Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Ultimate Family Support System

Just one year ago, we spoke with adult learners and Peirce College graduates Emma Leigh Morando-Young and Anthony Young about their plans to advance in their careers.

Today, we reconnect with both of them, along with their daughter, Benet’ Morando, as all three have now earned new degrees while supporting one another through their individual educational journeys.

Emma and Anthony graduated in June 2016 from Peirce College with a Bachelor’s of Art in Organizational Leadership degree and an Associate in Science in Criminal Justice degree, respectively. Reaching her original goal of obtaining an Associate in Science in Paralegal Studies and then continuing on to complete her bachelor’s degree in 2016, Emma took her new skills back to the workforce. But Anthony hadn’t quite reached his educational finish line yet.

“After earning my associate degree, I felt that I could go further in my studies and believed that earning my bachelor’s degree was an attainable goal,” says Anthony.

So, he kept going, but not alone. Benet’ was still at Peirce College chasing her dream of a degree in Information Technology. Starting with the Year Up Greater Philadelphia program, Benet’ moved from being a Year Up graduate to a Community College of Philadelphia graduate and then finally a Peirce College student. Together, Anthony and Benet took on their final year side-by-side, encouraging each other to the very end.

In June 2017, Emma was the one sitting in the crowd, having the honor of cheering on both her husband and her daughter as they both crossed the stage knowing all three of them had completed their goals. “The biggest emotion I felt [on graduation day] was pride with a sense of accomplishment,” she says. “For my family, this was a new beginning and a new legacy.”

Both Anthony and Benet’ graduated with their bachelor’s of science. Anthony earned his in Criminal Justice, and Benet completed hers in Information Technology.

Their journeys may have all ended the same, but they certainly did not start the same. Emma, Anthony and Benet' all chose Peirce College for different reasons that were specific to their personal life situations.

Emma says she chose Peirce College “because of the convenience of being able to be a wife, a mom, a full-time employee and still be able to study.”

Anthony watched Emma’s first experience with Peirce when she earned her associate degree and felt inspired to attend. “I decided on Peirce College because my wife, Emma, had a positive experience with her program when she earned her degree in Paralegal Studies,” he recalls.

Benet’, on the other hand, did some research of her own to find the best place to develop herself, personally and professionally, in a way that would prepare her for the future. “I decided that I wanted structure to be able to define the career I wanted to build and to have a reliable support system,” she says.

Regardless of their difference in reasons, they all found their way to Peirce College and, more importantly, graduation. Now all three are taking their well-deserved degrees to the workforce to use what they’ve learned to move forward in their careers.

Benet’ leaves us with a piece of advice for students of all ages considering going back to school. She says, “If you are still on the fence about signing up, just go for it or you will miss out on an opportunity. There is nothing for you to lose and everything for you to gain.”

Benet’ took her own advice and as of September 2017, she will be coming back to Peirce College to earn her Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management.

Congratulations to the Morando-Young family for all their accomplishments and best wishes to Benet’ on her next Peirce journey! If you or someone you know is ready to take Benet’s advice by “going for it,” contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Community Impact Through Partnerships and Education

At Peirce, our mission is to equip adult learners, in a personalized, student-centered environment, to achieve their goals and successfully fulfill workforce needs. To that end, we are proud and honored to announce that we have received our first grant from United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ), to develop a holistic training program that provides work and life skills to improve the lives of participants and their families for generations to come.

The generous $60,000 grant will support a 12-14 week workforce training program projected to not only benefit the working adult, but also their children.

With an anticipated launch in February 2018, the program will teach the skills under or unemployed individuals need to succeed in front-line, customer service roles in the non-clinical healthcare industry. Additionally, Peirce will partner with experts in financial literacy and human services to help participants build the economic assets and social networks they need to put their families on a path toward self-sufficiency and emotional well-being.

This two-generation approach for the training program, largely supported by the Aspen Institute and other national thought leaders, will allow for each participant to improve his or her education, social network, health and finances. The participants will identify the needs of their families, such as transportation, housing or food security, to develop a life plan and work toward a set of family goals. Participants will be connected with parent resources and provided exposure to healthcare industry employment opportunities that provide sustaining wages that yield a positive, two-generation family impact.

Jim Cawley, UWGPSNJ president and CEO said, “It takes all of us working together to ensure everyone in our community has the support and resources they need to put themselves and their families on paths to self-sufficiency, and we’re grateful to have partners like Peirce College who are invested in helping our neighbors break the cycle of poverty.”

“Research shows that parents’ success is directly aligned with their children’s success,” Uva Coles, Peirce College, Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Strategic Partnerships, said. “If they are able to pursue higher education and to model strong financial practices and a healthy lifestyle, it’s more likely that their children will follow in their footsteps.”

This program will be offered to 25-30 individuals over the age of 18 who have at least one child in their household. Upon completion of the program, the participants will be presented with interview opportunities in the healthcare industry, access to college credit, and guided pathways to degree completion.

We are humbled and ecstatic to continue working with and for the adult learner to not only improve their lives, but the lives of future generations of their family, as well. recently shared this news as well, highlighting the importance of this work in the Philadelphia region.

For more information on the grant or the workforce training program, please contact me, Malik Brown, Associate Vice President, Workforce Solutions & Community Impact, at or 215.670.9056.

Friday, August 11, 2017

A flexible and affordable college program? Brian got it with CBE

Brian Brennan graduated high school in 1989 and immediately found himself in the workforce. He then started a life and moved further and further away from the idea of going to college.

But in 2016, 27 years (!) after last being in school, Brian was ready to make a change. Brian knew he always wanted to go back to school, but he could never quite make it work. Now, things were different; his children were getting older, and he was beginning to find the time to focus on his degree. He knew he was ready to make the move to earn the degree he had always dreamed of.

The company Brian works for, a proud partner of Peirce College, offers an Education Assistance program. This led Brian to Peirce’s competency-based education (CBE) program, a life-friendly way for earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology.
Competency based degree student Brian Brennan
After some personal research, Brian found that CBE would perfectly balance his education, work and life.

“I chose CBE for a couple of reasons,” says Brian. “Cost was the primary driver; it was the only program with a flat fee for each term that allowed you to take as many classes as possible during that term. The second reason was the flexibility to do the work online so that I don’t need to go to class. I spend 2 hours a day on the train and I utilize that time to do school work.”

As Brian mentioned, CBE allows students to pay one set fee for each term in which they can earn unlimited credits. This affordable opportunity allows students to finish their degrees quicker and cheaper. Brian finished his first 12-week term in spring and has already earned 16 credits toward graduation!

And if you’re a working adult learner like Brian, you’ll love the flexibility it offers you. Brian does all his work online, utilizing his train commute. This gives him the ability to make time for his full-time job, school and family. Brian says “The program has been great. I spend time on weekends doing school but by utilizing my train ride for school, I can still do some things with my family. We are adjusting to it, and I have not missed any important activities for my kids so far due to school work.”

Brian found his niche with Peirce’s competency-based education program. Now he’s on his way to earning his dream degree while staying involved in all other parts of his life. Currently the Director of Workforce Services Operations, Brian hopes the education he’s getting will help him move up to managing more application operations.

