Friday, April 20, 2018

A Family Memory Turned Into A New Career Path

Vanarath Chan, or Lily, as she likes to be called, is similar to many Peirce College students in that she has a very unique background. But, unlike many Peirce College students, Lily is originally from Cambodia and speaks several different languages. When Lily moved to the United States just four short years ago, she did not sit back and slowly transition into her new surroundings. Instead, she jumped right in and enrolled at The Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) eager to further her education.

Lily originally thought she’d like to become a veterinarian due to her love of animals, but when she started classes at CCP, her path started to change. Lily began to recall memories of how much she had enjoyed helping her uncle in his law office in Cambodia where she assisted him in translating patient files into English. She took those memories and decided to find a career, which would allow for her to continue doing what she loved. That’s when Lily found the Paralegal program.

As Lily describes, her two years at CCP flew by and she commends CCP for providing her with a wonderful foundation in legal studies. The more Lily learned about the field, the more that immigration law interested her, and Lily now says that she hopes she can someday work as an immigration lawyer helping people go through the same process she once experienced. “Many Cambodians and other Asians need facts about immigration and help in getting their families over to the United States, and I would love to turn that into a career,” Lily says.

When discussing her transition to Peirce College, Lily said it seemed like the perfect fit for her. The Dual Admissions program was a huge selling point in addition to the close proximity to CCP. Once she came in for a visit and met with Peirce College’s International Student Enrollment Specialist, Kieu Tran, she found out that Peirce’s Paralegal Studies program was also American Bar Association approved, and her mind was made.

The only real challenge she had to overcome when she started classes at Peirce College was adjusting to evening classes instead of the day classes she typically took at CCP.

“I just had to get used to doing all of my school work during the day and then attending class at night, which was the opposite of what I was doing at CCP. Once I got the hang of it, I was fine,” explained Lily.

Lily does take advantage of the Peirce Fit® format and attends class online from time to time, but only if she cannot make it in to the campus. “I really prefer coming in for classes so I can get to know my instructors and have all of my questions answered right away,” said Lily, “But it is great to know that I can complete a class online if I can’t make it in.”

When she’s not attending classes at Peirce College or preparing for a career in Immigration Law, Lily’s favorite hobbies are working with animals and traveling. She’s been all over Asia and recently visited Australia, and looks forward to taking more international trips in the future. We wish Lily luck in all over her educational and professional endeavors!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Partnerships, today at 215.670.9203 or

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

From the Dominican Republic to Peirce College – Meet Anabel Salce

At the young age of 19 years old, Anabel Salce traveled from the Dominican Republic to America with just her parents and a whole lot of dreams. Not knowing much English, she decided to set a goal of learning the language to make her parents (and herself!) proud. Not only did Anabel learn English fluently, she also has excelled academically and was awarded a top honor in the process.

Anabel started her journey in America by immediately entering the workforce. She spent her days working in a factory where she was given some of the toughest jobs. One day, she stopped and realized she had bigger dreams to accomplish and she was not living her best life. That night, she went home to her mother and said she had decided it was time to return to school.

As Anabel put it, “My factory job inspired me to make ‘I’ll go back to school later’ into ‘I’ll go back to school NOW.’”

Immediately following this new dream, she enrolled at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). Anabel always knew she wanted to be in the medical field, but she wasn’t sure which path was for her just yet. After taking some classes, she discovered becoming a medical assistant was what she really wanted to do.

Anabel said, “I love helping people. Working with patients is so fulfilling. I get the chance to work with them and make a difference on a daily basis.”

After graduating from CCP in 2013, she wanted to keep going in order to continue learning and growing into her desired career. Thanks to a fellow colleague, Peirce College came into the conversation right away.

“[My colleague] told me about the flexibility, online classes and the working adult environment that Peirce had to offer. She was currently a student and loved her experience, so encouraged me to enroll,” explained Anabel. “[My colleague] was working two jobs while attending school, so I figured if she could do that, I could certainly balance one job with school.”

Next thing Anabel knew, she was a Peirce student pursuing her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology. Following this successful journey, she wasn’t quite done yet. Anabel wanted her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration and, having had such a pleasant experience with the first degree, she knew it’d be a natural transition to keep right on going with earning her bachelor’s at Peirce.

“The flexibility of being able to choose each week whether to be in class or online – Peirce Fit® – has been extremely helpful,” explained Anabel on her Peirce experience. “Additionally, all the students in class have similar goals, motivation and priorities. I love the small college environment where you get to know everyone and you feel supported by tons of people.”

In addition to the benefits experienced at Peirce, Anabel also received benefits through her employer, Penn Medicine. As a corporate partner of Peirce College, all Penn Medicine employees, such as Anabel, receive an additional 25% off tuition on top of their generous company tuition benefit.

As Anabel continues chasing her dreams, Peirce College is not the only one recognizing Anabel for her perseverance, dedication and honorable goals. Recently, Anabel was a proud recipient of the prestigious 2018 Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Paradigm Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship that is awarded annually to women in the workforce who are working toward an undergraduate degree.

Anabel said, “At first, I wasn’t even going to apply for the scholarship. I didn’t think much of it as I didn’t expect to win. Then, my Academic Advisor, Holly Tillery, continued to encourage me by sending me the application via email over and over again. Finally, I applied and I am so glad I did because it was truly an honor to win.”

At the official award ceremony, Anabel, along with the other scholarship recipients, were recognized by keynote speaker, Wendy Hamilton, General Manager, Sugar House Casino, as inspirational role models for all working women.

Anabel reflected on her recognition and said, “I want to be an example for other Hispanic people who come from another country. I want to inspire them and let them know that it is possible to readjust to the new culture, language, education system, etc. There are good jobs out there for us. You can do it!”

Anabel is currently a Clinical Medical Assistant in the Dermatology Oncology Surgery Department at Penn Medicine. She hopes to stay with the company and continue to grow in her division and field to reach her top potential.

Peirce College is honored to serve a student like Anabel who shows that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. We are so proud of Anabel and wish her nothing but success as she continues to chase her dreams!

Peirce College and Penn Medicine have been valued partners since 2014. Penn Medicine 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 Steve Bird, Program Manager, Institutional Partnerships, at or 215.670.9375.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Second Annual Peirce Voice Voting Is Open!

Voting is now open! Are you ready to help decide who will be the Second Annual Peirce Voice winner?

Two fantastic Peirce students brought their talent to the College this week and we are ready to share their voices with you. Voting is officially open, so it’s time to make your selection. Visit the voting portal now to access the survey where your say matters. Please be sure to listen to both auditions and pick the one you believe will best represent the Peirce student body at this year’s commencement ceremony on June 11.

2017 Peirce Voice Winner: Natasha Moore
Don’t forget – you can only see their names and hear their voices. No faces will be on the recordings as this was a BLIND audition! So close your eyes, enjoy the talent and make your decision.

