Thursday, December 22, 2011

Looking ahead to another great year at Peirce

The approaching end of 2011 provides a time to reflect on the outstanding alumni, students, faculty, staff, and administrators we have at Peirce College. It is important to recognize the special bond the College provides us, and give thanks for being part of its wonderful mission. This is a most exciting and rewarding time at Peirce as we create more opportunities to transform students’ lives.

How do you hope to transform your own life in the coming year? Do you have a resolution that might inspire others? As you reflect upon your own goals and aspirations, whether personal, professional, or educational, I invite you to share them here.

As we embark on 2012, I offer sincere gratitude to the entire community, look forward to working with all of you in the future, and wish the very best to you and your loved ones in the coming year and beyond.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Getting to know Peirce faculty: Meet Carol J. Sherman

Professor Carol J. Sherman
We want to give Philadelphia and the world a look into what makes Peirce College a unique place to learn -- and one of the best ways to do that is by highlighting our faculty.

Day in, day out, it is the dedication of the Peirce College faculty that arms our students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. In order to showcase that talent and the caliber of the professors we have here at Peirce, we asked our faculty to share their wisdom, advice, and inspiration -- to get the whole story of a Peirce education, straight from the people who teach it.

Carol J. Sherman, a Professor of Legal Studies, sat down with us to talk about what inspired her to become a professor, why Peirce students are so inspiring, and what’s unique about the Peirce experience. She also offers some great advice to adults who might be thinking it’s too late to earn their degree.

So, whether you’ve taken her classes or are being introduced for the first time, click play below to get to know Professor Sherman!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy holidays, with 1 important reminder!

Happy holidays, everyone! And thanks to all of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff for a great year -- we hope you enjoy a well-deserved break to spend time with family and friends!

Our campus will be closed from Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 2. We’ll reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 3 with regular hours.

One important reminder: While there will be no on-campus classes during the break, all online classes scheduled while the campus is closed will continue as planned!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Spread the Peirce pride: Refer a new student and get a $50 gift card

How did you first learn about Peirce College? Chances are, it was through someone you know.

Many of our students are referred to Peirce by a friend or family member. For the 2010-2011 academic year, a total of 270 students were referred to the College.

To know us is to love us, and we love that our students and alumni are sharing that positive experience with others by encouraging them to consider Peirce as the place to earn their degree.

Joseph G. Binns, a 1981 graduate of the Peirce Business Administration degree program with a concentration in Management, shared with us in an email why he has encouraged others to come to Peirce. Read what he had to say below:

“My daughter was my referral and I can tell you firsthand how happy she is there and how well she is doing.

My decision to attend Peirce was basically because it was all Business at the time. It had and still does have an excellent reputation in the business community and is respected by business people. Although my major did not offer it, many other majors had work study programs through well established companies in Center City and some of my classmates were offered full-time employment there after they graduated. It also had and still has a very easy to reach Center City campus.

What drives me to refer students to Peirce is how much I enjoyed the small class size, the individual attention that each instructor gave to students …

Friday, December 16, 2011

An FYI about our FYI Scholarship for first-year students

Getting started on the path to a degree can be challenging. Did you know that we have a First Year Initiative (FYI) program that is 100 percent focused on supporting our first-year students?

Academic advising, tutoring, and financial aid are all important pieces of the puzzle to help you adjust to being a student -- whether it’s your first time or you are returning after a hiatus. Among other support services, our FYI program includes a scholarship that is open to any student who has completed her first year at Peirce.

Congratulations to this year’s FYI Scholarship recipients, Sheena Goodman and Carolyn Terry, who are getting a boost on their academic journey as they work towards a bachelor’s degree.

Sheena Goodman is enrolled in our Healthcare Administration degree program, and works in the Peirce Business Office through our work study program. She came to Peirce to pursue her bachelor’s degree after earning her associate degree from Community College of Philadelphia. Sheena lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters, ages 6 and 7. She loves spending time with her family, and is excited to see what the future holds now that she’s on the path to completing her bachelor’s degree.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New library gets kudos from General Building Contractors Association

We’re proud of the many new and improved resources we’ve made available to our students, including the renovated library -- hopefully many of you have had the chance to enjoy it during your studies!

So we were excited when the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) recognized our efforts and awarded Peirce first place in the 2011 Best Industrial/Institutional Project under $5 million category for the library renovations. In case you didn’t know, we are actually two-time award winners in this category. We won in 2001 for the Alumni Hall renovations.

I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in the project. Without your input and hard work, this would not have been possible! Read on below for more details about the renovations and resources that made this a winning project. And be sure to stop by the library to check out the new space!

Peirce College Takes First Place at General Building Contractors Association Awards Ceremony
College’s library renovations wins for 2011 Best Industrial/Institutional Project Under $5 Million

PHILADELPHIA--(November 14, 2011)-- Peirce College won first place in the 2011 Best Industrial/Institutional Project Under $5 Million category for the College’s library renovations at the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) awards ceremony, held in Philadelphia on Monday, Nov. 14.

Peirce prevailed over some tough competition, including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, which were nominated in the same category.

The architect for the renovations for College Hall’s Viola Gill Guté Library -- named for an alumna from the class of 1917 -- was Phillip D. Kunz Architects, Inc. of Collingswood, N.J. Haverstick‐Borthwick Company of Plymouth Meeting, Pa. was the general contractor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ways to give back to the people of Philadelphia this holiday season

Looking for a way to help those in need this holiday season? Although our Youth Action Toy drive just ended, here are more opportunities to give back and give thanks this holiday season!
  • Outfit Philadelphia school children with new uniforms. We’re excited to again partner with the Thomas May Peirce Elementary School. Schools always need new uniforms for their students, and like last year, we are inviting the Peirce community to make a personal donation to help us supply new uniforms.

