Tuesday, December 31, 2013

3 academic resolutions you can keep in 2014

Almost all of us begin a new year with new goals. Many in our community have career aspirations they’d like to attain, others want to dedicate more time to achieving the work-life balance. In addition, most of our students set academic goals they want to meet, if not surpass, in the New Year.

Someone who knows a bit about helping students meet their academic goals is Mariesa Hinchey, a Walker Center for Academic Excellence Counselor and Advisor. Below she lays out three New Year’s resolutions to help you meet your academic goals in 2014.

It is important to start the New Year with reflection to learn from the successes and challenges of the previous year. As it is also the middle point of the school year, it is the perfect time to reflect and grow from your educational performance of the previous session and make resolutions to improve in the New Year.

Many people make unrealistic New Year’s resolutions and few of those resolutions last. Here’s three academic resolutions that you can keep this year.
  1. Set realistic expectations for yourself. We think it’s fantastic that you want to go for straight A’s this semester. But if that’s your goal, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by signing up to handle a big project at work, becoming a room mom in your child’s classroom, and volunteering to help at your church three nights a week. Decide what’s most important for you and your family, and then set a realistic expectation for what you can achieve.
  2. Make small tweaks to improve your educational strategy. We wouldn’t recommend vowing to study in the morning if you know you’re a night owl, or taking four classes if two classes last session felt like all you could handle. Instead, take this time of reflection to resolve to make small changes in your education. For example, this is the perfect time to commit to attending one or two workshops and events offered by the Walker Center. Look over next session’s schedule and write the dates and times in your calendar now so you don’t make other plans. Make your changes small, and find the perfect mix that works for you.
  3. Expand your skillset and knowledge base whenever you can. This doesn’t have to happen overnight. Vow to stretch yourself in new ways in 2014. Have you been afraid to ask for help? Take us up on a tutoring session so you can improve your academic skills. They’re offered in individual and group formats, as well as online and over the phone. Are you looking to brush up on your leadership skills in preparation for a promotion at work? Consider attending the Annual Student Leadership Retreat hosted by the WCAE in March. It will be held in Honesdale, Penn., and will focus on unlocking your leadership potential.
As we start the New Year and continue our school year, I hope that you are able to reflect on the year that has passed so that you can embrace this new term. As Morihei Ueshiba said, “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something,” In this New Year, learn from the past and be more successful than ever.

Monday, December 30, 2013

How you can keep your New Year's job resolutions in 2014

What are you resolving to do in 2014? We know many of our students are looking to change their career path or progress in their current one in the New Year. We're introducing a new schedule of workshops to support you in achieving these goals. From help applying to graduate school to the best ways to use social media in the job search, we're offering a wide variety of events aimed at career development. Check out our offerings for Session 3 below.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

What everyone should know about domestic violence

About one in three women is the victim of domestic violence worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And this violence doesn’t discriminate based on economic status, race, or religion. Any woman can experience this abuse, and there are often no warning signs at the very beginning of the relationship. The violence typically begins once the couple has formed a strong bond between them.

Women in abusive relationships often struggle to address the issue because of fear, doubt, and many other reasons. To help women understand how to recognize and deal with domestic violence, we recently invited Azucena Ugarte, Director of Education and Training at Women Against Abuse, to present at the College. Her insights not only helped our community become better informed about this issue, but were especially useful for students in our criminal justice program, who may start a job that involves working with victims of domestic violence. Azucena was kind enough to share some information from her presentation with us for our blog readers.

Q: What is domestic violence? I’ve also heard of intimate partner violence. What’s the difference?

A: Domestic violence and intimate partner violence both refer to a pattern of behavior that one partner uses to gain power and control over the other partner. When people use the term, “domestic violence” they usually refer to a couple that lives together or to family members, but intimate partner violence can refer specifically to any couple. They can be living together, not living together, married or dating, and with or without children.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Charitable donations from the Peirce community will benefit over 250 Philadelphians this holiday season

We hope you're enjoying this festive time of year. We want to thank our Peirce family for all you've done to help those in need over the past few weeks. Here's a look at all the ways we've been giving back during our Season of Giving.

We collected 22 pints of blood during our annual American Red Cross blood drive. One donation can help save the lives of up to three people, according to the American Red Cross, so this small gesture has the potential to save the lives of over 60 people.

Our Health Programs Student Association sponsored a canned and dry goods donation drive to support the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center, Inc. We collected six boxes of nonperishable food items, which will help many veterans and their families enjoy a hot meal this holiday season.

Peirce College President & CEO Jim Mergiotti; Stephanie Donovan, Faculty Chair, Health Programs; Luanne Amato, Assistant Professor, Healthcare Administration; and Kathleen Watson, Assistant Professor, Healthcare Administration pose with Kent Milliken, Director of Economic Development and Jaclynn Ries, Perimeter Program Coordinator of the Veterans Multi-Service & Education Center.
We also collected 52 toys and books for at-risk children and teens through the Youth Action Toy Drive. These gifts will go primarily to children and teens living in area shelters or transitional and crisis housing in Philadelphia, and hopefully brighten up their holiday seasons.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Peirce College holiday break reminders

I hope you’re getting ready to enjoy the holiday break with family and friends. As a reminder, the Peirce College campus will be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Wednesday, Jan. 1, reopening on Thursday, Jan. 2 with regular hours. There are no on campus classes scheduled during this time. However, all scheduled Session 2 Interim online classes will continue while the campus is closed. So remember to keep up with your studies if you signed up for an online interim course.

There will be members of the College available if you have questions that need to be addressed or wish to register over the break. The Advising Center, Admissions department, and Office of Financial Aid will be available to assist you by phone or in person on Dec. 27 and Dec. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Business Office will also be open to assist you during this time via phone. To contact any of these offices, call us at 888.467.3472, followed by:
  • The Advising Center: ext. 9177
  • Admissions Department: ext. 9214
  • Business Office: ext. 9600
  • Office of Financial Aid: ext. 9370
Students who need technical assistance accessing their online courses between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1 should contact the Peirce Help Desk by emailing HelpDesk@peirceonline.net, calling 877.670.9189, or by using Live Chat through the tech support link on the online course website. Faculty members teaching online courses during this time will be available through their normal means of communication.

If you have an immediate need during a time our offices aren’t open, please call 888.467.3472, ext. 9284, and a team member will be available to help you.

We’re wishing you a safe and happy holiday season! See you in the New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Happy holidays from Peirce College!