Voting is open to the public, so share the voting portal with all your family and friends! We want to be sure everyone gets the chance to participate. Voting will close on Wednesday, April 25 and the winner will be announced on our blog and social media outlets on Monday, April 30. Be sure to check back to see if your choice for the Second Annual Peirce Voice Winner won the grand prize!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Think Job Fairs Are A Waste of Time? Here Is Why You Should Think Again

In Career Development Services, we sometimes hear excuses about why people are not planning to attend the annual job fair. Well, we are here to reassure you there is great value behind these career-focused events. Not totally convinced? Let us answer some of the top hesitations:

1. “You leave with nothing more than sore feet.”

Chances are that you have been to a job fair before. You could have wasted away 2 or 3 hours of your life getting jostled around by hundreds of other job seekers, only to leave with a stack of business cards for people you don’t remember and sore feet that you can’t seem to forget.

That’s because if you don’t strategize, job fairs can be a waste of time! If you show up without an updated resume, a memorable introduction, or even a big smile, you may have taken a step backward. Before arriving, research the companies who will be there, ask a friend to help you practice your professional introduction and have a list of “warm up” tables you’ll visit before introducing yourself to your dream company. Additionally, be sure to dress to impress! Get your suit dry-cleaned (or get a new interviewing outfit through Career Wardrobe – contact CDS for a referral).

2. “No one will offer me a job or even an interview.”

You wandered around from table to table, collecting promotional pens and waiting for someone to recognize your brilliance, like a diamond in the rough. It never happens.

Here’s the thing: most employers don’t do on-the-spot interviews or hiring. They’re not Oprah with a bag full of jobs to sprinkle on their adoring audience: they are there to generate interest in their positions so they can then select the best candidates (usually after a series of interviews). Job Fairs are hectic for both job seekers and recruiters, so they will want to schedule some one-on-one time after the job fair to properly vet these candidates.

Keep in mind that you are attending this job fair to make connections with people. If you wait until someone spots you, you will be waiting forever. So go introduce yourself, ask some questions, and find out about the next step in their hiring process. Ideally, you will be able to follow up directly with the person you met, so remember to ask for contact information (and take a moment before you move along to make notes about your interaction).

The next day when you reach out through email or LinkedIn, don’t hesitate to mention the memorable aspects of your discussion. Did you find out that you are both originally from North Carolina? Did she remark on the subtle polka dots in your tie? Remind the recruiters of those interactions to help personalize and humanize your job search strategies.

3. “No one is hiring for my exact position.”

After visiting each and every table at the job fair, you realize that no one is looking to fill the job you want. Therefore, nothing will ever come of this, right?

Wrong -- perhaps you are in a very niche field or seeking a specific position that does not have many openings. However, your objective at this job fair is to make connections with the recruiters and let them know how you fit in with their organization’s culture and core values. They might be there looking to fill positions for 20 front-line workers, but those front-line workers will need a manager. Tell them about your management qualifications and keep in touch so that when they do have that a managerial opening, they remember you!

Think outside the box! A law enforcement agency might have IT openings, a social services organization might be looking for managers, and a hospital might be recruiting for their human resources and accounting departments. If you are creative in your job searching pursuits, you will open yourself up to a world of opportunities.

Ultimately, job fairs can be a waste of time. Peirce’s unique job fair strategy ensures that you will not spend time meeting recruiters who aren’t seriously recruiting. Each one of our employers is vetted to ensure they are recruiting for actual open positions. No services or sales pitches here! Our employers know about the majors offered here at Peirce and are specifically looking to recruit candidates to fill positions in the legal, healthcare administration, IT, or management fields.

To get the most of out of this (and any) job fair:
  1. Prepare a quick introduction and a few questions you can ask recruiters.
  2. Refocus your job fair goals to make connections that will pay off in the future.
  3. Dress for success. Demonstrate your ability to exceed expectations by wearing a business-appropriate outfit or suit. Contact Career Development Services now for a referral to get a free interview suit!
  4. Come prepared: 
    1. Yes, bring several copies of your resume, but don’t be surprised if you are redirected to the company website (sometimes it’s just company protocol!). 
    2. A folder or portfolio: bring a place to stow marketing material and business cards (a folder with pockets works great). 
    3. A way to take notes to remember specifics on who you talked to so you can write a memorable follow-up email or LinkedIn request. A notepad works, and so does the memo app on your phone.
  5. Keep a positive attitude throughout, even when you are in the hallway, elevator, or restroom. You never know who is listening in!
  6. Follow up immediately to solidify these connections and stand out from the competition.
Register now for the upcoming Peirce College Job Fair on Thursday, April 26 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. on campus:

For assistance with job searching, contact Career Development Services at 215.670.9202,, or visit the office in Suite 67, College Hall.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A Night Filled With Encouragement, Diversity and Conversation

Last week, we were honored to be joined by some of Philadelphia’s top executive women who led the conversation on Advancing the Work of Inclusion and Equity at Peirce College’s 8th Annual Women in Leadership. In addition to these fine leaders, we were joined by approximately 100 community members who were actively engaged in the evening filled with candid and courageous conversations.

Our diverse and knowledgeable panelists included:

- Folasade "Sade" Olanipekun-Lewis, Regional Director for Government and Airport Affairs with American Airlines
- Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron, Chief Executive Officer for the Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport
- Romona Riscoe Benson, Director of PECO Corporate Relations
- Dr. Monique Howard, Executive Director of Women Organized Against Rape

Additionally, we had our special guest moderator, Carol Wilson Pandza, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, AmeriHealth Caritas.

Combined, these women brought their unique expertise to the discussion. The conversation began by looking at encouragement and mentorship from women for women. Chellie Cameron was one of the first to speak on this by reiterating how leaders who have the ability to inspire and promote women need to do so because, as she put it, “Trust me, there are women out there who are ready.”

In addition, Dr. Monique Howard continued the discussion by encouraging the audiences’ hearts when she said, “Sometimes you are not invited to the table, but you know the table is for you. Take YOUR seat!” The panelists challenged the audience to not only push themselves to find growth and opportunity in the workforce, but to bring other women and other minority groups who may not have found this door for advancement yet with them.

While on the topic of minority groups, the elite panel opened up about the importance of seeking diversity in the workforce through experience, background, race, gender, etc. Chellie Cameron and Sade Olanipekun-Lewis spoke directly to a work experience where Chellie developed a diverse leadership team, which Sade took part in, where she was able to bring together ideas and contributions from some of the most diverse workers. This dream team was not easy to form, but the results were tremendous and changed the organization for the better.

The panel then took us through a discussion on perseverance and the importance of moving forward with dignity and charisma no matter how each scenario works out. As Romona Riscoe Benson put it, “We must celebrate our accomplishments. And at the same time, we have to keep pushing.” Romona encouraged the audience to be proud of every milestone, but never to lose sight of the goal. Carol Wilson Pandza joined in on this segment explaining the importance of accomplishment, but also failure, “Go for it. And if you don’t get it, handle it well. People will watch how you handle what you don’t get more closely than what you do get.”

