Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Five Tips for Setting and Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is often seen as a time of renewal, reflection, and planning ahead. While most people are excited to come up with new resolutions, according to the American Psychological Association only about 1 in 5 people are actively sticking to their resolutions by March.

Clearly, setting resolutions is easy but sticking with them for 52 weeks is a bit more challenging. Nonetheless, when we look at people who have excelled in a variety of different fields, almost all of them have goals and a system for achieving those goals. Trends show this is the case across the board whether you’re setting an academic, personal, or professional goal.

So if you’re looking to be the best version of yourself in 2015, take a look at the tips below that help with both setting and achieving your resolutions.

Be Specific
People who are specific about their New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to fulfil those resolutions than those who aren’t. So for example, rather than having a resolution to “get a better job,” think in terms of “I’ll get a job in ____ field, in ____ position, and making _____ salary.” Take it a step further by thinking about the logical actions it will take to achieve the goal and write out plan for doing them. By doing this you’re able to focus on the specific things that will take you closer to your goal.

Be Realistic
Thought it’s always best to make resolutions that cause you to stretch, commit, and at times sacrifice, understanding your current priorities and life situation is an important step to fulfilling your resolution. Keep in mind any obstacles that may be standing in your way and how you’ll overcome them. Setting unrealistic goals can cause you to become discouraged before you've even had the
chance to make meaningful progress. “Shoot for the moon and if you miss, you’ll still land in the stars” is a nice maxim, but if you never truly believe you’ll hit your resolution, you’re much less likely to even get started. So consider starting with a smaller goal to build momentum before tackling the larger goals.

Write Your Goal Down
Writing your resolution down should be your first step to achieving it.  This gets it out of your mind and forces you to think through the goal and be clear about what it is you’re trying to achieve. In 1979 Harvard conducted a study that asked students, ““have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” Though many of the students had goals, only 3% had taken the time to write them down. Ten years later when the students were interviewed for a follow-up, the 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!

Set Milestones
You’ve heard many times throughout your life “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” While that’s true, taking that first step knowing that you still have 1,000 miles can be pretty daunting. The odds of you completing the thousand-mile journey will be greatly increased if you break the journey down into ten 100 mile journeys and take the time to reflect and reward yourself at each milestone. Organize your resolutions into smaller, more manageable goals that build toward a larger goal. So for example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds this year, you’re much more likely to succeed if you set a goal to lose 2 pounds per month and reward yourself at the end of each month when you’ve reached that goal.

Keep Track of Your Progress
Keeping a record of the progress you’ve made towards your resolution is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable while also keeping your resolution top of mind. There are many different web and mobile apps that can help do this, but a notebook journal may work just as well.

By keeping records, you’ll be consistently working on your goals and able to see the progress you’ve made, which is a huge motivator in and of itself. Keeping records of your goals will also give you the opportunity to reassess your goals and allows you to make adjustments for circumstances you may not have thought of when first setting your resolution.

Best of luck on your journey through 2015! May this be your best year ever!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

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.

Thank you to our Peirce community members who participated in 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 every donation truly counts!

Peirce College also participated in Preston & Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger canned and dry goods donation drive to support Philabundance. We collected 195.5 pounds of nonperishable food items, which will help many Philadelphians and their families enjoy a hot meal this holiday season.

Preston and Steve Camp Out for Hunger
We also collected 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.  Additionally, a group of Peirce College faculty, staff, and students also collaborated to make a donation to Angel Tree- Prison Fellowship.
Youth Action Toy Drive

Angel Tree
The Peirce College faculty and staff have collected money the past five holiday seasons to purchase uniforms for elementary students in need at Thomas May Peirce Elementary School. This year we were able to raise money to purchase 187 uniform pieces, including cardigans, shirts, pants, jumpers, socks, and tights. Students who have been identified by the school’s staff will receive some of the pieces, and the rest will be kept in the nurse’s office and issued to students as needed.

Thomas May Peirce Elementary

Thomas May Peirce Elementary
Thank you to everyone who helped make these donations possible! We’re proud that we were able to brighten the holidays for those in our community this season.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2014

On Campus or Online: Which Model Works Best for You

Congratulations students on a successful fall! As you begin planning your academic path for 2015, it’s important to keep in mind which types of learning model works best for you when it comes to your schedule, commitments, and attendance. These models include on campus, and online, along with morning, afternoon, and evening classes. As we’ve discussed before, class attendance is perhaps the single most important factor that contributes to academic success.

When determining which method will work best for you, it is important to look at your schedule, taking all factors of life into consideration such as family obligations and work commitments (for example, do you have set hours or do your shifts change on a regular basis?) It’s unfortunate to see students choose on campus but due to childcare, family, work and other issues they end up missing several classes or others who choose online but would have benefitted more from the on-campus interaction. Being realistic about what will work best for you when choosing your classes will pay off as the session, and your academic career, progresses.