If you or someone you know has two or more years of experience in Information Technology or an Information Technology associate degree and is looking to finally earn that bachelor's degree, check out Peirce’s competency-based education program by visiting

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Why Should You Choose Peirce’s Healthcare Masters?

Philadelphia’s adult learners know Peirce College is the place to continue their college education and earn a master’s degree. Wait. You didn’t know Peirce had master’s degrees? Dean of Graduate Studies Dr. Adrian Zappala explained our graduate program here last month in case you missed it.

MSCHA Professor DeVida RembertSo, you’re probably wondering if there’s a Peirce Graduate Studies degree that’s right for you. If you’re pursuing a career in healthcare leadership, then our newest degree could be the path you need to get there.

Peirce added our Master’s of Science in Healthcare Administration in 2016, and our students have benefitted from how we’ve continued growing and developing the program by adding new classes, practices and formats. Today, healthcare students can come back to school at Peirce feeling confident and prepared to take this next step of their educational journeys.

Why should YOU come to Peirce College for a Master’s of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHCA)?

Today’s healthcare managers face evolving challenges requiring fast, strategic and ethical decision-making skills. Peirce’s MSHCA program prepares students for corporate healthcare leadership with the necessary skills to execute strategies for building effective, efficient and safe administrative practices for quality healthcare delivery and services.

As a student, you’ll develop healthcare management skills, enhance your healthcare administration portfolio and gain personal branding tools to secure or maintain a position as a healthcare professional. After completing all the necessary courses, graduates will be able to:
  • Manage and improve healthcare systems, technology initiatives and processes
  • Recognize and discuss the impact of the changes and challenges of the Affordable Care and Meaningful Use of Technology Acts 
  • Drive and execute change, innovation and adaptability by applying effective leadership practices and concepts
  • Understand the dynamics of fostering a culture of responsive leadership that promotes empowerment, teamwork and accountability in managing healthcare staff
The MSHCA program also coincides with our Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management (MSOLM) program to reinforce leadership theories into our Healthcare grads’ minds.

If you or someone you know is interested in earning their Master’s of Science in Healthcare Administration at Peirce, it’s easy to get started! Contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 215.670.9325 or email with any questions. When you enroll, you’ll feel confident that a graduate degree is in your future because Peirce’s program is more convenient and flexible than you ever thought earning a master’s degree could be.

To learn more about our other Graduate Studies program, Organizational Leadership and Management, keep an eye out for the next Graduate Studies blog!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Share your Peirce College experience!

For over 150 years, Peirce College has been the College that really works for working adult learners like you. So many students and alumni have come through our doors feeling directionless in but left with a career-focused future. Help us spread that success to others!

Join us on Friday, August 11 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. for Refer a Friend Day and bring someone who needs an extra push to go back to school. We’ll be hosting a Peirce College brunch for you and your friend to celebrate your current successes while introducing your guest to the Peirce family.

Enrollment specialists will be there to talk to your friend about which program is right for them, how they can apply, how they can qualify for financial aid and even how they can register for classes. Your friend will learn how to do it all while enjoying some light breakfast refreshments to start their Friday.

Whether you’re a current student or alumni, this is a chance for you to show your Peirce pride by bringing someone back to your home turf. We want to welcome everyone we can into the place where dreams become reality.

Visit to register you and your friend for Friday, August 11.

P.S. If your friend enrolls, you’ll both leave with something special!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Three degrees. One school.

Giselle A. Marte-Torres started at Peirce College in 2001 with one goal in mind: earn a degree. Sixteen years later, Giselle has done much more than earn just one degree. As of June 2017, Giselle officially has her associate degree in Paralegal Studies, bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and, most recently, her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Management.

One day, as Giselle was driving, she noticed an advertisement on a bus. This was not just any old advertisement; this one spoke to her. She read the line, “The College that really works for working adults” and immediately thought this was “a college that will allow me to learn at my pace, given the fact I have family and work responsibilities.” Giselle knew in that moment she was heading back to school at Peirce.

2017 Recipient of Peirce College's master degree in organizational leadership and managementGiselle’s initial goal was to earn her associate degree to grow her career. She completed that degree in 2004 but didn’t stop there. Giselle returned to Peirce for her bachelor’s degree, finishing in 2009. Then off she went to pursue her career and take on the world.

In 2015, Giselle decided she wanted to keep going. As the economy changes, so does the demand for higher levels of education. Giselle knew this, and if she wanted to continue to grow in her career and provide a healthy lifestyle for her family, she would need to head back to school for a master’s degree. So that’s what she did.

“Ultimately, I decided my career success is up to my ambition of where I want to go and how high I want to climb the ladder,” says Giselle.

When Giselle returned to Peirce, she found that Graduate Studies now offered a PeirceFit® option. “This program afforded me the flexibility needed in my quest for knowledge that otherwise I would not have been able to fit in my schedule as a full-time mom, spouse, and worker. The delivery method allowed me to choose on a weekly basis how I was able to participate in the designated course.”

In addition to the benefits of PeirceFit, Giselle said the professors are another large advantage to attending Peirce College. “I value the fact that the professors were very student-focused. They were able to provide real life work examples to help me understand the theories, and I felt they were interested in my classroom success so that I would be prepared for the competitive job market.”

After completing her third degree with Peirce, Giselle is now confident to take her classroom knowledge and experience to the real-world to share what she has learned and accomplished. “[The] graduate program has taught me how to model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act while encouraging the heart of people in a productive, innovative and respectful manner in order to positively motivate mine and their inner work life,” she says.

Giselle left some advice for all working adults considering returning to school, whether it be for your associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree: “To overcome [your] fear or self-doubt, redirect your attention to the opportunity a degree presents to your career and livelihood, and remain focused on that.”

Giselle adds, “To date, choosing Peirce College has been the best choice I have made in my educational life.”

In honor of her hard work and dedication to not only her studies, but also the College, Giselle was the 2017 recipient of the Patricia A. Rucker Graduate Studies Award for Academic Excellence.

Congratulations to Giselle! If you or someone you know is looking to return to school, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Help us honor the legacy of Professor Ed Miller!

Today, four most generous individuals joined together to honor the legacy and memory of the late Professor Edwin B. Miller, by pledging to match all contributions made by December 31, 2017 to a scholarship in Professor Miller’s name on a 4 to 1 basis up to $160,000. Retired Peirce professor Glenn Barnes, J.D.; Ruth Shaber, M.D., founder and president of the Tara Health Foundation; and current Peirce professors Cynthia Gentile, J.D. and Ivy Kempf, J.D. have created the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Scholarship as a way to carry on the work of Professor Miller, the head of the Legal Studies Program for more than 16 years, who passed away suddenly in December.

Professor Miller was an inspirational mentor to students and alumni and a welcoming and supportive colleague. “Ed inspired all of us to be better at what we were doing, as well as just to be better people, better men, better women,” shared Glenn Barnes at today’s event, “I became a better teacher as the years unfolded. I worked with him on the mission at Peirce and how I could best fulfill that mission with my students.”

