Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How Do You Find Balance? What Does it Take? – We Are Here To Help!

With the start of the 2018-2019 academic year, the Health Programs division at Peirce College is honored to be starting a monthly blog series where we introduce you to our experienced and knowledgeable faculty and connect you with some of our corporate partners all while giving you the inside scoop on what’s new in the healthcare industry.

For the first post, I wanted to share a bit of inspiration to start us off. I wanted to discuss a bit about pursuing your degree as an adult and how the Health Programs division, and the entire College, is here to support and encourage you every step of the way.

With September just around the corner, some of you will begin your studies at Peirce as first-time college students, others may be returning to the classroom after a long hiatus and some may be joining us from a different higher education institution. Stepping into a new academic environment can feel vulnerable, uncomfortable and downright scary, but it can also be empowering, and it’s a necessary step toward creating the future you envision for yourself.

As an adult learner and current student, I have been reflecting on what it takes to pull it off, to get through it, to balance work, life, school and all the messy stuff that we hope to avoid until we reach graduation. I’ve come to learn that life will throw us wicked curveballs at the most inopportune times calling on us to dig deep, stand tall and keep moving forward.

So how do we balance it all? Getting organized, being able to prioritize and practicing effective time management are among the critical building blocks of academic success. The rapport we have with our faculty members and our willingness to reach out for help, guidance and clarification cannot be underestimated as an important part of the success puzzle. And leaning on our support system of family, friends, neighbors and community is vital, especially when things get tough.

What is it that keeps us going in the toughest of times? This may take some personal reflection. Perhaps it is our perceptions of ourselves and our ability to overcome failure. Perhaps it is trusting that our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Perhaps it is seeing and believing in the final end result.

What does this mean for us? Higher education is designed to transform us as individuals, but expect turbulence along the way. Earning your degree is supposed to be hard; it’s part of what makes the reward of holding your diploma so sweet.

Completing your degree may very well be one of the hardest endeavors of your life. Hopefully, it will also rank among those most worthwhile. When you hit bumps in the road, and it’s likely you will, remember why you started and be kind to yourself along the way. Good luck!

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

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

From Bachelor’s to Master’s to Doctorate – Meet Timmi Kilgore

Back in 2016, Timmi Kilgore shared a bit of her story on finally achieving her dream of earning her bachelor’s degree. She spoke of perseverance, dedication and her commitment to showing her children and grandchildren the true importance of education.

As Timmi completed her first goal of earning her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, she knew she wasn’t quite done yet. As Timmi approached the end of this first educational achievement, she learned of and eventually took part in Peirce’s Grad Scholars Program. This opportunity allowed for Timmi to begin taking graduate level courses while still completing her undergraduate degree. Once she graduated with her bachelor’s, Timmi was already on the fast track to earning her master’s.

Timmi knew she wanted to continue with her education even after achieving her bachelor’s degree because as she put it, “I believe that education is the best investment that one could ever take. In life, many things can be given and taken but, once you have education nobody can take that away.”

After taking almost 30 years off prior to returning to school, Timmi is now the proud recipient of not only her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, but also her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management.

Unfortunately, earning her master’s degree was not as smooth sailing as earning her bachelor’s degree. Timmi suffered a brain injury in December 2017 right as she was finishing up her capstone course for the program. Luckily, with the support and encouragement she felt at Peirce, Timmi was able to complete her courses, tackle her newest goal and proudly cross the graduation stage for a second time in 2018.

Now, after having had to leave her job due to the brain injury, Timmi is eager to get back out in the workforce especially with her new degree and skills. But, as Timmi awaits her new career path, she is certainly not just sitting still.

Timmi recently enrolled in a doctoral degree program where she will continue to pursue her educational goals one degree at a time. Timmi said, “I only came back to school to earn one degree to inspire and motivate my children. Now I am in a doctoral program, which is way beyond any expectations that I originally had and I owe it all to Peirce. My education at Peirce has prepared me to go through the doctoral program with ease.”

Peirce College is extremely proud to serve students like Timmi who exceed their own expectations by achieving their first goal and immediately moving on to conquer the next. We wish Timmi continued success as she chases a new career and a third degree.

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Applications Are Open For The Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund

Last year, Peirce professors Glenn Barnes, Cynthia Gentile, and Ivy Kempf and friend of the College Dr. Ruth Shaber created the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor the late Professor Edwin B. Miller and to provide college scholarships to current Peirce Legal Studies students in need of financial assistance. Now, Peirce is excited to announce that applications are being accepted for the scholarship!

Professor Edwin B. Miller served the Peirce learning community for more than 16 years, growing the College’s Legal Studies programs and educating, mentoring, and guiding countless adult learners. Today, the College seeks to continue Professor Miller’s proud tradition of helping mold legal minds by rewarding scholarships to those who are seeking career advancement.