Some students strongly prefer online courses and the convenience it allows since at any point throughout the day or night they can log on and do their work or their assignments. Since they’re not committed to a specific time period that they have to be in class, they have that flexibility to do it when it best fits their schedule.

For others, the classroom learning style works best for them. They benefit from the person-to-person interaction with faculty, the visual aspect of the classroom and whiteboard, and having face-to-face conversations with their classmates.

For students who may have scheduling challenges but still prefer the in-class model, courses are offered in the morning, afternoon, and/or evening.

So as you can see, there are many different options for attending class based on your particular
situation. The most important thing to consider is which model will allow you to be the most engaged in each and every course. Keep in mind that 97% of students who attend every class pass their course.

If you have further questions about which model works best with your unique situation, your academic advisor will be happy to work with you to put together a plan that best works for you.  Contact your academic advisor at 215.670.9177 or email advisingcenter@peirce.edu .

Friday, December 19, 2014

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 Wednesday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 4, reopening on Monday, Jan. 5 with regular hours. However, all scheduled Session 2 Interim online classes will continue while the campus is closed. Please 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. 29th and Dec. 30th, and January 2nd from 9 a.m. to 3 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. 24th and Jan. 4th 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. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Program Manager of Criminal Justice Studies, Bob Brzenchek, Recently Appointed to Board of Directors for SERAPH

I’m excited to share the news that I’ve recently been appointed to the Board of Directors for SERAPH. SERAPH is a specialized consulting and training firm that provides legal, liability, and security problem solving for the education, business, legal, law enforcement and government communities.

The firm consists of several high-level professionals from many diverse areas such as education, domestic law enforcement, military and intelligence organizations and has an active seven -person Board of Directors. All executives at the firm have various types of federal security clearances.

From the beginning, I’ve been intrigued by their work and was eager to get involved. With my subject matter expertise in law enforcement, emergency management, intelligence, and education, I felt that a position within SERAPH would allow me to remain viable in the industry and stay on top of the latest trends. 

Peirce College’s Criminal Justice program will continue to be bolstered by SERAPH members’ level of expertise and colleague base. SERAPH members are Peirce Advisory Board members, guest speakers, and act as critical industry sounding boards for the college.  

A particular project that I am excited to collaborate with SERAPH on is their training program entitled “The School Safety Assessment Certification Program” which provides schools with federal level training to assist in securing Special Education. The program trains and certifies school based personnel to audit their safety, emergency management and Special Education systems – known by the U.S. Department of Education as a Climate Assessment. In addition, I’m also looking forward to assessing an upcoming project titled “The 6 Failures – Sandy Hook Lessons Learned.”

To learn more about SERAPH and the work they’re doing, feel free to visit their site.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three Reasons Why the Demand for Health Technology Professionals is at an All-Time High

By Yeva Madden, Assistant Professor, Health Information Management

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for health information professionals is set to grow by 22% through 2022. The specific field is set to grow “much faster than the average for all occupations” and according to the BLS there could be additional increased demand due to continuing need to organize and manage information in all areas of healthcare.

There are several factors that are contributing to this demand. Some of the primary reasons include:
  • An expected 32 million additional patients in the system because of health care reform
  • The aging U.S. Population - By 2025, the Census Bureau projects a 36 percent growth in the number of Americans over age 65.
  • Population growth – 4 million babies are born in the U.S. each year according to the CDC/National Center for Health Statistics.
  • New regulations that incentivizes healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records as well as new penalties for providers who fail to adopt.
  • Changes to medical coding that will increase the codes professionals use from 17,000 to 140,000, which will decrease existing productivity and require a significant increase in new coders.
  • As all of this information becomes electronic, the demand for privacy and security is of increasing concern.
Healthcare organizations rely on health information professionals to manage the flow of electronic medical information, convert physical charts into electronic medical reports on secure computer databases, and keep patient information secure. They enable health care providers to improve the quality of patient care through the secure use and sharing of health information.

Because of the changes mentioned above, there is a shortage of health information professionals to help healthcare organizations overcome these challenges. To gain a better understanding of the opportunities, let’s take a closer look at three of the forces behind the demand.

Electronic healthcare records
The federal HITECH Act of 2009 made it a critical national goal to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT. This includes electronic health records and private and secure electronic health information exchange.

When it was enacted, the federal government offered incentives to organizations that took measures to help support the goals. One of the primary goals was converting to electronic health records (EHR). EHR’s are the digitized version of medical paper charts. They allow real-time access and updates so that patient information is available instantly to other providers across multiple healthcare organizations, including labs, pharmacies, and other specialists.