On the topic of moving forward, Dr. Howard referenced the “Me Too” movement and how in order for all of us to finally see and experience real change, we need to continue keep pushing forward. Our efforts as a unifying group will allow for real change.

As a closing point, Sade Olanipekun-Lewis brought everything together when she emphasized, “Our collective job is to help all of us achieve our higher purpose.” This idea tied everything discussed together showing how we won’t make progress without one another; we won’t see results without coming together as a team. The entire panel brought this form of togetherness to the room on Thursday, March 29 and we hope despite the event concluding, the conversation does not end.

Thank you to all of our panelists, our special guest moderator and all of our community members who joined in on this timely and necessary conversation! Be sure to stay tuned for more Peirce events coming up where we continue the discussion on advancement with inclusion and equity.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Save The Date – For The Week That Will Get You Closer To Graduation!

As the warmer months are finally upon us and we start dreaming about our summer plans and vacations, believe it or not with the blink of an eye the 2018-2019 school year will be here! It is not too early to start thinking about what classes you plan on taking for the upcoming academic year. As the saying goes: the early bird gets the worm!

To help prepare students for the new school year, Peirce is proud to host the Registration Blitz the week of April 16 through April 20, 2018! This week is full of advisors, classes and registrations and is the perfect way to meet with your advisor, pick the classes you want, when you want and move forward confidently into the summer and furthermore academic year knowing you are one step closer to graduation.

There are many benefits when a student maps out their courses in advance for the upcoming academic year. One of these benefits includes saving a seat in a particular course you need and/or want. Some of our most popular courses such as COMM 112, HUM 102, SCI 105, and MATH 101 fill up quickly so by registering early you get the opportunity to guarantee your spot and alleviate the stress of missing out on your top choices.

This especially holds true for our students who enjoy taking part in our Peirce Fit® courses, which gives students the opportunity to choose weekly whether to attend class on campus or online. These flexible courses are in high-demand, so if you are someone who enjoys this type of learning environment, registering for the full year in advance will allow you to have the academic year that best fits your life.

Another reason why it is good to plan out your 2018-2019 course schedule during the Registration Blitz is sometimes certain courses are not offered when you need to take them. If this is the case, you can work with both your advisor and the faculty chair of the department that is running the course to discuss the possibility of an Independent Study. Setting up an Independent Study Course can take some time, so the earlier you request to do so, the better!

Finally, while the entire academic journey is a wonderful experience for our students to embark on, the countdown to graduation is definitely something that motivates our students to make it to the finish line. Planning out your classes in advance will help give you an idea of when your graduation date will finally be here and a set goal to look forward to and continue chasing.

The benefits are clear: The Registration Blitz is the week for you! If you’re worried you won’t know what life will have in store for you for the entire upcoming year right now, no need to sweat! If for some reason you have to reorganize your 2018-2019 course schedule after you have participated in the Registration Blitz, you have the flexibility to do so. As long as you work with your Academic Advisor before the add/drop period of each particular session, you will be able to avoid facing academic and/or financial penalties or complications.

As a last piece of advice, for those students who use financial aid, it would be in your best interest to reach out to your Financial Aid Specialist prior to the Registration Blitz to discuss how much financial aid you will most likely be awarded for the next academic year. By meeting with your Financial Aid Specialist in advance, you will then know how many classes you can register for when meeting with your advisor. Additionally, you can get ahead by researching alternative ways, such as scholarships and grants, to help finance your classes if you feel you want to exceed your current class limit. To contact Student Financial Services, call 215.670.9600 or

On behalf of the entire Peirce Academic Advising Team, we look forward to working with all of our students during the Registration Blitz 2018! If you have any questions and/or concerns prior to the week, please do not hesitate to reach out to anyone on the Advising Team at 215.670.9177 or

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Second Annual Peirce Voice Is Here!

It’s that time of year again! No, not just springtime, but the countdown to commencement time! We love celebrating our students’ successes each year at this wonderful ceremony, so we take the preparation very serious.

First on the to-do list, find a National Anthem singer! How do we do this? We host Peirce Voice and let YOU, our students, audition to be the star for the upcoming commencement ceremony.

This year is our Second Annual Peirce Voice and we are excited to see (and hear!) all the new faces and voices who come out to audition for the opportunity to be the National Anthem singer at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony held on Monday, June 11, 2018.

Don’t remember how Peirce Voice works? Let us tell you!

Peirce Voice is a blind audition (just like the show!). You will come to campus, audition for a panel of Peirce staff who will record your performance, but only your voice! Your voice recording will then be uploaded to our YouTube site and shared on all our social media outlets. Next, everyone – family, friends, professors, co-workers, etc. – are able to vote for the 2018 Peirce Voice Winner! We leave it up to the public to listen and decide who will bring home the gold.

Sound like something you’re interested in? Great! Auditions will be held on Tuesday, April 10 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on campus. All you have to do is email with your name, phone number and availability during the audition time slot no later than Friday, April 6 at noon.

There is no time to waste! Call your voice coach, print out the lyrics for the National Anthem and get ready to take your talent to the big stage!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Michael Faruolo Finds The Positive No Matter What Life Throws His Way

Many of Peirce College’s students have overcome challenges or adversity in their lives in order to chase their educational dreams. Human Resource Management student, Michael Faruolo, is no exception. In fact, the reason Michael decided to begin his college journey at The Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) was because he found himself in a situation which originally appeared as a setback, but rather he found it to be a time for advancement.

For about a ten-year stretch, Michael worked as a restaurant manager on cruise ships, sailing around the world and traveling to exotic destinations where he enjoyed his favorite hobby, scuba diving. And then all of a sudden, everything changed.

Michael was unfortunately stricken with an internal illness that affected his kidneys, and in 2012, while on a multi-year dialysis regimen and awaiting a kidney transplant, he had a revelation. Michael decided he could find the positive in this life-altering experience by putting his recovery time to good use – furthering his education.

“In truth it was mostly because of my mom,” Michael offered. “She went through dialysis for 22 years and passed away in 2006, but always kept so positive and strong, so I knew it would make her proud to see me succeed considering everything I had to go through.”

Michael admits that things were very difficult at times and he did think about withdrawing more than once, but it was always the memory of his mother that kept him going. This drive allowed for Michael to graduate from CCP in 2014 with an outstanding 4.0 GPA. Following this accomplishment, he knew he could do even more. He applied to Peirce College and started his next educational journey in 2015.

Unfortunately, soon after his commitment to Peirce, life got in the way again when Michael was forced to have his kidneys removed and go back on dialysis treatments. His fatigue was so severe that he was forced to withdraw from classes until he received his transplant.

This setback certainly did not stop Michael, though. Shortly after his transplant, he re-enrolled and hasn’t looked back since. He currently has seven classes remaining until he earns his bachelor’s degree, and says he expects to graduate with another perfect 4.0!

