Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall 2010 at the Walker Center: events and workshops

We have a busy month ahead as the fall session kicks off! Read on for workshop schedules and other upcoming events that will be hosted by the Walker Center for Academic Excellence from September through November.

First Year Initiative (FYI) New Student Orientation Sessions
On Campus Orientation: Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 from 6 – 8 p.m., College Hall, Rooms 51/52
Online Virtual Orientation: Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 from 11 a.m. – noon

Get information on our First Year Initiative (FYI) program, financing your education, study skills, support services, navigating PRC 101, ordering textbooks, and more! RSVP by Friday, Aug. 27 by calling 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9219, or visit

Workshop Schedule
To register for any of the workshops listed below, e-mail the Walker Center or call 888.GO.Peirce, ext. 9251.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet Brian Finnegan, Faculty Chair of Information Technology at Peirce

In anticipation of the start of the fall session, we recently had the chance to sit down and talk with Brian Finnegan, Associate Professor and Faculty Chair of Information Technology at Peirce College. Brian combines his passion for teaching with his background in the IT field to lead the charge for Peirce’s IT degree program.

Brian took a few minutes to talk to us about his role at Peirce and his background in IT prior to entering the world of higher education. He also offered some advice for IT students and shared some thoughts about the future of the field, as well as what to look for from Peirce’s IT program over the course of the next academic year.

Listen to the podcast in its entirety by clicking on the player below, or download it by right-clicking the podcast link and clicking "save link as" to listen on a portable MP3 player.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

63 years young: It’s never too late to achieve your dream of a college degree

Daria Ward vividly recalls the day in 2008 when she attended a First Year Initiative meeting, a networking group at Peirce College that offers support for both new and returning students. As she listened to a group of adult women talk about their return to school at a later point in life, she felt a sense of fulfillment. At that time, Daria was a 61-year-old mother of four grown children who had just recently made the decision to return to school after many years in the workforce.

Daria looks back on her career as a case worker for public welfare with pride and enthusiasm, but she had promised herself that she would one day complete her education, and it was time to make good on that promise. It is her personal belief that it is never too late to pursue your academic goals.

On June 14, 2010, at 63 years young, Daria graduated from Peirce College with honors, receiving her AS in Business Administration. Her son came all the way from Missouri to see his mother graduate and treated her to the luxury of a limousine. She was thrilled -- and not just with the limo! It was a time to celebrate with friends and family, and the neighborhood put on a block party in honor of her accomplishment.

Since graduating, Daria took a moment to share her experience and encourage other prospective students out there. Below is a letter she wrote in late July that is directed at those who may be wondering if it is too late to continue their education:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mayor Nutter’s Returning to Learning Program

On August 3, Peirce College bloggers had the opportunity to interview Mayor Michael Nutter for a public service announcement regarding his Returning to Learning tuition discount program. Click play below to hear what he had to say about what this program means for employees of the City of Philadelphia and how it furthers his goals for education in this city.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is online learning right for you?

In offering a combination of online and traditional classroom experiences, we often face this commonly asked question: Is online learning as effective as in-person learning? It certainly can be. That answer is largely dependent upon the unique needs of each individual student. There are a variety of elements for prospective students to consider when asking themselves, “Is online learning right for me?”

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned a report (conducted by SRI International) that looked at existing studies contrasting online and face-to-face learning. The report, Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning, analyzed the effectiveness of online learning and the benefits of “blended” instruction, which combines online and traditional methods.

It is important to look at how much online learning has changed over the past several years. The landscape is much different than it was five years ago, and education experts are increasingly toting the advantages of online learning. There are more resources, programs, platforms, and technological capabilities than ever before, and there is tremendous opportunity for technology to improve teaching and learning. On top of that, graduates of online programs are proving themselves equally capable as those earning their degree in a more traditional manner. Combined, these factors are taking this style of learning to new heights.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My internship at Peirce: Reflections and things learned

Hello again, it's Jasmine! Today is the last day of my internship at Peirce College, so I wanted to share my reflections on the experience. My journey as an intern here has been remarkable. I have learned so much from being here and from those around me. It was a pleasure to intern here at Peirce College and gain knowledge that I’ve never had before. I can honestly say this internship is something I will value for the rest of my life, and from it I will be able to encourage others to intern by sharing my meaningful experiences.