Within the first few years of the HITECH act coming online, it drove an 86% increase in monthly job postings related to “electronic health record” or “clinical informatics.” Over the next few years we’ll continue to see an increased demand as organizations will be penalized for not implementing EHRs beginning in 2015.

 Medical coding changes 
As we discussed in our recent blog post, in October 2015 medical coding standards will undergo a change that increases the number of codes used from 17,000 to over 140,000. This significant addition of new codes will decrease productivity of current medical coders by up to 50%, and create a surge in demand for skilled coders.

Privacy and security demands 
Privacy, security, and confidentiality of personal health information has always been a top priority for health information professionals. With HITECH legislation and medical information technology advancements, patient information is now becoming more distributed than ever throughout various electronic systems. In addition, there has also been recent updates to legislation that requires healthcare organizations to take stronger security measures when dealing with patient information. Because of these factors, there is an increased demand for health information management professionals to help providers ensure their patient medical records remain confidential and secure.

Prepare to Seize the Opportunities
The Peirce Healthcare programs are designed to prepare professionals for a career supporting the delivery of healthcare and management of patient health information – key areas poised for significant growth over the next decade. Whether you’re just starting your higher education, looking to transfer or apply existing college credits, or if you’re currently a professional looking to advance or switch careers, Peirce has a program that can help you meet your goals. Our convenient on campus, online, and hybrid courses gives you the flexibility of attending class when it best suits your schedule.

If you’re ready to get the degree you need for the life you deserve, contact our admissions representatives at 215-670-9214 or email us at info@peirce.edu and find out why today is the day that could change everything!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Welcoming our 2014 Delta Mu Delta Inductees!

We’re extending a warm welcome to the 33 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 33 additions, Peirce’s Kappa Nu chapter of Delta Mu Delta boasts 745 members since our chapter was installed.

This year’s induction ceremony took place on Friday, Dec.5 with students attending both online and on campus.   Check out some of the photos we snapped during the on campus ceremony.

Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, inductees and their friends and family who attended the event. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peirce Significa Negocio: The Spanish-American Department at Peirce

In its near century and a half of history, Peirce has developed a tradition of looking for ways to expand and offer relevant courses to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to achieve a quality college education. Already a nationally recognized business school by the turn of the 20th century, Mary B. Peirce was interested in expanding the school’s scope beyond the United States. Peirce administrators traveled to Latin America to meet with educators there to see if there was an opportunity for Peirce to enroll students from Cuba, Nicaragua, and other countries in Central and South America. The end result was the “Spanish American Department” which offered business and other courses taught in Spanish, as well as English language courses. In addition to the coursework, there were several events, activities, and organizations sponsored by the department, including an annual Latin American Ball and the Latin American Club.

Starting a new program of this scope wasn’t simple. Bi-lingual faculty members were hired, additional classroom space was rented, and Spanish language marketing materials were created. Manuel Vera Estanol, an educator from Mexico was hired to run the department. School Director Louis B. Moffett met with existing faculty to introduce the program in 1902, and faculty members were given lessons on Spanish name pronunciations and basic phrases to help the new students feel welcome.

The program lasted over four decades, during which time the Peirce family and other Philadelphians hosted hundreds of students, some of whom took positions in the United States after graduation while others began careers in their home countries.  Based on the success of the program, Mary Peirce was selected to be on the board of governors of the Washington-based Pan-American Association.

A few months ago, we had the privilege of a visit from the grandson of one of the graduates of the department. He told us his grandfather (who emigrated from Cuba in the 1920s) always talked about his time at Peirce fondly, so a visit to Philadelphia had to include visiting his relative’s alma mater.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

10 Questions to Ask Yourself when Considering a Career Change

The latest jobs report from November indicates that jobs are now growing quicker than they have since the turn of the century. This growth, combined with the recovery of the recession, is prompting more people than ever to consider transitioning into a new career.

Though it’s not just the economy driving the increase in career transitions. In today’s job market employees are more mobile than ever. Most will change jobs many times during the span and many employees will make 2-3 complete career change before retirement.

Nonetheless, transitioning careers can be intimidating, especially if you’re not prepared. The good news is that there are things you can do to make your transition seamless and significantly increase your chances for success.

