Thursday, February 27, 2014

Peirce celebrates Black History Month with the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble and professor Larry G. Arrington, Jr.

Each year, it’s important to us at Peirce to plan a Black History Month event that will recognize the contributions of our country’s African-American leaders, artists, activists, and authors.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 tips for creating the perfect resume

I recently shared a podcast here on the blog, where I answered some of the resume questions we field every day in our Career Development Services office. We covered many topics, from comparing traditional and functional resumes to discussing whether an objective is necessary in many professions today.

We wanted to share a few key takeaways from our conversation for those who weren't able to listen in. Job seekers should keep these tips in mind when constructing an effective resume.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Save the date for Commencement 2014!

Many of you are looking forward to Commencement 2014, where you’ll walk across the stage at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and accept that hard-earned diploma in front of your friends and family. Now you can officially mark your calendar: This year’s ceremony will take place on Monday, June 9, 2014, at 6:45 p.m. To participate, all coursework must be completed by May 8.

We have a lot of great events leading up to Commencement, including Peirce Idol and the selection of our 2014 keynote speaker. But we also want your input for our planning process. If you’re a member of the class of 2014, you should have received an email this week inviting you to vote for your graduation song. Vote for the song that you would most like to hear playing as you celebrate earning your degree! Please cast your vote by Friday, March 14. Top-voted songs will be reviewed, with the final selection being played on graduation night.

Stay tuned for more graduation information, including next action steps, over the next few months. If you have any questions, please contact me at 888.467.3472, ext. 9265, or at

Monday, February 24, 2014

Your resume questions, answered!

We field a lot of questions about resumes. Students often aren't sure how to structure their resumes, what to include (and what to leave out), and what employers are really looking for when reviewing this type of document. After all, a resume has to reflect your experience and expertise quickly and professionally, motivating an employer to put you through to the next step in the job application process.

To help clear up some of these questions, I recently sat down with Caitlin, a member of our blogging team, to provide insight into what makes a really effective resume. We recorded our conversation, so listen in for my advice below.

Keep your eyes on the blog because we’ll also be sharing our answers in a Q-and-A format. Stay tuned.

Friday, February 21, 2014

News coming out of Peirce College in 2014

We’ve been busy at the College over the past two months, kicking off 2014 with the announcement of our partnership with the University of the Arts; Peirce being named to U.S. News’ 2014 best online bachelor’s degree programs list for the third year in a row; and “60 Minutes” highlighting our partners at Year Up.

Peirce thought leaders have also been tapped by members of the media on various education and job-related topics in local and national publications. We want to share those with you here, in case you missed them.

Controller Alan Butkovitz offers plan on creating 4,400 jobs in Philly. Our Vice President of Finance, Brad Hodge, commented on the College’s commitment to supporting the local economy when the Philadelphia Controller announced his plan to create more jobs in the city. In this Metro article, Brad contributed that, “Peirce has a longstanding commitment in buying locally and contributing to the Philadelphia economy in its entirety … In fact, over 80 percent of our annual spend is with vendors and suppliers in the region.”

‘Step IT Up’ trains women for STEM careers. Positions in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) continue to grow exponentially. The Step it Up program aims to train and find STEM jobs for 1,000 minority women in 10 of the nation’s largest cities. The long term goal is to create 5,000 new technology careers for minority women, and Peirce’s exploration of a partnership with the program was mentioned in this Philadelphia Tribune article. Uva Coles, Vice President of Students Services was a featured speaker at the event.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Featured Learner Series: Father of three goes back to college for his family

DAD GOES TO COLLEGE: Captain Xavier Beaufort went
back to school for himself and his family
“You know how you say to yourself, why didn’t I do this sooner? Well, I’m saying that to myself. I should have done this [enrolled in a college degree program] a whole lot sooner, so I’m glad that I’m doing it now, while I still have the energy, drive, and time to do it.”

That’s according to Captain Xavier Beaufort, husband and father of three, 20-year veteran working within the Philadelphia Prison System, and Criminal Justice student here at Peirce College. Xavier’s hard work, determination, and can-do attitude toward earning his degree have made him our next Featured Learner.

Xavier was born and raised in the West Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. He graduated from Germantown High School and went right into the workforce, with the intention of continuing his education after getting a few years of work experience under his belt. However, he found that it was more difficult than he thought to get back into school while working full-time and raising a family.

