Monday, April 24, 2017

Peirce Voice voting is now open!

The time is now! Your vote matters! Help us choose the winner for the First Annual Peirce Voice.

Three amazing contestants auditioned on Tuesday, April 18th and now we need your help. Click here to head to the survey where you will find all three auditions and the place to cast your vote. Please listen to all three auditions and pick the one who you believe will best represent the Peirce student body at this year’s Commencement Ceremony on June 8th.

Keep in mind – no faces will be seen! It was a BLIND audition. You can see their names and hear their voices, but that’s it! Voting is open to everyone – so please feel free to share the link with anyone who is interested in hearing some incredible voices sing the National Anthem.

Voting will close on Wednesday, May 3rd, so no time to waste. The winner will be announced on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter on Tuesday, May 9th, so be sure to check back to see if you selected the winner!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

It's time to finally earn your degree - it's time for Peirce Night!

“College graduates with a bachelor’s degree typically earn 66% more than those with only a high school diploma; and are also far less likely to face unemployment.” – U.S. Department of Education

Did that catch your attention? Are you ready to be a college graduate who is earning 66% more than you were before? Then join us for Peirce Night!

Peirce Night is your one-stop shop for starting the process to finally earning the degree you have always wanted. This is your chance to meet Peirce faculty and staff, learn about our programs and opportunities, and take advantage of some exclusive offers.

Peirce College has been providing working adults with affordable education, flexible classes and personalized support for more than 150 years. Let us help you! We have programs such as Peirce Fit™, where you can choose week-to-week whether to attend class online or on campus. This allows you the flexibility you need for your education to fit your lifestyle, not the other way around.

Interested in IT? Then we have an additional opportunity for you! Competency-based education (CBE) is an option for seasoned IT professionals interested in completing their Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. It’s the most flexible and convenient way to earn the degree you need to continue to move up in the industry you love.

Ready to take the next step? Peirce Night will be held on Thursday, April 20th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on our campus at 1420 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA. We are here the entire time – so stop in whenever you are able! Enrollment Specialists will be ready to talk you through your future degree program, assist you with the application process, walk you through financial aid and filing the FAFSA, and even get you registered for classes.

RSVP now – There are no excuses for missing out on this event made just for you. Come out and grab a bite to eat, a Peirce swag bag, get your application fee waived, and start the process to your new future. Your time is now! RSVP here today:

To learn more about Peirce Fit, visit To learn more about competency-based education, visit

Friday, April 14, 2017

The benefits of participating in the Annual Job Fair

The Annual Job Fair is beneficial to the entire community: employers and future employees. As an employer, the job fair is an opportunity to recruit eager and fresh talent in a face-to-face environment. As a future employee, it’s an opportunity for you to show off your best self and meet multiple companies who are looking to hire, all while growing your network.

Benefits for the employer:

You will have the chance to meet Peirce College students and alumni who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience. Our students are obtaining practical associate and bachelor's degrees in fields such as healthcare administration, information technology, paralegal studies, criminal justice, and business administration. Peirce’s students and alumni are ready to show off their hard work and capability to bring what they’ve learned in the classroom to your company or industry. If you are looking to fill your front-line positions with a diverse, non-traditional talent pool, join us for the Annual Job Fair. RSVP today at

Benefits for future employees:

It’s time to take your talent into the workplace of your choice! You’ve studied hard, you’ve learned the material, and you’ve given a lot of time and energy in and out of the classroom. Let’s make it all worth it. At the Annual Job Fair, you’ll be able to meet directly with companies and industries who are looking to hire candidates for positions at:
    Philadelphia Undergraduate degree students
  • Vanguard
  • Comcast
  • United Healthcare
  • Santander
  • Einstein Health Network
  • The City of Philadelphia
  • PNC Bank
  • Marine Corps Officer Program
And more!

Bring multiple copies of your resume, dress professionally, and connect with Career Development Services on the companies that will be in attendance, so you can do your research prior to attending. Some companies may even do on-the-spot interviews, so be ready to tell them why they should hire you! Bring your most professional self to this event, so you can leave knowing you are one step closer to obtaining your dream career. To RSVP, please visit

The Annual Job Fair will be held on Thursday, April 27th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Peirce College’s campus at 1420 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Career Development Services at 215.670.9202 or

We appreciate the continuous support of our sponsors who are helping to make this upcoming event successful: Campus Philly and Career Wardrobe.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Meet Elizabeth Barr - a current Peirce College at Harcum student!

Like a lot of high school students, Elizabeth Barr wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue on to college or head straight into the workforce. Elizabeth had the passion to work, but knew she should gain some sort of degree to start off. She decided on a two-year program at Harcum College where she earned her associate’s degree in Fashion Design in 2011. Once she graduated from Harcum, she had a job lined up in retail and off to work she went.

Integrated Leadership Degree student Elizabeth Barr
After working for several years, Elizabeth realized the only way to move up would be to acquire another degree. The problem she was facing – she couldn’t find a program that would fit her work life and accept her current credits.

Fortunately, in fall of 2016, Harcum College sent her a letter about their new partnership with Peirce College. This partnership would allow for her to take classes at the campus she knew, at a time that would work with her schedule, and through a program that would accept her current credits. This was her ideal situation!