So if you’re currently thinking about a career change or think that a possible career change could be on the horizon for 2015, start by asking yourself these questions. Taking the time to think through the answers will help you lay a strong foundation for your career transition:
  1. My current career is ________________________. Based on the skills I’ve gained through experience and new skills I’m willing to learn, how easy or difficult would it be to make a transition to a career in _______?
  2. Is the industry I’m considering experiencing growth?
  3. What aspects of my background are the most helpful in making the transition to a new career field? Which would be the biggest obstacles?
  4. What degrees or certificates are needed to obtain a position in my new career?
  5. The things I like the best about my current career are: _____________________. Will I find some of those same things in my new career? What about the things I dislike?
  6. How will this career align with my overall professional goals?
  7. What sacrifices and commitments might I have to make to switch into this new career field?
  8. Are their networking events or informational interviews I could attend to learn more about the field and expectations?
  9. What are the industry's biggest challenge now and in the future? How can I best position myself to help an employer overcome those challenges?
  10. What type of training or education do I need to be successful in this career?
In addition to the questions above, ask yourself how your upcoming career switch will align with your personal goals. Would a position in the new career challenge you, give you meaning, purpose, and personal satisfaction?

If you’re considering a career change and would like to speak to someone about how to make the change a reality, contact the Career Development Services at cds@peirce.edu , or call 215.670.9202 to make an appointment.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Leveraging the Holiday Party as a Professional Networking Event

It’s that time of year again where you’re likely to get invited to a variety of holiday parties. Some of these parties may be through your employer while others may be non-employer related, yet still be in a professional setting. Even at parties with family and friends, there is still often opportunities to build your professional network.

With that said, we thought it may be helpful to revisit some of our tips we published last year about how to leverage these holiday parties for professional networking.

Here’s a recap:

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.

Take advantage of the opportunity. A holiday party is also a great time to network with the president or executive team of your employer, college, or industry group. When approaching high-ranking officials it’s critical to remain professional, despite the fact that you’re at a party.

Start the conversation now and follow up later. The holiday party is usually a time for professionals to enjoy time off from work with friends or family, so they might not want to discuss business. Remember, this is the beginning of a conversation and it doesn’t have to take place only at the party -- you don’t want to go into full-on business meeting mode over eggnog and fruit cake.

Always act appropriately. It might be a party, but there’s no reason to go over the top when attending a holiday event. First impressions are lasting impressions, so avoid consuming too much alcohol and ask your date to do the same.

Good luck on your networking at this year’s holiday parties. It’s a great opportunity to set the tone for 2015!

To read the entire article and see even more tips, click to read the original post.

Friday, November 28, 2014

How You Can Help Our Community During the Holidays this Year

By Amy Caliendo

With the holiday season getting into full swing, the College has launched our annual Peirce Season of Giving to support our Philadelphian friends and neighbors. 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.

Youth Action Toy Drive.  We’re accepting new, unwrapped book and gift donations for children ages infant through 17 years old as part of our annual Youth Action Toy Drive. Youth Action provides these gifts to at-risk children and teens in Philadelphia, particularly those living in area shelters or transitional and crisis housing. 

Making a donation can ensure someone who might not receive any gifts this year will have at least one present under the tree. Our collection box is located in the lobby of College Hall, and we’ll be collecting items until Dec. 5. So when you’re out shopping over Thanksgiving weekend, be sure to pick up a toy or book for a child or teen in need!

Canned Food Drive. The Peirce College Community is participating in a canned and dry goods donation drive to benefit Philabundance. The goods will go to Philadelphia residents in need this holiday season. Some items to consider are canned and boxed soups, gravies, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Donations will be accepted in the main entrance lobby through Dec. 3.

We hope you’re getting into the holiday spirit and can help someone less fortunate this season. We’ll be updating you on our Peirce Season of Giving periodically over the next few weeks, so check back on our blog for updates.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Peirce IT Students Gain Valuable Experience in Work-Study Partnership with Dixon House

Last May, Peirce forged a work-study partnership with the Dixon House, a community-based organization under the umbrella of Diversified Community Services. We’ve been hearing a lot about the success of the program so we wanted to learn more about the work and the students who are participating.

We recently sat down with Yolanda Sowell, the computer lab assistant at Dixon House who oversees the Peirce work-study team, and Julian Knox, the first student who was brought on board as part of the Peirce – Dixon House partnership. Yolanda is a Peirce College alum and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Leadership. Julian is currently a senior at Peirce with only one class left towards his Bachelor’s in Information Technology.

The Peirce students who participate in the work-study program are responsible for maintaining two computer labs, among many other things. The labs are part of the Philadelphia KEYSPOT program that helps bridge the digital divide by giving low income individuals access to computers and internet.  The program is managed by The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation & Technology and Drexel University.   One of the computer labs has 10 computers and the other is located within a classroom and has 6 computers.

According to Malik Brown, director of Dixon House, there are many working adults across Philadelphia who are committed to improving their lives and economic circumstances.  “While working hard is certainly part of the equation, low to moderate income families need additional tools to make the long climb out of poverty to self-sufficiency.  The strategic partnership with Peirce College compliments our work force development activities.  Diversified is honored to partner with Peirce College to help improve the lives of adults and families throughout Philadelphia.”