    If you would like to make a contribution, please submit cash or a check (made payable to Peirce College) to the cashier in the Business office by Thursday, Dec. 15. Uniforms will be purchased and delivered to T.M. Peirce the week of Dec. 20.
  • Helping heroes. We also wanted to find a way to give back to the emergency responders who help our community every day of the year, so we’re supporting two additional organizations -- the Hero Scholarship Fund and the Philadelphia Second Alarmers Association.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Peirce welcomes 2 new trustees

Welcome, Lisa Curran and Kathryn McCluskey, to the Peirce College Board of Trustees!
Lisa Curran
Kathryn McCluskey

Lisa is the Marketing Manager at The Vanguard companies. She brings strong financial skills to our board as well as the perspective of a major employer in our region. Kathryn is an Associate in the Healthcare practice group of White and Williams LLP. She also spent many years as a physician assistant, which gives her experience that will be particularly helpful in guiding our new healthcare degree programs.

We look forward to the contributions of both Lisa and Kathryn as they take their places on the Board. Read the full news release below for more about our two new trustees.

Two New Trustees Elected at Peirce College Annual Meeting
Vanguard’s Lisa Curran and White and Williams’ Kathryn McCluskey Join Peirce Board

PHILADELPHIA -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Peirce College announced the election of two new trustees -- Lisa Curran and Kathryn McCluskey -- at the College’s board meeting held November 17 in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peirce elects first female Board Chairman in the institution’s 146-year history

It’s another history-making moment at Peirce with the election of our new Board Chairman, Katy Theroux. For the first time in the College’s 146-year history, a woman has taken leadership of the board.

Ms. Theroux is Senior Vice President, Customer Engagement and Human Resources, for GS1 US, a standards and solutions organization with more than 200,000 members. She brings to the board more than 20 years of leadership experience in global companies.

Peirce alumnus Bill Morgan, who serves as Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources for NASDAQ OMX, was named Vice Chairman.

For more about Ms. Theroux and Mr. Morgan, read the full news release below.

Katy Theroux Elected Board Chairman of Peirce College: First Female Chairman in the Philadelphia-Based College’s 146-Year History

NASDAQ’s William Morgan Elected Vice Chairman

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Peirce College announced the election of Katy Theroux as Board Chairman of Peirce College at the institution’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Katy Theroux is Senior Vice President, Customer Engagement and Human Resources, for GS1 US, a standards and solutions organization with more than 200,000 members. She is based at the organization’s headquarters in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. Theroux was appointed to the Peirce board in 2001. In 2008 she chaired the search committee for the president of the College.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thinking about a legal career? Prepare with paralegal studies

While theory is important to education, it can’t stand alone. A degree is not going to help you succeed in your chosen career if you don’t also learn the practical skills needed to be a real contributor.

Case in point is the legal field. In fact, I recently came across a great article by The New York Times reporter David Segal that talked about just this.

In his article, “What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering,” Segal talks about how a law school education often fails to provide the practical training needed to truly succeed in the legal field.

To me, this article hits on the very core of the vision, mission, and goals of our undergraduate Paralegal Studies program. Bottom line, our goal is to generate strong legal minds, as well as skill-set ready practitioners. It is that emphasis on practical skills that prepare our students for the real world that makes all the difference.

To best prepare our students for a career in their field, we work intently to structure a rigorous academic program steeped in a wide breadth of General Education and Legal Studies courses -- honing critical thinking, analysis, writing, communication, and legal specialty skills. We also integrate practical application focus into each legal specialty course. This serves to truly demystify the legal process and build competence and confidence in working with, and in, the legal system.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to pay for college: Scholarships can finance your education

A 2008 study conducted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found that the majority of college-qualified students who did not enroll in a degree program indicated college cost and the availability of aid as primary obstacles to their enrollment. That’s why Peirce College invests significant time and energy in tuition resources for working adult students.

For the second year in a row, Peirce is partnering with the mayor’s office to offer the Mayor's City of Philadelphia Scholarship to two students of the College, one designated for a Philadelphia resident and one for a city employee. Providing tuition resources that will help more Philadelphia residents go back to school gets us one step closer to educating the city and helping Mayor Nutter reach his goal of increasing the number of Philadelphians who have college degrees.

This year Peirce is providing full-tuition scholarships to City of Philadelphia employee Greg Wilson II, and West Philadelphia resident Ann Marie Daly.

Greg Wilson II, Mayor Michael Nutter, Ann Marie Daly, and Peirce President Jim Mergiotti

Watch for new improvements to student support services thanks to US Department of Education’s PBI grant program

Have you ever visited the Walker Center for Academic Excellence or talked to your academic advisor? Attended a career development workshop or signed up for a tutoring session? Maybe you’ve worked through our co-op or work study programs?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’ve used the student support services available here at Peirce. And we have some exciting news for those services.

We recently received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education through the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) program. PBI grants help institutions by giving them resources to develop and implement projects that support students and increase access to education.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

As the days get colder here in Philadelphia and the last leaves begin to fall from the trees, we hope you all take a moment to remember all that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.

The Peirce community is thankful for many things, such as our wonderful students, supportive alumni, and dedicated faculty and staff. Here’s what a few of our Peirce people had to say when we asked them what they are thankful for:

Arming our armed forces with the resources to go to college after military service

Going from soldier to college student is a unique experience, one best understood by those who have gone through it themselves. To celebrate Veteran’s Day and bring our military students together, Peirce hosted a brunch to honor the men and women who serve our country. The approximately 30 veterans in attendance were able to talk with fellow service members about their experiences in the military, and in the classroom.

Peirce President Jim Mergiotti talks with military students at Veteran's Day brunch

We shared some fun facts about Peirce military students through the years, from the military history of the College to what we offer our current military students today. We took our many years of experience working with military students and translated that into some important, real-world advice and information about what service members should look for in any college they consider.

Whether they are active duty and taking courses online, transitioning back to the civilian world after a deployment, or going back to school as a veteran, military students have a unique set of needs. I talked about finding the best schools for military members in a previous post, but here are a few quick reminders for what to look for:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Peirce grants honorary degree to J. Linford Snyder from class of ‘33

Board trustee Peter Caputo with J. Linford Snyder '33
and Peirce President James J. Mergiotti (photo by Joe Garvin)

At most institutions, there are a few individuals that stand out and immediately capture attention across generations. At Peirce, J. Linford Snyder, Peirce College class of 1933, is one of those individuals.