Now, Elizabeth is a current Peirce College at Harcum student where she is on track to earning her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Leadership. According to Elizabeth, one of the best advantages about this partnership is the convenience of being on Harcum’s campus. She said she started on the campus with just the associate’s degree in mind, which didn’t make her feel as permanent. Now that she is pursuing the long-term goal of a bachelor’s degree, she feels as if she is “home” when she is at Harcum rather than wondering where she will need to go next.

Elizabeth, also, has loved the class environment where she has been able to get to know her classmates due to the smaller class sizes. They all work together on projects, course work, and self-improvement. Elizabeth explained how the class’s confidence, overall, has increased as the comfort between them has grown. She feels as if they are all one cohesive group now, including the professor, which helps make the classes and work more enjoyable.

When asked about going back to school as a full-time employee, Elizabeth only had positive remarks to make. She said, “I, myself, don’t feel like it’s been too difficult to balance. I feel like this has been the best arrangement I could have come up with because the class is only once or twice a week, all assignments are submitted electronically, and you submit things at your leisure.” Elizabeth explained how taking advantage of this opportunity as a working adult was not as challenging as she thought it would be because with Peirce College, she never feels rushed or unable to give assignments her full attention. Elizabeth said, “I feel like I am actually learning something rather than cranking out material for a grade.”

Finally, Elizabeth wanted to give some advice to working adults with associate’s degrees who are considering coming back to school to finish what they started. She said, “Timing is everything. Don’t feel like you need to judge yourself based on others’ opinions on when you should go back. Know what timing is best for YOU. Don’t let someone else tell you when the time is right.”

If you’d like to learn more about our Peirce College at Harcum partnership, visit

Friday, April 7, 2017

Learning Bursts Part Three: Resilience

We all know someone who we would describe as resilient. A family member who has overcome a challenge, a friend who consistently pushes through difficult situations, or that coworker who always seems to focus on the positives. Although resilience is easy to recognize, it’s not always easy to put into practice. In the third Learning Burst in our four-part series at Peirce College, Beneficial Bank, we discussed exactly that: how to be resilient in the workplace.

Career Development Services Lesson on Staying Resilient
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25% of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Finding practical and effective ways to “bounce back” from stressful situations is critical to your professional success and your overall health. So how do you do it?

To help Beneficial employees build their resiliency muscle, Peirce College brought in expert facilitators Cathy Littlefield, Ed.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Business Programs and Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services.

Littlefield began by defining resiliency as the ability to deal with adverse situations in positive and creative ways. She emphasized the importance of transforming challenges into opportunities and absorbing the reality of a setback with minimal mental and physical cost to yourself.

According to Littlefield, each time a stressor arises you can use “The Resilience Pump” as a tool to get you through.

The Resilience P.U.M.P.
  • P = Pause (detachment breaks)
  • U = Understand (remain fact-based)
  • M = Manage (emotional and mental agility)
  • P = Perspective (think big picture; cultivate compassion)
The more you utilize the techniques above, the more natural these responses will become and the stronger your resiliency muscle will be.

To help illustrate this point, Thompsonowak asked the participants to put these tools to work. Through group activities, personal stories and honest discussions, the attendees discovered the practical uses of these methods and the positive effect they can have on their overall work experience.

Thompsonowak ended by explaining the dangers of deflating thoughts and how they can negatively impact our ability to be resilient. The five most common deflating thoughts that can derail our resiliency are highlighted below.

Deflating Thoughts
  • Focus on Self – “It’s all my fault”
  • Focus on Others – “It’s all his/her fault”
  • Inadequacy – “I’m a terrible, inferior person”
  • Catastrophizing – “It the end of the world. I can’t handle this.”
  • Helplessness – “This is going to ruin my whole life.”
Avoiding the deflating thoughts above gives us the opportunity to be resilient and move past situations in positive, healthy ways.

Littlefield and Thompsonowak will conclude their Learning Burst series next month with a session on Positive Outlook.

Peirce College and Beneficial Bank have been valued partners since 2008. Beneficial employees, spouses and dependents are eligible for a 25% tuition discount at Peirce College. To learn more about enrolling at Peirce, please visit

For a complete list of all corporate partners, please visit If your company is not listed and you would like to be considered for partnership, please contact Amy Holvey, Manager of Corporate Enrollment at

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Peirce College proudly hosted the 4th Annual Criminal Justice Debate

Peirce College was honored to be the first college in Pennsylvania to host the Intercollegiate Criminal Justice Debate on Saturday, April 1, 2017. The intercollegiate competition included debate teams from West Chester University, Rowan University, Neumann University, Drexel University, Wilmington University, Peirce College, Camden County College, and Cumberland County College. Two outstanding debaters, Gloria Thomas and Candice Jabbar, proudly represented Peirce College.

Criminal Justice Studies Degrees Debate teams
There were three rounds of competition, where each team got the chance to verse another school in hopes of making it to the finals. Each round resulted in points awarded to the winning teams. After three rounds of debate, the two teams with the highest points moved on to the finals.

In front of a crowded room of spectators, the top-scoring teams, Rowan University and Cumberland County College, presented their best arguments on whether police should be required to wear body cameras. While both sides presented exceptional arguments, Peirce College’s Debate Chairperson Prof. Robert Brzenchek announced Rowan University as the top-scoring team, with Cumberland County College taking second place for the overall debate competition. Third place was awarded to West Chester University. A special award went to Teheran Habersham of Wilmington University for Best Orator.

Congratulations to all debate teams for a job well done!

