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.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Success Story: Amanda Heck

Amanda Heck always had an interest in college, but like many others at Peirce, she didn’t have a clear cut path to school.

“My family wasn’t really supportive of me going to college,” Amanda explained. “I knew that if I wanted to go, [I’d need] straight A’s and a scholarship.  I didn’t have anyone to cosign my loans.  With a lot of effort, I got a scholarship to Burlington County Community College.”

Amanda eventually took a few years off after purchasing a house with her husband.  Despite her break, Amanda was eager to enroll in school again.  She was the 4th person in her family to graduate from high school, and would be the first one to attend college.  She was determined to complete her education and earn her degree, and as luck would have it, she discovered the perfect school for her at work.

“There was a college fair at my office-Peirce answered all of my questions,” Amanda says. “ [At] other schools it was hard to get a hold of people and have my questions answered, but at Peirce my representative was literally on call for any question.  I had her cell phone number and would call all the time!”

Despite her eagerness to learn, a few obstacles stood in Amanda’s way. Money was a big concern, as well as how she would manage her time.

“I had a lot of fears money wise, and [it was also] a big commitment on time.  But Peirce helped me with the money and the online classes made me feel better about time.  I just knew I had to finish,” Amanda said. “I didn’t apply for student loans because my advisor and admissions rep encouraged me to apply for scholarships.  Between the scholarships and a tuition discount from work I didn’t have to take out student loans, and I graduated debt free.”

Finding money for school was easier than Amanda had thought it would be, but she still had other worries about attending.  She had earned a lot of credits from her community college days, and she didn’t want all of the hard work to go to waste.  Fortunately, Amanda had nothing to worry about.

“Transferring credits was my main concern.  Peirce had a smooth credit transfer and partnership with the college. Almost all of my credits transferred.  Since I already had an associate’s in accounting, I didn’t have to test out of any accounting prerequisite classes.  I could go straight to taking an upper level accounting class.”

Amanda’s situation couldn’t have worked out better for her, she now had everything she needed to finally earn her degree.  It didn’t take long for her to finish, and she used one word when asked to describe her graduation: Amazing.

“I was the first person to graduate in my family and I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to make a lot of money!’” Amanda said. “I have my dream job.  I know a lot of people who are miserable in their work life and I go to work every day loving what I do.  I manage costs associated with major projects.  I love numbers, and getting to work with them all day is a dream.”

Earning her bachelor’s was an important achievement for Amanda, but she got more than a piece of paper from Peirce.  Her classes taught her valuable skills, and continue to help her throughout her career.

“My bachelor’s degree is essential to what I do now. Also, Peirce’s classes are professional, and the professors prepared me for the real world. They would even help me if I had questions about my job at the time. Without my bachelor’s degree I wouldn’t be where I’m at now.  I was laid off from my corporate office, but I was able to find another job quickly.  That wouldn’t have happened without my bachelor’s. “

Despite being busy with work, she still manages to find time to talk to others about attending school at Peirce.  It’s truly something she can’t recommend enough. 

“I still recommend Peirce! If I hear someone say that they can’t do it, I’m like yes you can! Peirce can help you.  If I can do it with Peirce anyone can.” 

If you want to know more about how your existing college credits might transfer into earning your degree at Peirce College, click here. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Introducing our Assistant Vice President, Employer Relations: Malik Brown

At Peirce, we’re committed to supporting our students beyond classroom walls.   This means building connections with area employers, nonprofits, and government entities, and forming relationships that directly benefit our students: with our alumni, with  job opportunities, co-ops, and with a broader community network that’s invested in their success. Joining us in this commitment of fulfilling our mission is Malik Brown, Assistant Vice President of Employer Relations at Peirce College.

You may have seen Malik on campus before, but we wanted to officially introduce him on the blog, just in case you haven't had the chance to meet him yet!

Q: Hi, Malik! To get started, can you tell us a little about yourself?

A:  Sure! I’m a Philly native, from Mount Airy.  I went to Clark University in Worcester. MA. .  I currently live in West Oak Lane with my wife and two little girls.