The scholarship will be awarded annually to selected students in Peirce’s legal studies programs who have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher and who will have completed at least 12 college level credits at Peirce. The recipients of this award will exemplify the virtues of commitment, scholarship and compassion, all of which were characteristics of Professor Miller and his work.

You can help the College ensure that Professor Miller’s legacy lives on. Please consider making a gift to the scholarship so Peirce students can continue to pursue their dream of degree attainment, just as Professor Miller always encouraged. Every dollar you contribute will be matched with four additional dollars so the impact of your gift will be multiplied fourfold. If the College is able to raise $40,000 by December 31, 2017, the donors will contribute $160,000. Please help us achieve that goal. Click here to donate now or contact me, Uva Coles, Vice President, Office of Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships, today at or 888.467.3472, ext. 9206.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Introducing the Graduate Studies Blog Series

Professor for adult learners, Dr. Adrian ZappalaThe demand for post-secondary adult education in colleges and universities continues to grow as more and more working adult learners seek career advancement opportunities through higher education. Working adults face a number of competing responsibilities while pursuing their education – often balancing the demands of hectic careers and busy families. That means they need programs that directly correlate to their careers.

That means they need Peirce College.

Peirce has been Philadelphia’s leader in higher education for adult learners since 1865. Our career-oriented graduate programs offer you immediate applicability in organizational leadership and healthcare administration. We developed these programs in conjunction with major Philadelphia area employers and organizations, ensuring that classroom learning reflects "real-world" practices. Peirce College continues to build upon its history by offering practical advanced degrees designed to help graduates move up in their careers.

Within the past five years, Peirce College has expanded upon its mission by offering graduate programs in both Organizational Leadership & Management and Healthcare Administration. These master’s degrees were designed for career professionals seeking advancement into leadership positions. Our graduate students gain applied leadership skills through classroom exercises, networking opportunities, and organizational experience.

And just like our undergraduate students, graduate students can complete their courses either online or on campus – or both. Any week when on-campus learners can’t make it to campus, they can take their class online. And any week when online learners need in-person teaching, they can come on campus. Combined with the ability to enroll part-time or full-time, this incredible level of flexibility allows you to balance your career needs and goals with your personal and family life.

Want to learn more about our Graduate Studies programs? Keep following the Peirce blog to read more from the Graduate Studies blog series. We’ll dive more into our graduate programs and discuss faculty and student experiences, highlighting the exceptional value our programs offer you.

Can’t wait for our next Graduate Studies blog post? Visit and get more information right now!

Adult learners and now Peirce College graduates
2017 Peirce College Organizational Leadership & Management Graduates

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Turning negatives into positives – Meet Malana Williams

Persistence is the key to success.

That’s what Malana Williams reminded herself every day as she continued pushing through her educational journey to earning her bachelor’s degree.

Malana started her Peirce College experience back in 1998 with the hopes of finally earning a degree. She was inspired to go to college when she was reminded of the importance of a degree. “I was motivated to return to Peirce College because I lost my position to a person that held a degree,” said Malana. “Their degree was unrelated to my position but it was simply because they had a degree. That decision was the best decision I made in my life.”

Despite being a union employee, her lack of a degree meant her job was not safe. Malana worked hard and began to climb the ladder but quickly had a realization when she was told she was the “exception to the rule.”

Peirce College Undergraduate Degree Recipient Malana WilliamsMalana said, “It did not matter how awesome I was at my job. What did matter was I did not have a college degree, and that had become a mandatory requirement for my position. The years of experience I had were no longer my edge, especially in an economy that was plummeting at the time. I was laid off and [became] a member of the ‘long-term unemployed.’”

Instead of letting this encounter keep her down, Malana decided to better herself by heading back to school. Malana knew she wanted to find a school that would allow her to work and go to school simultaneously and that had small class sizes, so she could have more individualized support. After searching the Philadelphia area, Malana found that Peirce College was the school that best matched all her needs.

“The curriculum [at Peirce College] is designed for the working adult. The staff is there not only to teach but to ensure your success if that is something you truly want,” explained Malana.

As of June 2017, Malana finally was able to accomplish her goal after years of perseverance. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Professional Studies.

Now that she has her degree, Malana has some big plans to give back to those who may be in similar life positions as she once was. She wants to “focus on building a non-profit organization which provides resources for Philadelphia students that exhibit strong potential for success. If I can assist in removing the roadblocks as Peirce College did for me, I believe many more students will have the opportunity to go on to college and follow a road that leads to success.”

We look forward to watching Malana continue to achieve her goals and inspire others to follow an educational journey to success. If you or someone you know is interested in finally achieving your goal of going back to school, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or

Thursday, July 13, 2017

50 never felt so good – Meet Brian Gombert, 2017 Graduate

Brian Gombert took a nontraditional educational path, serving our country immediately following his high school graduation.

“I joined the Navy right out of high school, leaving for boot camp just 11 days after turning 18,” he says.

After completing his six-year enlistment, Brian moved directly into a banking job. He eventually found his way into education, but as most Peirce students can relate, life got in the way.

“Family illnesses, financial responsibilities, buying, then selling my first home – all of these things consumed my time and energy, and my college education moved to the backburner,” says Brian.

But Brian realized he would never be able to move up in his current field if he didn’t return to school. “I became increasingly aware that my chances to advance and be promoted were hindered by my lack of a college degree. One day I decided that I had to take charge of my life and my career. If I wanted to be promoted or get to the next level, I needed a degree,” recalls Brian.

He returned to college at age 41 to earn his associate degree from Gloucester County College in New Jersey. After seven years of persistence and determination, Brian earned his Associate Degree in Business Administration in 2014.

Despite the accomplishment Brian was feeling, he knew he wasn’t done yet. “Once I graduated in May 2014, I knew I wanted to continue on for my bachelor’s degree, but I didn’t want to spend another seven years getting to my goal,” Brian explains.

Brian looked around and found the best fit was Peirce’s adult life-friendly approach to college. “The flexibility of online and in-person classes, coupled with the accelerated pace, offered me the hope that I could achieve my goal of earning my bachelor’s degree by the time I turned 50,” says Brian.

Returning to school as an adult learner may seem like a disadvantage to some, but Brian found it was quite the opposite. “I tell everyone that I was more disciplined and focused as an adult learner. My life experiences, both personally and professionally, allowed me to approach projects and homework assignments from a different vantage point. I achieved better grades as an adult learner, than I ever did in my previous college experiences.”

It was close, but with Peirce’s help, Brian achieved his goal of graduating by age 50. “As fate would have it,” Brian tells us, “my final class was scheduled for August 16, 2016 – my 50th birthday!”

As of June 2017, Brian has officially earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Integrated Leadership. He currently works for Bank of America and hopes to land a new position utilizing his new skills and degree within the company.

Brian shared one final piece for anyone considering going back to school: “Just do it! Don’t wait another minute! It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 50, take that first class. My experience has encouraged me to be a ‘champion’ to other adults considering returning to school. If I can do it, anyone can!”

Congratulations to Brian on all of his accomplishments! If you or anyone you know is considering heading back to school, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Get to know three new Peirce College team members!