In order to be eligible, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
  • Be a Peirce College undergraduate student, currently enrolled in the Paralegal Studies, Legal Studies in Business or Criminal Justice Studies programs
  • Completed at least twelve (12) credit hours at Peirce
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Demonstrate financial need
Interested students must submit a completed application by August 10, 2018 using the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship application. Applicants must also submit a one (1) page typed essay about his/her activities at Peirce or in the community to illustrate the virtues of commitment and compassion and provide reference letters to further illustrate his/her commitment and compassion. Essay and recommendations must be submitted to scholarships@peirce.edu by the deadline.

There are a limited number of scholarships available, but we encourage all eligible students to apply. For more information, please visit the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund page located on Peirce’s website.

If you are interested in making a gift to help grow our scholarship funds, which help our students reach their dream of attaining a college degree, please visit our Online Giving Form.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Remembering Brian Webb

In May 2018, tragedy struck when Brian Webb, a 2018 Peirce healthcare graduate, lost his life. Brian was an incredible student, community member, son and friend. He is remembered and cherished by many, including his Peirce College family.

In celebration of Brian’s memory, today we are sharing his story of persistence, determination, and success.

As is the case with many students, when Brian Webb graduated from high school, he wasn’t quite ready for college. According to Brian’s mother, Mrs. Juanita Webb, Brian was very self-aware of what he wanted and needed at that time in his life, so he joined the United States Airforce. After leaving the military, he established a place for himself in the City’s workforce.

One day, seemingly out of the blue, Brian approached his mother and declared he was going back to school. In recalling the moment between them, Mrs. Webb said, “Brian inspired himself. It was all a personal decision and journey. I was, of course, very encouraging of this decision once he enrolled, but Brian came to this new educational path all on his own.”

Brian first started his educational journey at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) where he earned his associate degree. And while this was an incredible accomplishment, he still had bigger dreams to realize. A proud mom, Mrs. Webb watched him seamlessly transition from CCP to Peirce College to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration.

Brian’s mother explained, “Brian’s hobby was his education. There was never a time he wasn’t studying, reading or writing a paper. He found such interest in the topics. I never knew of his passion for the healthcare industry until he was so involved in it during college.”

In addition to Brian’s passion for education and the healthcare field, Brian had a drive to be kind to everyone, everywhere. Mrs. Webb said, “Brian found the good in every situation and every person. He would always look for the positive no matter where he went or who he met.” His kind spirit extended well beyond supporting people. Brian also had a passion for nature. In his spare time, you could find him giving time, energy and love to the beautification of surrounding lawns.

Brian completed his degree in April 2018 and was scheduled to walk across the stage at the Kimmel Center this past June. He passed away in May. Although his death was a devastating tragedy to all who knew him, his life was still a gift to those who called him relative, colleague, Peirce community member and dear friend.

As Brian’s family and friends continue to remember him for his passion for education, humility and kindness, Mrs. Webb also wants to underscore some advice she knows Brian would encourage. “For all those individuals out there thinking they are too old to go back to school or those who think they won’t be able to keep up, it is never too late. Brian was as sharp as ever at his age and he would encourage everyone to follow their dreams. Brian had a dream of earning his bachelor’s degree and he made it happen; his dream came true!”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Preparing Students For A High Demand Industry: Information Technology

Prominent cybersecurity breaches have become almost a daily occurrence. Such events dominate the news, happening on a larger scale than ever before. No one seems immune, and individual computer users, retailers, financial institutions and even the government all struggle to detect, remedy and deter cyberattacks. Despite the costly and difficult battle they attempt to fight, they can't seem to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

As a result, cyber- and information security knowledge is in huge demand in the job market. This month, we highlight Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration, and Information Security (NAIS) as the program feature of the month to show how Peirce College has been offering a portfolio of security coursework preparing graduates to meet this lucrative, growing demand for over a decade.

Peirce’s Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration, and Information Security (NAIS) program offers six courses that focus on cyber, network and information security. These courses range from those that focus on highly technical “hands-on” skills to courses that tackle the mission-critical administrative, policy and training issues that transcend technology.

Our security coursework starts with Introduction to Network Security, which addresses the technologies and procedures to identify and mitigate risk and identify and remedy security incidents, in the name of maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization’s information. This course aligns to the objectives of the popular CompTIA Security + industry certification, which provide those seeking to build a career in security a respected, vendor-neutral credential to demonstrate to employers their mastery of network security basics.

The CompTIA Security + certification is not only a well-regarded certification in the field of Network and Information Security, it is also a requirement for most IT Security jobs in government and for government contractors.

Additionally, the four information security (“ISC”) courses students will take part in provide a broader, high-level perspective on the many facets of cybersecurity, addressing security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations and software development security.

These courses align with the objectives of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium’s (ISC2) much sought-after CISSP certification, an advanced certification which has long been considered the gold standard of Information Security Certification.

In addition to Peirce’s advanced security-based courses already developed, there are currently plans to add a course that maps to the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacking certification (CEH), as well as a security-related cloud and virtualization course.

In the Peirce Information Technology division, our goal is to provide the education that puts our graduates in the best possible position to succeed in the workforce. By providing a well-rounded core of foundational IT skills in conjunction with deeper, up to date knowledge in high demand specialties like cybersecurity, we are able to do just that.