The holiday season is a perfect time to express our gratitude to the wonderful students, alumni, faculty, and staff who make up the Peirce College community.

Many thanks to our exceptional students. Thank you for choosing Peirce College and inspiring us to fulfill our mission of transforming lives. We are privileged to serve you.

Alumni, we’re so very proud of everything you accomplish after you’ve left 1420 Pine Street. We are honored to have you represent the College in your community, workplace, and the world.

To our faculty, staff, administration, and board members -- your dedication to helping adult learners succeed continues to inspire those around you. Thank you for all that you do.

We couldn’t do what Peirce does best without your support. On behalf of all of us at Peirce College, I wish you the very best this holiday season!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How you can help young Philadelphians achieve their college dreams too

Anything that helps young people in Philadelphia gain access to educational resources and support has our attention. So when we heard about Mayor Nutter’s Graduation Coach Campaign, we knew the Peirce community would want to get involved. Read on to learn how you can help a young person achieve their dream of going to college, as contributed by Sayeh Hormozi, Director of the Graduation Coach Campaign.

Growing up as an Iranian-American had many advantages. I could speak more than one language, I got to celebrate American and Persian holidays, and more. Being Iranian is a facet of my life of which I’m very proud, but it also posed great challenges for me. Especially in school.

My parents went to school in Iran. They didn’t navigate a typical American public school curriculum. They didn’t take the SATs, and they certainly didn’t apply to college in this country. So despite the emphasis on education in my house, my parents could only tell me that I should graduate high school and go to college, not how to make those things a reality. This left me somewhat alone in my efforts to filter all the information I was hearing on those subjects at school.

Part of utilizing my teachers and counselors as resources meant asking them questions; but the problem was that I didn’t know which questions to ask. And when I did ask questions, I still wasn’t capable of combining that information with my personal goals to know what steps I needed to take … much less to where.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Welcoming our 2013 Delta Mu Delta inductees!

We’re extending a warm welcome to the 38 Peirce students who were recently inducted into Peirce’s Kappa Nu chapter of Delta Mu Delta, the International Honor Society in Business Administration. Delta Mu Delta recognizes students who display academic excellence in bachelor’s, master's, and doctorate business administration degree programs at ACBSP-accredited schools, such as Peirce.

Students must be enrolled in either our Business Administration or Accounting bachelor’s degree programs, have already earned 60 college-level credits, and must maintain a GPA of 3.3 or above to be eligible to join. They can take their classes either on campus or online. With our 38 additions, Peirce’s Kappa Nu chapter of Delta Mu Delta boasts 712 members since our chapter was installed.

This year’s on campus induction ceremony took place on Friday, Dec. 6 and a virtual program was held on Saturday, Dec. 7 for those who are enrolled online or couldn’t make it to campus. Check out some of the photos we snapped during the on campus ceremony.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Special thanks to Michael Schirmer, Tara Gilmatin, Michael Bentil, Katie Taylor, Ajeenah Nuriddin-Little, Uva Coles, Adrian Zappala, Freddie Flippen, Camille Pierre, Natalie Price, and Randy Coverdale. Also, thank you to all the faculty and staff who attended the event.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Helping heroes in Philly’s backyard

HEROES HELPING HEROES: Peirce alumna
Sandy Romaszewski helps prepare essential
legal documents for first responders
Sandy Romaszewski was sitting in the Ottsville Volunteer Fire Company in Ottsville, Upper Bucks County, Penn., with one of the town’s volunteer firefighters and his wife. The couple have children, but they didn’t have any type of estate planning in place, not even a will.

The firefighter is a first responder, meaning he is the first to run into a dangerous situation, whether that’s a house fire, accident scene, or natural disaster. Without a will, living will, or power of attorney, he has no assurance that his family affairs would be in order if a tragedy struck.

Suddenly, he and the rest of his fellow firefighters, who were also there getting their estate planning documents, get a call from the 911 dispatcher that there was a barn fire nearby. The firefighters are gone for hours, and Sandy and her fellow volunteers aren’t sure when they will return.

All of the firefighters came back a few hours later, dirty from soot and smelling of smoke, but fortunately unharmed. It doesn’t happen often that the firefighters and other first responders need to respond to calls while they are getting their estate planning documents prepared, but that day clearly stressed the importance of having their estate planning in place.

And that’s where Sandy comes in. As a co-coordinator for Wills for Heroes in Bucks County, Sandy and many other volunteers help first responders prepare these essential legal documents for free. Through community events, first responders respond to a questionnaire that assesses their needs, and lawyers like Sandy prepare wills, living wills, or durable power of attorney documents in about an hour.

Friday, December 6, 2013

4 ways to turn a professional holiday party into a networking opportunity

NETWORKING: How to turn a professional party into
a networking opportunity
You probably have an invitation to a professional holiday party this season. Even though it’s a time to unwind and celebrate, holiday parties are a valuable networking opportunity, whether you plan to attend your own work function, an industry event, or go as a date to someone else’s celebration.

It’s important to understand how to navigate these events so you can network effectively and build connections. This knowledge can also come into play at parties with friends and family. Here are four ways to turn your holiday party into a networking opportunity.

Identify who you want to speak with. If you’re attending a larger holiday party, it can be the only time you get to speak with certain individuals in attendance. Research who you want to speak with in advance that aligns with your interests. If you’re attending your work holiday party and are currently looking for a promotion, be sure to chat with your department head. If you have your eye on switching departments, use this time to get to know the people in that branch. If you’re at an industry event, make sure you circulate and speak with as many individuals as possible to build connections down the road. Just ensure that you’ve completed some research in advance to understand who you want to speak with and the role they play.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Unlocking the key to success in the paralegal field

Paralegals work with attorneys to prepare legal documents in law offices, government agencies, public interest organizations, or corporations. So a fundamental element of becoming a successful paralegal is being able to work well within this team environment and building connections with those in the field to obtain these positions. That is why we help our paralegal students build networking skills they can use to start and fuel their career.

One of the ways that we do that is with our Paralegal Student Association’s annual Paralegal Symposium and Networking Event, which brings students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members together to speak on the legal profession, the role of the paralegal, and issues that are impacting the field. This year’s event was held on Nov. 12, and keynoted by Robert Hrouda, the President of the National Federation of Paralegal Association (NFPA).