As Michael continues on with chasing his dream, he notes that one of the most special and miraculous parts in his story is his donor who is a man in his 20’s who opted to remain anonymous.

When speaking about his hero, Michael is clearly touched and thankful every single day. “It just reminds you that there are truly good people out there,” explained Michael, “It’s hard to describe the feeling that goes into someone you’ve never met that literally saves your life, and doesn’t even expect a thank you in return. It’s incredibly powerful.”

In addition to his class schedule and his job Tuesday through Friday evening, Michael chooses to pay the favor his donor gave him forward by volunteering as much as he possibly can. He has been with The Gift of Life Family House for over six years, and he drives a shuttle for patients and their family members to and from their doctor’s appointments. It’s inspiring to see how Michael has embraced his new opportunity in life by fulfilling his personal goals and by giving back to those in need.

We at Peirce College congratulate Michael for overcoming the true hardships in his life, and for everything he does to make sure many that follow in his footsteps have an easier time coping with their afflictions. Best of luck in all of your future educational and personal endeavors, Michael – you make the Peirce family proud!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Partnerships, today at 215.670.9203 or

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

More Than Just A Degree Completion Program – Organizational Leadership

At Peirce College, we focus on offering flexibility and vast opportunities for all adult learners seeking to achieve their dream degree. Part of this flexibility and opportunity is our degree completion programs such as Organizational Leadership in our business division. For this month’s program feature, we introduce how achieving a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership may be the best path for someone looking to obtain valuable workforce-ready skills while maximizing their previously acquired college credits.

Peirce’s Organizational Leadership program offers a variety of benefits such as the opportunity to transfer in as many as 90 college credits, the ability to complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as one year and the development of a solid leadership foundation transferable to just about any career field.

We have current students and graduates working in nearly all sectors of business. With your Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership degree, you could pursue a leadership position in areas such as banking, retail, insurance, office management, communications, non-profit, service industry, healthcare, education or the City of Philadelphia.

As an Organizational Leadership student, you’ll learn about project management, ethical leadership, accounting, finance and human resources. The core skills you’ll develop in these courses will round out your business and management skillset, making you an effective leader of people. You will have the opportunity to draw on information technology skills to advance your research methods as an avenue for decision making. Additionally, you will work on and improve your collaboration skills since that is a true snapshot of the working world.

Following graduation, you will be able to utilize your new knowledge to identify organizational problems and opportunities and then efficiently communicate recommendations to key stakeholders. Also, you will be able to assess ethical issues in economic competition and organizational management and make recommendations for change.

You won’t gain all of this knowledge and these workforce-relevant skills just inside the classroom, though. Peirce’s Business Division offers a variety of ways to continue your development outside the classroom so you get the most of your experience with the College.

For example, the Business Division is currently forming the Business Division Student Association. This student-led association will provide opportunities for networking with other students, networking with industry leaders, and most importantly, you may have an opportunity to take a leadership position. There’s no better place or way to practice your skills and build your resume!

But wait, there’s more! If you want to further elevate your leadership potential, our bachelor’s students will build a foundation that’s perfect for continuing their education with Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management. If you meet the criteria, you can even take two graduate courses, at the undergraduate tuition rate while completing your bachelor’s degree and be on the fast track to earning your master’s degree even sooner!

To get started with the Organizational Leadership program, please contact us at 215.545.6400 or to learn more!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Join Us For The 8th Annual Women in Leadership Panel!

March is National Women’s History Month, and we are celebrating by bringing some of Philadelphia’s top women to campus to discuss this year’s theme:

Women in Leadership: 
Advancing the Work of Inclusion and Equity

In its 8th year, we are excited to welcome a diverse panel ready to share their knowledge, experience and leadership expertise. Today, we are thrilled to officially announce our panelists:
  1. Folasade "Sade" Olanipekun-Lewis – Folasade Olanipekun-Lewis is the Regional Director for Government and Airport Affairs with American Airlines. In this role she is responsible for advancing business and other interest of American Airlines in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and states of Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. 
  2. Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron – Rochelle Cameron is the Chief Executive Officer for the Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport, a large hub airport system serving over 30 million passengers annually. Ms. Cameron oversees the planning, development and administration of all activities for the City’s Division of Aviation. 
  3. Romona Riscoe Benson – Romona Riscoe Benson, Director of PECO Corporate Relations, has more than 25-years of strategic leadership in the areas of marketing, community affairs, museum management, and tourism promotion. She currently leads PECO’s corporate philanthropy and sponsorship programs, employee giving and volunteer activities, sports facility management programs and community engagement initiatives. 
  4. Dr. Monique Howard – Monique Howard, Ed.D, MPH, Executive Director of Women Organized Against Rape, is a public health administrator with more than 15 years of experience in protecting and improving the health of women, families and communities. She currently leads WOAR's efforts to address the impact of sexual assault within the many diverse communities of Philadelphia.

As if this panel wasn't already filled with some of Philadelphia's most talented women, we are also bringing back one of our Executive Breakfast panelists as our moderator. Amerihealth’s Carol Wilson Pandza will lead a conversation on the interplay of gender, leadership, and career navigation.

Ms. Wilson Pandza is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for AmeriHealth Caritas. She oversees all of the company’s human resources functions, including recruitment and onboarding, compensation and benefits, Human Resources information systems, talent management and organizational design, associate and leadership development, client services and associate relations, and diversity and inclusion.

We are extremely excited to welcome all five of these inspirational leaders to our campus on Thursday, March 29th, at 5:30 p.m., and we hope you are too. Register now at to secure your spot, invite a friend or two (remember, this free event is open to the community at large)  and join this timely conversation!

Friday, March 9, 2018

No Hardship Could Stop Ida Keyes From Pursuing Her Dreams

The word “perseverance” doesn’t even begin to do justice for one of our Peirce College at Deliverance students. From overcoming breast cancer to receiving brain surgery, Ida Keyes is an inspiration to us all.

Ida joined the Peirce community in fall 2017 entering into the Criminal Justice program. She is one of the first students to participate in our partnership with Deliverance Evangelistic Church. Ida found this opportunity after pursuing her associate degree with Harcum College, but her educational journey was not as smooth as it is for some.

Ida always knew she wanted to earn her degree not only for herself, but for her children and her mother. Unfortunately, life got in the way and Ida battled with breast cancer (and won!!) and then was in a bad car accident, which set her back by many years. But she wasn’t letting life get her down. She knew what her goals and dreams were and she was set on achieving them.

After finally being able to enroll at Harcum College in 2014, Ida pushed through the balance of work, life and school. As Harcum’s graduation quickly approached, though, Ida wasn’t sure if moving on was the right decision for her. She had lost her mother halfway through her associate degree pursuit leaving her feeling a bit uninspired, but with the help of fellow classmates, she was able to get the support she needed.

“As I was preparing for my graduation from Harcum, my classmates, Tariq and Kim, surrounded me and encouraged me to continue on with earning my bachelor’s degree,” Ida explained, “With my mom passing during my associate degree, I wasn’t sure I had it in me, but with friends like them, it was hard to say no.”

