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.

The intensive program review process connected with the ABA approval status is based on a seven-year review cycle. Peirce’s Paralegal Studies program was first approved in 1988, and we have conducted the process of program review, reporting, and application for reapproval on the seven-year cycle ever since that date.

With each application for reapproval, we analyze myriad aspects of the program, including academic rigor, support services, faculty-student interactions, and student outcomes. This gives us the opportunity to see how our program has grown, areas of improvement, and how we can strengthen them.

Compiling this program self-study requires us to tap multiple groups throughout the College, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. It brings our community together and allows us insight into the perspective of many of the key stakeholders of our Paralegal Studies program. I’d like to extend a special thank you to all the members of the Peirce community who assisted in the review process -- we could not have done it without you.

Having obtained recommendations for reapproval at each review level in the process, we received official notice on August 13 that the ABA House of Delegates granted reapproval to the Peirce College Paralegal Studies Program at its annual meeting in August 2013!

Maintaining our program ABA approval status is extremely important for Paralegal Studies program graduates. As I mentioned earlier, that ABA approval status is highly recognized in the legal community. It also helps to ensure that our program is on track with the expectations that legal employers have, and provides a structure that helps us prepare graduates to fulfill and surpass those expectations, strengthening their marketability.

Earning the ABA reapproval status is a significant third-party validation of Peirce’s Paralegal Studies program. As Peirce provides the only ABA-approved Paralegal Studies bachelor’s degree program in Philadelphia, we will continue to ensure our program meets the ABA’s quality guideline standards. This will ensure our students have the most up-to-date offerings that will serve as the foundation for building successful careers in the paralegal profession.