Currently there are eight students from Peirce who participate in the program.  “We’re fully staffed and because of the relationship with Peirce we’re able to be open 43 hours per week.” Yolanda tells us.

In addition to IT, everybody in the work study program helps with resumes, job searching, Microsoft office, and basic computer skills. “We don’t just look at students as work-study, they’re part of Dixon House and are addressed as Mr. or Miss,” Yolanda says. The community members who come to the Dixon House are referred to as clients.

Everyone has their specialties with helping people and improving the lab itself.  The Peirce IT students focus on IT but they’re also able to pick up on other valuable skills. “Everyone is learning how to teach, and how to use soft skills,” says Julian. “As I transition into an IT professional, I’m going to have to work with upper management as well as users, and I’m already getting good experience with that. I get to interact with Malik Brown (Director of Dixon House), Miss Yolanda, the other team members as well as the clients,” he explains. Yolanda also realizes the importance of these soft skills and tells us, “When I get time, I take them to the main building so that they can meet the staff and executives over there and network.”

Back at the Dixon House, one of their primary responsibilities is teaching courses in Microsoft Office that leads to certification of the Dixon House clients. “Mr. Julian and Miss Tamika are the lead teachers – they actually conduct computer classes and they have assistants, Mr. Troy, Miss Renee and Mr. Terrell,” explained Yolanda.

Julian elaborates, “Miss Yolanda, Miss Tamika and myself developed a curriculum for a 8 week class. We leveraged the GCF Learn Free tutorials and grabbed what we thought were the best and fastest way to learn from that. I’ve personally taught five different people MS Office.” In addition to MS Office, they also teach other computer skills, “Many people have never touched a computer before so we have to start with the basics of turning it on and off. We work from there to helping people set up their email, and then on to internet basics,” Julian tells us.

Many of the clients also come to the Dixon House for help with resumes and finding a job. Julian and Yolanda put together a resume template that the clients use. “Everyone that comes to me gets a job,” Julian boasts. “I help input their information into the template, make sure their wording is correct and make sure the keywords are in the resume,” he adds.

Yolanda proudly explains, “All of the Peirce students have helped someone at some point with a resume and they’ve gotten a job because of it. We actually have a job board and when one of our clients gets a job we go around the building and ring a bell so everyone in the building knows that another client has just landed a job. We also add their name to the job board. There are currently 11 names on the board.”

In addition, the students are also involved in Philly Goes to College, which Mayor Michael Nutter rolled out at a press conference held at the Dixon House. The Peirce students have been trained so that they are all familiar with the process and how to do applications, financial aid, and writing essays for scholarships.

When asked for final thoughts, Yolanda excitedly told us, “I couldn’t ask for a better team, I couldn’t have imagined this just a few years ago and I’m so grateful also that I went to Peirce College because it’s a family and I knew I was going to get quality students when I reached out. I am truly blessed to have them here, they are an awesome team together, it’s such a good atmosphere!”

A special thanks to Diversified Community Services’ Dixon House for the partnership opportunity and all of the students involved who make it a success!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Evolution of Technology in Human Resources

By Kristen Irey

 In the next 18 months, 57% of companies plan on making major new HR technology related purchases. In addition to recruiting, this new wave of technology allows HR professionals to accomplish more administrative tasks in less time, including virtually training remote employees, and enabling employees to work from locations outside of the home office. Learning to effectively leverage this technology is a valuable tool in a company’s arsenal, especially as a new post-recession war for talent will occur in the next few years.  

Additionally, technology has also increased opportunities for non-traditional work arrangements. Human resource professionals are playing a leading role in the selection and implementation of technologies that support companywide initiatives. The new 21st century business buzzwords are “enterprise mobility”. This simply means that technology has enabled companies and their employees to perform work from almost anywhere. This contributes to an organization’s overall competitive position.  Companies are beginning to realize when properly managed, these types of flexible work arrangements can result in cost savings and higher productivity.

Social Media and HR

Social media is another evolving area of technology that is significantly changing the HR landscape. As with all emerging technologies the benefits can be offset with additional challenges.   Social media brings many opportunities, but it also brings potential hazards. Employers who use social media as a method of tracking employees’ activities outside of work may face serious liability. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter give employees an outlet to express personal and sometimes controversial viewpoints. Employers must be careful to not overstep their boundaries and invade employees’ private lives. The implementation of social media networking and its impact has been one of the biggest changes and challenges in the HR field over the past 20 years. Employers must walk a fine line between wanting to protect the employer’s brand and respecting employee privacy. HR professionals must take an active role in preserving this delicate balance. 

