh is a Cloud Desk Agent at Comcast and in the evening he is a hardworking student, but he is able to make it work thanks to Peirce’s flexibility.

“The schedule at Peirce College fits perfectly for my life. I get out of work at 5, take a small commute, attend class at 5:30 and it’s all very convenient. I can do what I love and still pursue my education,” explained Josh on balancing his work and education.

Though it does get hard at times to juggle it all, Josh said he feels a new sense of maturity and focus returning to college as a nontraditional student. He knows now that he needs to keep his priorities in check and make sure he is staying productive at all times, so he is able to reach the goal.

Josh had some advice for other potential students considering going back to school. He said, “It is never too late. Do it for your kids, your family, yourself, whoever, but find your inspiration. If you have an opportunity to work and go to school, do it. It’s the best experience I have ever had. I was given a second chance and you can have one, too!”

Josh Slocum is a dedicated and diligent student chasing his and his parents’ dreams. He, and many others, are the reason we do what we do every day at Peirce College – equipping adult learners with workforce-related skills and the accessibility to achieve their goals.

Please consider investing in students like Josh by clicking here today for #GivingTuesday!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What Peirce College Is Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving, Peirce Community!

As we all prepare to gather with friends and family, Peirce College is taking time to remember the reason for the season by expressing the things in life we are most grateful for. Our dedicated students, successful alumni, inspirational employees, supportive community members and passionate board of trustees are just a few of the people Peirce College will be saying thanks for today.

Additionally, we are extremely grateful for the City of Brotherly Love that has allowed us to build and grow over the past 152 years. Thanks to Philadelphia, we’ve had a great place full of diversity, culture and growth to call home since our founding.

To add to the spirit of the holiday, some of our staff and faculty members have shared what they’re thankful for:

“I am thankful for my Lord, family and friends who are always there for me. I am grateful for my education from Peirce College and my Peirce Family who is always supportive. Peirce has been my home for the last 11 years which I am forever grateful for. Lastly, I am thankful for my meatball (nephew) and being blessed to be your Auntie!” – Mary Grassia, Enrollment & Graduation Coodinator

“I am thankful for resilience and optimism! Whatever comes our way, we can tackle it with a sense of humor and trust in our own tenacity.” – Leslie Ballway, Career Development Counselor

“I am thankful for my health and my grandson. I am also thankful for my co-workers that keep me young.” – Steve Bird, Program Manager, Institutional Partnerships

“On Thanksgiving I am thankful that my family has started a tradition of wearing your favorite sweatpants to Thanksgiving dinner instead of dressing up.” – Ashley deCordre, Financial and Veterans Specialist

“I am thankful for the Peirce College faculty and staff and everything they continuously do for our students. I am also thankful for the opportunity to travel as much as I do.” – Brad Hodge, Vice President, Student Services & Retention Management

“I am thankful for a warm and cozy library!” – Kristin Inciardi, Supervisor, Library Services

“I am thankful for being healthy and having the ability to see my family during the holidays.” – Blake Scull, Enrollment Specialist

“I am thankful for this quote by W.T. Purkiser that consistently inspires me, ‘Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.’ Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!” – Christa Donato, Competency-Based Education Coach, Information Technology

On behalf of the entire College, we wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Mother of Three Chasing Her Dreams

Educational and career goals change throughout many students’ lives. But for Joye Lavender, a current Peirce College Healthcare Administration student, the plan was always to work in the medical field.

Joye graduated from high school in 2006. She didn’t immediately head to college because, as it does, life happened. “I would have started college right after high school, but I had my first child that summer, so I had to put things on hold for a bit,” explains Joye.

After some time, Joye was ready to continue her education, so she enrolled at The Community College of Philadelphia in 2008 as a Biology major.

Despite the tough schedule of a full-time mother and employee, Joye was able to dedicate herself and earn her associate degree. She graduated from CCP in 2012 and decided to head out into the workforce to focus on her career.

Her job as Unit Clerk at Temple Hospital was rewarding and fulfilling, but after a few years it was clear to Joye that she needed to earn her bachelor’s degree to advance in her department. That’s when she discovered Peirce College.

After enrolling at Peirce in 2016, the small class setting and interactive format immediately put Joye at ease and reminded her of her positive experience at The Community College of Philadelphia. She still works more than 40 hours a week, but she knows her flexible class schedule at Peirce will allow her to continue attending class, work full time and stay attentive to her three children.

“It can be tough, and the schedule can get a little crazy,” Joye says about juggling her many responsibilities. “But this isn’t just for me, it’s for my family. I know that I’ll get my promotion right when I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, so there’s just no other option. I’m 100% set on my goals.”

Joye is certainly looking forward to graduating and earning her promotion, but she’s also enjoying her current coursework. She’s confident Healthcare Administration is the perfect field for her. “I love that I’m always learning different facts about non-clinical patient care. People don’t realize that medical administrators do a lot of problem solving for patients, too!”

On track to graduate in May 2018, Joye says that earning her bachelor’s degree won’t be the end of her educational journey. “I can’t wait to start a master’s program,” she says. “My final goal is to be a director of a clinic or hospital someday.”

Along with her studies, her job, and taking care of her three children, Joye likes the theatre (especially The Lion King), reading and socializing with friends. Peirce College thanks The Community College of Philadelphia for providing Joye with such a strong educational foundation. We wish Joye the best 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, today at 215.670.9203 or