Additionally, Ida mentioned, Celeste Atkins, Deliverance’s Coordinator for Education, provided her with a large amount of support and prayer necessary for her to find the strength to keep going.

After receiving the push she needed, she connected with Peirce College at Deliverance and found her niche. As a Philadelphia Police Officer, Ida knew the Criminal Justice program was exactly what she wanted to pursue.

As if life hadn’t thrown enough curve balls yet, right before classes started in September, Ida received the news she would need brain surgery. So in June 2017, Ida underwent the procedure successfully, coming out still eager and ready to learn! She kept with her plan and schedule and started in September 2017 only three short months after this life-changing experience.

Working with her advisor, Stephen Bernardini, she was able to register for classes and has found success with the partnership since. “I really enjoy the flexibility and the opportunity to attend class at the church and take part in the activities on Peirce’s campus!”

Ida raves about her Peirce professors, one in particular, who has brought the passion back to Ida’s educational journey that Ida had been looking for, “Times have been tough, but Professor Christa Donato has saved me. She pulled me through my slump and has inspired me to continue moving forward.”

As Ida keeps chasing her educational dreams and letting nothing stand in her way, she wanted to share some advice for anyone who is considering going back to school like she did. “Don’t let anything stand in your way. Fight for your goals, fight for what you want!” exclaimed Ida, “If you don’t chase your dreams, you will never achieve them.”

We wish Ida nothing but continued success as she keeps moving forward and inspiring all of us to follow our dreams, no matter what life may throw our way.

If you are interested in taking part or learning more about our Peirce College at Deliverance partnership, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Dedicated Leader, An Inspiring Student - Meet Robin Johnson

Today we introduce a student who has not only made her mark on Peirce College, but has made her mark on the country.

Robin Johnson, a current Peirce student in the Organizational Leadership program, has been serving our country for 25 years. Robin is an adult learner who brings her wealth of human resource and military knowledge to the classroom each week.

Robin originally started her educational journey many years back, but found the other schools she attended were not for her. Then, during a conversation on higher education one day, her fellow colleague and three-time Peirce graduate, William Blackman, encouraged Robin to learn more about the College that really works for working adults.

After speaking with Karen Hun, Robin’s Enrollment Specialist, Robin found her interests directly aligned with our Organizational Leadership program. This offered her the opportunity to tie in her current human resource role while learning and developing her leadership style.

Now, three sessions in, Robin only has good things to express about her educational journey, saying, “I feel at home here. The professors are empathetic. The program is realistic. I love the staff! I immediately felt a closeness when I first came to Peirce and that is what I wanted.”

Robin has a hectic schedule at times with her military commitments, but she has found a system that works for her with our PeirceFit® program, “I love the Fit program. If I can’t make it to campus, that’s okay. I started strictly online and had one problem with a class, came to campus and realized I do much better in the classroom, so here I am! PeirceFit really caters to working adults and I appreciate that!”

Robin definitely has her hands full in her position of Sergeant First Class, the Non-Commission Officer of the 252 Quartermaster Company of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard while balancing school. With her career, she manages anywhere from hundreds to thousands of soldiers' records from the time they arrive in the military to the time they leave. With this much on her professional plate, how does she fit school in? Robin said, “I don’t give up and always stay with it. I talk to my advisor, create a time management plan and always remind myself this is for ME. We spend so much time doing things for other people, but we don’t take enough time to do things for ourselves. I am finally doing something for me!”

As Robin continues to find success in her classroom work, she is far from slipping in her professional career. Robin Johnson was recently awarded the 2018 Women Veterans Award Honoree of the Year and Editor’s Top Picks: Women of the National Guard by The Healthy Caregiver Community Foundation. This honor was given to Robin for her inspiring leadership for women of all ages. With this award, she will be considered the advocate for women in the military and in general for the upcoming year.

As part of the Healthy Caregiver Community Foundation, Robin and others have been able to grow in their effective leadership skills and furthermore help to train the next round of women. Robin explained, “The foundation assists women in the military ‘from boots to the board room’ by showing us how to take the leadership part of the military and how to turn it into the workforce. I started in the organization three years ago and I was asked to be part of the process in developing myself and then moving to develop other women in the military.”

Robin is a true inspiration for women in all fields. From her award-winning leadership to her honorable career to her work-school-life balance, Robin does it all. If her successes weren't impressive enough, Robin does still find downtime to keep up with the Philadelphia sports teams. No matter how crazy life gets, you can always find Robin cheering on her city!

As one final piece of advice for those wondering how Robin manages it all, she said, “I smile, smile through the toughness, smile through the goodness, smile through life."

We wish Robin nothing but continued success as she makes her way through her Peirce journey!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dr. Mary Ellen Caro Named First Woman President and CEO of Peirce College

It’s official! Following a comprehensive national search, the Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Peirce College’s eighth president: Dr. Mary Ellen Caro.

Dr. Caro currently serves as Vice President of Enrollment Management and Learner Services at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, N.J., where she is responsible for a wide range of functions, including student affairs; strategic corporate partnerships and learning contracts; marketing; and recruiting. She previously held other leadership positions at Thomas Edison, including Executive Vice Provost, Associate Provost and founding Dean of the School of Business and Management.

Dr. Mary Ellen Caro
Dr. Caro joined Thomas Edison in 2004 after a 25-year career at AT&T, where she progressed through several executive positions, culminating as Vice President of AT&T Business Services.

“Peirce College is an integral piece of the puzzle for workforce development and adult degree attainment in Philadelphia,” said Dr. Caro. “I look forward to building on this 153-year legacy and I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with new partners throughout the region to benefit working adults, businesses and the regional economy.”

Caro completed her doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing her dissertation on partnerships between business and higher education. In addition, she earned a Master of Science in Management from Stanford University, where she was an AT&T Sloan Fellow; a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from Rutgers University; and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Saint Elizabeth, where she majored in Mathematics and Sociology.

Dr. Caro becomes the first woman to hold the position of President and CEO in Peirce's 153-year history. Her first day at Peirce will be April 16th, 2018.

After 30 years with the College, current Peirce President and CEO James J. Mergiotti will retire on April 13th. Mergiotti was appointed president in July 2009 after serving as vice president, administration and executive vice president and chief operating officer. Before joining the administration, Mr. Mergiotti served as a Peirce College trustee from 1988 to 1998, including a term as board vice-chair.
“Dr. Caro’s expertise and vision will provide the perfect ingredients to expand on the great work of the Peirce community.” Mergiotti said. “I am very enthusiastic about the College’s future under her direction and delighted that an executive of her caliber will be joining the leadership ranks in our region."

This morning, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story in both print and online announcing Dr. Caro's appointment. Click here to view the article.

Welcome to Peirce College, Dr. Caro!

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Mission for Soft (Power) Skills Development

Picture a rocket ship catapulting into space – this is what we envision for our business students as they advance in their professional careers. Many of these students are returning adults who are already working in full-time positions and are looking to get promoted or transition into other career paths.