When can you get access to student services and advising? All year round at Peirce College! Our large team of enthusiastic advisors are ready to assist students with class registration, tutoring, disability services, and so much more. We recently added three new members and it’s time for you to get to know each one of them:

1. Meet Stephen Bernardini – 

“I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and my Ph.D. in Childhood Studies, both from Rutgers University-Camden. While taking classes at Rutgers, I served as an Academic Advisor. In addition to working at Peirce College, I also teach classes at Rutgers University and Wilmington University. At Peirce, I am the Academic Advisor for the Legal Studies programs, which includes Criminal Justice, Paralegal Studies, and Legal Studies in Business.”

What inspired you to join the Peirce College community?
“I really enjoy working with non-traditional, first-generation students. It’s really inspiring to meet people, learn where they are in their lives and find ways to help them complete their degrees. I was a first-generation student who worked a full-time job and a part-time job while finishing my bachelor’s, so I have a personal investment in helping others who are in similar situations coming from similar backgrounds.”

What advice would you give to students considering returning to school?
“Utilize all of Peirce College’s resources. Do not be afraid to reach out to faculty or staff if you need assistance. Many students constantly apologize for ‘bothering me’—Don’t do that! We want to help you!”

2. Meet Danielle Frank – 

“I joined Peirce College this past May as the Facilitator, Perkins Grant/Student Disabilities Coordinator and an Academic Advisor for Business Administration and Human Resources Management. Prior to my new role at Peirce, I worked in higher education at Arcadia University and Bucks County Community College and interned at Temple University in their Disability Resource Center. I graduated from Holy Family University in 2016 with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in higher education. In 2012, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Sociology from Arcadia University. I recently completed the University of Alabama’s ADA Professional Training Certificate Program regarding workplace accessibility.”

What inspired you to join the Peirce College community?
“The college has experienced over 150 years of success in offering working adults a variety of degree programs and the flexibility of choosing day, evening, weekend and online classes. The programs help students to truly advance in their careers and gives students connections to corporate partners for job opportunities.”

What advice would you give to students considering returning to school?
“First, view to get familiar with the programs and even talk to any friends/coworkers who attend or have graduated from Peirce College. Next, make an appointment to meet in person with the admissions team to get your questions answered, talk about any concerns you may have and take a campus tour. It can sometimes seem overwhelming choosing a major, financing your education and fitting college into your busy life and work schedule. However, our faculty and staff welcome the opportunity to walk you through the process so that you have a rewarding college experience that leads to a fulfilling career.”

3. Meet Tammi Wrice –

“I was born and raised in West Philadelphia and come from a family of nine. In 1977, my family and I moved to the Midwest, where I completed middle and high school and college. I received my Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education from Iowa State University in 1989 and quickly returned to Philadelphia. I’ve been working in higher education for 19 years (12 years Recruitment Health-Related programs and eight years advising) where I’ve worked at several area colleges and universities. In 2005, I received my Master’s of Science in Organizational Development Leadership while working at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Currently, I am a First Year Academic Coach in the Walker Center.”

What inspired you to join the Peirce College community?
“Its approach to students. I think Peirce College gives students a choice. I love our “Executive Style Approach.” Peirce understands that students have to work and go to school, which is recognized in the newest format, Peirce FIT®. This option gives students a choice on how they complete their education week to week.”

What advice would you give to students considering returning to school?
“Please do not think there is a time limit on your education. Build a foundation first (i.e. start out with two classes per session), use all the resources that are provided, and touch base with your advisor frequently.”

Thank you Stephen, Danielle and Tammi! Looking to connect with one of these new team members or any of the Advising and Walker Center team? Contact the Advising Center at or 215.670.9177 or contact the Walker Center for Academic Excellence at or 215.670.9251.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

From Community College of Philadelphia to Peirce College – Meet Efrain Aponte, Jr.

Efrain Aponte, Jr. began college as an 18-year-old traditional student. He aspired to pursue a career in Information Technology, so he took his young and eager mind to the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) to begin working toward a degree. At age 24, after many years of part-time classes, Efrain graduated with his associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems.

Information Technology Degree Recipient Efrain Aponte, Jr.But Efrain struggled with where to go next after graduation. “I found myself contemplating on whether I should either seek employment in my desired program of study, or perhaps enhance/elevate my education,” Efrain recalls. His family and friends advised him to look around and see what colleges were available to him that would be willing to accept his credits from CCP.

That’s when he discovered Peirce College. “I learned that [CCP] had recently partnered with Peirce College in terms of credit transferal, all while finding out that Peirce has a brilliant IT program,” he says. “I spoke with an advisor one week before I registered, and I was delighted to discover that over 95% of my classes/credits from CCP would be transferred.”

That wasn’t all Efrain discovered in his research of Peirce College. “In addition [to the credits transferring], I would also qualify for a scholarship—due to my associate degree—that would eventually aid me per my education.” Knowing this, Efrain felt motivated to continue his education at the age of 25 at Peirce College in the fall of 2014.

Efrain quickly transitioned into Peirce, finding support and flexibility everywhere he looked. “The administration at Peirce College [e.g. faculty, staff, professors, advisors/specialists, students] have guided, assisted, and even molded me towards success in my 2+ year tenure.

“Peirce (re)introduced me to online classes/learning, and with their recently implemented 'Peirce Fit' format, it enabled me to decide if I wanted to enjoy the pleasures of on-campus learning, or learning while embracing the comforts of my own home.”

After starting his educational journey as a traditional-aged student, Efrain could see how different going to college was as a working adult learner. “By the age of 25 and with a job [two in 2016, thanks to the work-study program at Peirce], I did notice that things were clearly different; it was a little more challenging to handle both work and school,” he says.

But Efrain didn’t let the challenge of work/school balance get in his way. Just a few weeks ago, he graduated from Peirce College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration and Information Security, while also receiving the Margaret Obozian Excellence in Writing Award at Commencement.

Efrain found his path by continuing his education and earning his bachelor’s degree, but not without taking many days and nights to deliberate over all his options. He advises anyone who is considering going back to school to “see if they have online learning [options], rather than [just] traditional on-campus education, which could optimize your chances of managing work/children/responsibilities alongside school. This way, you can perform your respective duties throughout the day, and then prepare to partake in your collegiate duties during, say, the evening and/or on weekends.”

Congratulations to Efrain Aponte, Jr. on graduation and his award! We look forward to watching him continue to soar into the Information Technology field.

If you wish to begin your educational journey or continue on, like Efrain did, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or Or if you’re interested in learning more about the partnership between CCP and Peirce College, contact Tom Tschop at 215.670.9203 or

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First, newlyweds – now, Peirce College graduates

Having a support system is vital when heading back to school as an adult learner. And for Melissa and Brian Phillips, their support system was right by their side as they attended class.

In 2013, Brian Phillips was beginning to mentally prepare himself to head back to school. He knew that he would need to achieve a degree in order to advance from his current role. That’s when Brian met Melissa. Melissa had already obtained her associate degree from Harrisburg Area Community College, but she had done it 10 years prior, so, she too had been thinking of returning to school. As the sparks flew, so did the ambition. The couple decided to challenge one another to go back to school and finally earn the bachelor’s degrees they had always wanted.

