Monday, August 31, 2015

Why Peirce College is the City of Philadelphia’s College of Choice

For 150 years, Peirce College has been partnering with Philadelphia businesses to equip their workforces and help them evolve to meet changing needs.   With over thirty-five corporate partnerships in the Philadelphia area, Peirce has partnered  with organizations across industries, including healthcare, banking, and education.   In August,  we’ve been celebrating Peirce’s commitment to Philadelphia, including our largest corporate partner: the City of Philadelphia.

When Mayor Nutter announced his plan to double the percentage of Philadelphians with bachelor degrees over the next decade, Peirce College was the first area institution to partner with his administration.  In addition to providing a 25% tuition discount to City of Philadelphia employees,
Peirce also extends this discount and opportunity to their spouses and children.  Today, Peirce is proud to have one hundred and fifty five City of Philadelphia employees enrolled in both graduate and undergraduate programs at the College.   In fact, as we have recognized this month, City of Philadelphia employees are some of Peirce’s greatest success stories.

Peirce also offers our annual Mayor’s City of Philadelphia Scholarship, which awards two recipients with full tuition and fees for up to ten classes per academic year. Eligible applicants are either City of Philadelphia employees or residents.

As we move forward into the next 150 years, Peirce College is prepared to support Philadelphia as we continue grow one of the most skilled workforces and robust economies in the nation.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peirce Faculty Members Weigh in on New Intensive Course Format

Last week, we told you about our new intensive course offerings, which give our students the option to complete classes and earn college credits in less than half the time as other Peirce courses.   It’s the latest of many flexible delivery options that Peirce is developing, as we outlined in our strategic plan earlier this year.

For 150 years, Peirce has been committed to providing working adults with the flexibility and support that they need to earn their degree and achieve their goals quickly, so they can get back to focusing on what really matters.  The faculty at Peirce is especially sensitive to the needs of our students.  Many Peirce faculty have experience being adult learners and juggling career, family, and other responsibilities while working to accomplish their academic goals. Maybe that’s why, when we piloted the new intensive course format, we received such positive feedback from Peirce faculty members. 

From a faculty perspective, professors saw the benefit of teaching in an intensive format; it encouraged them to lead more focused class discussions, and prioritize more time for class work.  They also recognized and appreciated the high caliber of students this format attracted; faculty members described students enrolled in intensive courses as motivated, self-reliant, organized, and serious about completing their degree.  This encouraged engaging classroom discussions and made class time pass quickly.

Does a class like this sound like the right fit for your life?  Contact your academic advisor today or visit the My Advising tab on  It could be the jump start you need to get you to graduation and degree completion more quickly. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Featured Learner Series: Kathleine Gavin Overcomes Her Fears and Inspires Her Children

22 years ago, Kathleine Gavin had just graduated high school and was thinking about going to college. Kathleine had her mind set on continuing her education at the Community College of Philadelphia, but life had other plans for her.

“I became pregnant with my first child and decided to hold off on school,” she says. “Working and raising my children kept me busy, and I kept putting it off. Now, I’m a supervisor, and I’m always telling my employees how important it is that they earn their bachelor’s degree. My oldest is a sophomore in high school and I’m constantly talking to him about college.”

Kathleine decided it was time to follow her own advice. Despite having spent more than two decades away from school and being busy raising three children, she enrolled as an adult learner in Peirce College’s Healthcare Administration degree program this summer. Raising kids, working as a Patient Access Supervisor at Nemours DuPont Pediatrics and going to school seemed “so scary” to Kathleine, but -- with a little help from Peirce -- she’s making it work.

“The customer service at Peirce is so great,” she explains, “From enrollment to financial aid; everyone was so happy and accommodating and worked around my schedule. I work during the day, but I was able to schedule my appointments in the evening.  It made the whole process of enrolling back in school easier.”