In order to assist our business students with achieving their career goals, at Peirce College, we equip them with academic knowledge in management, accounting, economics, marketing, ethics, and statistics, but is this enough to move through an organization or through the stratosphere of their chosen profession? The honest answer is: no.

According to senior business leaders and human resource professionals such as Sarah Fister Gale and Christine Ottow, employees with the greatest soft skills, or as we call them at Peirce, power skills, will drive business results and advance into leadership roles. Some of these skills include: professionalism, interpersonal skills, problem solving, adaptability, and personal value commitment.

With this in mind, the business division faculty at Peirce College took on the mission to support the soft skills development of our students as a critical endeavor. Instead of solely including information about these skills in class, we chose to also create engaging and interactive opportunities outside of the classroom for students to participate in.

Over the past three years, we held annual conferences featuring local business leaders from a variety of industries covering topics on professionalism, emotional intelligence, networking, office politics, working in teams, and dealing with change. We’ve even offered a golf etiquette opportunity where students learned how to strengthen work relationships over the game of golf! Additionally, we also distributed career development books to students to continue furthering their education beyond the classroom walls; for example, The Start Up You and The Mindset: The Psychology of Success. All of these opportunities resulted in positive outcomes for our students such as professional growth and development and the fostering of relationships with our experienced faculty.

We are passionate about achieving our mission of equipping students with academic credentials and soft skills development, so our students EXPLODE through their career universe.

And we aren’t done yet! On Tuesday, April 17 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., we are bringing some top industry leaders to campus for the next Professional Business Series event - The Power of Grit: Building Resilience in Changing Times. You won’t want to miss out on hearing from these talented and successful individuals:

- Dr. Mike Brenner, President of Right Chord Leadership, LLC, International Consultant, Jazz Musician
- Ms. Caridad Diego, Esq., National Contracts Manager at Comcast Corporation
- Ms. Janet Taylor, President of Totally Organized, LLC, Entrepreneur, Peirce Alum 86’

As an additional bonus, the first thirty students to register will receive the book, GRIT: The Power of Passion & Perseverance.

There’s no time to wait, register now for our upcoming Professional Enrichment Series event here.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Making Connections That Matter

Can you socialize your way to a better career? Absolutely.

Although most people start the hunt for a new job online, most recruiters start the hunt for candidates by activating their networks. They ask their colleagues, friends, and professional contacts for referrals, because they assume that contacts who know their businesses will know what makes for a successful employee in that particular environment.

Because of this, analysts estimate that 80% of open positions are not formally advertised. This means that you need to be in the know to hear about these job openings – which means that you need to network, network, network.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend your evenings handing out business cards at formal networking events. Instead, start talking to people. Strike up conversations at your kid’s soccer game, or in the elevator, or with other students in your classes. As you build rapport with a wide range of people – especially if you are able to quickly share your goals for your next career move in those conversations – you’ll be more likely to get tapped when opportunity arises.

Remember that the strongest leads come from the weakest ties: there’s a better chance you’ll get new information by talking to people who move in different circles than you do.

And make sure that you don’t overlook the power of online networking. Employers are increasingly using social media to screen candidates for job openings, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey that reached over 2,300 hiring managers across industries. They’re looking online for evidence that you are the professional you claim to be, so make sure that’s what they find!

Most professionals have heard the advice to keep party pictures away from their profiles, but have you heard that not having an online presence at all can hurt you? CareerBuilder found that 57% of employers are less likely to schedule an interview with a candidate if they can’t find that person anywhere online.

A LinkedIn profile is a like a modern-day business card; you need to have one if you’d like to be taken seriously as a professional. After you meet new people, connect on LinkedIn by sending a note reflecting on where you met and the conversation you had. That way you’ll be able to keep in touch, and also share opportunities you come across. (Pro tip: Career Development Services can not only help you create a polished LinkedIn profile, we can also evaluate your overall online presence to provide insight into how potential employers might perceive you.)

Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with recruiters face-to-face at events like job fairs. Most recruiters attend job fairs not to hire on the spot but in order to connect with candidates and quickly prioritize the applications they receive. If you are actively looking for a new job, think of a job fair as a way to offer a smile and a handshake, leaving a good first impression that will help your resume stand out from the crowd.

Check Peircelink, Peirce’s proprietary job board for students and alumni, for announcements about upcoming job fairs and networking opportunities. Here are a few coming up that you won’t want to miss:
  • NET/WORK (Tuesday, February 27, 3-8pm at the Fillmore) is a technology job fair showcasing vibrant companies seeking talent and talented people seeking work. Peirce’s Career Development Services will be providing mock interviews for attendees, and Peirce students can receive a 20% discount by registering with the code PEIRCE.
  • A Virtual Veteran’s Job Fair (Tuesday, February 27) is planned for former service members. Attend from anywhere and connect with recruiters looking to hire veterans with college experience.
  • Campus Philly’s Social Impact Expo (Friday, February 23, 1-4pm at Temple University’s Mitten Hall) will feature the region’s leading mission-driven organizations, recruiting students interested in careers that make an impact. Learn how to get involved with mission driven work—whether you’re looking for an internship or a job offer, volunteer or service work—and meet recruiters from across the region. This is a great way to find out how to work in Philadelphia’s non-profit and social impact community.
  • Hire Talent (Tuesday, April 10, 11am-2:30pm, at the 23rd Street Armory) is an alumni-only career fair. The fair will feature employers from a variety of industries, including education, investment banking, technology, consulting, healthcare, sales, government, and the nonprofit sector. 
  • Peirce’s Annual Job Fair (Thursday, April 26, 3-6:30pm in College Hall, Rooms 51/52) is free for students, alumni, and friends of Peirce to attend. Employers include companies interested in hiring from all academic disciplines at Peirce. 
As always, Career Development Services is here to help you practice your elevator pitch, warm up for interviews, make introductions, and generally support you in mapping out a pathway to your next job. Call 215-670-9202 or email to set up an appointment today!

Friday, February 16, 2018

From Teeth to Computers – Meet Vandy Sam

For some people, the path they take to earning a college degree can take a drastic turn, steering them in a direction far from where they started. Vandy Sam, a Peirce College student majoring in Information Technology with a concentration in Programming and App Development, is the perfect example.

Vandy originally developed an interest for dentistry when he was younger. Following high school graduation, he immediately began classes in hopes of pursuing this dream. To his surprise, he quickly realized that the field didn’t excite or interest him as much as it did when he was younger, and he started considering other options.

Fortunately for Vandy, he had always loved working with computers, so the decision to enroll as an Information Technology student at The Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) was an easy transition. During his experience with CCP, he expressed a desire to continue on with his education following graduation by pursuing a bachelor’s degree. This excitement for knowledge led a CCP instructor to connect Vandy with Peirce! Since this connection, Vandy has never looked back.

