Thursday, January 27, 2011

Peirce scholarship recipients announced for Fall 2010

I am pleased to announce the winners of the Fall 2010 Scholarship Competition! This particular scholarship competition occurs twice a year, with additional scholarship opportunities, financial aid, and tuition support resources available to both new and returning Peirce students.

Business Administration

1st Place ($5,000)
  • Edward Abel Jr.
2nd Place ($3,000)
  • Carolyn Wharton
  • Frank Arena
3rd Place ($1,500)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Enhancing the learning experience with technology

A story on the site about the use of iPads in the classroom got me thinking. In my role as the Chief Information Officer for Peirce College in Philadelphia, part of my position is to evaluate and follow trends in technology, and identify products and services that can enhance the learning experience for our students. You may recall that we released the first version of our mobile apps this summer.

One of the trends that seems to get much publicity is schools and institutions of higher learning aligning themselves with the hottest or newest technology that is sweeping the consumer market. I'm talking about those schools giving students the slate form factor devices (iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc).

But what happens when schools rush to adopt the hottest new technologies without fully evaluating the needs of the customer or the IT infrastructure? According to, “falling prey to fadware” qualifies as one of the top five “IT brain fails.”

This is an emerging market, and each new device has shortcomings that may or may not be evident in the rush to fulfill the perception and the brief moment in the limelight. The needs of the students, ability for faculty to easily provide content, and the ability for infrastructure support in the institution need to be accounted for.

Two years ago, several colleges, including Arizona State University, were chosen by Amazon to take part in a study on the use of the Kindle in the classroom. Students in the study provided feedback that some of the basic needs for a student could not be met. Highlighting, annotations, adequate screen resolution, ability to display complex illustrations and graphics, as well as saving and retrieving files, fell far short of Amazon’s expectations for success.

Now, some of those same schools have moved to the iPad. George Santayana, the famous philosopher, is attributed with the quote, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I feel that in the not too distant future, I will be reading that some of those schools are moving yet again, this time away from the iPad.

While several Learning Management Systems, like Blackboard, Desire2Learn, and others have a mobile platform that is designed for the iPad, this popular tablet lacks several key components that would make it a better solution for students and educators alike. Without the long-needed addition of a camera, USB, replaceable battery, and even more important, Flash and pen-based annotation, the iPad is destined to join the legacy of the Kindle in these, and many other institutions.

The Blackberry PlaybookSamsung Galaxy; dual-screen KNO; and Android powered Acer tablets, Dell Streak, or Asus tablets are all slate devices worthy of evaluation for students, faculty, and IT departments.

Peirce has already released its iPhone and Andriod applications, with the Blackberry and iPad soon to follow. We are looking forward to getting a KNO and several other devices for internal evaluation.

Sometime soon, I will write about our experiences with these new devices, and look to our students and faculty for feedback, long before we align ourselves with any slate solution.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Career Resolutions for 2011

It’s resolution season and if you are like most of us you are reflecting -- giving some thought to how you can improve the quality of your personal and professional life.

Perhaps you’re considering getting more organized, losing weight, eating healthier, or saving money. Maybe you plan to do it all! Whatever you choose to do, I hope you are successful! I also hope you will consider reflecting on your career development and making some resolutions accordingly.

Now, I might not be able to help with your more personal resolutions, but I can point you in the right direction to pursue your career-based goals. recently published a helpful blog post, "15 Resolutions You Should Make this Year to Get Ahead."

Here are some of my favorites:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day in Philadelphia

Many schools and businesses are closed Monday, Jan. 17 in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Looking for a way to celebrate? Here are some events happening in the Philadelphia area:
  • Martin Luther King Day of Service. This Monday will mark the 16th annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service, where volunteers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware come together to give back to the community. To participate, register here.
  • Visit the National Constitution Center. It’s free admission for the first 1,000 visitors to the National Constitution Center on Jan. 17 in honor of Martin Luther King Day. There will be a sing-along concert focusing on themes related to Martin Luther King, Jr. And students from local colleges and Philadelphia actors will read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at noon. Read about the rest of the day’s festivities at the Constitution Center website.
  • Attend a special service at First United Methodist Church of Germantown. Father Isaac Miller will be the preacher at FUMCOG's observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The service will feature music and liturgies relevant to Dr. King's life and his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement. The 2011 Social and Racial Justice Award will be presented during the service. The service begins at 11 a.m. at 6001 Germantown Ave.