Like many Peirce students, it has taken me some time to find my sweet spot.  I started my career in accounting after earning my MBA in finance, but I realized it wasn’t the path for me. After moving back to Philadelphia, I stumbled onto a career in diversity and talent management with an organization by the name of INROADS.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work at Accenture, United Way, and most recently, as Director at the Dixon House Community Center in South Philadelphia, where I actually got to know and work with some Peirce students and alumni.

I’ve always been passionate about education and workforce development, so I’m excited about working for Peirce  in higher education.  I could not have made a better career choice. And, because I am a dedicated lifelong learner,  I feel right at home at Peirce and among our students.  

Q: Help break it down for us.  What exactly is Employer Relations at Peirce College, and how does it benefit our students?

A: The role of employer relations is to build mutually beneficial partnerships with different organizations, so that these organizations will be willing to invest in the mission and vision of Peirce College.

What does that mean for our students?  It can mean many things-- job opportunities, scholarships, professional development, mentorship, and a wider resource network that’s connected to Peirce and invested in our students.  Ultimately, the goal of Employer Relations at Peirce is to cultivate strategic relationships  that translate into resources and opportunities that our students need to fulfill their academic, career, and life potential.

Q: What are some things you’ve learned since joining Peirce?

A:  I’ve been a member of the Employer Relations team for about 13 months, and it’s definitely been an interesting journey .  I’ve learned a lot about the industry of higher education, and I have learned  a great deal about Peirce--especially regarding our 151 year history of providing working adult learners with practical, employer-valued skills and credentials.

Peirce has a long history of aligning our offerings and innovations with the needs of business and industry..  We have a great history of developing corporate partnerships, as well as nonprofit, community and government relations with the city and region. Now, we want to expand and amplify those partnerships across sectors in a strategic and thoughtful way.

In my conversations with those in the business community, I’m learning that there’s a real need and appetite for higher education to re-imagine what we can offer companies in terms of strategic partnerships.  I think Peirce has a unique opportunity and ability to do that work, and help employers address their workforce development and talent management needs.

Q: What's the best piece of advice you’ve learned in your own career that you would impart to Peirce students?

A:   I’d say that while functional and technical skills are important, the most important skills in the workplace are the soft skills; things like being able to problem solve, build trust, work as part of a team, and be innovative. Focus on those and you can go far.

Q: This year, Peirce College has really changed the landscape of higher education with our introduction of Peirce Fit™, a revolutionary new learning format that allows students to choose week to week if they’d like to attend class on campus or online.  We’ve also introduced our first competency-based bachelor’s degree (CBE) in IT and expanded our Healthcare portfolio to include Graduate Studies.  With all of these innovations, what are you most excited about on the Employer Relations front?

A:  We’ve spent a lot of time now talking to employers, listening to their pain points, and brainstorming solutions.  With these innovations, I’m excited to start delivering on these solutions and to begin to really dig in and address industry concerns!  It’s especially exciting to see employers give the CBE delivery their stamp of approval.  Future students can be confident that a CBE bachelor’s degree will increase their marketability and value in the workplace!

Q: You’ll be a contributor here on the blog moving forward. What types of topics do you look forward to covering?

A:  I’ll be speaking to the new innovations at Peirce, and how they’re relevant to employers.  I’ll also be sharing more about the evolving partnerships Peirce is developing in Philadelphia.  Finally, I’m excited to share stories about how our students and alumni are taking advantage of job and internship opportunities that arise, and showing the impact that Employer Relations can have on turning their Peirce degree into a career pathway.

Q: How can employers reach out to you to learn more about Peirce?

A: Follow me on twitter or LinkedIn! I’m always excited to have a conversation about how Peirce can help address their needs.

Welcome to the blog, Malik! We’re excited to read more of your insights.

To learn more about Peirce’s 151 year history of providing working adults with a customized path to employer-valued skills and credentials, click here. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why a Summer Start Works for Adult Learners

At Peirce, we’ve been helping comebackers like you earn their degree for more than 151 years. We know how to help you strike a balance between school, work and life so you can get the degree you need for the future you deserve.