Criminal Justice Debate Winners

Friday, March 31, 2017

Register now to audition for The First Annual Peirce Voice

Are you ready to bring your singing talent to the big stage? Now’s your chance! Peirce College will be hosting The First Annual Peirce Voice with auditions being held on Tuesday, April 18th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. right here on campus. Wondering what I’m talking about? Let me explain a little further:

What happens at the audition? You will be singing the National Anthem for a panel of judges, which consists of Peirce faculty and staff, who will record your performance. Don’t worry – we will provide the lyrics for the audition!

What makes it Peirce Voice? The auditions are blind to the voters! Once you audition, the performance of just your voice will be uploaded to our YouTube channel, so the public can listen and help decide who will be the next Peirce Voice.

How do people vote?
Once auditions happen, there will be an email, blog and social posts sent out with a link to a survey where anyone can go on and vote! Voting is open to the public, so tell your family and friends.

What do I get if I win?
You not only win a Peirce FitBit™, but, also, you will be singing the National Anthem at this year’s 152nd Commencement ceremony!

How do I sign up? It’s easy! All you have to do is email with your name, telephone number, and your availability for April 18th between 4:00 and 7:00 pm (in 15-minute intervals) no later than April 17th at 12 noon.

Sound like something you’re interested in? No time to waste – email to schedule your audition today!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Meet Peirce's future Health Information Professionals

Peirce Offers Four Degrees in HealthcareThis week, we are taking time to celebrate current and future Health Information Professionals. Michele Green, Eunice Jones, Lilaila Villafane-Nolan, and Elvia Frederic-Williams are current seniors at Peirce College in the Health Information Technology and Health Information Administration programs. They will be leading this year’s Health Information Professionals Week at Peirce College, which will run from March 26th through April 1st. Learn a little about our future leaders’ educational journeys and why they think you should join them for HIP Week:

“My name is Michele Green. I started my journey here at Peirce College in 2011. In May of 2014, I received my Associates Degree in Healthcare Information Technology. I am in my final classes for my Bachelor of Science Degree in Healthcare Information Administration and I am so excited to graduate this June. I am currently working in the Healthcare Industry as a Pharmacy Services Technician. However, I plan on taking the RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) Certification to change my career to a Health Information Management position. Health Information Professionals week is a great way for me to enhance my knowledge on how health information management professionals are the best equipped to understand health data and turn information into knowledge that powers better decision making.”

“I am Eunice Jones and being a mother, my motto is education, education, and education. In my household, once you finish high school, you move on and attend college, no excuses! Unfortunately, I had a secret my children were unware of; fear. I had personal fears about going to college; a fear of failure, a fear of assignments and tests, and my biggest fear of not setting a good example. I decided to face my fears and I enrolled at the College in 2013. Peirce College is everything I needed; the College fit my schedule, my age group, helped me conquer all of my fears by giving me the support I needed to keep going. I received my associate’s degree in 18 months and in June of 2017 I will receive my bachelor’s degree. I plan to continue my educational journey by receiving a CTR (cancer tumor registrar) Certification. Health Information Professionals week, to me, is so important with the theme of “Leading the way to quality data” because it is a great resource for teaching and demonstrating the volumes of health data and information being generated, and how to manage it.”

“My name is Lilaila Villafane-Nolan and this has been one heck of a journey for the last four years at Peirce College. It all started when one day someone told me I wouldn't be able to move up in the world because I didn't have a college degree. Being who I am, I didn't like to hear those words. Despite many struggles of working full time, raising a family, all while being a student, I still kept going. I wasn’t just doing this for myself; I wanted to show my children they can do anything they put their mind to. My next step on my career path is to complete my certification and Master’s Degree. My goal is to get my dream job as a Physician Reimbursement Specialist. This journey all started because of one person and I don't think I would change anything about it now that I'm finally finishing. Health Information Professionals week is important to future leaders like me because it provides me with the knowledge I need in my new career when it comes to improving cost, quality, and population health with the ability to turn data into knowledge.”

“I am Elvia Frederic-Williams and the day I decided to continue my education was the day when I realized my daughter copied everything I did. It was the day when I decided to make a change in my life and pursue a career. Peirce College made my learning transition comfortable, easy, and convenient. From the stress-free enrollment process, to the always available and helpful advisors, and the flexibility offered with the on campus and online options, Peirce College was the right choice for me. I started my journey with the determination to complete an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology. However, now on top of completing my associate’s degree, today I find myself on the finish line to the completion of my Bachelor Degree of Science in Health Information Administration. I’m now not only the first in my family to be a college graduate, but I am also able to show my children that I did it and they can too! Health Information Professionals week gives me the knowledge and guidance on the importance of being a health information professional that I need to keep going with my future career endeavors.”

If you’re interested in learning more about any Health Information Professional degree, check out our degrees in healthcare. If you want to take part in the HIP Week, please stop by the lobby of our main campus to meet the amazing students above.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Learning Bursts Part Two: Navigating Difficult Conversations with Coworkers

Whether you’re providing constructive feedback, discussing sensitive issues like dress or hygiene or simply setting the record straight on a disputed topic, difficult conversations with coworkers can be stressful!

Cathy Littlefield presents to corporate partner, Beneficial BankOn Tuesday, March 21st Peirce College equipped employees of one of its corporate partners, Beneficial Bank, with the tools needed to successfully navigate these discussions. Hosted by Peirce College’s expert facilitator, Cathy Littlefield, Ed.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Business Programs, this session represented the second topic in a four-part “Learning Bursts” series on self-improvement.

