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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

‘Tis the Season for Food, Family and…Finding a New Job?

While the holidays have traditionally been viewed as a slow time for new job postings, November and December are now considered a prime opportunity for job seekers who want to stand out from the crowd. Why put your resume at the bottom of a mile-high pile in January when yours can be on top of the stack in early December?

Rather than wait to make your job search a New Year’s resolution (along with everyone else), try these three tips to jumpstart your next career:

1. Stand out from the crowd.
Many people are tempted to take a break from job searching between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If you can fight this feeling, you will have a much greater chance of catching the attention of a hiring manager. It’s sometimes difficult to forego family time to apply for jobs, but doing so means that your applications will be in much smaller candidate pools during the holiday season. However, you shouldn’t take this as permission to cut corners! Quality still matters. Ensure that your resume and cover letter are error-free, keyword-rich and make the case for your interest in and fit for your target role at your target company.

2. Activate your network. Holiday gatherings are not just for eggnog and turkey; they’re also a great way to reactivate connections with people in your extended networks. Don’t be shy about mentioning your job search: that cousin you see once a year might have the inside scoop on a job that would be the perfect fit for you. And if you think holiday cards are irrelevant in the digital age, think again! A simple handwritten greeting has the power to create warm connections with people. Sending best wishes for the holidays can open the door for you to touch base about your job search later in January.

3. Know yourself. If you’re not hearing back from hiring managers right away, take the opportunity to reexamine your short and long-term goals. If you were going to an interview in an hour, could you talk about your career plans? Do you know where you’d like to be 10 years from now? Knowing these answers is important – not only so you won’t be rattled by tough interview questions, but also so you understand how your next job fits into your overall life story. Take time to be sure your job search focuses on positions you find meaningful.
Following these tips can be the step ahead you need to get the career you’re searching for. To get even more help with chasing your dream career, connect with Career Development Services (CDS). We work with students and alumni to refresh the job search, starting with the tools to manage an effective job search. CDS will help you revamp your resume, draft a targeted cover letter, practice your interviewing skills, get a new interviewing outfit, negotiate a great starting salary and build your reputation as a professional.

Contact us at 215.670.9202 or for more information or to set up an appointment today!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Peirce College's 2017 Veterans Day Brunch

Today, November 11, 2017 we celebrate Veterans Day. This is a day when we thank, honor and appreciate all those who have served and protected our country throughout its history.

Peirce College was founded on the opportunity to provide education to veterans who were returning from the Civil War and looking to gain work-related skills. Over 152 years later, we are still dedicated to serving those who have served our country.

With the help of Veterans Upward Bound (VUB), Peirce is honored to have over 70 veterans currently in our student community seeking out degrees to help them pursue new careers. When veterans complete a program through VUB, they are invited to earn a degree at Peirce with the opportunity for a one-time $1,500.00 scholarship.

Yesterday, we celebrated veterans by inviting current VUB members to campus for a Veterans Day Brunch. Multiple VUB members and a veteran from our own Peirce staff and faculty joined us to enjoy a light breakfast and have the opportunity to meet some key Peirce community members.

Jim Mergiotti, President & CEO of Peirce College, welcomed the group and emphasized Peirce’s appreciation for everything the veterans have done and everything VUB continues to do.

Next, Director of Admissions, Shawn Gauthney, and Enrollment Specialist, Karen Hun, introduced the agreement between Peirce College and VUB. They explained how anyone there could earn the degree they dreamed of with the help of Peirce.

“Peirce is a military-friendly college with open doors to all students with or without previous college credits. We are eager to get all of you started as you continue on with your educational journey,” said Karen Hun to the group of veterans.

After we heard from some Peirce team members, the microphone turned to the audience. We heard from different veterans about their stories, family history and what brought them to this breakfast.

The brunch may have concluded, but we have not stopped our appreciation for all those who have done so much for our country, our College and our freedom. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day we are so grateful for the sacrifices made, which have allowed for us to keep working toward our mission of educating working adult learners.

Thank a veteran today!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hospitality to Higher Education – Meet Liz Pecora

When you first consider Peirce College for the next step in your educational journey, you’re paired with your own personal Enrollment Specialist. At Peirce, we have a full Admissions team of dedicated, knowledgeable and eager individuals who are excited to get you started.