Kathleine first heard about Peirce two years ago, when one of her employees mentioned Peirce’s Mayor’s Scholarship for Philadelphia residents and municipal employees.  The scholarship offers full tuition and fees for up to ten classes per academic year.  “It sounded like a great opportunity,” says Kathleine.  As she became more serious about going back to school, Kathleine started researching Philadelphia institutions that offered bachelor’s degrees in Healthcare Administration.  Peirce College kept popping up.  “I decided that now was my time.  I had to at least try.”

To start to realize her goal, Kathleine first had to figure out how to pay for college.  Initially “terrified” at the prospect of paying for school, she decided to apply for the Mayor’s Scholarship.  She submitted her application and essay along with the required letters of recommendation and held her breath. It wasn’t long before good news came.

“When I found out I won this scholarship, I was with my kids, and I was screaming and crying. I’m so glad that they saw that real reaction, and saw me accomplish one of my dreams.”

Now, in addition to managing her Peirce course load and preparing herself for future growth opportunities at work, Kathleine has a new goal.  “I want to beat my oldest son to college graduation,” she says. “If I can do that, I’ll be the first in our family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.”

As she continues her journey at Peirce, Kathleine’s not as scared as she used to be.  “At Peirce,” she says, “there’s no reason to fail.” 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Celebrate Peirce College's 150th Birthday by Signing our Birthday Card!

By now, you’ve probably heard that 2015 is an important year at Peirce College.  We’re celebrating our 150th birthday!  Since we first opened our doors in 1865 to serve returning civil war veterans, Peirce has been committed to working adult learners, and helping them get the education they need to advance their careers.  As part of our celebration, we want to hear from the most important people that make up the Peirce story; our community.  Whether you're an alumni, current student, or a friend of Peirce, you have helped shape us into who we are today.  Tell us what the College turning 150 means to you by signing our birthday card

Remember, the festivities are just getting started!  To join the celebration, learn more about upcoming events and take a look through Peirce's rich history, visit  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Peirce College Expands Flexibility and Convenience with New 3 Week Intensive Courses

Working adults can face many different challenges when deciding to return to school. One of the biggest challenges can be finding the time to focus on your degree and still balance work, family, and personal obligations. For one hundred and fifty years, Peirce has been committed to delivering education in a format that makes pursuing your academic goals as convenient as possible for busy adult learners.

Keeping in that tradition, we’re excited to announce our latest fulfillment of that commitment with our new intensive courses. These courses are a continuation of our strategic plan which includes goals to provide more flexibility for adult learners while also helping to accelerate the pace to graduation for students.

The new intensive courses, rolling out in the 2015 Fall Session, allow students to complete select on campus courses in just three weekends by attending classes on Fridays 5:30-9:30PM and Saturdays 9:00AM-3:00PM. However, as the name suggests, the courses are intensive and students must attend every class.

For students who aren’t able to make the commitment to be on campus, they’ll be able to enroll in online intensive courses that take place over a three week period during the Winter Session.
To be eligible for the intensive courses students must be in good academic standing with the college, which includes having a GPA of 2.0 or higher, and must have the approval of their academic advisors. In addition, all developmental coursework and prerequisites must be successfully completed.

Tuition for the intensive courses are the same as other courses offered at Peirce. As with any course, dropping an intensive course could affect your financial aid eligibility. For students who receive Financial Aid, once their eligibility for intensive courses has been determined they must review their intensive course registration with their Financial Aid Specialist.

The intensive course listing and schedule can be found on the Peirce College website at  and at under the My Advising tab. To register, please go to the student portal at under the My Classes tab or contact your academic advisor.

Note:  Peirce also welcomes guest students from other colleges and universities into our intensive courses. Guest students can complete classes rapidly and apply the credits toward their degree. If interested, guest students should consult with their academic advisor at their primary college to review transfer credit policies. Next, speak with a Peirce admissions representative about enrolling at Peirce to take intensive courses here as a guest student.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Remembering Peirce’s 150th Commencement Ceremony

It’s hard to believe that it’s been close to two months since Commencement 2015.  We want to make sure every member of the class of 2015 can re-watch the entire ceremony and share with the support networks who helped them achieve this moment whenever they want. That’s why we’re sharing a video of the entire ceremony!

