Wednesday, March 31, 2010

U.S. Census arriving on April 1: Don't be fooled

As students and faculty are most likely aware, the 2010 U.S. Census is underway. In fact, you might have already received one of the census forms, which are being mailed to all households in March. As of April 1, dubbed National Census Day, census takers begin knocking on doors and visiting households that did not fill out and return the form by mail.

The 2010 Census helps your local community receive federal funds for everything from education to roads and bridges. It also determines the number of seats for your state in the U.S. House of Representatives. Don't forget, participation is required by law (though it rarely comes to that).

While this noble process goes to extraordinary measures to protect the confidentiality of all information collected, it unfortunately provides some opportunity for those with malicious intent. In order to protect yourself against fraudulent activity and ensure your privacy, you can take the following steps if a census taker visits your home:
  • Ask to see their ID. All census workers carry official government badges with their name. They might also have a "U.S. Census Bureau" bag and a handheld device.
  • The census taker will never ask to enter your home.
  • The census worker might ask you for basic financial information, like salary range.
  • NEVER disclose your Social Security number, banking, or credit card information. If asked, immediately close the door and call the police.
The U.S. Census Web site provides some additional tips for preparing for a visit from a census taker. The Census is a great opportunity to help your community. Remember, be supportive, but be cautious!

Stay Safe!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Colleges and universities appointing new type of leader: Mixing the academic with the strategic

Institutions of higher education have always responded to student needs and demands by continuing to evolve with the times. Recently, we've seen the growth of online classes, new and diverse career programs, and a boom in career counseling and guidance services that colleges and universities offer students. The departure from the traditional can even be seen at the highest levels of leadership.

Increasingly, schools are looking to new sources of guidance outside of academia. In the past, schools might have looked toward leaders that were professors or academic chairs, or chosen them from the ranks of deans and provosts. But today, there's a new kind of college president taking shape who mixes the academic with the administrative and strategic.

There are great examples of these types of leaders at colleges and universities throughout the country and right here in Philadelphia. Recently, our neighbors and colleagues at Drexel University in Philadelphia announced John A. Fry, the former President of Franklin and Marshall College, as their new President.

The Philadelphia Inquirer covered his appointment, and points out in this quote:
"Fry defies the traditional college president mold. He does not have a doctoral degree, has never been a dean or provost, and has not taught or conducted research."
Peirce College president Jim Mergiotti speaks 
to alumni in November 2009. Mergiotti is 
an example of a new type of president 
being chosen by colleges and universities.
Another example is Peirce's president, James J. Mergiotti. Before being appointed in 2009 as Peirce's seventh president, he served as the College's chief operating officer. Like the case of Drexel and Mr. Fry, Peirce's Board of Trustees chose a leader that understood the financial, operational, and practical concerns of a college, along with the high priority of academic quality.

The benefits of tapping leaders with a mix of experience are significant for both the school and its students and alumni. More schools must make the connection between the investment in higher education and career paths and goals.

Tapping leaders that bring out-of-the-box insight on degree programs, class structure, school administration and management, and career development means that a college might be able to better link the job world with the academic world.

Going forward, I believe colleges and universities will continue to evolve and appoint more of these types of leaders, incorporating diversity, experience, and strategy into higher education. It's an evolution that benefits schools, but most importantly, students.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Donate blood, save a life: Peirce and American Red Cross hosting blood drive on April 6

Donating blood is one of the most basic, yet essential acts of giving in a community. More importantly, blood donations benefit all of us!

According to the American Red Cross:
“If not for the ready availability of blood components, life-saving medical treatments, such as the treatment of serious injuries, organ transplants, bone marrow transplants, complicated surgical procedures and cancer treatment, would not be possible. It is estimated that 5 million recipients are transfused with blood components, including red blood cells, platelets and plasma, in the U.S. annually.”
For those reasons we are pleased to announce that in partnership with the American Red Cross, Peirce College will be hosting a blood drive on Tuesday, April 6, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The drive will be held on campus, in Rooms 51 and 52 of College Hall.

If you would like to give blood, please visit the Red Cross Web site to schedule a time to donate. The Red Cross recommends that you allow 45 minutes for your donation session, so keep that in mind when selecting an appointment.