After starting work at the Philadelphia Prison System in the early 1990s, he rose to the rank of sergeant in 2004, which sparked the drive to continue climbing the career ladder within the system. He made it to the rank of captain in 2011, but to continue on, he needs to have a college degree. With 16 more years until he can retire, Xavier knew he had to make the move to go to college – but he wasn’t quite ready.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How you can experience some of Philly’s fine arts scene, for free!

ARTS IN PHILLY: Learn how you can get involved, for free!
It can feel a little bit intimidating to step outside of your comfort zone. But when you do, you often learn so much more about yourself, broadening your personal and professional horizons. That’s one of the reasons we encourage students to get involved in Philadelphia’s fine art scene, taking in the plays, restaurants, and dance shows that are available right here in our backyard. To help students take advantage of all that Philly has to offer, Peirce offers students the chance to attend certain cultural events around our city for free.

Events like these allow students to go beyond the classroom and experience new things they might not have ever done on their own – like trying Middle Eastern food or going to a play. Students also get to know each other and spend time outside of the classroom which can be a lot of fun!

Participants can also take the knowledge they learn from sampling new foods, taking in a new show, or hearing a poet speak back to the classroom and their careers, making them more well-rounded and informed individuals. It’s a win-win for those who participate! So we encourage you to come out to our upcoming event:

Effies Restaurant
Come join us for great authentic homemade Greek cuisine and hospitality. Effies will make you feel like you are home!
Date: Friday, February 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: 1127 Pine Street, Philadelphia
A refundable deposit in the amount of $10 is required for this event.
To learn more about upcoming off campus student activities, including attending plays, dining experiences, and other events, please contact The Walker Center at or call 215.670.9215

Do you have any requests for future cultural events? Let us know in a comment below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Remembering J. Linford Synder, class of '33 and generous benefactor of past, present, and future Peirce students

Board trustee Peter Caputo with J. Linford Snyder '33
and Peirce President James J. Mergiotti (photo by Joe Garvin)
J. Linford Synder ‘33, distinguished Peirce alumnus, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the age of 99. Lin was a key member of the College family, whose extraordinary generosity has provided financial support for past, present, and future generations of Peirce students.

Lin had a very successful business career fueled by his extraordinary work ethic. After graduating from Peirce, he worked at Foley Advertising and Hatfield National Bank. In 1941, he became a Nationwide Insurance agent, a position he held for 70 years. Lin retired in 2011 as the longest-serving agent in the history of the company.

Over the years the Peirce community has honored Lin for representing the College so well and for his dedication to our mission. He was the first recipient of the Pride of Peirce Award. He also received the Peirce Trustee Award for distinguished service, and was an inaugural inductee to the College’s Wall of Fame. Most notably, Lin received the College’s highest honor in 2011, when he was conferred a Doctorate in Humane letters from the institution.

Lin’s affiliation with Peirce spanned more than 80 years of his life. Fortunately, his passion for Peirce and spirit of service for others will live on for many more decades to come through his legacy of financial support for our students and graduates.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Join us in celebrating Black History Month at Peirce College on February 20!

The Peirce community comes together each year to celebrate Black History Month, paying tribute to the achievements of black artists, leaders, activists, and authors in the United States. As part of that celebration, we like to hold an event at the College, and this year, we’ve invited the Universal African Dance & Drum Ensemble to give a performance at the College. Their troupe is one of the largest professional African dance ensembles in the United States and has performed all over the world. The troupe has performers of all ages, and they’re a joy to watch. To give you a little taste of what their performance will include, check out this video:

After the troupe performs, Larry G. Arrington, Jr., adjunct professor at Peirce and Assistant Dean of Educational Support Services at Community College of Philadelphia, will give remarks on the achievements of African Americans from the past (especially those in higher education), and encourage embracing our collective future. We think it’s going to be a wonderful and informative evening.

We’d love for you to join us to celebrate Black History Month! Our original date has been reschedule due to weather, so please join us on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in rooms 51 and 52. To RSVP, please contact The Walker Center at or 215.670.9251.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Students, strengthen your leadership skills with our retreat!

We know that many of our students want to earn their college degrees so they can transition into leadership roles in their jobs or apply for new positions at different organizations. Accordingly, we are always focused on helping students cultivate their leadership skills throughout their time at the College, inside and outside of the classroom.

One of the ways we do this is through our Student Leadership Retreat. Each year, we invite students to take a long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives to focus on building their leadership styles and abilities. They participate in a personal assessment to measure their strengths and weaknesses at the beginning of the retreat. They then get to spend the weekend developing their skills through a variety of workshops and activities (both indoor and out) that focus on communication and leadership, the importance of listening, emotional leadership, the various styles of leadership, and working in a group effectively.