Human Resource Management degree program introduced at Peirce College

As we’ve talked about in the past, Peirce’s understanding of the Philadelphia region’s employment outlook plays an important role in the development of degree programs. We want to offer programs that will best prepare our students for the job market. In the past year, we’ve launched Healthcare and Accounting degree programs in response to employment trends in this region, and today we’re adding another offering to the Peirce program roster.

As employer demand for human resources professionals grows in the Greater Philadelphia Region, Peirce College today unveiled a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management (HRM).

The field is poised for faster than average growth and HR professionals are taking on increasingly strategic roles in companies both large and small. That makes now a great time to explore career opportunities in human resources and the education necessary to win those positions.

Peirce’s new degree in Human Resource Management is designed to equip students with the essential skills required to enter or advance in the HR field, or to enhance their managerial career opportunities with a solid understanding of HR principles.

A full news release detailing the new Human Resource Management program was distributed on Business Wire.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Career Development Services in 2011: Events and workshops

We have a lot going on in Career Development Services (CDS) over the next several months, and we’re excited to share our upcoming events and activities! We know how daunting career preparation and the job search can be, so remember that the CDS team is always available as a resource.

The CDS department has a variety of programs and services that can make all the difference in the career development of Peirce students and alumni. Click on the flyer below for the current 2011 CDS Workshop Schedule for January and February. You can RSVP to all events by calling 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9202, or send us an e-mail.

And remember, if the workshop you need is not available or if you can't attend one of the scheduled sessions, you can always contact CDS to make an appointment with a counselor for a one-on-one session.

Whether you need help finding a job or simply want to get a head start in exploring different career paths, we have a variety of counseling and support services that cover everything from interviewing and resume writing assistance to an online job board for Peirce students and alumni, and a Co-op program.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resources for Peirce students: Walker Center workshops and events in 2011

With the holidays over and the new year upon us, it’s time for a fresh start! And one way to do it is by taking advantage of the many valuable resources available to students at Peirce College. I wanted to take a moment to share some of the events and workshops that are planned for the next few months at The Walker Center for Academic Excellence, which provides a wide variety of student support services to help you make the most of your academic experience at Peirce.

Click on the flyer below to see the 2011 Walker Center workshop schedule for January and February. It covers everything from academic support and building technology skills to personal development and online workshops. To register for any of these Walker Center workshops or find out about additional services such as tutoring, disability services, or academic counseling, e-mail The Walker Center or call them at 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9251.

And for first-year students, the First Year Initiative (FYI) is a great resource that offers support through a variety of programs and services that are 100 percent focused on the needs of our first-year students. FYI provides additional support to new and returning students through workshops that improve English, math, and basic computer skills.

By attending, you can learn what the expectations are for entry-level classes, while also receiving workshop attendance credit for your participation. Click on the flyer below to get the full schedule of FYI Student Success Strategy Workshops.

If you would like to register for any of the FYI workshops, e-mail the FYI Team or call them at 888.GO.PEIRCE, ext. 9219. And one more thing, they're all FREE!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Peirce College delivers holiday donations to T.M. Peirce Elementary School

From left: Jim Mergiotti, Chuck Wright, 
Cheerich Chmel, Jessica Quilter, Terrel Paris
We were lucky enough to do some Peirce-to-Peirce giving this holiday season. Peirce College made a special delivery to Thomas May Peirce Elementary last week -- a holiday gift of 10 sweatshirts; 10 pairs of sweatpants; 75 shirts; 15 pairs of slacks; and 104 other clothing items for students of the school.

The purchase of these items was made possible by the generous donations of Peirce students, faculty, and staff -- a total of $1,040.

The college formed a relationship with the elementary school in 2010 after learning that it too was named after Thomas May Peirce. We hope to build a strong partnership in the coming years, and foster a respect for higher learning in each of the young students at T.M. Peirce.

Presenting the clothing were Jim Mergiotti, President; Jessica Quilter, Development Associate; and myself. Principal Terrel Paris and Cheerich Chmel of T.M. Peirce received the packages on behalf of the school.

Ninety percent of T.M. Peirce's 375 students are economically disadvantaged, and several who have been identified as particularly needy will receive care packages of clothes from our donations.
Thank you to everyone at Peirce who was able to make a donation this year. You made the holidays brighter for a child in Philadelphia!

In addition to this donation, the Peirce community contributed to the following Holiday Giving drives:
  • Over 100 toys for the Youth Action Team's Annual Toy Drive. On Dec. 20 these toys were distributed as gifts to children living in shelters throughout Philadelphia.
  • Support in the distribution of holiday gifts to children of men and women serving in the Pa. National Guard
The Institutional Advancement staff is so thankful for your donations and generosity. It speaks volumes about the kind of people who call Peirce home. Happy New Year!