Littlefield opened the session by making a playful, yet relatable comparison between having a difficult conversation and having a meal. Just like eating requires you to set the table, have the meal and clean up, difficult conversations also have three distinct steps.

Preparing for the Conversation – “Setting the Table”
  • Check yourself – make sure you are calm and collected
  • Hold yourself accountable – acknowledge your role in the situation
  • Clarify your goals – know what you want as an outcome
  • Choose an appropriate time and place – timing and privacy matter
During a Difficult Conversation – “The Meal”
  • Focus on the facts – not gossip or perception
  • Only discuss things relevant to this specific situation
  • Be aware of your emotions; continuously "check in" with yourself
  • Make it a two way conversation – don’t dominate the conversation
After the Conversation – “Clean Up”
  • What happens in the office should stay in the office
  • Let it go – don't repeatedly have the same conversation with the same person
  • Where appropriate, document the conversation including date, situation and agreed upon outcome
Littlefield ended by noting difficult conversations break down when either participant resorts to verbal “flight” or “fight” responses. To help each participant understand his or her own unique style under stress, Littlefield provided a self-assessment. Through their responses, attendees discovered their natural tendencies and ways to counteract them in the future.

Be sure to join Littlefield and other Peirce staff members next month for the third topic of this four-part series.

Peirce College and Beneficial Bank have been valued partners since 2008. Beneficial employees, spouses and dependents are eligible for a 25% tuition discount at Peirce College. To learn more about enrolling at Peirce, please visit

For a complete list of all corporate partners, please visit If your company is not listed and you would like to be considered for partnership, please contact Amy Holvey, Manager of Corporate Enrollment at

Monday, March 20, 2017

Celebrating Women in Leadership at Peirce College

Despite the blowing snow, howling winds, and icy roadways, Career Development Services’ 7th annual Women in Leadership panel discussion was a roaring success!

The night started off with Uva Coles, Vice President of Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships, who welcomed the crowd with rousing remarks about Peirce’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. President Jim Mergiotti followed by reminding everyone of Peirce’s long history of commitment to women’s education. Peirce College was the second college in Pennsylvania to admit women as students, along with the first school to treat women and men equally by allowing all genders to use the same doorway to enter. That legacy and commitment to equality endures as Peirce continually celebrates the accomplishments of women across all industries.

Our all-star cast of panelists included:
·  Dina Galeotafiore, Senior Vice President, Executive Search, Comcast Corporation
·  Nicole Pullen Ross, Managing Director, Investment Management at Goldman Sachs
·  Jane Slusser, Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor, City of Philadelphia
·  Susan V. Van Buren, Former Assistant General Manager, Human Resources Division, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
·  Eloise Young, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Information Services at Philadelphia Gas Works

The panel was expertly moderated by Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President of Academic Advancement, who kicked off the conversation with a question about the number of women executives in corporate leadership. The panelists were lively and engaging when answering this question and more, and the crowd rose to the occasion, matching the panelists’ energy with questions about counteracting discrimination in the workplace, achieving work-life balance, decision-making, and other topics. 

Much of the conversation revolved around pivoting when necessary and building yourself along with your team.  When looking to find your place in the world, Nicole Pullen Ross reminded us that “if you can bring out the best in people, the view of many outweighs the view of a few.” Along that same line, Jane Slusser assured the room that “you don’t win by beating your opponent when governing, you win by working together.”

Susan Van Buren provided a pearl of wisdom about team building and goal attainment: “in order to satisfy the external customers, you must first satisfy the internal customers: your employees.” When asked about specializing or being a jack-of-all-trades, Eloise Young explained how this will vary from person to person, but no matter who you are, where you are or what you're doing, “it’s very important to be very good at where you are on the ladder.”

One of my favorite quotes of the night was from Dina Galeotafiore: “Don’t give up. Be patient. Be strategic and be thoughtful how you can drive toward that outcome.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Women in Leadership 2017. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts on 20 years of Peirce College employment

At Peirce College, we not only like to celebrate our students' successes, but also our employees' successes. Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President of Academic Advancement, recently celebrated her 20th year with Peirce College. She has held multiple positions during her time at the College and has been an essential component of the growth, development, and achievement of students, faculty, and staff. We asked Dr. Toliver-Roberts a few questions about her time so far at Peirce:

Dr. Toliver-Roberts, please tell us about your personal Peirce College history.

I came to Peirce as an opportunity to give back. As a first-generation undergraduate student, I was successful because of the dedicated staff and faculty who were invested in students’ success and so, I wanted to be part of a community that wanted to make a difference. 

I started at Peirce as an academic counselor/advisor in the Success Center. This center supported at risk students and was supported (in addition to the College) by two grant programs, Act 101 and Student Support Services. During my tenure, I have held the position of Act101 Counselor (academic advisor); Manager, WCAE; Assistant Dean of Students; Dean of Students; and Vice President of Academic Advancement. 

What has kept you at the College for all these years?

There are three points that come immediately to mind,
  1. I genuinely appreciate the people I work with. Peirce employees are hardworking, dedicated individuals who are committed to achieving the mission.
  2. Peirce’s work-life balance culture – as a young professional and for a time, a new parent, Peirce made it possible for me to balance my priorities at work and home without compromise.
  3. Peirce’s work hard/play hard environment. The community pulls together to achieve goals but then takes pause to celebrate achievements and one another.
What are you most proud of during your time here at Peirce College?

