Thursday, November 30, 2017

Peirce’s Competency-Based Education Program Is Just What Malik Hadi Needed

Malik Hadi had landed his dream job working in Information Technology for the City of Philadelphia. He started to grow in the organization and position but came to a shocking realization one day when he began interviewing new potential employees.

During interviews, Malik asked about experience, certifications and degrees, yet when he took a step back, he realized he himself didn’t hold the degree he was looking for in the candidates.

“I interview new hires where I always ask about certifications and degrees and there I was…without a degree,” says Malik. “So for the younger people coming into IT, it is considered important for them to have a degree, so I knew it needed to be important to me, as well.”

This was a moment of truth. A moment when Malik decided it was time to return to school.

Malik had always wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree. He attended college at the traditional age for a little over a year, but he wasn’t quite ready to complete his degree just yet. “You come to a point where you completely lose focus and track of what you want to do. I didn’t devote the attention to the work it needed,” says Malik of his first college experience.

Now in his second time around, he knows he’s ready. Malik just needed to find the right school to fit his work and life balance. He has a wife and a 5 year old, so he needed some form of flexibility with his education. He found it at Peirce College.

Thanks to a fellow co-worker, Malik was introduced to Peirce’s Competency-Based Education (CBE) program where he would be able to do all his work online while being rewarded for his current work experience and IT knowledge.

“CBE works with my work schedule, and with having a family at home it’s really hard for me to attend class at a physical location, so CBE was perfect,” said Malik.

In addition to learning online, the ability to earn as many credits as he wants per semester has been extremely helpful for Malik. “Life can throw curve balls. Last year, I could fly through a lot of credits, but this semester is a little heavier with life, so I am taking it a bit slower. The flexibility of CBE allows for this.”

Malik also appreciates how practical the lessons he’s learning are. “The stuff that I am learning with CBE is stuff I am doing directly at work,” he says, “but taking the classes has allowed for me to dive deeper into the subject and learn even the smallest bit of information that I may have not gained elsewhere.”

Malik knew returning to college as a nontraditional student wouldn’t be easy, but for him, personally, he knew this time around was the best fit. He says going to school as an adult has its advantages. “You have the ability and desire to concentrate, read, write, etc. You have the ability to motivate yourself. I wasn’t able to do that in my younger ages. I wanted to live life back then and not stay in class.”

Now, Malik is earning more credits each semester than he’d be able to with traditional college classes. He’s getting closer and closer to that end goal of graduation. Malik advises other adults in similar situations to consider going back to school, especially if you want to move up. “You will be stuck without the degree. It will be hard to move. It depends on how far you want to go in your career, but if you want to continue up, you need a degree.”.

Malik has found success with the competency-based education program, and you can, too. To learn more, visit peirce.edu/cbe or reach out to me, Christa Donato, CBE Coach, at 215.670.9492 or cdonato@peirce.edu today.