Not sure if you are eligible to donate blood? To be sure, check the donor eligibility guidelines online or call 800-GIVE-LIFE (choose Option 4).

This is a great opportunity to give a meaningful gift to the community -- your participation will help provide life-saving blood to those in need.

Whether you’ve done it dozens of times or have never thought about it before, we encourage you to consider giving blood! If you want to do some research, the Red Cross offers a wealth of information and tips on how to have a good donation experience.

Students can also visit to sign up today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to get a job in IT: Get your A+ certification

At Peirce, we understand how important it is to support students in their efforts to continue their education. Academics and work experience are important factors, but so are training resources and certification programs.

With that in mind, this April’s Continuing Education Workshop will focus on information technology preparation, “Preparing for A+ Certification.” If you already know why this certification is important, go ahead and sign up for the eight-session course here. If not, here’s why we’ve chosen A+ certification prep as the focus of the April course.

It’s the one skill set required for 389 positions listed on, 482 on, and a whopping 4,233 on expertise in computer hardware and software installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security, and troubleshooting.

How do you prove you’ve got what it takes in IT? Achieving A+ certification means you’ve completed a two-part exam that shows you’re trained in the latest skills needed to work as a computer support specialist.

Who is A+ certified? These are the experts who come to the rescue when your hard drive crashes; figure out why you can’t get online; wipe your machine clean of viruses; and in general, protect the sanity of people whose work is done on a computer. You might already be this person to your family, friends, and colleagues. But if you get the certification, you can make a career out of your love for computers.

It’s also a great way to get your foot in the door in any business or IT department. A quick scan of what companies are looking for from IT is desktop support and field service technicians. Why are these great introductions to the field?

Because the best place to start in terms of an IT career is to understand the hardware and how to fix it. It’s crucial to have the A+ certification, among other certifications, to be able to do this kind of work. While you work in a position such as help desk support analyst or field technician, you can gather experience and pursue additional certifications that lead to IT jobs further up the salary food chain.

Why climb the IT ladder? The Spring 2009 Occupational Outlook Quarterly, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), gives a few great reasons to set your sights on higher level jobs in the industry.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reminder: Readmit Night on Wednesday, March 24

Last week, I shared my thoughts about the importance of degree completion, and how to make it an attainable goal no matter what your situation.

Since this subject is so important to us here at Peirce, I just wanted to give a quick reminder about our upcoming Readmit Night. As I discussed previously, this event is designed to assist students who have taken time away from their studies and want to get back on the path toward degree completion and advancing their career.

Here are the details if you are interested in attending:

Wednesday, March 24
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Room 51 of College Hall

If you plan on attending, remember to R.S.V.P. by this Friday, March 19. You can do so by visiting, or calling 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9026. If you have any questions, you can also email Alyson Rodgers in the Readmit Department.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Career development at Peirce College: Getting to know the Career Development Services Department

Time flies! It's been a busy, productive three months since I joined the Career Development Services (CDS) team. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you all a little more about what (and who) CDS is and what we have to offer Peirce students and alumni.

First, if you haven’t had the opportunity to meet the rest of the team, I would like to introduce them to you. I have the privilege of working alongside two fantastic colleagues, Audrey Cooper and Robyn Dizes. Although they both provide career coaching and develop and facilitate our workshops, each woman has specific areas of expertise that can help students and alumni better prepare for new and changing careers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Philadelphia community, meet Peirce College: First Ambassadors Club meeting a success

Peirce College's Stephen Ampersand with two 
members of Peirce's Ambassadors Club
There are a lot of exciting things happening at Peirce College, one of which is the new Ambassadors Club. I've invited Stephen Ampersand, a Peirce graduate, to share his experiences and some details about the new initiative that he is facilitating. Read on for his guest blog post and welcome to Peirce Connections, Stephen!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Degree completion for adult students: Navigating the work-life balance

The path to degree completion is not always a smooth one -- for college students of any age. For working adults who balance family, job, and school, that path is oftentimes interrupted by the birth of a baby, a new work schedule or increased workload, the loss of a family member, or other everyday-life stress.