Offering graduate education—this was such a wonderful milestone and historic moment for Peirce College. Furthermore, witnessing our first students graduates from our Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management (MSOLM) program [in 2015]. 

Additionally, I am proud that I worked under the leadership of great leaders and mentors, Dr. Patricia Rucker and James Mergiotti.

What advice do you have for students who are looking to find a career, not just a job?

The importance of having a strong work ethic should not be underrated. Your work ethic is basically your professional character and it tells the story about what you will do (or not do) with your skills, experience, and abilities. Let your professional story be positive and promotable and speak for you. 

Congratulations, Dr. Toliver-Roberts, on this memorable landmark in your career! Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the College each and every day.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Spring is right around the corner - so are Peirce College events!

March and April are full of excitement as the springtime weather starts rolling in, the flowers begin to bloom, and Peirce College offers a variety of events! There are many opportunities available for Peirce students and the community throughout the next month. Below is a list of a few of the events being held on campus –

  1. Women in Leadership Panel Discussion – This event is open to Peirce students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the entire community! Five of the region’s renowned executive women will speak about their experience with leadership in all facets of their lives. This event will be held on Wednesday, March 15th from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the College in Room 51. Spots are limited for this event, so RSVP today at
  2.  Leadership Symposium – The Walker Center for Academic Excellence is proud to host the Leadership Symposium for all Peirce students. This is a day full of learning and developing different leadership skills to use in your personal and professional life. There will be guest speakers, workshops, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. If you are looking to continue growing in your leadership abilities then this is an event for you! It will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the College. To RSVP, visit
  3. Business Conference – All Peirce students are invited to the 5th Annual Business Conference. This year’s conference is titled, “Facing Forward: Creating Your Career Identity.” This day-long event will include different vendors, a panel discussion, and keynote speakers on a variety of topics. This is open to ALL Peirce students, so you do not need to be a business major to find value in this opportunity. The Business Conference will be held on Saturday, April 8th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the College. To RSVP, visit

Each of these events offers many valuable lessons, growth opportunities and unbeatable experiences. To learn more, below are the contacts for each event along with the link to the Peirce Community Calendar for even more upcoming opportunities.

WIL – Career Development Services: 215.670.9202 or

Leadership Symposim – WCAE: 215.670.9251 or

Business Conference – Professor Brooke Quigg: 215.670.9317 or

Peirce Community Calendar –

See you there!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Peirce College President Jim Mergiotti to retire in June 2018

For nearly 30 years, it has been my honor and privilege to witness the outstanding achievements of our students and graduates as they earn their degrees. I have also had the extraordinary opportunity to work with an exceptional group of faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, partners, and volunteers, all in support of Peirce’s wonderful mission. Now, after careful consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to retire from Peirce College as of June 30, 2018.

This announcement does not mean my work here at the College is finished – quite the opposite! Careful execution of the College’s strategic plan will continue for the next 16 months, and I look forward to achieving these goals. At that point, the timing will be perfect for me to transition to the next phase of my life and for Peirce to move forward with new leadership and the rejuvenation that change will bring.

The Board of Trustees is currently forming a search committee that will be responsible for finding Peirce’s next leader. Details regarding the search process will be forthcoming, and we will share the plan on Peirce’s website.

Being a part of the Peirce community has been a great honor, as I’ve been fortunate enough to work side-by-side with a tremendous group of faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and partners. We accomplished great things for Philadelphia's adult learners together, and the future for them – and for Peirce – is bright.

If you have questions about this transition, I encourage you to reach out via email at Thank you for sharing this journey with me, and I look forward to what the next year and half have in store.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Health Information Administration program now CAHIIM Accredited!

Health Information Administration CAHIIM AccreditedIt’s official – Peirce College’s Health Information Administration (HIA) bachelor’s degree is now CAHIIM accredited! There are only two accredited HIA bachelor’s degrees in the Philadelphia region and we are proud to be one of them.

Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education qualifies Peirce’s HIA graduates to sit for the RHIA exam, which is a highly valued certification by regional and national employers. It’s often listed on job postings as a requirement, so the program’s accreditation will open more opportunities for our students.

This accreditation is not easy to acquire. Members of the CAHIIM review team rigorously reviewed our curriculum requirements and met extensively with our administration, faculty, staff, students, and members of the advisory board during a site visit. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this monumental effort. If you’re interested in learning how the CAHIIM accreditation can help your career, please feel free to reach out to me at or 215.670.9255.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Napkins, Leftovers and Etiquette - Oh My!

Peirce College Career Development Services Business Etiquette LuncheonIf you’re like me, just hearing or seeing the word "etiquette" makes you nervous. It conjures images of Downtown Abbey, books balanced on girls' heads, and a world of unspoken rules I'm not quite sure of. On the other hand, business etiquette can make or break your next promotion, job interview, or networking opportunity.

Knowing we could all use at least a refresher course of what fork to use and why, Career Development Services coordinated a group meal at The Capital Grille on Friday, February 17th. Located at Broad and Chestnut Streets in Center City, the Capital Grille is a popular upscale restaurant known as a place to make business deals. Alexis Lundeen, Managing Partner of the Capital Grille Philadelphia, facilitated our workshop, answering all of our silly and not-so-silly questions.

During our luncheon, we cross-checked etiquette tips we had heard from friends, family, even online. For instance, did you know that if you don't finish your meal, it is now appropriate to ask for the leftovers to be boxed up? However, make sure the ranking member of the table -- your boss or interviewer -- is the first to eat.