You might recognize his name, because the College’s courtyard is named in his honor. Lin was also the first recipient of the Pride of Peirce Award, received the Peirce Trustee Award for distinguished service, and was an inaugural inductee to the College’s Wall of Fame.

While attending Peirce on a track scholarship in the 1930s, Lin and his classmates faced an uncertain future, preparing for business careers during the Great Depression. At the time, he had no idea where his professional pursuits would lead him, or how his life would remain connected to Peirce.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tips for moms going back to school

Moms are busy. Moms who are students are even busier, and more and more are joining that category by making the decision to go back to school. According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, there is a projected 23 percent rise in enrollments of students 25 and older from 2010 to 2019.

That’s what reporter Emily Driscoll reported in her recent article, “What Moms Needs to Know About Going Back to School.” She turned to Rita Toliver-Roberts, Dean of Students at Peirce College, for her insight and advice about what moms need to take into consideration when heading back to school.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How good are your interview skills? Find out in our Scary Interview contest!

What’s the biggest blunder you ever made during an interview? Did you say one thing when you meant another? Call the interviewer by the wrong name? Freeze up and draw a blank when asked a tough question? Forget to spit out your gum ahead of time?

Chances are, you’ve probably made at least one embarrassing interview mistake in your lifetime. You aren’t alone! One time, I completely lost my train of thought as I was responding to what should have been an easy interview question. I had to stop and acknowledge I needed to have the question repeated. Talk about embarrassing!

Indeed, interviews can be intimidating. Everything matters -- what you say, how you act, and how you dress. But that doesn’t mean you need to fear them. If you do your homework, prepare accordingly, and refresh your interviewing skills, you can take control of your nerves and put your best foot forward.

Now’s your chance to put your skills to the test with a fun contest we’re running here at CDS. All you have to do is use a webcam to record answers to typical interview questions. To participate, simply email us at with the subject line “Scary Interview” and we’ll help you get started! No RSVP is required.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Peirce volunteers come out for Philadelphia Cares Day

Peirce faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends came out on Oct. 22 to volunteer at the 18th Annual Greater Philadelphia Cares Day. The Peirce team joined students, faculty, and staff from Roberto Clemente Middle School in painting and cleaning various classrooms; closets; and hallways throughout the school. It was a great day of giving back to the community we love!

Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday! And a special thanks to Jessica Quilter for her hard work organizing the event. Check out the slideshow below to see pictures from the day of volunteering.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Philadelphia Business Journal recognizes Peirce College as one of top 25 colleges for earning a bachelor’s degree

For anyone at all familiar with the Philadelphia region, it is probably no surprise that there are over 100 colleges and universities in the area. Students have many great choices when it comes to earning a bachelor’s degree, and we’re proud to be one of those options for a high-quality education.

In case you missed it, Peirce College is listed among the top 25 four-year colleges and universities in the Philadelphia region by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The list, appearing in the Oct. 21 issue, ranks colleges and universities by 2010-2011 academic year total student enrollment. This comes on the heels of being ranked as the seventh largest business school in the region back in September.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Many thanks from the Peirce community to the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust

We hosted a celebratory luncheon on Oct. 20 in honor of our 2011 and 2012 W.W. Smith Charitable Trust scholars. Seven of the 20 Peirce students who are participants in the Trust’s Scholars Program were able to join us.

Peirce President Jim Mergiotti was on hand to welcome everyone and express his gratitude to the Trust on behalf of the entire college. Over the past eight years, the Trust has funded 125 scholarships totaling over $300,000 to help Peirce students stay on track and achieve their academic goals.

Michelle Montgomery, Grant Administrator from the Trust, joined us to celebrate the achievements of our students. During her visit, she pointed out something that we say all the time -- the Peirce journey doesn’t end when you graduate. Past W.W. Smith scholars were on hand to celebrate with us, demonstrating their lifelong connection to Peirce.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Find the heartbeat of an ailing job market with new healthcare degrees from Peirce

If you’re looking for a job, you know there’s no arguing that it’s tough out there. But there are still opportunities to be found. You just need to know where to look!

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the economy are related to healthcare, and not just the patient care side. Careers in health information management and healthcare administration are projected to grow much faster than the average. Good news! So how do you land those jobs? The majority of healthcare careers require an associate or bachelor’s degree, so now is the time to get the degrees you’ll need to be an eligible candidate for these in-demand fields.

To meet these workforce trends, Peirce College is extending our offering of career-related degrees for working adult students in the region with the addition of a bachelor's degree in Health Information Administration (HIA).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Up to $10,000 up for grabs through the Peirce College President’s scholarship competition

No matter how large or small, every scholarship amount can help make earning a degree more affordable.

And chances are, you’re eligible for more scholarships than you think. Your school, local businesses or organizations you’re involved in, your employer, your heritage -- many of these open doors to small scholarships.

Don’t miss out on these opportunities that are right at your fingertips! A recent Wall Street Journal article by reporter Emily Glazer talks about how students are finding that smaller scholarships can be a big help when it comes to financing their education.

At Peirce, we have a variety of scholarships of all sizes to help our students finance their education.
The deadline for one great resource, our President’s scholarship competition, is quickly approaching. It’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

Who can apply? New applicants or current Peirce College students seeking their bachelor’s degree who have fewer than 15 credits

How much? Up to $10,000

Deadline: Oct. 31, 2011

Interested? Read on for the full competition guidelines to make sure you complete the necessary elements to be considered.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Make sure your resume is employer-ready and avoid common mistakes

Do you want to make sure you avoid the top 10 resume mistakes? Has it been a long time since your last job search, and you need help refreshing your resume to make it current? Having a professional resume is an essential tool to remain competitive in the changing job market.