Brian heard of Peirce College through fellow co-workers and service members of the PA Army National Guard, so he encouraged Melissa to become a fellow classmate and attend Peirce together. They both chose programs based on their current positions. For Melissa, that meant the Business Administration program, which complimented her current work as an Operations Manager at The Hershey Company. Brian, meanwhile, went with the Information Technology program to compliment his current work as a Network Administrator for the PA Army National Guard.

Peirce College adult learners Melissa and Brian PhillipsMelissa and Brian knew going back to school as adult learners would not be easy, but with the help of Peirce College they were able to make it work. “With working full-time jobs, we both needed a school where we could take classes online at our own pace,” said Melissa. “As we began taking classes, we quickly realized how helpful and knowledgeable the professors were and how pleasant the learning environment was. Both of these [factors] made our experience extremely enjoyable.”

In addition to the professors and the learning environment, the couple expressed their gratitude for one another during the entire process. “It’s been great having the support of someone else going through the same thing at the same time,” recalled Brian. “It is easier to focus on your tasks when the person you are spending your life with is doing the same. It allows a couple to not be a distraction to each other, but more of a support system.”

Throughout their college experience, Melissa and Brian grew to be more than just a classroom support system for one another. They officially tied the knot on March 26, 2016. Following marriage, the couple was only a little over a year away from another great milestone – college graduation. As of June 8, 2017, both Melissa and Brian became official Peirce College graduates, earning their bachelor’s degrees. As they passed that milestone, a new one came into view. Melissa and Brian are expecting their first child October 2017!

Everyone at Peirce College is excited for all that Melissa and Brian have accomplished, individually and as a couple. We wish them nothing but the best for all of their future adventures as husband and wife, college graduates, and soon-to-be parents.

If you or someone you know is ready to advance in their current career by earning a degree like Melissa and Brian did, connect with an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9214 or to learn how you can take the first step to making your dream reality.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Meet the team behind the money - Student Financial Services

Scholarships, grants and filing the FAFSA can be intimidating steps of the college process, but here at Peirce College we have a knowledgeable and eager team who are ready to answer and assist with all of your financial questions and needs. Take some time to learn a little about each team member of the Student Financial Services department, so you know who to talk with to get the help you need to succeed.

Ruthann Wyatt, Director, Student Financial Services
Phone Number: 215.670.9332
Peirce College Family Member For: 17 Years
Who She Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team

Cherita Brown, Manager, Student Financial Services
Phone Number: 215.670.9195
Peirce College Family Member For: 23 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with A and B

Hannah McKeever, Financial Aid Specialist
Phone Number: 215.670.9011
Peirce College Family Member For: About 2 Weeks
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with C through G and all Year Up

Joe Valentin, Financial Aid Specialist
Phone Number: 215.670.9354
Peirce College Family Member For: 5 Months
Who He Works With: Students whose last names begin with H-M

Charlotte Murphy, Financial Aid Specialist
Phone Number: 215.670.9172
Peirce College Family Member For: 9 Months
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with N-V

Ashley McLaughlin, Student Financial and Veterans Specialist 
Phone Number: 215.670.9184
Peirce College Family Member For: 5 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with W through Z, and all Military

Desiree Hernandez, Manager, Student Billing
Phone Number: 215.670.9289
Peirce College Family Member For: Over 17 Years
Who She Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team

Wanda Phillips, Student Billing Processor 
Phone Number: 215.670.9227
Peirce College Family Member For: 7 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with A-L

Cindy Major, Student Financial Services Associate 
Phone Number: 215.670.9222
Peirce College Family Member For: Over 11 Years
Who She Works With: Students whose last names begin with M-Z

Aithen Wesleyan, Financial Aid Technical Specialist
Phone Number: 215.670.9229
Peirce College Family Member For: 6 Months
Who He Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team

Priscilla Maxwell, Accounts Receivable Temp
Phone Number: 215.670.9148
Peirce College Family Member For: 6 Months
Who She Works With: The Entire Student Financial Services Team

For more information on Tuition and Financial Aid, visit, call 215.670.9600 or email

Friday, June 9, 2017

Commencement 2017 – Relive the moments!

“I want you to celebrate what you have done. Nobody else did this, you did it. That’s incredible!” – Dr. Monica Malpass at Peirce College’s 152nd Commencement Ceremony

Last night was filled with inspirational stories, special recognition, and a whole lot of celebration. If you were not able to join us at this year’s commencement, please take some time to view the video below of this remarkable event. This includes award presentations; speeches from President Mergiotti, Dr. Monica Malpass, and student speaker Ramona Watson; remarks from Peirce College Alumni Association President Barry James; and more! If you want to jump to a specific part to watch, check out the full list of timestamps below to find the moment you want to view:


0:00:00 – Pre-Commencement Slideshow
1:06:22 – Processional
1:16:43 – Opening, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement
1:17:29 – National Anthem, sung by Peirce Voice 2017 Winner, Natasha Moore
1:19:14 – Opening Continued, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement
1:26:49 – Salute, James J. Mergiotti, President & CEO
1:38:49 – Introduction of Student Speaker, Dr. Cathy Littlefield
1:40:00 – Class of 2017 Student Address, Ramona Watson ‘17
1:49:52 – Introduction of Keynote Speaker, Andre Brown ‘17
1:51:29 – Address to the Graduates, Monica Malpass, Keynote Speaker
2:05:37 – Conferring of Honorary Degree, Barbara A. Prutzman, Chair, Peirce College Board of Trustees
2:07:40 – Presentation of the 2017 Hamilton Award
2:10:55 – Presentation of Special Student Awards
2:24:15 – Roll Call of Candidates
2:25:00 – Master of Science, Organizational Leadership & Management
2:26:58 – Bachelor of Science, Accounting
2:28:57 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Business Administration
2:37:48 – Bachelor of Science, Human Resources Management
2:39:06 – Bachelor of Science, Integrated Leadership
2:41:16 – Bachelor of Science, Healthcare Administration
2:43:42 – Bachelor of Science, Health Information Administration
2:45:00 – Associate in Science, Health Information Technology
2:46:11 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Information Technology
2:49:07 – Bachelor of Science, Technology Management  
2:50:06 – Associate in Arts, General Studies
2:51:57 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Post-Bachelor Certificate of Proficiency, Paralegal Studies
2:56:52 – Bachelor of Science, Legal Studies in Business
2:57:34 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Criminal Justice Studies
3:00:52 – Recognition of 152nd Class, James J. Mergiotti, President & CEO
3:03:54 – Introduction to Alumni Association, Barry James ‘07, President, Peirce Alumni Association
3:05:16 – Congratulations & Recessional, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Advancement

Congratulations, once again, to the Class of 2017! We are so proud of everything each of you has accomplished, and we can’t wait to hear about all of your future successes. Best of luck to all of you and don’t forget to come back and visit – you’ll always have a home at Peirce.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Inspired By Her Children, Trina Went Back to School at Peirce

Everyone has their own reasons for returning to school as a working adult learner. For Trina Wallace, it was about becoming a positive role model for her children and finally pursuing her dream of opening her own nonprofit agency for youths and singles.