Our most important lesson learned is that the purpose of a networking or business meal, as Alexis explained it, is not really about eating! It's really about demonstrating respect and making a positive impression. Knowing where to place your napkin and to indicate that you are returning to the table (on your chair) or you have left the meal (on the table) will help the wait staff wordlessly anticipate your next moves, leaving your focus on your important business transaction.

Finally, as a group, we decided that etiquette is like a muscle -- if you stop exercising it, it is harder to use it once you need to. With all this in mind, I know I will be using this as an excuse to go out for a fancy dinner in the near future and practice my etiquette moves!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Meet the New Assistant Dean for Student Support Services - Tracey Thomas!

Last month, Peirce College gained another new team member – Tracey Thomas, the new Assistant Dean for Student Support Services, joins us from a long history of higher education and student services. We took some time to get to know her a little better.

Assistant Student Services Dean Tracey ThomasTracey, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Absolutely! I have a BA in Psychology and Spanish from Ohio Wesleyan University & an Ed.M. from Temple University in Counseling Psychology. I have worked my entire professional life in higher education starting as a mental health counselor in a college counseling center then moving to various administrative positions. I have worked for various opportunity programs including the Act 101 Program in PA and the Educational Opportunity Fund Program in New Jersey. In my most recent position, I was the Associate Dean of Academic Advising and Student Programs at a community college in New Jersey.

What made you interested in working for Peirce, specifically the Walker Center for Academic Excellence?
Peirce College offers a unique educational experience through an accelerated curriculum. The Walker Center is a place that can assist students address many of the challenges they may experience meeting their academic goals. We offer tutoring, assistance for students with disabilities, academic advising for specific first year students as well as have a computer lab for students use. We also host a variety of workshops and events!

What has been your experience thus far working with adult learners and the Peirce community?
Although I have only been at Peirce a few weeks, I have enjoyed working with the students I have met so far. Peirce students have been very friendly and have made me feel welcome in my new role. The staff has extended to me every imaginable kindness. I am very happy to be a member of the Peirce family!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is getting ready to head back to school, what would it be?
Create a plan. The desire to go (or come back) to school is great, but it requires more than desire. Have you thought about how you will fit your classes around your work schedule? When will you study? Do you have a plan for your children while you study or work on class projects? These issues also need to be considered and resolved before registering for class.

Thank you, Tracey! You can visit her in Peirce’s Walker Center for Academic Excellence or reach out at or 215.670.9251.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Peirce College Facilitates Self-Improvement Learning Bursts at Beneficial Bank

Maximum impact in minimal time. That’s the goal of Peirce College’s latest collaboration with corporate partner Beneficial Bank.

Under the guidance of in-house experts Cathy Littlefield, EdD, Associate Professor and Chair of Business Programs and Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services, Peirce College is proudly delivering a four-part series on self-improvement to Beneficial employees. These ‘Learning Bursts’ will cover practical yet powerful topics and provide attendees with the skills needed to continue their professional growth.

Beneficial Bank Corporate Partnership
The series began on Wednesday, February 8th with a topic every member of the workforce encounters: accountability. Whether you’re referencing personal accountability or holding others accountable, the concept can be somewhat daunting. Through group discussions and guided activities, our expert facilitators helped attendees understand the importance of both.

Thompsonowak began the discussion by explaining the close relationship between personal accountability and perception. To illustrate her point, she asked a poignant question, “Do things happen TO you or do things happen BECAUSE of you?” Being willing to ask yourself this question helps you identify your own role in the challenges or difficulties you may have, which can help you avoid those problems in the future. As Thompsonowak went on to explain, the more we evaluate our own role in every situation, the more we build our accountability “muscle.” Subsequently, the more we hold ourselves accountable, the more we can take action to solve problems.

Littlefield then led a dynamic discussion on the challenges we face when holding others accountable and the consequences we’re likely to experience if we avoid the process altogether. How do we overcome these challenges and avoid negative consequences? As the attendees discovered, the key is clarity.

How do you achieve clarity? Simple. Be clear and direct about every step of the process.
  •          Set clear expectations from the start
  •          Share clear measurements and indicators of success
  •          State clear consequences if expectations are not met
  •          Provide clear and direct feedback after the project is complete
When you provide clarity, you strengthen your ability to hold others accountable and empower everyone involved to be successful.

Although the concepts involved with both personal accountability and holding others accountable are somewhat straightforward, the ability to internalize them and apply them in the workplace is extremely powerful.

Peirce College and Beneficial Bank have been valued partners since 2008.  Beneficial employees, spouses and dependents are eligible for a 25% tuition discount at Peirce College. To learn more about enrolling at Peirce, please visit

For a complete list of all corporate partners, please visit If your company is not listed and you would like to be considered for partnership, please contact Amy Holvey, Manager of Corporate Enrollment at

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Balance of It All - Work, School, and Life

A wise man once said, “You have as many hours in a day as BeyoncĂ©.” And while this statement rings true, the fact of the matter is, life’s elements of prioritizing and time management are true art forms in themselves. Managing the professional, scholastic, and extracurricular pillars of life require much more than Starbucks, a trustworthy alarm clock or a glam squad.