On Friday, Oct. 28, Career Development Services (CDS) is hosting "Resumania," an on-campus resume clinic that offers the perfect opportunity to find out if your resume is employer-ready. Stop by to learn the latest trends and quick recommendations on resume writing.

Volunteer employers will be on hand in room 51, College Hall, to provide you with a speedy resume review in just 10 minutes. If you would like to participate, email us at or call us at 888-GO-PEIRCE, ext. 9202, by Wednesday, Oct. 26 for details.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peirce invests in students with 8 new faculty members

Peirce College continues to increase the number of career-focused degrees we offer, and we’ve been bringing on more faculty members whose expertise matches our academic programs. That meant eight new hires in the past year that each bring something unique to the table. These new faces keep us current and bring more real-world experience to every department. Some come from teaching or research backgrounds, others from the corporate world, and some from both.

Beyond teaching, our new faculty members are charged with leading advisory boards, establishing student associations, and managing the accreditation process. Some of the new hires featured below might already be familiar to you, but it’s important to me that our students know the caliber of the professionals and educators walking our halls. Without further ado, meet our new faculty!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fight crime and give back to the community with a degree in criminal justice

Have you ever thought about getting involved in law enforcement or a career serving your community, but said to yourself, I don’t know where to begin? Well, as you might have seen in Friday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, now there is a place to begin -- at Peirce.

As the latest addition to our Legal Studies portfolio, Peirce College's Criminal Justice Associate degree program will put you on the path to a career in criminal justice. And the good news is, as with healthcare careers, the need for more criminal justice professionals continues to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, criminal justice is a growing industry where many positions are expected to see an 11 percent increase or more in job opportunities by 2016.

There are many opportunities to get involved in our criminal justice system, but an increasing number of employers in the field are looking for applicants with a college degree in criminal justice. So step one -- get that degree.

While many other institutions offer generic programs, ours is unique in that students can choose their path and focus on a particular career within the field of criminal justice. Depending on what courses you choose, your degree will open doors to entry-level positions in a range of criminal justice professions.

  • Law enforcement, including the police force
  • Correctional system
  • Criminal investigation
  • Introduction to private security
  • Juvenile justice

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thinking about transferring colleges? FOX Business tells students what they need to know

No matter what the reason for your decision to change schools, there are certain things college students can do to successfully prepare for the transfer process. A lot of these same rules apply to those who decide to return to earn their degree after a hiatus.

Steve Bird, Program Manager of Institutional Partnerships at Peirce, recently offered his advice to reporter Emily Driscoll for an article about what college students need to know about transferring schools.

Transferring is a big decision, so make sure you ask the right questions to make sure you really get to know the college you are considering. Find out what the cost and other logistics will be. For example, will the new school accept credits from your old school? Do you qualify for financial aid? What do you need to know to make the step from a community college to a four-year institution? Does the college offer dual admissions or have partner schools?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Work. Life. College? Join Peirce at our open house to find out how you can do this.

When is the right time to go back to school? Right now.

If you don’t have your college degree, then there’s no time like the present to start working towards it. If you’re a parent, the kids’ school year is in full swing and it’s a good time to think about your own education and the opportunity you have to lead by example.

Moms and dads (and yes, grandparents, too) play a crucial role in establishing a love of learning in children. And one of the best ways to get through to your kids is to practice what you preach. Show them how to respect education by educating yourself!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Peirce’s new General Studies degree provides stepping stone for a bachelor’s degree

If you know you want to go back to school, but aren’t sure what you want to study, you aren’t alone. Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up, no matter how grown up they already are!

Don’t let indecision slow you down. The sooner you get started building the foundation that you’re going to need to get your bachelor’s degree, the sooner you will be able to climb the ladder to a better career, a better future.

That’s why we decided to add a General Studies degree program to the portfolio at Peirce College. Whether you are undecided on your area of study or professional path, or hitting a wall in your career because of lack of credentials, our Associate in Arts in General Studies offers a flexible option to get you started. The two-year program prepares students for a variety of entry-level career positions and serves as an important stepping stone towards completing a bachelor’s degree.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Parent University: Year 2

Many people credit their parents with teaching them how important it is to earn a college degree. That’s exactly what the moms and dads enrolled in Peirce’s Parent University are doing -- showing their children that they understand the value of education, and pursuing degrees that will help them go further in their careers.

On September 13, 2011, the School District of Philadelphia's Parent University kicked off its second year of classes from the Peirce campus. The program assists parents in supporting their children to achieve academic success, while providing opportunities and support for parents to achieve their own personal academic and non-academic goals. Peirce offers its General Studies degree program to support Parent U.

Peirce President James Mergiotti and Dr. Leroy D. Nunery II, Acting Superintendent for the School District of Philadelphia, were on hand to welcome the students back and wish them well as they embark on the next stage of the program.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Prevent medical identity theft with a degree in Health Information Management

Health information managers (HIMs) are committed to protecting patient privacy and confidentiality by protecting personal health information. Protecting the information contained within the record traditionally involved limiting access to those involved in the patient’s care.

Although this is still the case today, advancement in technology, the growth of electronic health records, and the ability to store data on removable storage devices have all contributed to medical identity theft. Now, HIMs play a vital role in protecting patients in a completely different way -- protecting their identities.

The changing medical landscape and the increasing demand for HIM professionals equates to the need for more health information management training and degree programs, such as the new healthcare degree programs we launched here at Peirce College.

As Assistant Professor and Program Manager of these Health Information Management degree programs, I am always watching trends and issues impacting the education of future HIM professionals.

As we educate the next generation of health information management professionals, we must equip them with the skills and tools needed to protect patient privacy in a world where information is exchanged at a faster pace than ever before. I recently spoke at Doylestown Hospital on this very topic, covering important issues surrounding patient privacy rights and how to protect yourself from medical identity theft.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is that your mom with a backpack? Studies show adult learners are taking over the classroom

It's true, your mom really is going to college, and so are plenty of other moms, dads, and even grandparents. It’s a fact that the number of older college students is rising, and these adult learners might be on to something.