Trina will graduate on June 8th with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Small Business Entrepreneurship. She currently works full-time for a nonprofit agency serving homeless and other low-income families in West Philadelphia. When her job and her children inspired her to pursue her dream of taking the first steps to owning her own agency one day, Trina went back to school.

Trina says she’s “always had a love for learning. I love being well-informed about [a variety] of things to better help others, my family and myself.

Adult learner and 2017 Peirce College Graduate, Trina Wallace“At 16, I became a mother, and by 18 I was the mother of two. It has always been important to me to model the behavior I wanted my children to live by. I’ve always told them that education was the key to opening up any door they wanted to walk through. I felt hypocritical trying to encourage them to do things that I had not yet done. That was my driving force to return to school as an adult.”

Trina found Peirce College through an online search for an adult learning program, “I had found many schools that offered partial online, partial classroom programs. I gravitated to Peirce when I found out I could get my entire degree online.” Trina didn’t have to worry about the fact that she lived in Virginia and Peirce is in Philadelphia. She could enjoy the comfort of home while earning her degree.

In addition to the convenience, Trina found another benefit to learning fully online: it strengthened some of her soft skills. “My Peirce education has both strengthened and tested my commitment, dedication and self-discipline,” she says. “Those skills can take individuals anywhere they want to go in life. In my opinion, the most valuable part of earning a degree is that you prove your ability to stick with a task to completion, despite the various obstacles that may present themselves.”

Those various obstacles that Trina spoke about can come in all shapes and sizes. In Trina’s case, she was, “juggling a full-time job, managing properties independently as a second job, running a household and parenting two teens/young adults while attending school.”

She adds that “When you see an older adult return to school, immediately you can look at them and know they really want it! Something has transpired in their life to make returning to school a necessity.”

Trina knew her educational journey would not be easy, but she knew it would be worth it. “There will be some sacrifices [you] must make, but the pride [you] will feel after meeting such a challenging goal will be unmatched.

“When a person can navigate through this world we live in with that kind of pride and self-confidence, then they have already won. The world’s doors just open for people like that.”

Peirce congratulates Trina on finishing one leg of her journey and beginning the new road pursuing her dreams of owning her own nonprofit agency. We’re looking forward to one day seeing her agency providing housing and life skills services for youths and singles.

If you or someone you know is ready to pursue their dream like Trina did, connect with an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or to learn how you can take the first step to making your dream reality.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Get to know our 2017 Student Commencement Speaker - Ramona Watson

It’s officially one of our favorite months at Peirce College. Why do we love June so much? Because it holds our favorite event of the year: Commencement! This year, we’ll be honoring some of our 2017 graduates on the blog throughout the entire summer. To start things off, 2017 Student Commencement Speaker Ramona Watson shares her journey to graduation.

Peirce College 2017 Student Commencement SpeakerRamona will be graduating on June 8th, 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Ramona came back to school after realizing that the world was changing around her. She needed to “step it up a notch” if she was going to continue to succeed and move up in the workforce. Ramona says she chose her specific program “because it was in the direct line of work that I currently do for the City of Philadelphia. I felt that it could not only make me a better manager, but make me more marketable in the workplace, as well.”

So, what inspired her to return to school at Peirce College as an adult?

“I had seen a lot of advertisements for Peirce College [while] living in the area, but had often passed [them] by,” she recalls. “I decided I wanted to be a better role model for my children, so I eventually overcame my fears enough to make the decision to go back to school; I decided to give Peirce a try.”

Ramona’s desire to be a better role model certainly paid off. Her two daughters, Renee Martin and Brenda Eldridge, both attended Peirce College at the same time as their mother! Renee had the same business passion as her mother, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Brenda, on the other hand, had a different passion and majored in Criminal Justice. Ramona found this family connection rewarding and enjoyable through her college years.

“We were mother and daughter(s) as well as classmates. With our busy schedules, it allowed us to spend more time together and catch up regularly. We really relished in our Starbuck’s coffee breaks.”

The greatest part of attending school with her daughters was the support system they provided one another. “Whenever we saw each other or spoke on the phone, we always discussed school,” says Ramona. “We often collaborated on ideas for group projects and assignments as well as helped each other out when one of us did not understand any part of our schoolwork. Most importantly, whenever someone spoke of taking a break, the others [were] there to encourage her to continue.”

During Ramona’s Peirce experience, she had a lot of positive encounters, especially with the faculty. “What I valued the most were my professors and the amount of support, understanding, and enthusiasm they exhibited while extending their knowledge to me. I was amazed at how knowledgeable and secure they were in their craft. There were a few professors that I thought were a bit tough, but I’ve now come to realize that they challenged me on another level. I am so grateful to them for pushing me to excel and be greater than I thought I ever could be.”

Coming back to school as a working adult learner can be intimidating, but Ramona has some words of encouragement for anyone considering heading back to school: “I encourage my adult learners to step out on faith. Being an adult learner means that you have been around longer and have really already picked up on some of the skills that you will need to be a better student.

“At this stage of the game, adult learners are usually more focused on a specific career or are enhancing on the career that they already possess. Be prepared to excel and be great; a greatness that can only come from being a well-oiled machine in the form of a seasoned adult learner.”

You can hear more from Ramona Watson when she speaks at Peirce’s 152nd Commencement Ceremony. Don’t miss her crossing the stage with her two daughters as they all become official Peirce College Graduates on June 8th at 6:45pm in the Kimmel Center.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Peirce College welcomes three new full-time faculty members

Peirce College is yet again growing in its family through the addition of three new full-time faculty members: Professor Christopher Nosal, Assistant Professor, English and General Education, Professor Erin Rybicki, Associate Professor, Legal Studies, and Professor John-Patrick Schultz, Associate Professor, General Studies. We asked each of them a few questions, so we can all get to know our newest educators at Peirce College.

Welcome to Peirce! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Professor Nosal: I have my BA in English and an MA in Creating Writing/English from Temple University. I began my career in higher education working with both Dr. Charlene Glenn and Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts in the Walker Center back before it was even called the Walker Center. After working at Peirce, I worked at Saint Joseph’s University for 13 years running and teaching in the University’s Passport Program for conditionally admitted freshmen. Most recently, I was the Director of the Learning Assessment and Support Center at Valley Forge Military College, where I taught first year seminars, supervised tutoring and other academic support programs, provided testing and disabilities support, and even administered placement testing. I have taught courses as a part-time faculty member at Peirce College for 20 years and I am excited to now be a Peirce College full-time faculty member continuing to teach English, Communications and Humanities.

Professor Rybicki: I am a lawyer licensed in New Jersey, and a life-long New Jersey resident. For more than a decade I have taught and managed Legal Studies programs, and I really enjoy focusing on teaching excellence and managing the American Bar Association approval standards. I am an active member of AAfPE (American Association for Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies) and I enjoy writing and researching on topics pertaining to Legal Studies. I especially enjoy teaching courses in Career Development and Legal Ethics. I have a Juris Doctor degree from Delaware Law School and a bachelor's degree from Rowan University. In addition, I have my Master’s in Education Foundations from Widener University. I plan to continue my education towards my Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) with a focus on Teaching and Leadership in the fall. Now, you can find me teaching Legal Studies courses at Peirce College.