Nyidera Edwards' Student Life Advice
To be a thriving student and an exemplary employee, it takes more than long hours on the clock and late-night study sessions. Take it from me: I’m Nyidera Edwards, a Peirce student who balances work, school, and life every day. I’ve found that to be successful in these avenues, you must be functioning as the best version of yourself – mentally, physically and emotionally. Nevertheless, with pending deadlines, personal crises and life’s general stress, this can sometimes seem easier said than done. Luckily, I have been able to find a way to balance it all without allowing myself to get too overwhelmed and worn out. Let me share with you some of my advice on how I’ve been able to make it work.

One of the most vital factors in living a balanced student life may resonate as the timeless, maternal advice that we’ve loathed since we were children: “you must sleep.” Sleep is imperative in the healthy maintenance of a busy schedule because you simply cannot run on Dunkin™ your entire life. Your body and your mind need efficient rest for superior function and focus. But, bear in mind, sleep schedules are not a one-size-fits-all arrangement. The key is to listen to your body and pay attention to the amount of rest that it requires. Your thinking will be much clearer and your brain will absorb information much better!

The next element of balance is to take control of the hustle; but, never let the hustle take control of YOU. With that being said, remember to make time for the things that bring you happiness and peace of mind. Spend time with loved ones, plan a night out or maybe even a night-in to relax and decompress. Becoming stressed and overwhelmed with life’s daily hurdles can be detrimental to your overall well-being. Remember, your overall energy and state of mind are directly correlated with your relationships, your work ethic and your ability to focus.

Finally, you must remain conscious of your mental and physical wellness. In order to truly maximize your full potential in a day’s work, you must properly fuel your body. Have a little avocado with your eggs; toss some blueberries into your oatmeal; treat yourself to a rich bar of dark chocolate – these “brain” foods and so many more can be greatly beneficial in keeping your brain and body going all day long.

As a last piece of advice – for every morning that you want to just stay in bed and hibernate or those Saturday evenings that you spend with your nose in your textbooks, remind yourself of the why. “Why do I make these sacrifices?” “Why are these moments so pivotal to my life?” The answer is simple: it’s because you have dreams, goals and ambitions. But the truth of the matter is – every story of success will have pitfalls and hard times. Just remember, there is a silver-lining in every cloud and you can do this!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ready to Start or Advance Your Career? Meet Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services!

“Adult learners are among my favorite people: I love working with individuals who are figuring out their career paths – especially when they are ready to add a new degree to their resumes or transition from one career to another – and I am always eager to develop resources that support adults in taking steps toward success. “ –Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services

Director of Peirce College Career Development ServicesPeirce’s Career Development Services (CDS) Center is your go-to place for starting your job search process and the career that best fits you. CDS offers many opportunities for students to prep for interviews, build their resumes and cover letters, cultivate work-related skills, and so much more.

Our Director of Career Development Services, Sharon Thompsonowak, recently joined the Peirce team in November 2016 after spending many years working in education, fundraising, nonprofit management, economic development and workforce development. We spoke with Sharon a bit about her inspiration and her advice for utilizing CDS to further your future career.

What inspired you to want to be involved in career services?
Research shows that college degree holders still earn more money over their lifetimes than people with only a high school diploma. This coupled with the fact that many hiring managers list soft skills (like communication, time management, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution) as the qualifications they value most in their candidates, made me want to get involved with career services.  In CDS, we create programs and resources that help Peirce students and alumni not only build these essential skills but also learn how to leverage them along with their college credentials. Your career should provide a return on your educational investment, and CDS provides support in making sure that you have the tools you need to maximize this return.

Do you have any advice for people who are ready to move their careers to the next level?
Whether you are looking for a new job or a promotion, get started now. It’s never too early to update your resume, inventory your workplace accomplishments, or get the word out that you are ready for your next opportunity.  CDS can help you practice telling your professional story so that you feel confident in presenting your skills and accomplishments as the best fit for a potential employer. And if you’re ready for a change but you’re not sure exactly what’s next, CDS has many resources that will help you identify options.

Additionally, spring is a great time to look for a new job! Many hiring managers post job openings starting in January, and the applicant pools generally become less competitive starting in February. Upcoming CDS workshops will help you take advantage of these opportunities: we’re offering webinars about online interviewing and the federal job application process, as well as sessions on emotional intelligence and the etiquette of business lunches. Our 7th annual Women in Leadership panel event on March 15 is open to all students and alumni, and provides a great opportunity to network with executives and other women from across the region.

Thank you, Sharon! The first CDS workshop is tomorrow, January 25th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Join the CDS Team for Part 1 of a two-part series called, Emotional Intelligence, where you can learn how to recognize feelings, motivate yourself, and manage emotions in yourself and your relationships to make all the difference in your professional life. To learn more and to RSVP, go to

Thursday, January 19, 2017

MLK Day of Service

“Service,” Marian Wright Edelman once said, “is the rent we pay for being.” On Monday, January 16, more than 30 Peirce volunteers—students, alumni, family and friends of the College—met at our sister school, Thomas May Peirce Elementary, to render our service in honor of the Martin Luther King Day of Service. 

Now in its 23rd year, MLK Day is a national, annual event where volunteers lend their time, talent, and treasure, to organizations in need of additional supports. This year, our energetic group rolled up its proverbial sleeves and helped TMP by decluttering spaces, relocating the nurse’s office to the first floor for easier student access, and painting motivational words and pictures on the walls to create an even more welcoming learning environment.