This recent Huffington Post article is a great examination of the growing number of nontraditional students, and why their peers are following in their footsteps.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Practice networking with help from Peirce’s Career Development Services

If you’re one of the few people out there who loves socializing professionally, lucky you!

For the rest of us, networking can be an overwhelming and daunting experience. If you fear those networking events, know that you’re not alone. Even some of the most seasoned professionals are uncomfortable participating in such events.

But whether you love it or hate it, networking is crucial no matter where you are in your career. For students, practice and preparation will calm the nerves and help you develop the skills it takes to network your way to a great job.

The Career Development Services (CDS) team is hosting an event on Wednesday, Oct. 5 for just that purpose. “Mocktails: Building Connections Through Networking” will give attendees an opportunity to drink a mock cocktail and practice how to effectively work the room.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Even the highest achievers need a little help sometimes

An outsider might think everything comes easily to an overachiever like John MacLean. He’s (get ready for a long title!) the Region IV Regional Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications. He also happens to be a 2011 National TRIO Achiever, and the sole recipient of the 2011 PA TRIO Achiever Award.

But even TRIO Achievers need a little help sometimes. John certainly needed some help getting where he is today. He credits Peirce’s supportive environment for giving him that help and making it possible for him to overcome some of the obstacles he faced on the path to getting his degree.

To everyone who’s visited Peirce Connections before, you know that we love to dispel the myth that it’s impossible to balance work, life, family, and school. We do this by showcasing people who have done it successfully.

John MacLean, a 2008 Peirce graduate, exemplifies this positive attitude and is living proof that no matter what you have on your plate, the dream of earning a degree can be a reality. And yes, you can do this.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

10 tips for improving your job search

You don't have to know the unemployment numbers to know how difficult it is to find a job today. Anyone in the midst of a job search can see and feel how competitive the job market has become, both here in the U.S. and around the world.

That's the not-so-good news, but here's a bright spot: Philadelphia has a strong health care industry. Health care is one of the few growing industries that's creating jobs in our area. Over the past 12 months, health care employment has seen an addition of 306,000 jobs nationally. Even so, competition for any position in any sector is going to be tough.

Along with the changes in the job market, there's been a transformation in what makes a job search strategy effective. But that shouldn't discourage you. If anything, it should drive you to be more creative.

And to help get those creative juices flowing, I've put together a list of what I think are the most effective strategies for anyone looking for a job today. Put these to work and I am certain you'll increase your chances of hearing from more employers.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Philadelphia Business Journal ranks Peirce College seventh largest business school in the region

Great news! Peirce College has been listed as the seventh largest business school in the region in this week’s Philadelphia Business Journal.

We are proud to be the choice for so many students throughout the Philadelphia region who are seeking high-quality, career-oriented business degree programs.

Peirce has offered business education since 1865, and we continue to evolve our programs to meet the demands of today's competitive business world and align with employment trends.

In short, we want to make sure our students have the credentials to match the opportunities within the region’s job market.

In the past year we continued the expansion of our degree portfolio with the launch of new Accounting and Human Resource Management (HRM) degree programs, as well as a Healthcare program, to align with employer demand for qualified professionals in the Greater Philadelphia Region.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Setting the stage for academic success with orientation programs

Most colleges have some sort of orientation program to ease the transition and better prepare students for college life. At Peirce, we take it one step further by requiring all of our students to complete (and pass!) an orientation course within their first 14 weeks of study.

Students have two options to fulfill this mandatory orientation requirement: Peirce 100 and Peirce 101. The courses add value to the college experience by introducing the tools and skills needed to achieve academic, career, and personal success.

Whether you are an adult learner returning to school after a long break, a traditional-age student who is coming to college straight from high school, or anywhere in between, getting a proper orientation to college life is an important step.

Adapting to more rigorous college courses, working independently in an accelerated environment, and balancing new expectations can be challenging no matter how strong of a student you are. Orientation programs help students transition into college, set them up for success, and ensure they feel ready to come back semester after semester!

Are you new to Peirce? If so, here’s what you need to know about the two options for fulfilling your mandatory orientation requirement:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Serving up burgers and education benefits for the Pennsylvania National Guard

As the summer winds down, Peirce fit in one last warm-weather event, a picnic for soldiers at Fort Indiantown Gap. The Gap serves as an active training center and headquarters for the Pennsylvania National Guard.

Burgers and hot dogs were served up at the Pennsylvania National Guard Education Center to thank our service members and make them aware of the many education benefits available for members of the military who are interested in continuing their education.

Peirce College representatives with members of the Pennsylvania National Guard

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pennsylvania National Guard Scholarship goes to Peirce student service member

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again -- adulthood doesn't have to keep you from going back to school, and neither does military service. Today, I want to introduce you to one individual who’s successfully balancing the demands of military service and a degree program, SFC Jennifer Sue Mock. She’s this year’s National Guard Scholarship recipient and one of many active duty service members and veterans among our ranks of students and alumni.

Peirce’s National Guard Scholarship is a competitive, renewable, full tuition scholarship available to active members in good standing of the National Guard or a spouse of an active Guard Member from one of the following states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland or Virginia. Jennifer is part of a long history of Peirce students who served in the military, and a well-deserving recipient of this scholarship.

SFC Jennifer Sue Mock with her daughters; Peirce President James J. Mergiotti;
and Major General Wesley E. Craig, The Adjutant General, Pennsylvania National Guard

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene update: Emergency checklist

As you know, Hurricane Irene is headed up the East Coast and straight for the Philadelphia area. Please review the following emergency checklist and share with fellow faculty, staff, students, friends, and family. We will keep you updated on any cancellations or closings through our main phone lines and student portal. If we experience severe disruption to our Web servers, we will publish information on Peirce's Facebook page. Stay safe this weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So you think your office is a zoo? Meet Karl Fritz

Peirce College graduate Karl Fritz at the Philadelphia Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! For Peirce graduate Karl Fritz, who was recently promoted to Director of Business Operations at the Philadelphia Zoo, that’s just another day at the office.