“It’s been a really positive experience at Peirce from day one,” Vandy says. “The location, the tuition, the fact that all my credits transferred, it all made sense.”

Vandy mentioned one of the most valuable aspects of his time at Peirce College so far has been the Career Development Services (CDS) team. They informed Vandy of a Wells Fargo job opening and he has been there ever since.

Vandy credits Peirce’s CDS staff for not only letting him know about the job and encouraging him to apply, but for also assisting him with resume and interview preparation. “I’ve been there since September working on Networking for their IT team,” said Vandy. “I’d love to stay with Wells Fargo and I have Peirce to thank for helping me find the job. It’s been great.”

Since Vandy works full-time at Wells Fargo, he can no longer attend all of his classes on campus, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from still earning his degree! He has taken full advantage of the flexibility of the PeirceFit® program, which allows him to excel in school even if he can’t make it in for class. “I used to come to all of my classes on campus, but now that I work full-time I have to attend most of them online. It’s a great option for a student like me that needs a flexible schedule,” explained Vandy.

When asked what advice he has for other students juggling work and school, Vandy didn’t hesitate and offered, “Time management is everything. As an adult, you have a lot more on your plate, and you really need to be disciplined with how you spend your time.”

Though he’s normally busy with school and work, Vandy still attempts to fit some fun into his schedule. He balances playing video games with working out, and he loves to read comic books.

Peirce College salutes The Community College of Philadelphia for providing Vandy with a wonderful educational foundation, and we wish Vandy the best in all of his future endeavors!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Partnerships, today at 215.670.9203 or

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From High School Sweethearts to Peirce College Graduates – Meet Carolyn and Jim Stuart

On February 9, 1866, Peirce College had its first student graduate. Since this time, Peirce has had thousands of students graduate from the College. Each of them carrying with them a unique Peirce story that is embedded in the fabric of our institution. We caught up with two alums who attended Peirce back in 1963 and invited them to share their stories with us. This time of year, they are of particular interest because not only did they graduate together, they’re also happily married! It’s a Peirce College Valentine story we just had to share.

Carolyn (Booz) and Jim Stuart, sweethearts of the class of 1965, first met in 7th grade when their homeroom classes were right next to one another. Their relationship grew over time and they eventually started dating toward the end of their high school career.

As graduation approached, they both had plans to continue on with their education and knew exactly where to go – Peirce! Carolyn and Jim learned about the College from friends and family members who had previously attended. What they learned then about Peirce still holds true today. Peirce enjoyed a great market reputation, was cost-efficient, and helped students figure out how to finance their education. Carolyn was immediately sold and Jim wasn’t far behind on his decision-making.

After deciding on Peirce, they found yet another positive aspect for their newest journey – they could commute in by train! Each day, these two love birds took the train in and out of Philadelphia together—a ride that afforded them time together and the chapters of their evolving love story.

Jim said, “Sometimes we had to run or jog to get the train. We had some secret underground routes! The memories of catching and riding the train are some of the best and most dearest.”

Despite having similar academic dreams, they had different career goals. Carolyn decided to pursue a Medical Secretary degree (similar to our current Healthcare Administration program) and Jim entered into the Business Management program (similar to our current Business Administration degree). Both had a passion for their respective industries.

Carolyn initially wanted to be a nurse but she quickly learned the hands-on aspect of the job was not for her. She heard of the medical secretary program and knew the administrative side of the medical field was right up her alley.

Jim, on the other hand, always knew he wanted to be a business man and followed that path when entering Peirce. Jim was, after all, the son of business-focused parents. The family opened a small music store in 1951 when Jim was just 5 years old. From the very beginning, he started learning how to take inventory, how to stock shelves, and a host of other competencies required to own and run a business.

While all of this experience may have been enough, at the time, for Jim to run the family business, Jim still wanted to pursue a degree. Jim shared that, “I knew a degree would help me with the business. My degree made me think. It made me see the ins and outs of business I wouldn’t have thought of without it.”

Following graduation, both of these eager students entered the workforce in their respective fields. Jim took over the family business, where he was able to grow and expand in his new role. He credits his success with the strong foundation he gained at Peirce—accounting, math and business courses strengthened his ability to work and lead.

Carolyn entered the medical field working in a local hospital’s community health education department. She remained there for 25 years as a patient advocate. Following this role, she worked at a local cardiologist’s office for 8 years in an administrative role.

Carolyn said, “Medical Terminology is one class that was extremely helpful when I moved into my career. The professors were always very thorough in what they taught and extremely encouraging. You always got a great overall experience.”

Armed with academic and professional success, Jim and Carolyn decided to tackle their greatest joint endeavor—marriage! They tied the knot in October 1965 – just a few months following their college graduation!

Now, as alumni and newlyweds for over 52 years, Jim and Carolyn look back on some of their fondest Peirce memories. Jim said, “One of my favorite Peirce memories is the comradery I shared with all the other guys. It was so easy to make friends and there were no prejudices! We were all Peirce students together and we had fun with it!”

Carolyn agreed that making friends was her favorite memory, sharing, “You’d sit around waiting for your next class or you would be studying and you always had friends surrounding you.” Carolyn and Jim definitely made a lot of friends at Peirce. So much so that many were invited to their wedding and Carolyn even had one of her closest classmates as her maid of honor!

Carolyn and Jim finally made their way back to visit Peirce fall of 2017 as parents of two and grandparents of three. Their family tree wasn’t the only thing that had changed, though! Peirce had expanded immensely since they last stopped by. They were able to tour the school, reminisce on their memories and see how Peirce had advanced and grown since their graduation. Although time has passed, their importance as Peirce Alumni has not changed. Their visit was yet another reminder of the many lives Peirce has impacted and the extent to which our institution is not just a place of learning. For many, like Jim and Carolyn, Peirce was a place where lifelong relationships were cultivated and flourished.

We are grateful to Carolyn and Jim for stopping by to visit and for taking the time to share with us just a few pages of their amazing and ever-present love story.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Benefits of Tutoring for Adult Learners

Peirce College is dedicated to helping non-traditional students of all ages achieve academic and career success. Whether the gap between college and high school is a few months, a few years or a few decades, adult learners should have the chance to pursue their educational dreams. At Peirce College, we open the door to your goals and help you not only pursue them, but accomplish them.

One way we actively assist our students is through tutoring support. Tutoring is an excellent way for adult students to gain support with course content and to receive assistance in a variety of ways.

If you have been away from the academic world for an extended period of time, you will need to prepare yourself to re-enter the classroom. One way to do so is to make an appointment with a Walker Center tutor to review basic math and writing skills. Walker Center tutors will be happy to help you with areas such as fractions, decimals, equations, punctuation, sentence structure, and essay format.

Tutors’ knowledge of study skills, especially subject-specific study skills, can also prove invaluable for returning students. Tutors can provide adult students with guidance in textbook reading, note-taking, and test preparation in their own areas of expertise. Walker Center tutors were successful students in the subjects they tutor, and they will gladly share their strategies for success in the classroom.

