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

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