Before he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in management from Peirce College in 2006, Karl was a good example of a person who had a lot of potential, but lacked the credentials needed to move up in an organization. He recognized that without a bachelor’s degree, his options in the corporate world were limited.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making the most of Career Development Services: Help CDS help you!

That's me, Jasmine!
Hello again! You might remember me from last summer -- my name is Jasmine Ross. I am a rising junior in high school and a returning Career Development Services (CDS) intern. As a returning intern at Peirce, I now realize more than ever the importance of an internship and how it will prepare me for many future experiences in the workforce.

Making a good impression and taking advantage of every opportunity to learn are just two of the many crucial aspects of a successful internship. Another important aspect is positioning yourself for future job opportunities.

Over the past two summers, I have learned a lot about the personalized guidance and support services that CDS offers Peirce students as they explore their careers. This exposure helped me understand that I had some of this guidance available to me in my high school as well.

Monday, August 15, 2011

FOX Business reports on latest trends in adult education

In a article about the increasing numbers of working adults who are going back to school, reporter Emily Driscoll examines the trend and reveals some of the reasons why more and more adults are deciding to return to school.

She sets the stage with an interesting statistic from a 2007 survey by U.S. News and World Report, which reports that the number of college students ages 40 to 64 has increased nearly 20 percent to almost two million in the last decade.

Adult learners are no stranger to Peirce -- the average age of our student body is 35, and we’ve provided education for working adults since our inception 146 years ago.

Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot over the years about what they are looking for from an educational experience and why getting a degree is so important.

Emily gave Peirce an opportunity to weigh in on what is driving adults back to the classroom based on our experiences with non-traditional learners.

Before connecting with Emily, I sat down with Nadine Maher, Uva Coles, Rita Toliver-Roberts, and Brad Hodge to pick their brains on why adult learners are choosing to return to school. Thanks for including our comments, Emily! Jump over to the FOX Business article to read what we had to say.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Featured Learner Series: Amanda Eades takes on textbooks and tiaras on her path to degree completion

Amanda at a Philadelphia 76ers game with Peirce
The path to degree completion for most adult learners usually doesn't include a stop at the Miss New Jersey USA pageant. But Amanda Eades hasn't had the typical journey.

Amanda lived with her grandparents growing up, and as you might expect, money was tight. Despite that, she worked tirelessly to earn straight A's in high school, because she was determined to better herself and go to college. Thanks to her outstanding grades, Amanda received a scholarship to Burlington County Community College. There she earned her associate degree in accounting.

After graduating, Amanda entered the workforce at Charming Shoppes. One day at work, she attended a seminar where representatives from local colleges (including Peirce) presented their school's options. Once again, her love of education connected with her understanding that it is the key to getting ahead.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A non-traditional approach for non-traditional students

In education, adult learners are known as non-traditional students. A non-traditional student is one who is beginning or completing his college education when his adult life, a life filled with the responsibilities of family and work, has already begun.

Adult learners need support from people who understand the difficulties that come with juggling education and the stresses of everyday life. A non-traditional student needs a non-traditional way to get ahead in life. We know this because that’s what we do every day at Peirce.

As case in point we have Grace Derr, who is on pace to graduate at the end of August 2011 with a degree in information technology. She just sent a beautiful letter that’s making the rounds here and making us all feel good about our non-traditional approach to non-traditional students.

We asked Grace if we could share her letter with you because nothing could say it better than she did. Here it is, just as it appeared in my inbox.*

Monday, August 8, 2011

Peirce Commencement hits the big screen: Your computer

Grab your popcorn and a soda, because you have a free ticket to the movie of the year! It’s a film that’s hitting web browsers everywhere, and its hundreds of stars each give an Oscar-worthy performance. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll applaud adult learners as you watch Peirce graduates on the first day of the rest of their lives. Lives made better with their newly minted degrees!

A video of the 2011 Peirce College Commencement ceremony is now available online for students, friends, and family to relive the excitement of the day. And if there’s anyone who couldn’t be there, they can finally see their favorite Peirce grad walk across the stage!

Share this with your friends, post it on your Facebook page, and send it to anyone who you know has what it takes to one day walk across this same stage. Don’t stop spreading the word about the power of degree completion!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Best schools for military members: 5 things servicemen and women should look for

Going back to school or finding a college that is the right fit can be a daunting task for any student, but military students have a unique set of requirements they need met. They’re asking questions such as, can I transfer my military experience for college credits? Can I keep up my coursework if I get re-deployed? How can I make the most of the GI Bill benefits available to me?

Peirce College is proud to be a military-friendly school and our Admissions Office is well-equipped to respond to these questions from service members. This June we welcomed Denise Kerr, who joined our ranks as an Enrollment Representative specializing in military recruitment.

Denise comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she processed Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, so she is the ideal person to help walk active-duty or retired service members through the enrollment process and beyond. Her experience gives her an in-depth understanding of what veterans are looking for when they return to earn their degrees. She knows the ins and outs of the paperwork, the logistics, the benefits, and the common questions and fears of service members.

What it really comes down to is finding a college that understands the situation that military members are in and has the programs, resources, and knowledgeable people who can support military students throughout the process.

I sat down with Denise to get her advice for military members or veterans who are looking to complete their degree. Read on for some of the important things servicemen and women need to consider when identifying a college that can best meet their needs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Telling the Peirce story and the power to transform lives

The big thing that differentiates Peirce from other schools is our passion and our people – the students, alumni, faculty, and staff truly make Peirce a unique place to earn a bachelor’s degree. Most of our students are working adults (average age is 35) who are already juggling a job and maybe supporting a family. At Peirce we understand the challenges adult learners face and we work hard to provide a supportive environment that meets the unique needs of non-traditional students.

Peirce has changed a lot during the 146 years we’ve provided higher education to Philadelphians, but one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment and passion to help non-traditional students transform their lives by providing a supportive environment as they obtain career-related degrees.