Robert is the first president from Philadelphia of this national organization, so it was a great honor that he came to speak with us about how he got his start. Robert, like many Peirce students, went back to college as a non-traditional student. He was not working in the legal profession, but thought the paralegal profession was a good fit given his interests and skills.

Friday, November 29, 2013

A journey through paralegal education

CAREER CHANGE: Nataly Nguyen
tells how she overcame the odds to find
her passion
It takes courage to change the path you’re on in life. But when someone decides to do what they really love, they often become happier, more confident individuals. We see this often in many students who attend Peirce. An example of such a student is Nataly Nguyen, who changed her career path three years ago from biochemistry to paralegal studies. She’s also the winner of the 2013 Thomson Reuters/NFPA Paralegal Student Scholarship. We wanted to share her story with you, in her own words.

Though I had always been interested in the way the legal system works, I didn’t know I would be progressing toward a legal profession until a few years ago. I was studying Biochemistry at Brandeis University and the University at Albany when financial hardships and family troubles disrupted my academic course.

At age 20, I realized that the first thing that I needed to do was to leave the abusive family situation I was in. This meant completely breaking away from my family and our unfortunate cultural and philosophical differences. (I grew up in Switzerland and America, immersed in Western values, while my parents follow a strictly patriarchal Southeastern Asian culture, which offers much less respect and support for women.)

Breaking away was a difficult, but necessary, step with serious consequences. Because my parents held my work documents, I could not obtain employment to support myself. Although my parents offered me no financial support, I was deemed “dependent” under federal student loan guidelines. Because my parents made a comfortable living, I only qualified for an unsubsidized federal student loan.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Peirce College students learn firsthand about career opportunities in counterterrorism

Becoming a police officer isn’t the only career path you can pursue with a criminal justice degree. Today you can use a background in criminal justice to work in many areas of the law enforcement field, including corrections, security, juvenile justice, and criminal investigation. One subset of the criminal investigation field that continues to grow is counterterrorism, a branch of law enforcement that focuses on helping stop and prevent crimes of terror.

Due to the growth of this area, we were pleased to welcome Sergeant Steve Iannone, Supervisor Detective Squad at the NYPD Counterterrorism Division, to the College on Nov. 19. Fifty-five students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members came out to hear his presentation on counterterrorism and how this field continues to grow.

Sgt. Iannone covered the campaign the Department of Homeland Security has established to help members of the public: If you see something, say something. This means if you see suspicious activity, report it to your local authorities.

It was great to hear this presentation from such a widely respected organization. Notable attendees were Tom Mitton from the Department of Homeland Security and Joe Sullivan of the Philadelphia Police Department, as well as the Philadelphia Police Department recruiting unit. Having the participation of these regional and national stakeholders is very important as our Criminal justice program continues to grow and raises awareness in the broader Philadelphia community. Many attendees got a chance to speak with law enforcement attendees and build their criminal justice networks.

Thanks to everyone who attended! If you missed it, we have another excited criminal justice event coming up. Azucena Ugarte, Director of Education & Training at Women Against Abuse, Inc., will be presenting on Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. She’ll cover domestic violence and resources in Philadelphia that can help someone in an abusive relationship. RVSP for the event by emailing me at rmbrzenchek@peirce.edu.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Why you can’t afford to take a holiday vacation from your job search

JOB SEARCH: Keeping up with your search over the
holidays, whether or not your classes are in session
The holidays are fast-approaching and it can be tempting to push off your job search in favor of parties, punch, and presents. But continuing your search during the holiday season can keep you ahead of those who put their job hunt on hiatus.

By getting your resume into the hands of employers over the break, you can ensure it’s in their inboxes the moment they return in January, a time when many employers have budgets to hire new employees. Here are four ways to keep your job search on track this holiday season.
  • ABN (Always be networking). The holidays are a great time to get in touch with contacts you’ve made. Try emailing with a seasonal greeting to kick off the conversation and then segue into current and future business opportunities. It can be as easy as “Hi Susan. I hope you and your family are having a happy holiday season! How are you doing? By the way, I’m still job searching should you know of any open positions or if you’d like to review my resume. Is there a time we could chat? Hope all is well!”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Featured Learner Series: Philadelphia mom sparks an educational movement in her community

INSPIRING OTHERS: Myrna Coleman (pictured in
green) poses with me, fellow Parent University
graduate Carla Bell, and InFocus
host Steve Highsmith.
Giving back has always been a part of Myrna Coleman’s life. From her job as a special education classroom assistant, to taking care of her family, to participating in her church and community, she’s always been happy to help others. But when she had the opportunity to earn her college degree by joining Parent University, it was her chance to help herself.

Parent University gave 25 parents of Philadelphia school children the chance to earn their associate degree through a partnership between Peirce College and the School District of Philadelphia. But for Myrna, the joy of education has always been a part of her life.

She has always enjoyed working with children, and dreamed of one day becoming a teacher. “I’ve been doing it my entire life,” Myrna said. “I would bring all the little kids from the neighborhood to my porch, read stories to them, and help them do basic math and learn their alphabets. I was acting as a teacher then.”

But health issues and family commitments stopped her from attending college after high school. Instead, she worked to become a special education classroom assistant for the School District of Philadelphia and began raising a family while living in southwest Philadelphia.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Catching up on Peirce College news

It’s been a busy few months for us at the College. We’ve shared exciting announcements, new partnerships, and advice for students and job seekers with members of Philadelphia and national media. We’re also sharing them with you if you missed them.

Year Up aids young adults with skills, experience. Reporter Wilford Shamlin of The Philadelphia Tribune covered our partnership with Year Up that provides urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. He also featured two standout students in the program, Jeshaiah Nixon and Oshitay Isley, who have found their academic footing and are flourishing while in the program.

Philadelphia Business Journal’s People on the Move. The Philadelphia Business Journal included two new additions to our Board of Trustees, Tom Karinshak and Linnette W. Black, in its People on the Move section. Tom, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Comcast, brings business and customer service insight from one of Philadelphia’s largest employers to our Board. Linette, the former President/CEO of HealthRight, Inc., brings extensive healthcare knowledge and experience at a critical time in Philadelphia, as the industry continues to grow.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How you can help Philadelphians during the holidays

BLOOD DONATION: Past years have been successful
because of donors like you!
With the holiday season fast approaching, we’re turning our attention to launching another Peirce Season of Giving to support our Philadelphian friends and neighbors throughout the holidays. Peirce College has been organizing events to help families have food on the table and gifts under the tree for the past few years, and we are always impressed with how our students, alumni, faculty, and staff step up and give back to others. We want to take a few moments to share details about this year’s events and encourage you to participate.