Professor Schultz: Before graduate school, I went to La Salle University -- I graduated in 2006 with a BA in philosophy and religion. Then, I served as a Lasallian Volunteer high school teacher in Yakima, Washington for a year, coming back to earn my Master's and PhD in philosophy at Villanova University. Now, as a full-time faculty member at Peirce College, I teach (among other things) all the courses in philosophy: HUM 102, "Introduction to Philosophy," HUM 275, "Ethics and Leadership," HUM 300, "Great Thinkers," and COM 312, "Critical Reasoning.”

What inspired you to become a professor?

Professor Nosal: My professors during my undergraduate inspired me to teach. I respected their lives outside of work and their creative and intellectual pursuits too. They were just interesting people, and as a first generation college student from a working class family, they opened up a new way of thinking to me. I could be a blue collar scholar and a writer! During my first teaching experience at Peirce, I was lucky to work with some great, seasoned instructors and some young professionals who were full of enthusiasm and creativity. I continuously try to make the classroom fun because it makes me happy, but it also makes students feel comfortable and valued as people.

Professor Rybicki:
In the sixth grade, I was asked to write what I wanted to be when I grow up. I am not quite sure that I knew what it meant to be a professor at the time, but I wrote that I wanted to be a lawyer and a teacher. Oddly enough, that is exactly what I am today. I absolutely love being a professor, and I consider myself so very lucky to be able to do my dream job.

Professor Schultz: Before I went to college, I had this idea that education was more or less boring. It always seemed like the goal was to cram our heads with facts and figures so that we can perform well on tests. But then in college, it became really clear to me that education can be something completely different. I remember so clearly now that after a few of my classes I walked away thinking, "Wait, I never thought about that. Now I'm not sure what I believe!" I started to see that teaching, specifically teaching philosophy, can be a way to not just go through the motions of our lives like well-oiled machines; it can actually be like a wrench thrown into the machines that stops them for a minute, so we can start asking why we're doing what we're doing, why the world is the way it is. Once I figured this out I knew I needed to be a philosophy professor.

What advice would you give to potential students who are thinking of coming back to school, but may be intimidated by the idea of doing homework, schoolwork, tests, etc. again?

Professor Nosal:
Having seen my wife return to school and do an MA when she was close to 40 years old, I would say that it is important to communicate with your family and get the support of everyone who cares about you. They will help you make time to get your work done if they know this goal is important to you. Also, find a workspace and a time of day where you know you can be productive. Communicate to your family and peers that you will need this space and time to be successful. Don’t forget to keep in mind that the piece of paper, the diploma, comes at the end of a long journey, so you have to get in the mindset to enjoy process, even English 103 or Statistics!

Professor Rybicki: I always encourage my students and potential students to work with their academic advisors to formulate a plan that works best for their lives. Each student is different. Many students have family and work obligations, so working with their advisor will allow them to select the right course load for them. I, also, encourage potential students to explore the many resources offered by the Walker Center at Peirce College. The Walker Center offers training and tutoring that allow students to excel in their courses through targeted academic support. By carefully planning a course of study, students will find that completing their degree is much more manageable and can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Professor Schultz: A big task like going back to college is really scary. But I think a lot of people sell themselves short. They can sometimes forget how smart and powerful they are. So I hope folks can start to see the ability and potential they have. And that's something that we want to help with. I hope people know just how much the faculty and staff want to help students bring out all their inner brilliance. It's not as scary when you remember all the support system you have here and when you remember just how powerful you can be.

Thank you, professors! Keep an eye out for Professor Nosal, Professor Rybicki and Professor Schultz in the classroom and around campus.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Congratulations to Professor Kate Watson on her most recent accomplishment!

I am proud to announce that Professor Kate Watson has written and published a chapter for the SAGE Encyclopedia of Clinical and Abnormal Psychology. Along with her co-author, Scott Glassman, Professor Watson contributed a piece about Motivational Interviewing, an internationally-recognized counseling technique which emphasizes evidence-base strategies for helping people change their habits. Although Motivational Interviewing is a set of skills commonly utilized by social workers, psychologists, physicians and nurses, this technique is gaining traction among correctional officers, probation officers, police officers, and victim advocates. These skills can be useful for anyone who is aiming to help others behave in healthy ways, make good decisions, or live a happy life.

Do you know someone who is battling a bad habit, or who struggles to make changes? Communicating with that person in a MI-consistent manner is likely to uncover their intrinsic motivations to improve their behaviors. The key is: you have to help the person make their own arguments in favor of change, rather than asking him or her to explain reasons not to change.

Here is an example: Rather than asking, “Why do you think you struggle so much to quit smoking?” you might ask a person, “What do you think you stand to gain, if you quit smoking?” Motivational Interviewing emphasizes that a person must be motivated by their own intrinsic values to resolve uncertainty about changing habits. Using skills like open ended questions, reflective listening, and affirmative statements, people who use Motivational Interviewing are likely to find that their clients, patients, students, or loved-ones are more likely to feel motivated to make changes in their lives (quitting smoking, studying harder, paying down debt, eating healthy foods, taking medication, etc.).

Professor Watson has grown her own skills in Motivational Interviewing by participating in the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). Every year, she meets with MI practitioners from all around the world at an annual forum. If you are interested in learning more about Motivational Interviewing, I encourage you to visit

Please join me in congratulating Professor Watson on her accomplishments!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Learning Burst Part Four: Positive Outlook

Partners since 2008, Beneficial Bank and Peirce College collaborated to bring a series of self-improvement Learning Bursts to Beneficial employees. The final topic, Positive Outlook, was presented on May 9th by expert facilitators Cathy Littlefield, Ed.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Business Programs and Sharon Thompsonowak, Director of Career Development Services.

Thompsonowak began by sharing the helpful effects a positive outlook can have in the workplace such as a reduction in work-related stress and an increase in work productivity. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, researchers have found a positive outlook directly benefits your health and makes you less vulnerable to life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Sounds great, but how do you maintain a positive outlook?

According to Littlefield, one approach is to consciously and consistently turn negatives into positives. Her suggestions on how to do this included:
  • Do good things for other people
  • Appreciate the world around you
  • Develop and bolster relationships
  • Learn something new
  • Establish goals that can be accomplished
  • Choose to accept yourself, flaws and all
  • Practice resilience
  • Practice mindfulness
Littlefield went on to share ten ways to create a positive outlook, including:
  1. Smile and laugh 
  2. Help others unselfishly
  3. Eliminate your ego
  4. Show gratitude
  5. Set goals
  6. Train your mind to focus on more positive thoughts
  7. Surround yourself with positive people
  8. Be persistent and find the positive in all situations
  9. Work out and eat right
  10. Listen to your favorite music
Although these suggestions may seem straightforward, when practiced consistently they can have practical and significant results.