While Peirce has grown and expanded its degree offerings, many people still perceive the College as it was many years ago. It’s therefore important to tell the complete Peirce story. We want to make sure everyone in the region understands who we are, what we do, how we do it, and why Peirce has the power to transform lives.

The result? A video that tells the Peirce story, straight from the mouths and minds of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. These are the very people who make this such a special place to learn and grow, so who better to tell our story.

Please take a moment to watch and learn how Peirce puts students on the path to degree completion, a more satisfying career, and a brighter future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Learning to lead: Today's Peirce student leaders, tomorrow's executives?

Leadership training is a key ingredient of higher education. While earning a degree can help you get the job you want, it's difficult to move up the ladder if you lack the skills and qualities that all great leaders possess. The ability to lead can make you stand out from coworkers as a new hire, and make you a more well-rounded employee.

That's why Peirce faculty member Milika Singleton created the Peirce Student Leadership Development program. An advisory committee selected 17 Peirce students to embark on a six-month pilot program that would develop their leadership skills through conferences, seminars, expert- and student-run workshops, and training sessions. The students learned how to manage group dynamics, when to lead and when to step back, how to motivate others to be leaders, and much more.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Video Highlights from 2011 Commencement

At this year’s commencement ceremony, our roving camera crew caught many exciting moments as the class of 2011 and their loved ones celebrated. Please view the highlight reel to witness their jubilation and share in the moment when these individuals fulfilled their dreams.

Congratulations, once again, to the most recent class of Peirce College graduates.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How colleges get accredited, and why it’s important to your career

When pursuing a degree, students are expected to get good grades and meet specific criteria before they can graduate. So shouldn’t the school they’re attending have to pass some tests too?

When an institution for higher education passes a major exam, it’s called accreditation: official recognition that the school meets the standards set by professional and educational associations.

Such standards include student learning outcome assessments that prepare students for the workplace. Some employers will not hire graduates of non-accredited institutions, so accreditation is not only important to your education, but to your future career path as well.

Peirce College recently completed its 10-year re-accreditation self study and site visit with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the U.S. Department of Education regional accrediting body for our institution. We are proud to share that our accreditation has been reaffirmed. It speaks loudly to the caliber and hard work of the Peirce community.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Making college more affordable with a donation from W.W. Smith Charitable Trust

Financial aid plays an invaluable role in making higher education accessible to students who might not be in the financial position to pay for college. At Peirce, we are always looking for ways to make earning a degree affordable for our students, and scholarships are an important component of financial support.

Peirce College is proud to give more Philadelphia residents the opportunity to earn a degree with a generous donation from the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust as part of the Trust’s Scholars Program. The Trust has made funds available for student financial aid since its inception and has supported Peirce College for a number of years.

These scholarships help to open doors for Peirce students who may be faced with financial restraints upon enrollment, allowing them to focus on their studies, rather than on financial concerns.

A full news release detailing the donation is included below. It was also distributed on BusinessWire.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mother-son duo graduate together from Peirce College

Some students go to college to get away from their mothers, but not Keith Carney! Keith, who served in the U.S. Navy, was inspired by his mother Clarice's return to Peirce College for her bachelor's degree in Business Administration. So he enrolled himself in Peirce's associate degree program.

This mother-son duo both received their diplomas at this year’s Commencement ceremony. I shared Keith and Clarice's accomplishments in a contribution to Education Option.

Together, Clarice and Keith embody the Peirce spirit. They prove that no matter your age, you can go back to school to accomplish your dream of earning a degree. We couldn't be more proud to call these two Peirce alums, and wish them luck in the next phases of their lives! Read their story in full by skipping over to the Education Option article.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Peirce College signs partnership with 8 Philadelphia high schools

Access to education and increasing the number of Philadelphia residents with college degrees have long been commitments of Peirce College.

This upcoming school year, Peirce is presenting local high school students with an opportunity to take charge of their future. Students from eight Philadelphia high schools with high academic achievement will be granted automatic conditional acceptance to Peirce, with the chance to receive scholarships if they choose to enroll.

These partnerships open doors for traditional-age students who are looking for a non-traditional college experience. Many traditional institutions are out of reach financially, or simply do not fit the needs of those balancing work and college. Peirce provides a supportive and flexible environment that enables students to pursue a career-related degree while working to support their education.

A full news release detailing the partnerships is included below. It was also distributed on BusinessWire.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A glimpse into Peirce College Commencement 2011

We recently sent another well-prepared group of Peirce graduates on their way to successful careers. Check out the slideshow below to catch some of the highlights from Peirce College’s 146th Commencement Ceremony held on June 13, 2011 at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Once again, congratulations to the Class of 2011! You have worked extremely hard and should be very proud of your accomplishments!

Friday, June 24, 2011

CPAs and CFEs advise Peirce faculty in planning for the future of the College’s accounting degree programs

The Peirce College Accounting faculty recently hosted their first Advisory Board meeting. Accounting professionals and Peirce faculty came together to discuss items of importance to the growth and success of Peirce’s accounting degree programs.

In the photo from left to right: Ahmed Omar, CFE (Program Manager and Assistant Professor, Accounting); Gail DiGiacomo (Professor, Accounting and Finance); Emilia Gorbulsky, CPA, MBA; Michael Bentil (Associate Professor, Accounting and Finance); Fred Poellnitz (Professor, Accounting and Finance); Anita T. Conner, MST, CPA (Anita T. Conner and Associates, P.C.); Bernard H. Fisher, CPA; Leola Bennett (Professor, Accounting)

The meeting was a great success, as faculty and Advisory Board members discussed how the program can best serve our students by preparing them for employment as successful and effective accounting professionals in the competitive global business community.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Peirce College 2011 Commencement Award Winners

Meet the 2011 graduates who received awards during Peirce College’s 146th Commencement ceremony on Monday, June 13, 2011 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

All of these students have gone above and beyond to achieve great success in their educational endeavors. These impressive accomplishments during their time at Peirce will help shape their futures and we have no doubt that they will continue to achieve great things both professionally and personally. We are very proud to call them Peirce College alumni!