Annual American Red Cross Blood Drive. Our annual blood drive event, co-hosted with the American Red Cross, will take place on Monday, Nov. 25 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in rooms 51 and 52.

Donating blood takes about an hour of your time, but can be the difference in saving someone’s life. One donation can benefit up to three people, and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day by hospitals, first responders, and other medical personnel, according to the American Red Cross.

Sign up for a time slot to donate. Walk-ins are also welcome as the schedule permits. For more resources about blood donation from the Red Cross, read their website for first-time donor information and eligibility requirements to donate.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Celebrating Peirce’s military past, present, and future on Veterans Day 2013

Peirce College was founded after the Civil War ended in 1865 to help Union military members prepare for civilian jobs. We’ve continued that rich tradition for 148 years by supporting military students and alumni in their higher education journey through scholarships, grants, career development support, and job placements after graduation.

We also employ a number of faculty and staff members whose job it is to support these military students. We’ve just strengthened that support by bringing Devon Vargason onto the team this session. She is the dedicated academic advisor for military students at Peirce College, ensuring that they stay on track, complete the correct requirements to continue receiving their benefits, and receive any other support they might need.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What professionals need to know about LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers. Every professional should be using this social networking site to organize and stay up-to-date with their professional contacts, engage in knowledge sharing, and cultivate their online reputation.

That was one of the core messages shared by Brian Wiggins, Audience Development Director of the Philadelphia Business Journal, during the “LinkedIn for Job Seekers” event he hosted at Peirce College recently. He shared tips during two different sessions on the do’s and don’ts of using LinkedIn, and had many actionable pieces of advice for attendees.

If you have questions about using LinkedIn, Brian provided some guidance just for Peirce Connections blog readers in a video interview:



After watching, feel free to scroll back through the pieces we’ve written about how and why to use LinkedIn. But if you still have questions, leave them in a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Meet recruiters that are hiring in Philly

BUILD A NETWORK: Speak with professionals
at our Job Fair on Nov. 15
Talking face-to-face with a potential employer is one of the best ways for job seekers to get noticed. Opportunities for these conversations don’t come often, which is why you should attend our Job Fair on Friday, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in rooms 51 and 52, where over 35 employers will be available to speak with job seekers like you!

This event is open to all Peirce students and alumni who want to explore new internships, part-time, or full-time opportunities in the Philadelphia area. Participating employers include

Business attire is recommended for attendees, as some companies may do on-the-spot interviews and you should be ready to show them why you are right for their open position. But if you feel you need to brush up your professional skillset, you’re in luck. We’re offering two workshops before the Fair to help students and alumni prepare their elevator speech, perfect their resume, and project a professional image during the event.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

4 daylight saving safety tips

SAFETY TIPS: 4 tips for staying safe in the city
With daylight hours shrinking as daylight saving time comes to an end this week, we wanted to use the occasion to remind students of several safety tips they should always keep in mind. Read on for our four daylight savings safety tips for college students.
  • Stick together. Everyone has heard that it’s usually safer to travel in groups. Not only is this safer than traveling alone, it’s a great way to get to know your peers from class. Find a few people who travel the same way that you do – whether that’s on public transportation, walking to the parking garage, or heading home on foot. Meeting up can become a fun part of your routine while helping you stay safe! And whether or not you’re traveling in a group, it’s usually best to stick to areas with many other pedestrians and cars around when walking.
  • Stay aware. It’s very important to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by texting or listening to loud music. And if you find yourself in a situation that gives you a bad feeling, remove yourself from it as quickly as possible.
  • Be prepared. Keep your cell phone charged, and your car keys or train pass in your hand long before you need to use them. Become familiar with the routes you take to class, the train, or your car, and feel confident about them. Lastly, keep up with your vehicle maintenance to avoid becoming stranded before or after class.  
  • Use Peirce’s services. Our students can benefit from the safety services we offer as well. We recently implemented PEIRCE ALERT, a text messaging service to let Peirce students, faculty, and staff know about emergencies and weather closures quickly. If you feel unsafe or have any questions about something on campus, reach out to our Security team at 215.670.9284. We are here to protect our students' and staff’s well-being, and to make their experience at Peirce is pleasant, safe, and comfortable.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to use these tips to stay safe! Feel free to share them with friends and family who might benefit from them.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Police Deputy Commissioner spotlights Philadelphia law enforcement trends

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Deputy Commissioner Bethel
and I posed for a photo
We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel of the Philadelphia Police Department to the College. He came to speak to Peirce Criminal Justice students, Paralegal students, and faculty about charting a career in the law enforcement profession, and what students need to do to be successful in the field.

Deputy Commissioner Bethel ignited a very engaging conversation, and he covered key topics that students pursuing careers in law enforcement should be aware of. For those who weren’t able to make it to the event, here is a snapshot of a few subjects that he covered.
  • The evolution of GIS mapping and its increasing importance to the profession. Geographic information systems (GIS) mapping refers to using data-driven analytics to examine the geographic features of locations for solving crimes and preventing them from happening. The Philadelphia Police Department began using this technology to map crime trends and allocate resources to counter crime in those areas. This is becoming an increasingly important part of law enforcement, and those looking to get into the field should be well versed in the benefits of this technology.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The UPCEA names Peirce’s Dr. Cathy Littlefield Outstanding Continuing Educator New to the Field

ADULT EDUCATION: Many thanks to the UPCEA for
this honor!
The UPCEA (University Professional & Continuing Education Association) is a leading association for supporting educators who serve adult learners. It holds nationwide conferences and offers other support services to ensure faculty members at colleges and universities such as Peirce are prepared with the skills necessary to support their adult students.

It also recognizes accomplishments of educators in the industry, and I was extremely honored when a professional colleague, Karen Chiarini, nominated me for UPCEA’s Outstanding Continuing Educator New to the Field award this year. And I was even more honored when I learned that I had been selected!

As I sat at the awards luncheon on Oct. 10, I couldn't help but reflect on how I got there. About 20 years ago, it became clear to me that I belonged in higher education. But I also knew it was important to bring more to the classroom than just a few college degrees.

Nearly eight years ago, I enrolled in a higher ed doctoral program, and as a seasoned business professional, I began to transition my career and achieve that dream. After immersing myself as an adjunct instructor six years ago, completing my doctorate, and now working full-time in higher education, I found the award ceremony very humbling, but extremely rewarding.

