Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Peirce College Celebrates 150 Years as the College for Working Adults

If you’re part of the Peirce College community, then you’ve long since figured out that 2015 is a BIG year for Peirce – it’s our 150th birthday! It was September 17, 1865 when Thomas May Peirce first realized his dream of opening a school aimed explicitly at educating adult students on business principles.

A lot of things have changed over the last 150 years -- Peirce College didn’t have a blog or online classes back then, for instance. In fact, we weren’t even called Peirce College. Thomas May Peirce first called his school the Union Business College. However, from our very first day open, regardless of our name, Peirce College has been a business college for working adults. 

“The demand for the merely learned is decreasing,” Peirce himself once said of his teaching philosophy for Peirce. “That for the practical and useful is increasing.”

One hundred and fifty years later, Peirce College is still delivering Thomas May Peirce's uniquely practical, useful approach to higher education to adult learners in Philadelphia.  To celebrate Peirce's history of delivering innovative career-based educations across three different centuries, we hosted three different events during our 150th Celebration Week. 

A 3 k Fun Walk on September 12th brought together Peirce community members to visit the College's previous historic locations around Center City, Philadelphia. A few days later we celebrated with  our Legacy of Leadership Executive Breakfast kFounder's Day Party on September 17th, when Peirce College alumni, students, partners, trustees, staff, and faculty came together for our biggest-ever birthday celebration.  Alumna Anita Vogel was awarded the President's Engagement Award for her commitment to Peirce. 
eynoted by Philadelphia mayoral hopeful Jim Kenney, who received the Thomas May Peirce Legacy of Leadership award for his commitment to workforce development and education in Philadelphia.  The celebrations culminated with our

If you made it out to any of these events, thanks for joining us in the celebration! But even if you weren’t able to be with us in person, don’t worry. 2015 isn’t over yet, and we’d still love to hear from you.  Sign our birthday card today and wish Peirce College a happy 150th birthday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Peirce College Criminal Justice Studies Update with Professor Bob Brzenchek

At Peirce College, most of our faculty members are industry professionals who practice what they preach. Many have spent years working in the fields they teach which gives them keen insights into the industries where our students are finding jobs. Robert Brzenchek, Assistant Professor and Program Manager for our Criminal Justice Studies department is no exception. Professor Brzenchek has enjoyed an illustrious career as a Navy intelligence specialist, a Washington D.C. police officer, and a defense contractor for various state and federal agencies. He continues to be in high demand for criminal justice consulting and speaking engagements across the country. His most recent presentation was at the National Gang Crime Research Center’s (NGCRC) conference in Chicago. We sat down with Professor Brzenchek to learn more about his research, the mission of the NGCRC, and how this impacts Peirce College students.

Can you tell us about the mission of the NGCRC?
The NGCRC exists as a non-profit independent agency that seeks to do several things. First, they promote research on gangs, gang members, and gang problems in cooperation with federal, state, and local government agencies. They also disseminate up-to-date valid and reliable information about gangs and gang problems through the official publication of the NGCRC, the Journal of Gang Research. This connects law enforcement officers (LEOs) and government agencies across the country and ensures that everyone has access to the most up-to-date and valuable information to aid in their work against gang violence. They also provide training and consulting services about gangs at the federal, state and local levels.

Who attends this conference?
This particular conference was attended by members of Illinois law enforcement, corrections, and social services agencies who deal with gangs daily. Illinois, specifically Chicago, has been ranked behind only Los Angeles as having the highest concentration of gangs in the nation.

What information did you present?
I’ve done a significant amount of research into gang activity and how to combat the problem, so I presented on many of my findings. There has been a spike of gang-related murders in recent years and one strategy to combat that has been a prominent shift toward predictive policing. The predictive-policing vision moves law enforcement from focusing on what happened to focusing on what will happen and how to effectively deploy resources in front of crime, thereby changing outcomes.  One key aspect of my presentation was how predictive policing for gang prevention can assess criminal justice leaders’ level of readiness. Research in this area highlights a need for focused gang prevention for identified populations. Much of my research has shed light upon areas where vulnerabilities continue to exist for those of lower socio-economic communities in contrast to those of higher socio-economic communities, allowing for criminal justice policy makers and planners to address such vulnerabilities in communities when implementing gang predictive prevention programs.

What impact does this have on Peirce’s criminal justice studies students?
Philadelphia has always been on the cusp of new criminal justice initiatives. While most Peirce students may not be able to attend events such as the NGCRC, I’ve been able to incorporate much of my research into regular classes, so students are receiving the same level of information as current LEOs working in the field. Having access to this type of information allows students to stay properly informed and bridges the gap in understanding as they find careers in the criminal justice field. I find that many students have used information like this to help resist gang violence; increase their knowledge and understanding of current issues; and create solutions for a safer Philadelphia.

Thanks for your insights, Professor Brzenchek!

Editor's note:  Professor Brzenchek will also be serving as an on air security expert for NBC10 during the upcoming Philadelphia papal visit. For more information on Peirce College's real world inspired curriculums and our Legal Studies programs, click here

Friday, September 4, 2015

Let's Celebrate Peirce College's 150th Birthday!

It’s not too late to register for the Peirce 3K Fun Walk or RSVP to the Peirce 150th Birthday Party. Get into the sesquicentennial spirit and join us for these two great events as we celebrate 150 years of Peirce College!

Peirce 3K Fun Walk
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Bring your family and show your Peirce pride with a trip down our very own memory lane.  Grab a Peirce map and stroll along our planned route with special stops to visit sites that were once home to Peirce’s campus. Complete the route for a chance to win prizes! A continental breakfast and kid-friendly snacks will be served to all fun walkers at the Peirce campus from 10:00 AM – 12:00 noon. This event is open to everyone so bring your friends!
Register at 

150th Birthday Party
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Join us “under the tent” on Carlisle Street as we celebrate Peirce’s past, present and future! Connect with friends both old and new, enjoy great food and drink, and grab a fun photo in our Peirce photo booth. This party is 150 years in the making…don’t miss out on the fun! This event is open to Peirce students, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, and friends of the College.
RSVP at 

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Katie Taylor at or call 215.670.9150.