Congratulations to all of our award recipients and the entire class of 2011! Stay tuned for more video footage from our 2011 Commencement.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ain’t no stoppin’ them now: Reflections on Peirce College’s 2011 Commencement

There is a tradition at Peirce in which the College’s President addresses the graduates in a private session a few minutes before their commencement ceremony begins. This year and last year, I conveyed the same messages.

First and foremost, I reminded the graduates that they had earned it and it was their night to bask in the glow of their successes. Typical Peirce graduates are people who have placed the needs of others before theirs. They postponed pursuing their educational goals to support others. The commencement ceremony is their time to finally feel fulfilled and receive recognition for their sacrifices and hard work.

Secondly, I asked them to be responsive to the keynote and student speakers and the national anthem singer. It takes courage to stand up and speak or perform in front of a large crowd, and I had no doubt they would show support to their fellow graduates. Thirdly, I requested that they bring the same energy and enthusiasm that they applied to their education endeavors to the ceremony, especially when we pay tribute to their families and friends.

We also talked about their continuing relationship with Peirce. Their time as students is just the first phase in a lifelong relationship with Peirce. I tell the bachelor’s degree graduates that Peirce will provide lifelong continuing education and career support. I tell the associate degree graduates that this is just step one, and they are now Peirce bachelor’s degree candidates.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peirce College receives $10,000 grant from the Lomax Family Foundation to support its Parent University initiative

Peirce College places significant emphasis on eliminating obstacles and increasing access for working adults who want to go back to school. As part of that focus, Peirce joined forces with the School District of Philadelphia’s Parent University in July 2010, an education initiative to increase the number of working adult residents earning college degrees. Peirce has offered 25 parents of children enrolled in the Philadelphia School District the opportunity to earn an Associate in Arts degree in General Studies.

The Parent University program is designed to establish the building blocks of life-long learning and career success. It does this by providing opportunities and support that help parents achieve their academic and non-academic goals, while also encouraging their children’s own academic success.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Peirce College 2011 Commencement tells a Philadelphia story

Tonight’s the night! Beginning at 6:45 p.m., proud graduates will cross the stage in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center to receive their degrees at the 2011 Peirce College Commencement ceremony. We are so excited and proud to celebrate the achievements of our students as they accomplish the great milestone of completing their college degree.

The keynote address will be given by Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation. The student speaker will be Shandai Moore-Jenkins, who, like most Peirce students, is a working adult, balancing life, family, and business, as well as studies.

A full news release detailing Commencement 2011 is included below. It was also distributed on BusinessWire. Congratulations to all of our graduates, and welcome to the next chapter of your lifelong relationship with Peirce College as you join the ranks of alumni!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Need money to go back to school? Readmit student explains how Peirce College helped her pay for her degree

Whether or not she would get a degree was never a question for Andrea Providence. It was something she knew she wanted to do from an early age, thanks to a commitment to education learned from her parents. It was the financial side of going back to school that was slightly more complicated.

As a working adult, Andrea knew that earning her bachelor’s degree would be important to her career, but she was uncertain if she could afford it. Andrea was fortunate to be working for an employer who provided tuition reimbursement, but soon learned that Peirce College provided a broad range of financial assistance.

She realized that she couldn’t let financial fears get in the way of her goals, and made the decision to return to Peirce to complete her bachelor’s degree.

Introducing Peirce Commencement student speaker Shandai Moore-Jenkins

As we make our final preparations for Monday’s Commencement ceremony, I want to take a moment to introduce this year’s student speaker, Shandai Moore-Jenkins.

Shandai will cross the stage at the Kimmel Center on Monday to receive her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.

She recently received the honor of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, is a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society and Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business Administration, and is graduating cum laude.

Like all of our students, Shandai has a unique journey that brought her to Peirce, which she shared with us through the Peirce College Featured Learner series.

At 35, already a full-time wife, mother, and community leader from Lansdale, Pa., Shandai made the decision to return to college and complete her degree. She enrolled in Peirce as a full-time online student, adding coursework to her plate of commitments, and has excelled throughout her time here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Health Information Management field a focus at Team Talks and Hill Day on Capitol Hill

I had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. this spring with the AHIMA for its 2011 Team Talks and Hill Day. The day was spent discussing issues shaping the healthcare industry and the Health Information Management (HIM) field. It was an honor to be one of the five representatives from Pennsylvania to serve as an advocate for the HIM field and the future of health management.

I wrote a short article appearing in For the Record where I break down the four primary issues that are significant to the HIM profession, each of which was a focus during my time in Washington with the AHIMA:
  1. Promoting recognition and increasing awareness of HIM as a profession.
  2. Supporting workforce development.
  3. Protecting the HITECH funding.
  4. Focusing on the need for a patient identity solution.
As students prepare for careers as HIM professionals, it’s important to stay abreast of the issues shaping the healthcare arena, and contribute to the discussion with your unique expertise and point of view! Jump over to my article for more details on the four issues I listed above.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Peirce graduates: Final reminders and reflections for Commencement 2011

With Commencement right around the corner, we wanted to remind our busy graduates about the details of the big event! The procession will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, June 13 at The Kimmel Center, so graduates are asked to arrive at check-in at 5 p.m.

Peirce Idol winner: As we were excited to announce last week, Morraye Berrios is the winner of Peirce Idol 2011 and will sing the national anthem at the ceremony.

Peirce Commencement speakers: Another student will also be up on stage, Shandi Moore-Jenkins, this year's Student Commencement Speaker. And delivering the keynote speech will be Charisse Lillie, the Vice President of Community Investment with the Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast Foundation.

Ticket Swap: Need extra tickets or have a few to giveaway? Head to Peirce’s Facebook page for ticket swapping. You can post how many tickets you need or how many you have under the discussion tab.