The recognition of UPCEA validated my decision to not only transition careers, but also confirmed that I am in fact in the right place, doing the right thing, and I wouldn't change a thing. There are so many worthy education professionals, and I am thrilled to be considered in their company.
Many thanks to the UPCEA for its recognition!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

From military to college, commitment knows no bounds

COMMITTED STUDENT: Sergeant Stephen
Cowperthwait is dedicated to earning his
college degree in Information Technology
It’s a great honor for us that we’re able to support our active military members and veterans in earning their college degrees. Today we’d like to introduce one of them to you -- Sergeant Stephen Cowperthwait. Along with being a former member of the Marine Corps, a current member of the National Guard, and an Information Systems Analyst with the U.S. Army, he is also the seventh recipient of the Peirce College/Pennsylvania National Guard Scholarship. We learned more about Stephen’s story when we interviewed him for our blog. Here’s what he told us.

Stephen grew up in Susquehanna, Pa., a small suburban town outside of Scranton. After graduating high school, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Management from Penn State University. He got a taste of several different business experiences through internships, including ones at the school newspaper, career development services, and Walmart.

However, upon graduation, he was unsure where he wanted to hone his business focus. But he also recognized that he could strengthen his skills through joining the military, and felt the Marine Corps was a perfect fit. So he made the decision to serve in the Corps for the next four years.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2 new members join Peirce’s Board of Trustees

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to the two newest members of Peirce College’s Board of Trustees -- Tom Karinshak and Linnette W. Black.

Tom Karinshak serves as Senior Vice President of Customer Experience for Comcast, where he and his team work cross-functionally to ensure a superior experience at every point in Comcast’s relationship with its customers. He brings business and information insight from one of Philadelphia’s largest employers to our Board.

Monday, October 21, 2013

How HIM students and professionals can prepare for AHIMA’s national convention

QUESTIONS TO ASK: What to find out when
choosing an HIM program
AHIMA’s annual national convention for health information management (HIM) students and professionals is right around the corner. This week-long experience includes informative sessions, professional speakers, networking events, and many opportunities where attendees can learn more about HIM innovations and educational programs.

It’s also a great opportunity to meet faculty members from colleges and universities nationwide who lead academic programs in the HIM field. They’re wonderful resources to tap if you’re considering furthering your HIM education. There are also a few important questions you should ask to see if a program is a fit for you and your educational goals.

I wrote about the questions you should ask in an article to "For The Record," a publication for industry professionals. Even if you’re not planning to attend this year’s AHIMA convention, you should include these questions in your thought process when researching HIM academic programs.

Are you planning to attend the conference this year? If so, will you be using the conference’s resources to consider continuing your HIM education? If you have questions, feel free to ask in a comment below.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How to negotiate a better salary for a job offer

NICE NEGOTIATING: Negotiating with your future employer
on salary doesn't have to be a tense moment 
You’ll probably encounter this issue at least once in your career: You found the perfect job, aced the interview, and got the call that they’re offering the position to you -- but with a salary that is less than you expected or not what you believe you should be paid for the position’s responsibilities. Now you have to negotiate for a better salary with your future employer, without insulting them or settling for less than is fair.

Negotiating for a better salary may feel forward, but it’s very important to your career. About half of all new employees never negotiate their salary, but one study conducted by George Mason University and Temple University found that negotiating just $5,000 more for a starting salary was worth more than $600,000 over the course of a career. Although the difference between $50,000 and $55,000 might not seem like much, it adds up in the long run.

Salary negotiation seems to be something that comes easier to older male workers. Fifty-five percent of workers 35 or older typically negotiate the first offer, while only 45 percent of workers ages 18-34 do the same. Men (54 percent) are slightly more likely than women (49 percent) to negotiate first offers, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington. But this is a skill that everyone can benefit from.

So how do you go about negotiating your salary? First, be prepared. Know the value of the position to the organization and industry. Is it a position the company could fill easily, or does it require a specific set of skills that only a certain group of workers possess?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Celebrating Philadelphia Association of Paralegals' 40th anniversary!

PHILLY PARALEGALS: Friends and colleagues from
Peirce were in attendance at PAP's 40th anniversary gala
The Philadelphia Association of Paralegals (PAP) has consistently been one of the strongest allies and supporters of our Paralegal Studies program. So when the organization celebrated its 40th anniversary last month, we were excited to be part of the festivities.

The gala was held on September 19 at the incredible Bistro St. Tropez, which has amazing views of Philadelphia. The room was filled with energy and enthusiasm, and many current Peirce students, alumni, advisory committee members, and colleagues from the legal community were in attendance.

One of my favorite parts of the evening was getting to meet the very first President of PAP, Anne M. Gay. It was a pleasure to be able to share in her joy at how the Association has grown and the role it has played in the paralegal field.

It was also quite an honor to be included as an award recipient that evening for Student Paralegal Professional Development. Yes, yours truly, was recognized along with Philadelphia District Attorney, Seth Williams, and The Law Firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP. It was a humbling experience … one that will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Learn to use LinkedIn to improve your job search

LEARN LINKEDIN: Brian Wiggins of the PBJ will
help Philadelphians improve their LinkedIn skillset
You never know when you’re going to need to tap your professional network for a career-related opportunity. And today, one of the best places to access that network is on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn now boasts 228 million users, including job seekers, recruiters, employers, and professionals. That means it’s more important than ever to have a presence on LinkedIn to control your online reputation and manage the information you want the world to see about you.

But if you still don’t know how to set up a LinkedIn profile with your up-to-date professional knowledge and accomplishments, we have a place where you can turn! Philadelphia Business Journal is hosting a "LinkedIn for Job Seekers” event on Oct. 16 here at Peirce College.

Whether or not you’re currently looking for a job, you’ll learn a lot from this seminar. Brian Wiggins, Audience Development Director for Philadelphia Business Journal and PBJ.com, will lead the event. He’ll cover:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shining the spotlight on our star Year Up students

Recognizing the hard work and dedication of students can have a huge positive impact on their continued success. So we love shining the spotlight on students who exemplify these traits while in pursuit of a college degree.

Every few weeks, Margaret Rizzo, Associate Director of Operations and People Development for Year Up, will be highlighting a few students who deserve kudos for their stellar attitude and motivation in our Professional Training Corps program. Keep checking back here for updates!