Yet, there are significant economic and social gains for all of us in helping more adults attain degrees in higher education. These concepts are framed well in a 2008 report from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). The report notes that:

“There is a strong and growing argument for higher educational attainment in the United States. The benefits of an educated citizenry include higher wages and greater productivity as well as increased economic opportunities, social mobility, quality of life and civic engagement. Higher levels of education are associated with decreased reliance on government financial assistance. Also, growth in personal income -- influenced by higher levels of educational attainment -- yields greater returns to a state in the form of tax revenues.”

The benefits are significant enough that resources and assistance for adults looking to complete their degrees have been developed at the grassroots level, by those in the public and private sectors, and by non-profits -- oftentimes in concert with each other. Some great examples here in the Philadelphia region are Mayor Nutter’s PhillyGoes2College initiative and Graduate! Philadelphia, a joint venture of the Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Peirce IT gets the PhillyGoes2College office online

On Feb. 23, I was fortunate enough to join President Mergiotti at the PhillyGoes2College (PG2C) ribbon cutting and launch. Echoing the sentiment of Jim’s post, in which he shared his impressions of the event, I wanted to share my appreciation upon hearing Mayor Nutter express his thanks to Peirce College for taking fast action to support the initiative. This is a direct quote from the speech he gave that morning:

“I want to make a special mention here. Peirce College, within apparently a couple nanoseconds -- I don’t know actually how long that is, but it’s quick -- responded with six computers, immediately made available to the office to help us provide the kind of services that we need.”

It was very kind of the Mayor to thank us for moving quickly to provide computer equipment and technical support to the PG2C offices. It is our pleasure to work with a program that has such incredible potential. However, what I zeroed in on was his reference to “a couple nanoseconds.” Fast is never fast enough in the IT world!

IT needs to remain nimble, as we work in an arena that is constantly changing. These days it would be nearly impossible for any program, service, or idea to get rolling without technical support, PG2C being a perfect example. From basic infrastructure and hardware, to technical support from my fellow IT people, programs like this need us to be quick on our feet so they can meet the needs of the people they are trying to serve.

Searching online for a school that might be the right fit for you, researching its programs, downloading the application -- none of these steps in the college process would be possible without current technology and software, well designed and useful programs, and technical resources that keep things running smoothly.

I look forward to seeing where PG2C goes now that they’ve hit the ground running!

Event space in Philadelphia: The Peirce College room rental program

A recent reception held in Peirce College's outdoor courtyard
Are you an event planner? Need a place to hold a group meeting? Are you organizing a conference?

If you're responsible for planning a corporate or personal event in Center City, Philadelphia, and are in search of the perfect spot, consider Peirce College. We have an extensive room rental program and a lot to offer groups for their presentation, conference, and banquet needs.

  • Newly renovated event space. Peirce offers banquet rooms for groups of up to 120 people, meeting rooms for groups of up to 180, and classrooms/training rooms for groups of up to 40. We also offer two open atriums and an attractive outdoor, secured courtyard for receptions.
  • State-of-the-art technology. Our event and meeting spaces feature laptops, desktops, printers, projection systems, high-speed wired and wireless internet, wireless PA system, and podiums with internet.
  • Flexible catering packages. Unlike hotels, which typically offer a limited number of fixed-priced catering menus, we can cater your event to your specifications, whether you just want soda and water, or you need a three-course meal.
Peirce College's historic location in Center City, Philadelphia
is an ideal event space with close proximity to a number of hotels
Cost of the rental depends on the space, but all expenses include an event coordinator; access to technical support personnel; set-up and breakdown of equipment; housekeeping; security; and easels, flipcharts, and whiteboards.

Additionally, all rooms are ADA-accessible.

Peirce College's event space in Center City Philadelphia includes banquet rooms, meeting rooms and
classrooms/training rooms

For more information visit:

Take a virtual tour of Peirce College.

Below, find downloadable PDF diagrams of the individual spaces we offer:

Large Theater Layout
Small Theater Layout

Large Banquet Layout
Small Banquet Layout

Large Conference Layout
Small Conference Layout

For availability and pricing, please contact me, Vito Chimenti, at 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 7368 or email