While many people think of fall as a traditional time to back to school, there are many advantages to a summer start, especially for working adults.  If you know you’re ready to earn your degree, but not sure about the right time to start, here are some reasons to consider starting during our next summer session:

1.  Give yourself a warm up. In our next session – beginning on July 5th – we’re offering several courses that will help you ease back into college life. Use your summer start to knock out a few general education credits, and allow yourself some time to get used to being back in school.  You’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you dive into your major specific classes in the fall.
2.  Don’t leave money on the table.  If you’re eligible for PELL grants, you need to use these funds before the next academic year (which means before a fall start) or you will lose them.  Instead, you can use those funds to earn your initial credits when you enroll in a summer course.
3.  With Peirce Fit, you can complete your work from anywhere.   Worried that starting class in the summer means you can’t go on vacation? Or that you have to spend less time with your family?  At Peirce College, you don’t have to make that choice.  Peirce Fit gives you the option to choose week-to-week if you want to attend class on campus or online. Heading down to the Shore?  You can take your laptop and complete your classwork online that week.
4.  Peirce will give you $100 textbook voucher to help you get started. If you attend Peirce Night next week, and register for a July 5th start date while you’re there, you’ll get your $50 application fee waived and a $100 textbook voucher to put towards ordering your books. That’s a $150 bonus for getting started on achieving your goal!

Now is your time. If you’re ready to earn the degree you’ve always wanted, don’t wait.  You can register for Peirce Night here, or contact an admissions representative directly here.  After that, the second step is on us!

To learn more about how you can earn the degree you need for the career you deserve at Peirce College, click here

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Commencement 2016: Watch now!

In the words of Commencement keynote speaker and award-winning journalist Tamron Hall, we’re “still smiling” after last night’s commencement ceremony and celebration.  We want to make sure every member of the class of 2016 can re-watch the entire ceremony and share this special moment with their family and support networks whenever they want. That’s why we’re sharing a video of the entire ceremony!

The video includes all of the night’s festivities, including award presentations; speeches from President Mergiotti, Ms. Hall, and student speaker Diana Kirkland; remarks from Peirce College Alumni Association President, Reggie Waller; and more! If you don’t have time to watch the full video, we’ve created a list of timestamps that capture the most important parts of the event so you can jump to any section you wish:

0:00:00 – Pre-Commencement Slideshow
1:04:17 – Processional
1:15:36 – Opening, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement
1:17:10 – National Anthem, sung by Peirce Idol 2016 winner, Stephanie Bouloute
1:27:40 – Salute, James J. Mergiotti, President & CEO
1:41:34– Class of 2016 Student Address, Diana D. Kirkland ‘16
1:46:55 – Introduction of Keynote Speaker, Monica Denise VanWright ‘16
1:48:59 – Address to the Graduates, Tamron Hall, Keynote Speaker
1:58:00 – Conferring of Honorary Degree, Barbara A. Prutzman, Chair, Board of Trustees
2:03:43 – Presentation of the 2016 Hamilton Award
2:01:09 – Student Award Presentations
2:13:55 – Master’s of Science, Organizational Leadership & Management
2:17:20 – Accounting
2:20:04 – Business Administration
2:27:45 – Human Resources Management
2:28:43 – Integrated Leadership
2:32:01 – Healthcare Administration
2:34:11– Health Information Technology
2:36:04– Information Technology
2:39:15 – Technology Management   
2:40:25 – General Studies 
2:41:30 – Paralegal Studies
2:45:57 – Legal Studies in Business
2:46:50 – Criminal Justice Studies
2:49:17 – Recognition of 151st Class, Peirce President & CEO James J. Mergiotti
2:52:32 – Introduction to Alumni Association, Reginald S. Waller, President, Peirce Alumni Association Board of Directors
2:53:47 – Congratulations & Recessional, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement

Finally, we want to congratulate all of our 2016 graduates once again. You should be very proud of your accomplishments and know that everyone at Peirce is extremely proud of you! Cheers to the rest of your lifelong learning journey!

If it’s time for you to start your journey to graduation, click here