Elesha Merritt has already established herself as a beacon of positivity for the class. Her positive energy and bright smile fuel the class on a daily basis. Elesha, from North Philadelphia, is the embodiment of what it means to seek to understand before being understood. She has consistently shown that she is a role model by bringing her best self to the table in each interaction; she brings out the best in others simply by being herself.



Jeshaiah Nixon, from Northeast Philadelphia, is a creative thinker who does not shy away from providing his fresh perspective. He actively participates in activities and goes the extra mile to engage in all discussions. He brings a ton of fresh enthusiasm, and it is clear that Jeshaiah is committed to excellence in all that he does.



Angel Ponce is originally from North Philadelphia and is a member of the National Guard. He has already proven himself to be a hard worker and leverages his positive leadership style to motivate others. Angel excels at accomplishing his tasks through a commitment to respecting and valuing others and striving to learn.

Friday, October 4, 2013

6 strategies for success in your first year of college

SUCCESSFUL STUDY STRATEGIES: 6 ways to help you
ace your first year of college
It’s perfectly normal to feel a little bit overwhelmed by your first semester of college. After all, it’s going to take some time to adjust to new classes, professors, and demands on your time, especially if you’re trying to balance them with your career, family, and other responsibilities.

But there are certain strategies that can not only make your first year less stressful, but help you set the foundation for success for the rest of your college career. Here are six strategies that our students have found helpful in the first year of their degree program.

Success strategy #1: Establish goals. What do you want to get out of your college experience, beyond earning your degree? Do you want to maintain a certain GPA? Take part in a set amount of internships? Be more involved in the college community? Network with colleagues, faculty, and area employers? Whatever your goal, just make sure it is right for you. An easy acronym to determine this is the SMART approach. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Monday, September 30, 2013

How to make your online job application stand out

HUMAN RESOURCES: Learn the do's and don'ts of the
job application process from Philadelphia employers at
our Human Resources Panel Discussion. 
If you’ve applied for a new job in the last five years, you probably submitted your application online. And whether it was on an individual employer website or aggregate job board, chances are you never received a response from some of those applications.

This might have left you with a few questions. If you felt qualified for the position, why didn’t the employer respond to your application? Should you apply again? What are employers looking for in an applicant? And how can you stand out in a crowded job market?

These are common questions for many job seekers, and we wanted to provide you with the answers straight from local employers. So we invited seven hiring managers to come to Peirce to speak on the do’s and don’ts of interviews, cover letters, and resumes for our Career Development Services’ Human Resources Panel discussion.

It will take place on Oct. 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in rooms 51 and 52 of College Hall. Attendees will have the chance to network with employers from various industries, including business, healthcare, IT, and the paralegal field who understand the ins and outs of the hiring process. Panelists’ names and companies will be provided once you RSVP, so the only way to know who will be there is to come out and see for yourself!

Friday, September 27, 2013

How a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Management differs from an MBA

Earning a master’s degree can open the door to leadership and management positions that might not be available to a bachelor’s degree holder. But once you decide to go to graduate school, the next big choice is choosing your degree program.

Many students who want to further their education with a business-related master’s degree ask me how Peirce’s master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Management differs from a MBA program. To put it simply, most MBA programs focus on traditional methods of business management with a quantitative approach. While programs vary, they usually place emphasis on statistics, economics, and business management.

Conversely, a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Management provides more contemporary methods of managing through motivation, commitment, inspiration, and communication. The primary goal of the program is to prepare students for successful careers in organizational change, consultation, leadership, and management.

But this just cracks the surface of these programs and the benefits graduates will reap from each. We’ve detailed some of the key points below.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Peirce College news for students, faculty, and educators

Members of the media have been tapping Peirce’s experts lately for insight on different topics, including educational guidance and career advice. We’re recapping some of these headlines today in case you missed them.

Taking a gap year: What students should consider. Deciding to take a year off between high school and college requires careful consideration. That’s why FOXBusiness reporter Emily Driscoll tapped Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement, for her advice on whether students should take a gap year. Rita advised that taking a gap year for the right reasons, such as “feeling under prepared for the academic rigors of college, needing more time to find the right-fit school, or wanting to seek out experiential opportunities and work/career experience” is OK. However, she cautioned against taking a gap year just for a break, as “in our competitive society, taking a break for the sake of simply ‘resting’ should not be an option.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meet our Professional Training Corps coaches

The school year is well underway, and our first class of PTC students have spent the past few weeks becoming acquainted with their classes, professors, coaches, and the College. In case you missed it, we partnered with Year Up to launch Professional Training Corps (PTC) in Philadelphia, giving urban young adults the academic and professional skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their full potential.

We thought we’d acquaint you with some of the Year Up faces that you’ll be seeing around the College, starting with Margaret Rizzo, Associate Director of Operations and People Development for Year Up. Margaret is part of the team who came to Peirce this summer to head up our partnership, and she will be keeping us updated on the goings-on of our PTC class on the blog. Here’s her introduction of our Year Up coaches.

We’re very excited to have launched our PTC initiative here in Philadelphia in partnership with Peirce, and things have been off to a great start.

A strong tenet of our training program is the coach support that our students receive. Each student is assigned a coach who stays with them while they’re in the PTC program. The coach encourages and supports them throughout the year, giving them the tools they need to succeed in PTC and their careers.

We wanted to highlight the fantastic group of coaches we have here in Philadelphia. If you see them in the hallway, feel free to say hi!

From Left to Right: Dan Holland, Nakia Mack, Stefanie Cuadrado, Jameel Pugh

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcoming Assistant Professor Bob Brzenchek to our Criminal Justice program

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Bob Brzenchek joins Peirce's Criminal
Justice department as an Assistant Professor
Peirce College's Legal Studies department has just expanded in an important way. Former law enforcement official, intelligence specialist, and defense contractor Robert (Bob) Brzenchek is joining our team as an Assistant Professor for the Criminal Justice Studies program.

Not only does Bob have a highly impressive resume of hands-on experience, he also holds a master's degree in Strategic Intelligence with a concentration in Terrorism Studies from American Public University System, and a bachelor's degree from George Mason University. He is currently working toward his Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration & Homeland Security Leadership with Northcentral University, and previously headed up to the Criminal Justice Department at Virginia College.

It's this marriage of academic prowess and boots-on-the-ground experience that makes Bob a great addition to our Legal Studies department. You'll be seeing his presence on campus, where he'll be teaching classes, and also here on the blog as an author. To get the ball rolling, we asked him to answer a few questions so you can get to know him better.