Recently, our team grew when we gained our newest Enrollment Specialist, Elizabeth (Liz) Pecora. You may get the chance to be paired with Liz when you’re exploring Peirce College where she’ll be able to share helpful tips with you, such as:
  1. Potential students looking to attain a college degree need to remember it doesn’t take nearly as long as you may think, and it’s something that will be yours forever.
  2. There is no time like the present. Life will never stop throwing you obstacles, so don’t use that as your excuse for not returning. You will find a way to fit school in.
  3. You will be surrounded by people and professors that want you to be successful and accomplish everything you have set out to achieve.
Liz gained the knowledge to share these tips and many more through her education and career experiences. She has a full background of sales, marketing and higher education with a special twist of hospitality.

Liz joined Peirce with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management earned from Penn State University in 2007. While attending Penn State, she took the opportunity of a lifetime and studied abroad in Montreux, Switzerland for a summer to attend Hotel Institute of Montreux. After completing her undergrad, Liz moved on to graduate school at South University for her MBA with a concentration in Hospitality Management.

After graduating, Liz headed into the workforce to begin her career. After holding a variety of sales, marketing, recruiter and managerial positions, she found her home in higher education in 2009.

Liz started her higher education work at the Art Institute in Washington D.C. before moving to the Art Institute’s City of Brotherly Love campus.

After over eight years of higher education experience, she found her way to Peirce. “I’ve always wanted to work for a non-profit college. Peirce College intrigued me with the fact that we really cater to adult students and have created an environment for them to be successful,” says Liz on her decision to apply to Peirce.

Liz’s education gave her the foundation she needed to build the career she wanted. You can gain your own foundation for a rewarding career by earning your degree at Peirce! With six sessions a year, you can start almost immediately. Contact Liz or any Peirce Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or to get started.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Beating the Odds One Degree at a Time

“I wanted to prove to those family members who did not believe in me that I could become somebody. I wanted to prove to society that I was not just another teenage parent statistic. Most of all I wanted to show my children that although we face challenges in our lives and may get knocked down at times, we can still press on and use those challenges as fuel to succeed.” – Sondra Allen

A working mom, a dedicated student and an inspiration to the community: Sondra Allen first became a Peirce College student in 1984.

Upon graduating high school, Sondra knew being a young mom would add some challenges as she made the decision to further her education. She already had overcome most peoples’ expectations after having her first child in 10th grade and still choosing to pursue her high school diploma. Sondra knew attending college would certainly defy some odds and cause some controversy. But, that didn’t stop Sondra; it inspired her.

After working with her high school counselor and doing some personal reflection, Sondra found Peirce to be the college she needed to succeed. For Sondra, it was the “perfect fit” for where she was in her life. “[Peirce] would be a perfect fit for me and my situation. It had a great reputation, it was local and not too far from where I was working,” explains Sondra of why she decided to join the Peirce community.

In 1986, Sondra conquered her first goal and graduated with an Associate in Science for Administrative Office Assistance. This accomplishment was what she needed to continue moving forward with her career and life. But, in the back of Sondra’s mind, she knew she had always wanted that four-year degree, and she wasn’t fully done yet.

But as it happens to most, after completing her first degree, life got in the way. “I, like many other adult learners, had life situations impede me from pursuing a four-year college or for some, continuing an education right out of high school,” says Sondra. “Years get behind us, and before we know it, life experiences have placed us in situations where we come to realize, a change is needed. We feel stuck.”

She knew it was time to return to school, despite how long she’d been away from it. She was ready for more.

So after twenty-eight years, Sondra returned to Peirce!

In 2014, Sondra started classes again, and before she knew it was graduating with that bachelor’s degree she had always dreamed of. But, once again, Sondra had the desire to do more.

This time – there was no waiting. In 2016, the same year she graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management, Sondra enrolled in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management (MSOLM) program.

“I chose the [MSOLM] program because it was in my field of work, and it would give me the opportunity to further my career,” says Sondra. “The course work in the Graduate Studies Program is directly connected to my professional life, as I believed it would give me a better understanding of the ‘behind the scenes’ of management that I was not familiar with. Learning about the different types of management styles, strategic planning, human resources, finances/budgeting and research methods, to name a few, allows me the exposure of the detailed work it takes to manage an office.”

As Sondra continues beating the odds as a former teen mom chasing her master’s degree, she still finds time to connect with students on how they, too, can accomplish their goals no matter who they are or where they come from. Sondra is currently in the Vice President position of the Graduate Student Association where she also has served as a Student Senator in 2016. This has allowed her the opportunity to share her story while also gaining leadership experience.