The video above includes all of the night’s festivities, including our awards, speeches from Mr. Chris Matthews of “Hardball” and student speaker Marisol Ferrer, and our exclusive 150th commencement ceremony video. If you don’t have time to watch the full video, we’ve created a list of timestamps that capture the most important parts of the event so you can jump to any section you wish:

0:00:00 - Processional
0:11:10 – Greetings, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement
0:12:30 – National Anthem, sung by Peirce Idol 2015 winner, Kenneth Blair
0:20:00 – City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
0:25:30 – Peirce College President & CEO James J. Mergiotti
0:36:30 – Student Speaker, Marisol Ferrer
0:42:00 – Introduction of Commencement Speaker, Jalene Brister
0:43:34 – Keynote Speaker, Chris Matthews
0:59:30 – Awards
1:21:00 – Master’s of Science, Organizational Leadership & Management
1:27:15 – Accounting
1:27:27 – Business Administration
1:41:00 – Human Resources Management
1:43:51 – Healthcare Administration
1:45:55 – Health Information Administration
1:47:21 – Health Information Technology
1:49:00 – Information Technology
1:52:50 – General Studies  
1:54:33 – Paralegal Studies
1:59:40 – Criminal Justice Studies
2:05:47 – Recognition of 150th Class, Peirce President & CEO James J. Mergiotti
2:07:37 – Introduction to Alumni Association, Reginald S. Waller, President, Peirce Alumni Association Board of Directors
2:08:51 – Congratulations & Recessional, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement

Finally, we want to congratulate all of our 2015 graduates once again. You should be very proud of your accomplishments and know that everyone at Peirce is extremely proud of you! Cheers to the rest of your lifelong learning journey!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Featured Learner Series: Steve Moleski Shows the Power of Focus and Perseverance

“I never want to be in this situation again.”

This was Steve Moleski’s primary thought when his employer unexpectedly laid him off in 2011.  Up until that time, Moleski had been enjoying a career in the real estate industry, having held positions as a mortgage broker, loan officer, and sales person. But at this crossroads in his life, he knew he needed to make a change - not only for himself, but for the good of his son, Stephen, who had been born in late 2009.

“My son will have a better life than I did,” Moleski recalls vowing to himself, and inspired by that promise, he enrolled in college for the first time in 2011, attending Manor Junior College.  As he was finishing up his associate degree in 2013, Moleski was determined to continue his education.

By that point, he was employed once again, in the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Records.  He became aware that to maximize his opportunities in the City’s employment system, he would eventually need to earn a bachelor’s degree. Peirce became an attractive option for a bachelor's once he learned that the City was a partner employer with the College: this afforded him a 25% discount on tuition.  Combined with the facts that the College had a robust business program and was located just down the street from his office at City Hall, he says his decision was easy – “a no-brainer” - to choose Peirce.

In addition to meeting his school commitments, Moleski also had to balance sometimes conflicting demands of family and work. During the time he attended Peirce, Moleski had been promoted to lead a team of five who serve the title registration needs of the City.  His success in the new position came as a result of fierce commitment to inspire his staff to defy expectations and provide consistently excellent customer service to all whom they encountered.

While his academic achievements at Peirce were many, they required a tremendous amount of focus and a will to succeed. But in the end, his perseverance paid off: on June 10, 2015, Stephen Moleski graduated magna cum laude with a BS in Business Administration, concentration in management.  During his time at Peirce, he had been on both the Dean’s List and President’s List, and earned selection to Delta Mu Delta, the business honor society. Armed with his degree, and utilizing his tenure with the City of Philadelphia and prior experience in real estate, he intends to take on new professional challenges to keep advancing professionally.  

Looking back, Steve Moleski is proud of his accomplishments, but knows it was not easy: he reflects that isolating himself to study, making financial sacrifices, and spending so much time away from his young son meant “I gave up a lot”.  However, he takes great satisfaction in knowing that earning his degree was all worth it:  for the sense of empowerment it has given him, the opportunities to flourish throughout the rest of his career, and the chance to give his son the best future possible.