Q: Bob, you have an extraordinary background of criminal justice experience in many different fields. What inspired you to get into education?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Celebrating Peirce College’s 148th birthday!

CELEBRATE: Today is Peirce
College's 148th birthday!
Thomas May Peirce founded Union Business College, the original name of Peirce College, on September 18, 1865 -- that makes today Peirce’s 148th birthday.

We’re very proud of our history and all that we’ve accomplished. We celebrated our birthday here at the College today with cake, coffee, and conversation about where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re heading into the future.

We also looked back at the some of the milestones we’ve accomplished throughout our history. Here are some of the biggest ones that shaped who we are and what it means for students and alumni to have a Peirce College degree.

1865 -- Union Business College opens its doors, focusing on career-related education and nine male students enroll. Women enroll shortly after, making the College one of the first higher education institutions in the United States to accept women. Classes are held year-round, students can begin at any time, and the time for completing any course of study is unlimited. Evening sessions are also available. Tuition for a full course is $30.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Peirce College offers the only ABA-approved Paralegal Studies bachelor's degree program in Philadelphia

PARALEGALS IN PHILLY: Peirce College continues to offer
the only ABA-approved Paralegal Studies bachelor's
degree program in Philadelphia
The American Bar Association (ABA) grants approval to college programs that give students the training, insight, and knowledge they need to excel in the paralegal field. This ABA approval status is highly recognized in the legal field, so we were delighted when the ABA House of Delegates recently renewed its approval of our Paralegal Studies program.

This means that Peirce College continues to have the only ABA-approved Paralegal Studies bachelor's degree program in Philadelphia. We issued a press release today to share this news.

The paralegal field is evolving. The job market is competitive and many paralegal employers require that applicants have a bachelor's degree to even be considered for open positions. They also often look for additional credentials and portfolios of work that speak to an applicant’s experience and expertise.

So when a student notes that they’ve completed Peirce’s ABA-approved bachelor’s degree program -- the only one of its kind in Philadelphia -- they have an additional standout factor on their resume. Employers will see that Peirce’s Paralegal Studies graduates have the theoretical basis and applicable skills needed to excel in the paralegal field from day one.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Featured Learner Series: How tough starts can equal strong finishes

FEATURED LEARNER: Abel is pictured here receiving his
scholarship from Philadelphia Academics, Inc.
Image courtesy of Kate Hennessy Photography. 
“I’m just a regular guy, working as hard as I can to achieve my dreams and goals.” That’s according to Abel Jose-Perez, a 2011 Kensington High School graduate and current Peirce student. He’s also our next Featured Learner, and for good reason: Abel might be a “regular guy,” but his motivation and dedication are inspiring to all those around him.

Abel was born and raised in Philadelphia in the Kensington area. He attended Kensington High School, where he felt that drugs, violence, and lack of focus on education were often part of the norm. His parents also divorced when he was a year old, adding additional instability in his life.

Yet he didn’t want his situation to set the pace for his educational journey. Instead, he used it as motivation to prove that a tough start doesn’t necessarily bring about a weak finish.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New program aims to reduce joblessness among Philadelphia’s young adults

There are an estimated 45,000 people ages 18-24 without jobs and who are not attending school in Philadelphia, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. One of the biggest challenges they face is obtaining the education, knowledge, and skills that employers demand today. That’s why we’re starting a new partnership with Year Up to better prepare young people for jobs in today’s marketplace.

Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Through a one-year, intensive training program, Year Up provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of college credits, hands-on skill development, and corporate internships.

Focusing on innovations that allow for greater scale,Year Up has created the Professional Training Corps (PTC), an innovative program that leverages college partnerships to help students earn a degree while providing them with professional development and work experience closely linked to labor market demand.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

“Why didn’t I do this earlier?” Working mom returns to college to earn her bachelor’s degree

FOR FAMILY: Jennifer is earning her bachelor's
degree for herself and her family
Working moms already have a lot on their plates – they often balance building their careers, providing for their families, and giving back to their communities. Adding college student to that list might feel daunting, but for working mom Jennifer Shaw, it’s a step toward a life goal she set for herself a long time ago.

Jennifer earned her associate degree in Medical Practice Management at Peirce 18 years ago and has always seen it as just the beginning of her lifelong learning journey. But between raising her son as a single mother and working her way up the career ladder with the City of Philadelphia, the timing was never right – until now. Jennifer is returning to Peirce College this year through our Readmit program to achieve her dream of earning her bachelor’s degree.

Jennifer is a Philadelphia native, and grew up with her close-knit family in the Kensington area. With her grandmother living next door and three aunts on her block, she felt very supported by her family to continue her education. She graduated from high school in 1990 and took a semester off to decide what she wanted to do.

Friday, August 30, 2013

What is leadership?

The following is a guest post from Dr. Cathy Littlefield, Associate Professor in Organizational Leadership & Management within Graduate Studies here at Peirce College. Dr. Littlefield is helping develop and teach courses in our first graduate program.

Last Friday, we hosted a Graduate Studies Opening Reception for our inaugural class of graduate students here at the College. This allowed students the opportunity to engage with faculty members and peers who are earning their master’s degree through our program. We wanted to recap a few key takeaways from the event, as well as share some photos.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why you should take advantage of student support services this year

STUDENT SERVICES: Attending events and using our
student service resources will help you earn your college degree!
More than 70 percent of Americans matriculate at a four-year college, but less than two-thirds end up graduating, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. There are many reasons why one third of Americans aren’t able to complete their degrees.

While cost is certainly a factor, so are support services offered to students during their time at their college or university. Studies show that students who use academic counseling services, tutoring, and career development assistance offered by their college or university are more likely to stay in school and finish their degree programs.

With Session 1 beginning this week, we wanted to provide a refresher of the student services offered at Peirce, and how they can help you on your educational journey.

Academic Advising and Guided Peirce Services. These two departments work closely together. Their mission is to provide you with the guidance and support to stay on track to completion. Our advisors and GPS teams can help you understand your program requirements and can also help you register for classes and even order your books. They stay abreast of program needs, changes, and activities and communicate those to you so you can be in the know.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Life by design: Donna D. Diakite ’10, ‘13

BUILDING BUSINESS: Alumna uses
Peirce education to begin her own
businesses
Guiding clients on their path to holistic wellness is at the heart of Donna D. Diakite’s entrepreneurial ventures: She operates her own massage and aromatherapy practice, and is the proprietor of a custom women’s clothing business, 3-D Designs LLC: “Clothing Designs With Women in Mind.”