To learn more about our Information Technology program, reach out to our Admissions Team at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Check back next month to see what program feature will be up next!

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Degree and A Proposal – Machele Jackson’s Dreams Came True

Machele Jackson first attended a Peirce College Commencement as a proud family member in the audience. As Machele watched her sister walk across the Kimmel Center Stage, she felt a sense of desire to also achieve this milestone. This was when Machele knew it was time to head back to school.

As the age of 30 quickly approached, Machele found herself working a job that was not aligned with her true passion. Machele knew she wanted to pursue a career in medical coding, but was never sure how to make the transition. Once her sister encouraged her to invest in her future by attending Peirce and then, furthermore, after discovering the healthcare programs offered, Machele was sold and never looked back.

Machele joined the Peirce community in January 2015 by enrolling in the Health Information Technology program, which would allow for her to finally be on the path to her dream career. Machele said, “I gained so much from this degree program; from a better working knowledge of medical coding to developing many new relationships. Most importantly, I have gained a better sense of who I am and became extremely marketable to employers.”

In addition to the new personal and professional skills, Machele said, “I value the flexibility of Peirce College as well as the consistent involvement from the professors. The professors always seem to understand and respect you are an adult with responsibilities, but, yet they continue to encourage you to push yourself!”

Machele was able to find her success with Peirce and as of June 2018 she was now the one crossing the stage of the Kimmel Center earning her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology.

As if the night of commencement was not already exciting enough for Machele, she had another big surprise waiting for her as soon as the ceremony concluded. Once in the lobby of the Kimmel Center where family and friends gathered to celebrate her successes, her boyfriend, Robert Forrest, got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage! Machele said, “I was completely taken back and even more overwhelmed. We have been together for 18 years come this November; we are high school sweethearts.”

Machele said this special moment was the perfect ending to a perfect night for both of them. Robert is not only now Machele’s fiancé, but he has been her constant support system throughout her college journey. “Robert has spent a lot of his time making sure that I made test deadlines and stayed awake to complete assignments. He definitely deserves some of the credit for my successes because he was by my side every step of the way. I am glad that he was able to enjoy this moment as much as me,” explained Machele.

As Machele now prepares for planning a wedding, she still has her career goals in focus. As a Supervisor for Veterans Administration in Philadelphia, Machele said she has already been able to directly apply what she learned and gained at Peirce to her current position. Machele hopes to continue to grow into management one day with her new skills and degree.

Congratulations to Machele on graduation and her recent engagement! We wish her nothing but a lifetime of success and happiness as she continues chasing her dreams.

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rebecca Carpenter Found Her Niche In The Small School Setting

Rebecca Carpenter graduated high school in 2008 and immediately started her college career at a much larger university in the Philadelphia area, thinking that the big-school feel would be perfect for her. But like many Peirce College students, she eventually discovered that the sheer size of the campus and lack of student focus left her wanting more. Following the birth of her son shortly there-after, Rebecca knew she needed more of a hands-on experience in a smaller class setting, so she enrolled at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).

“I had always been interested in health sciences, so when I started college I wanted to be a nurse,” Rebecca said, “But then I had my son, and I knew it would be almost impossible to work typical nursing hours while taking care of him. So, I started at MCCC originally intending to do Medical Billing and Coding, but after I earned my certification I wanted to continue on and get my associate degree.” Rebecca finally accomplished her goal in June of 2017, when she graduated from MCCC with her associate degree in Health Services Administration.

Fortunately for Rebecca, she soon found a great job working as the Manager of Revenue Cycle for the Neurosurgery Department at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. It had been her intention to continue on in this position when, to her surprise, Rebecca was alerted that there was a new job opportunity within her department in a leadership position. In order to achieve this new career goal, Rebecca knew she needed her bachelor’s degree. That’s when she learned about the Organizational Leadership bachelor’s degree program at Peirce College.

“My manager at work was actually a Peirce College student, so she told me it would be a great place to transfer my credits and earn my bachelor’s degree,” Rebecca said. “She knew I would need a flexible class schedule because of my full-time work schedule and my son. I also knew as a visual learner I might need a mix of in-person and online school. Once I learned that Peirce provided what I was looking for and nearly all of my credits transferred, that was that.”

Since Rebecca works full-time at University of Pennsylvania Hospital and also raises her son, she takes advantage of the PeirceFit® format. She tries to make it in to the College as often as she can, but she says that her online courses still effectively foster a community feel. “I know I have all the resources I need to succeed,” she says. “It’s great to feel interactive with other students and instructors even though I attend class online most weeks.”

When asked what advice she might share with anyone considering a return to college after having children or working full time, Rebecca laughed and shared her favorite quote, a line from Finding Nemo, “‘Just keep swimming!’ As difficult and overwhelming as things may seem, people are so much stronger and more resilient than they give themselves credit for.” Rebecca claims that she “doesn’t know what free time is anymore,” but smiles and says that her favorite hobby is hiking outside with her son and their dog.

Peirce College wishes Rebecca the best of luck and congratulates her on her achievements thus far, and commends Montgomery County Community College on providing Rebecca with an excellent educational foundation!

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.