Despite the many perils social media has brought to the modern employer it has also created many positive changes in the HR field and beyond.

 Social media offers employers with limited resources new ways to reach qualified candidates. Web based applications such as LinkedIn offer recruiters the ability to target candidates within a specific field or skill set for very little cost. Traditionally, employers who were recruiting from a specific industry would turn to trade-specific publications and media outlets, which led to higher recruitment costs and array of unqualified candidates.

By leveraging new technology based recruitment tools, HR professionals are able to quickly and easily connect with professionals in targeted industries and fields. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best as has traditionally been done, they’re now able to create a valuable pipeline of relevant candidates. Once a candidate has been selected, technology also plays a valuable role in immersing that employee into the company and its culture.

Online or Virtual Training

Online training is an effective tool for a remote and dispersed workforce. With the rise of enterprise mobility employers are utilizing technology to perform work more efficiently. However, employers still need to provide training to all members of the company regardless of where they are located. Virtual training sessions can be used for mandated and compliance training or for other valuable employee development opportunities.

Remote workers however are not the only employees who benefit from virtual training. Traditional office-based workers are using technology to become more efficient and productive. Web-based training and other asynchronous methods can save time and money for an employer. Traditional in-person training sessions are expensive and can reduce productivity in the short term, as employees must stop working in order to attend. Web based and asynchronous training opportunities have changed this previous employer dilemma.

Preparing for a career in Human Resources

The most important thing HR students can do is to stay current with new developments and evolving laws that impact employers. It is also essential for students to get some basic experience in human resources if they are considering pursuing a career in that field. This could include volunteer or contract HR opportunities. HR has evolved dramatically over the past decade. Students need to understand all facets of HR, but more importantly need to understand the strategic role HR plays in an organization. Today’s HR goes beyond just hiring and firing employees. It must have an active role in the long-term strategy of a company.

HR professionals must understand more than the basic functions of Human Resources. They must also understand how those functions contribute to the overall success of an organization. HR needs to add value and enhance an organization’s success in order to prove its worth.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to prepare for an HR career in this technology-driven landscape, take a look at our Human Resource Management degrees and contact us to set up a time to discuss further. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Successfully Transitioning into a Career in IT

Information technology is a quickly growing and rapidly evolving field. As a result, there are more opportunities for professionals looking to build an IT career than ever before.

Over the next several years we’ll see a potential boom in IT that could be constrained by a shortage of appropriately educated and experienced workers. For example, Google alone is expecting to hire at least 5,000 people per year for the next five years in Silicon Valley alone, but will only be seeking candidates that are properly educated and have real world experience. This scenario is likely to play out with many different companies across the country seeking professionals to fill a variety of roles.

Many of these opportunities lie in the recent developments of areas such as virtualization, cloud computing, and the ongoing consumerization of IT (using your personal smartphone or tablet on a company’s network). But perhaps one of the most exciting technologies for students entering the field is the Internet of Things where everyday items from home security systems, to TVs, to cars are connecting to the internet. This industry alone is set to grow by 30% in 2015, and the pace will only increase from there. These “smart objects” will need to communicate real-time data across networks and as a result will create an increasing demand for IT professionals.

In the midst of these rapid developments, a solid foundation that includes a computer-related college degree and hands-on experience is more important than ever to fully prepare yourself to succeed as an IT professional.

Career Paths in IT

Depending on your interests, an IT career can take many different paths. Some students are more interested in programming and get a rush out of writing the code that commands a computer what to do and seeing those command executed. For others, computer networking - providing the infrastructure through which unbelievable amounts of information flows every moment - is more of an interesting career path. Similarly, information security has never been more prominent or more challenging and thus holds great career potential as well.

Academic Preparation for Today’s IT Professionals

At Peirce, we look to provide students with a balance of hands-on experience with new and emerging technologies along with timeless skills and habits of mind they’ll need throughout their career. Some of these valuable skills include critical reasoning and problem solving as well as communicating with users, understanding their needs, and providing them excellent customer service.

Other timeless skills include project management, systems analysis, and other approaches to succeed when the budgets are large and the stakes are high. Students learn how to make sure these projects are on time, according to specification, and on or under budget.

These timeless skills are combined with cutting-edge, practical skills you’ll need for a successful career in technology, a field that is perpetually reinventing itself. They include how to select, design, integrate, implement, evaluate and administer modern computer-based systems to meet user needs.

Things you can do to prepare

Aspiring IT professionals should make a special effort to stay on top of the industry as it continues to evolve. A few tips include:
  • Stay current on what’s trending on the web
  • Read the latest books in the particular areas you’re interested in.
  • Keep up with blogs that discuss the latest information and provide thought leadership.
  • Find top influencers on social media to follow and interact with. 
Another thing you can do to prepare is to seek out hands-on experience. Get involved with an open source project, volunteer your services pro bono, and look for temporary or contract work in the field.