I learned that Peirce is a nontraditional college and its purpose is to serve working adults. Peirce specializes in Paralegal, Business Administration, and IT programs, with more new degree programs coming soon. The people at Peirce are dedicated to their work and to helping others achieve their goals. I also learned of Peirce’s values which are integrity, trust, respect, and professionalism. These are important because not only is it what Peirce expects of their employers but also their students.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What it takes to get a job in 2010: Part 3

This is the final installment in a series on what it takes to get a job in 2010. Whether you're changing careers or entering the workforce for the first time, there are some specific areas that should get your attention as you prepare to begin your job search. Parts 1 and 2 examine the importance of your GPA and getting (and making the most of!) relevant work experience. Read on for one final tip.

Develop the most marketable skills. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the skills in the chart to the right are most desirable among employers. Obvious, right? But what isn't so obvious is how to communicate that you have all these skills.

No, you shouldn't just list them in the opening line of your cover letter, or rattle them off in an interview. But you should keep them in mind as you craft the message that underscores your letter, resume, and interview.

Easier said than done, right? Again, that's where Career Development Services comes in. We can show you the best practices for communicating to a potential employer that you've mastered these skills. And if there's a key skill you're missing, we can provide the workshop that will help develop it.

Don't let today's competitive job market intimidate you. Instead, let it inspire you and take the steps that will put you ahead of the pack. It won't be easy, or happen overnight, but the outline I've provided will set you on the course toward your goal: A position with a company that values your dedication, experience, and skill set.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What it takes to get a job in 2010: Part 2

This is the second installment in a series on what it takes to get a job in 2010. Whether you're changing careers or entering the workforce for the first time, there are some specific areas that should get your attention as you prepare to begin your job search. Part 1 takes a look at the importance of your GPA. Read on for another tip!

Get work experience. This is a qualification that can potentially overshadow a low GPA. But you must be prepared to talk intelligently about your past internships, co-ops, and full-time positions. What was your role? What were your strengths? What did you achieve during your time there? And as always, solid recommendations from past managers are a bonus.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Peirce College supports City of Philadelphia employees through Mayor’s tuition discount program

Today, Peirce College joined Mayor Michael Nutter for a press conference at City Hall in which he officially announced the Mayor’s Returning to Learning Partnership program. In support of this program, Peirce is offering a 25 percent tuition discount to City of Philadelphia Employees, as well as their spouses and dependents.

In only a few weeks, 46 City of Philadelphia employees have enrolled in Peirce’s program, an excellent beginning to what is a long-term commitment by the College. Peirce was the first of five higher education institutions in the region to partner with the Mayor in support of his education initiative to increase the number of Philadelphia residents with degrees, and improve overall access to education in the City.

The tuition discount program is part of an expansive effort by Peirce College to provide more Philadelphians with access to higher education and the associated benefits. According to Graduate! Philadelphia, on average, “college graduates make about $1 million more over their lifetimes than those who do not have a degree, rebound faster from downsizing, unemployment, and stepping out of the workforce, and are less likely to be unemployed and if unemployed, they tend to find jobs faster.”

View the slideshow below for a sample of photos from the Mayor's press conference:

A press release with full details about the partnership was distributed on Business Wire.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What it takes to get a job in 2010: Part 1

Less than stellar reports on the state of the job market have many students anxious about what they'll face after graduation. Today, for every one open position, there are five people competing for it. If there was ever a time to take steps to differentiate yourself from the crowd, it's now.

My work with Career Development Services (CDS) at Peirce gives me perspective on how to do so effectively. Collaborating with Philadelphia businesses has exposed me to the exact qualifications employers are looking for to determine who stands head and shoulders above a very competitive group.

Whether you're changing careers or entering the workforce for the first time, there are some specific areas that should get your attention as you prepare to begin your job search. In a short series of posts, I'm going to talk about three key areas where you should focus.

To start, let’s talk about focusing on your GPA.