As of June 2018, Sondra will walk across the commencement stage for the third time. She’ll be surrounded by the Peirce community who has watched her grow over the past 34 years chasing the dream she has had since she was a little girl. We are all so proud of Sondra and cannot wait to watch her continue to grow in her career and motivate others with her enthusiasm, dedication and inspirational story.

If you or someone you know is interested in returning to school, like Sondra did, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vote for Your Favorite Halloween-Decorated Door

Happy Halloween, Peirce Community!

In spirit of the holiday, we got festive and competitive at Peirce College by holding a Halloween-themed door decorating contest. We’ve worked hard hanging cobwebs, spiders and pumpkins, but now we need your help.

For the next 24 hours, YOU have the chance to help decide who will be this year’s door decorating champion. We need your creative eye and vote to decide who will take home the gold.

Voting is easy! Just click here to see all the doors and vote in the online poll. Please only vote once to keep the competition fair, but feel free to share the link with all your family and friends, so they can vote too. We want as many votes as possible!

We’ll announce the winner Wednesday afternoon after all votes have been cast on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Check back to see if your vote was for the winning door!

And please stop by the College today or tomorrow to see the doors in person and check out all the little details of our faculty and staff’s spooky decor.

Friday, October 27, 2017

New Student Orientation Recap

New Student Orientation (NSO) is crucial if you’re joining Peirce College for the first time. We like to make sure you feel welcomed, informed and ready to start your newest educational adventure!

If you’re a new student who had to miss last night’s orientation event or are a returning student looking for a refresher, you’ll find the information below vital to your success at Peirce College.
  • Meet the Faculty
    • Last night, Professor Linda Currie, Associate Professor, General Education, and Professor Brian Finnegan, Dean, Information Technology and General Education, joined us to introduce themselves and welcome new students like you to Peirce. They shared some words of wisdom such as:
      • Talk to your families before beginning classes to make sure everyone understands how your life will change with this new journey
      • Reach out to your professors if a problem ever arises – they are here to help!
      • Try to attend class on campus, if you are able
      • Utilize the many resources Peirce offers to students such as tutoring and Career Development Services
      • Stay engaged! The more you participate, the more you will get out of your experience
    • Be sure to get to know your professors as you go through your courses, even if you’re mainly taking online classes. Forming these relationships will help immensely when you need some extra assistance with class, a job recommendation or even just some career advice. Our faculty are fully knowledgeable and excited to help you realize your education and career goals.
  • Campus Safety
    • We want you to feel completely safe no matter what time of day or day of the week you visit campus. Peirce’s Chief Auxiliary Services Officer, Vito Chimenti, joined New Student Orientation to give some examples of how we will keep you safe at Peirce. Please check out the campus security report for full details.
  • Parking
    • As a student, you get discounted parking for just $8! You can park in the parking garage at 15th and Spruce to take advantage of this amazing discount. Pick up your discount ticket from security when leaving campus each day or evening to get your discount. Please note: you must show your white parking ticket received from the garage before receiving the discount ticket. The discount will not be applied without this ticket.
  • Student Financial Services
    • Financial aid is EXTREMELY important when heading back to school, so we went over some points about how to be most successful with your financial aid during your time at Peirce. We covered filling out your FAFSA, the difference between a loan and a grant, requirements for maintaining your financial aid and so much more. For further information about financial aid, please contact Student Financial Services at 215.670.9600 or today!
  • Academic Advising
    • As a Peirce student, you have your very own personal Academic Advisor who is available to assist with scheduling classes, preparing for graduation and providing advice and support throughout your entire academic process. If you’re not sure who your Academic Advisor is yet, please reach out to the Advising Center at 215.670.9177 or
  • Technology at Peirce
    • You should familiarize yourself with Canvas and the Peirce Portal. You’ll be using these online resources every week, and they’ll help you get the most out of your Peirce experience. Canvas is the place to access classes, submit assignments, etc. On the portal, you’ll find crucial information on student services, security, the library and more! To locate Canvas and the Portal, visit and log in at the top. Once you’re logged in, this is your personal Peirce Portal. To access Canvas, select the “More” tab on the right of this homepage, then select “My Classes” and finally “Course Online Access.” For further information or help with either Canvas or the portal, please contact your Academic Advisor. 
To learn more about the materials and tools covered during NSO, please check out the content videos on the Peirce Portal at next week under the “home” tab. We want to see you succeed during your time with us at Peirce College, so please be sure to ask any questions you may have at any time and always reach out for help. Call 215.670.9423 or to contact me, Tracey Thomas, Assistant Dean, Student Support Services.