It’s will also be extremely beneficial to spend some time in help desk, customer support, and tech support roles to gain a great perspective to use as a foundation to for your career. At Pierce, you’re required to take a course in tech support with a strong customer service foundation. The combination of experience along with a formal education is a very powerful recipe for getting connected with meaningful opportunities sooner rather than later.

As you can see, there’s plenty of opportunity for students looking to build their career in IT. If you’re interested in learning more about the programs at Peirce take a look at the various Information Technology degrees offered and feel free to reach out to us for more information. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peirce Welcomes Jordan Greenwood as Legal Studies Advisor

We’re excited to welcome Jordan Greenwood to Peirce as the Legal Studies advisor! In this role she’ll help students who are pursuing degrees in Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, and Legal Studies in Business to plan for academic success and take advantage of the many resources Peirce has to offer. We had a chance to sit down with Jordan to discuss her role, thoughts on preparing students for today’s workforce, and advice for helping students achieve success at Peirce.   
Can you tell us about your background and why you came to Peirce?
My background is equal parts community outreach and academic advising, mostly within the Philadelphia area.  I earned my Bachelor’s from Temple and moved away from Philadelphia for graduate school.  When I finished my Master’s, I knew I wanted to come back and work with students largely from the Philadelphia area and as I narrowed down my search, Peirce kept popping up.  I took a closer look at the school, realized that its mission fit really well with my own goals and decided to apply for the Legal Studies advisor position.
Jordan Greenwood

Any goals or focus areas for continuing to improve/enhance the Peirce Legal Studies program?
The strong relationship between the Legal Studies faculty and the Advising Center is important and I’m excited for it to continue to develop.  Ed Miller and Bob Brzencheck, in particular, have been instrumental in making this happen.  Future collaborations between the Advising Center and the Legal Studies faculty will really help students to feel more supported and able to succeed at Peirce.

 What do you see as the biggest challenge facing students entering today’s legal field? How do you plan to help students overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge is staying ahead of new developments in the field – particularly in terms of technology.  Fortunately, there are so many resources for students to take advantage of at Peirce.  The Criminal Justice and Legal Studies in Business programs have been completely revamped so that they better match current skills needed by employers, and the Paralegal Studies program has recently added several new technology-oriented classes.  I’m looking forward to working with students as they chart out their degree plans to help them make the most of these new offerings.  Students are also able to work with Career Services to market these skills in the best way possible towards prospective employers.

What advice would you give a student who isn’t sure if a career in the legal profession is right for them?
Talk to Legal Studies professors!  Talk to Career Services!  The biggest piece of advice I have would be to reach out to the many knowledgeable people they already have access to as Peirce students.  If that goes well, I would recommend taking an introductory course – but the first step is to reach out and start the conversation.

What are some goals students should be setting, academic or otherwise, as they prepare for a career in the legal field?
Organization skills, time management, and professional growth.  These three are pretty interrelated, and they are crucial for success in any field.  A well-developed organizational system that works for you makes managing your time so much easier.  Likewise, both organization skills and time management techniques can help you plan for professional growth and see where it fits in your day-to-day career. 

What advice do you have for busy working adults looking to pursue a degree?
My strongest piece of advice is to be mindful of your commitments.  I love working with students that are excited to come to Peirce and to finish their degrees – but the best way to do that isn’t necessarily to overload on courses every session until you earn your degree.  By being mindful of their commitments, students are able to evaluate the amount of time they can devote to classes each session and focus on succeeding in those courses. 

What are some common pitfalls students should avoid related to academic achievement?
Time management is probably the largest pitfall for students, in terms of academic achievement.  Fortunately, it’s also easy to improve. The Walker Center runs workshops that help students improve study skills and time management techniques, and we’re always happy to help students plan manageable class schedules at the Advising Center.  Once time management skills improve, many other pitfalls – missing classes or assignments, taking on a heavy course load – tend to fade. 

Thanks, Jordan for that insightful interview and welcome to Peirce! Students who have questions about Legal Studies or want to discuss planning out your academic program, can reach Jordan via email.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Former Deputy Director of FBI to Share Insights with Aspiring Legal and Criminal Justice Professionals

Legal students, join us next us next Monday, November 24th at 6:00PM for a special event with Bill Esposito, a 33 year veteran of the FBI. During the event Bill will share his wealth of knowledge accumulated over a long, storied career that culminated in his appointment as Deputy Director of the FBI, the agency’s second highest post.