Our Peirce volunteers were not alone! Community members including Greg Thomas (pictured) joined in the action! This was Greg’s very first time participating in the MLK Day of Service. He shared with us that he was pleasantly surprised with the turnout of volunteers: “I expected more adults than children, but I am impressed that so many children are here to participate. I am encouraged to continue doing this next year.”

In addition to his deep connection with Peirce Elementary, Greg also has a deep tie to Peirce! More than thirty-five years ago – in 1981, his high school coach, a former Peirce employee, afforded him the opportunity to take on a short-term custodian job at Peirce so that Greg could raise enough funds to apply to college. Thomas is now a 3rd grade teacher at TMP and inspires students with his energy, passion, and an incredible work ethic.

One of Peirce College’s priorities is to ensure we are lifting and supporting our communities. This is part of an evolving social responsibility platform aligned with our mission. Look out for future announcements about this work as well as other opportunities to support us with your own time, talent and treasure. Can’t wait? Join us now by investing in our mission!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Meet Our New Director of Undergraduate Admissions - Shawn Gauthney

Shawn Gauthney shows applicants how to apply to collegePeirce College is an ever-growing family, and in September we were lucky enough to add a new member to the Admissions team: our new Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Shawn Gauthney. We sat down with Shawn to better understand him and why he came to Peirce College.

Q: Shawn, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have worked in higher education for almost ten years in various roles, including my current role as Director of Admissions. I am a father of 3 children, one who is a student here at Peirce, a 13 year old and a 1 year old. I love working with adult learners and with the students Peirce serves; though life is often a lot more challenging for them, the reward of completion is that much sweeter when they reach their goals.

Q:  How long have you been the Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and what important things have you learned so far?
I have been the Director here for 4 months and it has truly been great! The school, my team, my boss and my colleagues have made this transition amazing. As far as important things that I have learned, thus far, I would have to say teamwork. In order for us to truly be successful here at Peirce, we all have to work together as a team. We are ALL a part of our students’ success and we touch their lives in different ways. When working together it becomes much easier for the student to share in the vision.

Q: What's your favorite part about working with adult learners?
Honestly, it would have to be helping them with overcoming their challenges. Adult students have a host of life challenges that can impede their progress and in order for them to walk across the stage at graduation, they have to balance not only class, homework, teachers and books, but children, bills, relationships, jobs, etc. It becomes a real juggling act and the ones who are able to achieve this feat – it is something amazing to see.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who is debating about whether or not to go back to school, what would you say?
I would say to stop debating and do it. No matter what it is that you are weighing in your process it never really goes away. There will always be things to think about or overcome in regard to starting the process, even fear, but the rewards of hanging your degree on your wall are without compare.

Thank you, Shawn! For more information on how to apply and how to finally get that degree to hang on your wall, call 215.670.9000 to speak with an enrollment specialist today.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Resolution to Keep Your Resolutions

Happy New Year!!

With the arrival of 2017, the thought of fresh starts, new beginnings, and resolutions begin to cross our minds. New Year’s brings a time of reflection, self-evaluation, and opportunity. But, as strong as our self-reflection may be in the month of January, we tend to lose track of all the effort we put towards bettering ourselves as the year goes on.

According to Statistic Brain, only 8% (!) of people successfully achieve their resolution each year. At Peirce College, we want to help encourage you to be your best self every day, no matter what month it is. Below are some tips on how to keep those resolutions going year-round from Meryl Silver, an Academic Advisor in our Walker Center for Academic Excellence.

1. Keep it Simple and Real!! 
Review the various areas of your life and think about what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t pick the same resolutions that you can never seem to keep. Pick something small and achievable that you know needs improvement rather than radical change. Choose carefully and concentrate on resolutions that will have the greatest impact on your fulfillment. For example, setting up two study sessions/tutoring appointments for specific hours each week to focus on your coursework will obviously improve your grades – but it’ll also give you a sense of pride and personal happiness!

2. Use a buddy system!!
Tell a friend, family member or classmate whom you trust about your resolution. This buddy will be able to support you and check back with you on your goal. If you begin to waver, their support will help keep you from giving up, just in case you feel like quitting. If the two of you are striving for similar goals, you’ll be helping each other through the same experiences and concerns. In fact, you’ll be boosting each others’ resolutions! Have a weekly “check in” with your buddy and report to each other what you’ve accomplished in that time. You’ll feel focused and more successful.

3. Say it loud and proud!!
Be sure to use positive language rather than being negative when thinking of your resolutions. For example, rather than thinking “I can’t be bothered with studying tonight,” think “I always feel so much better after I’ve set aside time and completed some studying to stay on top of my classwork.” Highlight the benefit to you; this is motivating and stops you from focusing on the negative for not doing as expected. 

4. Set a weekly power time!!
Mark your calendar! You can help your own success by setting aside a half an hour every Sunday evening. Use the half hour to “map” out your week ahead and to re-affirm your goal (for example, keeping up with your math homework). Look back at the previous week and recognize your small successes (such as scoring high on your math quiz that week since you were so prepared!). Look at the week ahead to know what you need to do and when.

5. Celebrate!!
Be sure to celebrate your successes – even small ones. Just be sure that your celebration doesn’t interfere with the steps toward your goal. Now, keep going! You’ve done well by “breaking it down” to small, attainable, realistic goals. Extend the timeline of your resolution and continue to work it into your everyday routine. Stay positive with each challenge ahead!

We wish you a safe and healthy journey through 2017. May it be the greatest year ever!