Thompsonowak concluded the session by emphasizing the direct correlation between outlook and perception. How you perceive the world around you directly impacts your overall outlook and attitude. If you choose to see the opportunity in every problem and the lesson in every setback, you’ll create a positive outlook for yourself moving forward. In time, your conscious decisions to remain positive will become your natural, default reactions when confronted with stressful situations.

Peirce College was thrilled to provide this self-improvement Learning Burst series to Beneficial employees and looks forward to opportunities to collaborate and expand our growing partnership in the future.

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Announcing the 2017 Commencement Speaker – Monica Malpass

It’s our favorite time of year - Commencement 2017 is only a month away. And to kick off this time of celebration, today I am happy to announce Peirce’s 2017 Commencement Speaker:

Monica Malpass, co-anchor of Action News at 5 p.m.!

For more than three decades, Monica has worked as an anchor and reporter for television networks in Philadelphia and throughout North Carolina. She has covered every U.S. Presidential election since 1988, as well as high profile events, such as: the Inaugurations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton; the plane crash of John F. Kennedy, Jr.; the funeral of Princess Diana in London; and the Eagles’ Super Bowl appearance in 2005. Monica has also conducted interviews with such high profile figures as Hillary Clinton; Vice Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman; Governors Ed Rendell and Tom Ridge; Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum; UPI White House Correspondent Helen Thomas; political analyst George Stephanopoulos; and numerous other state and national representatives.

Throughout her career, Monica has won numerous awards, including Best Female Newscaster by Main Line Today and Broadcaster of the Year by Women in Communications.

Monica received a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Villanova University; a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; was a Rotary Scholar to the University of Puerto Rico; and has an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Neumann College.

Please join me in welcoming Monica Malpass to our 152nd Commencement Ceremony on June 8th!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Congratulations to our 2017 Peirce Voice Winner – Natasha Moore!

The votes are in! The people have spoken! We are proud to announce this year’s Peirce Voice Winner: Natasha Moore. As the winner, Natasha will be singing the National Anthem at this year’s 152nd Commencement Ceremony on June 8th at the Kimmel Center.

Want to know more about our winner? Read below to learn a little about Natasha’s educational journey, life experiences and her passion for singing!

“I am a North Philadelphia native who grew up in the Philadelphia Parochial School System. I attended J. W. Hallahan High School and immediately moved on to LaSalle University where I completed my freshman year of college. Due to personal finances and needing to take care of my mother on a more full-time basis, I took a hiatus from school and entered the workforce. I landed a position as a temp for the Philadelphia Gas Works as an Administrative Assistant within the Human Resources Department.

I grew a love for Human Resources while working for PGW within their HR Department; so much that I decided to return to school and complete the pursuit of my Bachelor`s Degree in Human Resource Management. Peirce College has a great partnership with PGW so of course Peirce was my school of choice. I enrolled and was honored to be the recipient of the Presidential Scholarship! In 2015, I was offered a full-time position with PGW as the HR Coordinator while continuing my studies with Peirce College. My anticipated graduation year is 2018.

My passion for singing has been strong ever since I was a 5-year-old little girl. I have recently decided to take my talent more seriously, which led me to audition for Peirce Voice. I am so appreciative of The Peirce Voice Committee for providing an opportunity for me to take my talent to the stage. I look forward to growing in my singing experience by performing the National Anthem at Peirce College’s Commencement Ceremony.”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Join us to Celebrate, Inspire, Network and Honor!

When I arrived at Peirce College over seven years ago, I felt the unexpected pull of something intangible, palpable, and welcoming. I felt it when I entered the lobby and watched students interact with faculty and staff as I waited for my interview to begin. I felt it in the invitation I would eventually receive to join the Peirce team. Over time, I found it evergreen, ever present--showing itself in the daily encounters I would have with my colleagues.

Today, I still feel that same something, that warmth and energy, and I try to ensure that those I work with-- students, alumni, colleagues and partners, feel it as well. Only now, I have learned its proper name. It is a deeply-seeded Peirce connectedness.

Peirce College prides itself on the wonderful relationships built between all members of the Peirce community: alumni, students, corporate partners, trustees, friends of Peirce, and more! To celebrate this culture of connectedness, we’re introducing a new event this year called Peirce Talks – a celebration of connections, people, purpose and possibility.

We will celebrate the connections that define who we are and the mission we have embraced for more than 151 years – serving the education and workforce needs of non-traditional learners, communities, and employers.

We will be inspired by the personal stories of the women and men whose professional and personal lives have been transformed by their Peirce College experience and the relationships they’ve built within and beyond Peirce College walls.

We will network, socialize and, maybe even dance if we are so inclined during the festive reception with members of the Peirce community at the home of one of our neighbors and partners, The University of the Arts.

We will honor the choice for change that our students, alumni, friends and employers have made by partnering with Peirce.

Join us for the event of the year on Monday, May 15th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the University of the Arts, Dorrance Hamilton Hall, Broad and Pine Streets, Philadelphia.

Tickets are limited so visit now to reserve your spot!

Friday, April 28, 2017

CBE is right for Sam Rennix, is it right for you?

Sam Rennix, an IT professional with Penn Medicine, knew it was time to return to college when Penn began requiring bachelor’s degrees for employees wanting to move into more advanced positions. That’s when Sam discovered Peirce College’s competency-based education (CBE) program – the most direct path to a college degree.
Competency-based-education student Sam Rennix
Peirce’s competency-based education degree allows Sam to leverage the IT skills and knowledge he already has by taking final exams to prove his competencies and earn credits as soon as he’s ready. As a CBE student, he can also receive credit for previous industry certifications earned and/or college courses he completed before coming to Peirce. So instead of spending a lot of time on ancillary and lower-level courses, CBE students like Sam focus on the skills they actually need to succeed in their career.

“It’s all been very oriented around the degree I’m going for and what I do professionally. All the knowledge I’ve acquired has been helpful in my day-to-day job and helped me understand how things work in the background and the infrastructure of our system on top of just working toward my degree.

“So, I would say the classes themselves are high-quality [and relevant]. They’re very specific to what I need to learn, and that’s what I like about that. I didn’t like when I [previously] went to regular college you had to do basket weaving and stuff just to take credits.”

On top of avoiding basket weaving and focusing on learning career-related IT competencies, Sam is able to move through the program at his own pace. That’s because CBE students can earn as many college credits as they’re able to per session for one flat fee. For that reason, Sam’s advice to anyone thinking about earning their IT degree through Peirce’s competency-based education program is not to procrastinate.

“You have 12 weeks in your course. Don’t wait until week nine to get going because you have the freedom to do that,” he says. “You’ll end up stressed out and fall behind.”

To that end, Sam is hoping to spend 2017 earning extra college credits toward his degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration and Information Security. He’s off to a good start after knocking out seven credits during the first semester in the program.

Going forward, Sam hopes to earn 15 credits per 12-week session while still working full time at Penn. And not a single one of those credits will have anything to do with weaving baskets.

If you’re interested in learning more about Peirce’s competency-based education program, visit or reach out to Heather DeRitis, CBE Enrollment Specialist, at 215.670.9124 or