But while she has been continually interested in fostering the well being of others, she was not always as confident about her own advancement. On three separate occasions, she approached 1420 Pine Street to enroll at Peirce, but was too apprehensive to take that first step. But the third time was the charm: Once she set foot through the front doors of Peirce, she was on the road to earning a degree as an adult college student.

In 2008, while pursuing her associate degree in Business Administration at Peirce, she launched her first entrepreneurial venture. The timing was fortuitous: In the classroom, Donna learned about crafting a business plan and employing effective marketing strategies, while out in the real world, she was using these newly acquired skills to develop her massage practice. She credits that knowledge as being a key to strengthening her self-confidence while growing her business.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Congratulations to our recent scholarship recipients!

SCHOOL SAVINGS: Highlighting three Peirce students who will
receive scholarships toward their education
Scholarships are one of the most common ways to help pay for a college education. In fact, scholarships, as well as grants, are used more than any other type of funding, covering 30 percent of total college costs for a typical family, according to Sallie Mae's How America Pays for College. That’s why we dedicate a significant amount of time to helping our students find and apply for scholarships, as well as offering tuition resources through the College.

Three of the Peirce students who will benefit from scholarships this school year are Dale Jefferson, Jennifer Shaw, and Laurel Purdy. Dale and Jennifer have won the 4th Annual Mayor's Scholarship For City of Philadelphia Residents and Employees, and Laurel has been named the 2013 recipient of the Philadelphia Association of Paralegals Joan Weldon Scholarship Award. We want to recognize and congratulate them on their accomplishments today.

Two Peirce students are selected for the Mayor’s Scholarship each year -- one that is a Philadelphia resident and one that is a city employee. We had nearly 60 fantastic applicants, but could only pick two winners. The first awardee is Dale Jefferson, a current Peirce College student pursuing a degree in Information Technology who lives in Philadelphia. Dale was also recently awarded the Peirce College Walker Center Rising Star Award.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Start the 2013 school year on the right foot with new student services and career development services workshops

If you want to brush up on your writing and grammar skills, or expand your interview or resume knowledge, now is the time. The Walker Center for Academic Excellence and Career Development Services have each released their Fall 2013 workshop schedules.

The Walker Center has workshops throughout Sessions 1 and 2 to help you strengthen your skill set and round out your academic abilities. And Career Development Services is having a can’t-miss Open House from September 16-20 to give you an overview of the services and programs it offers, no RSVP required!

We’ve put together a list of our online and on-campus workshops below. To register for any of the Walker Center workshops listed, or to schedule a private tutoring session, contact the Walker Center at 888.467.3472, ext. 9251, or WCAE@Peirce.edu. To register for events hosted by Career Development Services, email CDS@Peirce.edu or call 215.670.9202.

Walker Center Schedule

Monday, August 19, 2013

My MOOC experience: A college dean’s foray into Massive Open Online Courses

TAKING A MOOC: What I thought about
my MOOC experience
Recently, I enrolled in my first Massive Open Online Course -- more commonly called a MOOC. I'm currently in a certificate program, and one of the classes required us to sign up for a MOOC so we could understand how they work. My certificate program colleagues and I weren't required to complete the MOOC, but we had to experience what it was like to take one. And amid the buzz around MOOCs, I had a personal curiosity about what taking a MOOC was like.

I've always been interested in online education -- I enrolled in this certificate program as part of my lifelong learning journey. I also helped launch our online education program here at Peirce in the late 1990's, and continue to guide the direction of our online education program today. Although my experience is just one story you might hear from MOOC students, I wanted to share my perspectives on the value of MOOCs in higher education.

My certificate program gave us a choice of taking two MOOCs -- I chose to enroll in "E-Learning and Digital Cultures." It is offered by Coursera and I had 40,000 classmates. We had five professors from The University of Edinburgh who curated videos and articles for us to watch and read, and then prompted discussion via online discussion boards and Twitter. To engage, participants would post their responses and comment on other people's responses in these forums.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Connelly Foundation donation helps Peirce's healthcare students stand out in the job market

SKILLED PROFESSIONALS: Our Healthcare Administration
students will be trained in technology employers are using,
thanks to a generous donation from the Connelly Foundation
Health information employers today are looking for new hires to have hands-on experience with electronic health record systems. This is driven by the growing number of electronic health records systems over hard-copy files, and applicants with the technical skills to work these systems are often preferred during the hiring process.

Many students who want to learn these technical skills find the best training is in simulated lab environments. Because of this, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) offers 'AHIMA Virtual Lab,' which is considered a benchmark in the industry for healthcare information-simulated lab instruction.

And now, Peirce College will be able to incorporate the AHIMA Virtual Lab simulation software into our Healthcare Administration program this fall, thanks to a recent generous donation of $5,000 from the Connelly Foundation. The Connelly Foundation seeks to foster learning and improve the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia area by supporting local non-profit organizations in the fields of education, health and human services, arts and culture, and civic enterprise. The Foundation values the benefits of education, and helping to facilitate it has become the cornerstone of its mission.

Friday, August 9, 2013

How you can save money on your college tuition

SAVE $$$: Participate in our Tuition Discount Program to be
eligible for a 10 percent reduction in tuition for summer 2014 classes
Did you know that you have a better chance of completing your degree if you remain continuously enrolled? Taking classes each session is a great way to focus, remain energized, and stay on track to completion.

To further support you on your road to degree attainment, we are offering you another incentive -- our new Tuition Discount Program. Beginning this fall, if you complete and receive a grade in at least one class during each of Sessions 1-6, you may be eligible for a 10 percent reduction in tuition for your summer 2014 classes.

This program is available to all undergraduate students, whether you’re taking eight-week classes, 15-week classes, or a combination of both. A 15-week class will count toward one session during the term. For example, if you take a 15-week class during Sessions 1 and 2, and take an eight-week class during Session 2, the 15-week class will count toward Session 1 and the 8-week class will count toward Session 2.

Here are some example schedules that would be eligible for this discount:

Sample Schedules



The discount will be applied after the drop/add period of Session 6, and will be applied after all other discounts.

We hope you take advantage of this discount program as you work toward earning your degree! If you would like more information, please contact your Academic Advisor.