Esposito has either investigated or overseen many high profile cases including, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

Bob Brzencheck,
Assistant Professor for the Criminal Studies Program 
His presentation will include insights on the different nuances it takes to be work for the FBI, his experiences, and how he was able to build his career with the FBI. At the end of his presentation there will be an open forum where Esposito will dive into the nuts and bolts of applying to FBI and the ins and outs of an FBI career.

The event will be held Monday November 24, 2014 from 6:00 – 7:00PM in Room 42.

Students of Legal Studies, including those pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies in Business, and Paralegal Studies will benefit most from attending. Though front-line agents tend to be the most visible, it’s important to keep in mind that in every branch of criminal justice system there are different subsets and different jobs within those subsets.

During the presentation you’ll learn about some of these positions and how every employee has an important role and mission within the agency. From clerks, to lawyers, to counter-terrorism, there are a number of different players that work in the agency to help and support each other and help sustain the mission of the FBI.

To get the most out of the event there are a few things you can do to prepare. A good start would be to visit the FBI’s website  and check out different departments and missions of the FBI and how they work together to sustain and implement the role and efforts of the FBI.  Another resource to check out is USAJOBS - The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site. Here you can learn about the various federal criminal justice opportunities and check out positions that are available.  Included in these positions are co-ops and internships that will help you get boots on ground experience to compliment your Legal Studies education. Lastly there’s the Office of Personnel Management, the clearinghouse for hiring federal employees.  This will help you to get a sense of what the federal government looks for in employees, the hiring process, and opportunities for career development.

These Legal Studies events bring in real-world practitioners from a variety of careers. They are designed to help educate and prepare the 21st century legal and criminal justice professional. The events serve as another component within your toolbox to help you further advance toward your end goal of achieving a position in criminal justice. We can’t wait to see you there!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Peirce College Welcomes Two New Trustees!

Peirce is excited to welcome Dr. Sharmain Matlock-Turner and Ken Sickles to its Board of Trustees! Their vast experience in the community development and technology fields combined with their leadership in thriving local organizations will add valuable insight as we continue to develop and expand upon our career-focused degree programs.

A pioneering female leader, Matlock-Turner has over 15 years of experience serving the families and communities of Philadelphia. She currently serves as the first female President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, where she is dedicated to improving and changing the lives of youth and young
adults, building wealth in low income communities, strengthening the grassroots nonprofit sector, and forging strategic partnerships across communities. As the commencement speaker for Peirce College in 2014 and the recipient of an honorary doctorate, Matlock-Turner has already begun to impart her professional insight onto the students of Peirce College.

Sickles brings 20 years of product management and marketing experience to Peirce College as the current Vice President of Product and Strategy for 1WorldSync. A forward thinking leader with an in-depth understanding of market demands and customer needs, Sickles is successful at developing business strategy and managing the launch of new software-as-a-service products. Sickles is focused on the impact that big data and social, mobile and location-based technology have on business intelligence and commerce.

Their combined experience offers Peirce students an expanded portfolio of professional contacts and new relationships within the workforce. Please join us in welcoming our newest Trustees! 

For more information, read our press release.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Long History of Innovation at Peirce

Thomas May Peirce founded Union Business College in 1865 under the innovative idea that returning Civil War soldiers and others might want a business-focused education. Moreover he had the radical idea for the time that this education should be offered to both men and women. Founded on innovation, Peirce has always looked to the future and embraced technologies that would aid students in the classroom and in their careers.

In the early years, Peirce promoted Spencerian Method penmanship courses to ensure graduates would be best prepared to conduct business in Philadelphia and beyond. A few years later the invention of the typewriter transformed business writing, and Peirce offered classes in typing as early as the 1870’s. In 1884, the school introduced courses in stenography.

Typing Class
Early Accounting Student
Moving into the 20th Century, Peirce was quick to recognize the power of radio. Various Peirce faculty members appeared on WDAR, an early Philadelphia station broadcasting out of the Lit Brothers Building on Market Street. In the 1920s, Peirce hosted a series of radio spelling bees for school children throughout the Philadelphia region, and began hosting regular business-oriented programs, including one called “Philadelphia Leads America.” Back on campus, faculty began recording their lectures on the Ediphone, an example of can be viewed in the Library.

Auto Tutor
Following the Second World War Thomas May Peirce, 3rd became the Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Peirce, and he looked to create innovative yet practical new programs for the school.  By 1960, Peirce offered courses in office automation, and a few years later, computer programming. To accommodate the large computers of the era, the automation and programming courses were held at the WCAU building at 1622 Chestnut Street, now home to the Art Institute. By the 1970s, computers were an integral part of nearly every program. Peirce continued to innovate as the 21st Century approached, launching its first website in 1996,and one of the first fully online programs in the country in 2000. 

Automation Brochure

Office Automation