Additionally and most importantly, tutoring builds confidence! The individual tutoring session is tailored to your needs, whether you need a basic skills review, help with course content, or study skills support. During the one-on-one interaction between a tutor and an adult student, the tutor can assess your needs and challenges, present strategies to work through those challenges, and provide tools and feedback so that you will be able to succeed academically.

In addition to individual appointments, the Walker Center is proud to host Study Days for our students. During these scheduled days, students can come to campus and work through their session coursework with a tutor to get any further assistance needed. Study Day is always held on Saturday, so if the weekdays don’t work for you, Study Day is a great option! We have one coming up this Saturday, February 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Interested students should contact the Walker Center to RSVP at 215.670.9251.

With each success you achieve, your confidence level will rise, and greater self-confidence can lead to more academic success. So whether you are eighteen or eighty, tutoring can benefit you! We hope to see you this Saturday or at a future appointment.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Peirce College Celebrates and Honors Black History Month

Since 1976, during the month of February, the United States has celebrated and honored the achievements of African Americans while taking time to acknowledge the central role of blacks in U.S. history as part of Black History Month. At Peirce College, we participate in this celebration and encourage others to do the same!

During this month, at the College, we honor former, current and future black leaders, offer special events right here on campus and also encourage the participation in community-wide activities.

Each and every day, we are grateful for the past black influential leaders who have helped shape and pave the way for the current and future leaders. The wise words and commendable actions of these inspirational individuals deserve recognition not just this month, but year-round.

Today, in celebration of these former thought-leaders, we honor them by sharing some of their inspirational quotes:

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.” – Rosa Parks

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King

We are humbled by these leaders’ courage, inspiration and dedication that they showed during their leadership roles. At Peirce College, we are celebrating the past and the future in our own way by hosting a fun opportunity for our students, alumni and community to get involved. All month in the lobby of College Hall, we are holding a Black History Month Trivia Game. All you have to do is use your knowledge of historical figures and you could possibly win a $5 Wawa Gift Card. All the details can be found on campus at the game location.

In addition to the on-campus celebrations, we encourage the community to look into all the activities going on across Philadelphia. There are events for everyone to take part in to further their education on the history of this month, to commemorate the lives of those who fought for freedom, and to come together in unison to continue the fight for equality.

Here are some we hope you’ll consider:
  1. National Constitution Center
    1. They’ll be hosting a variety of events throughout the month, each week to honor this historical month. Visitors will be able to explore the museum’s The Story of We the People exhibit, test their knowledge on African American History and even learn about some historical events such as the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War and more!
    2. For more information, visit here.
  2. Black History Month Challenge
    1. Running from February 1 through February 28 at the Haverford Library
    2. Use your visual skills and historic knowledge to find and identify famous African American individuals from Philadelphia.
    3. For more information, visit here.
  3. Black History Month Film Screening: Disney’s Ruby Bridges
    1. Saturday, February 10 at 3:00 p.m. held at the Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library
    2. This movie is based on the true story of one of the first African American children to attend a previously segregated all white school. So grab your popcorn and head on out to learn about a heroic little girl!
    3. To learn more, visit here.
  4. Inventors Showcase
    1. Monday, February 19 at 4:00 p.m. held at the Blanche A. Nixon / Cobbs Creek Library
    2. This event will open the minds of children to all the historical African American inventors and inventions, so they can be inspired to move forward and continue to share with the world their own inventions.
    3. To learn more, visit here.
  5. Family Cooking for Black History Month
    1. Tuesday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m. held at South Philadelphia Library
    2. Chef Chris Paul will be hosting a hands-on cooking program in honor of Black History Month. Learn how to create healthy and nutritious versions of common Soul Food recipes.
    3. To learn more, visit here.
This isn’t even HALF of the events going on in the Philadelphia area throughout this month. We encourage all of you to look into the events in your area and participate in a few with your family, so we all can continue to celebrate this historic month together.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The City of Philadelphia’s new Workforce Strategy includes key insights from Peirce College!

Since fall 2016, key cross-sector stakeholders from Philadelphia have been collaborating to build a most inclusive and unified workforce development strategy for the City. Today, Mayor Kenney officially introduced it to the city and region during this year’s Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Luncheon.

Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine is a comprehensive, inclusive initiative designed to build a world-class workforce through the alignment of education and training with the current and future needs of business and industry. More importantly, the strategy will equip Philadelphians with relevant workforce needs and support systems that will put them on a path to secure long-term, family sustaining employment.

In addition to being thrilled about the City’s prioritization of workforce development—specifically for underserved Philadelphians including adult learners, opportunity youth, returning citizens, and immigrants—I am also excited about Peirce’s seat at this vital table. This past fall, I was honored to be invited to support this strategy by joining the Workforce Strategy Steering Committee. Since then, I have been able to share my insights about higher education’s ability to provide solutions to many of our city’s complex workforce problems. For Peirce, this kind of role is not new. It is a hallmark of what we have been doing for over 152 years—equipping individuals with relevant workforce credentials, training, and support systems.

Here’s even better news. We are not just aligned with what the City is doing but also who it is doing it for. The Workforce Strategy focuses on the diverse men and women who fuel Philadelphia’s workforce and who are often under-credentialed and underemployed. As an institution that values this population and strives to meet its needs, Peirce is well positioned to be a partner in this work.

What’s in it for us? It goes without saying but is worth mentioning. When Philadelphians are positioned for success, we all win! Specifically, this strategy provides more opportunities for us to amplify our impact and continue implementing the workforce development plan we envisioned and built for the institution more than three years ago when we designed our Employer Relations Strategy. Since then, we have strived to more directly and intentionally bridge the gap between employer needs and those served by higher education. Since then, our Associate Vice President of Workforce Solutions and Community Impact, Malik Brown, has been at the helm of helping Peirce narrow this gap one relationship, one partnership, one initiative at a time. For instance, Malik led the development of our customized training program in non-clinical healthcare—informed by some of our City’s leading employers and supported by a United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey Impact grant. Set to launch this spring, this pilot program will provide individuals with front-line customer service skills that are in high demand.

Another example of Peirce’s alignment with the City’s workforce strategy is our focus on serving opportunity youth. The City has identified this talented but underserved population as a critical group to better educate, train, employ and support. This approach mirrors Peirce’s partnership with Year Up. Since 2013, we have worked collaboratively with Year Up to address the needs of opportunity youth ages 18-24. Together, we have supported almost 400 students in plugging back into post-secondary education, workforce, and support systems.

The City’s workforce strategy is relevant, timely, and necessary. For too long, many practitioners in higher education, workforce development, government, social services, and business have been working individually to tackle the widening gap between business needs and talent readiness. By locking arms together and walking in lockstep toward solutions, we have built a comprehensive, strategic direction that will better harness resources, advocate for policies, optimize systems and arrive at the kind of impact our city and its citizens deserve.

Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine is the workforce engine that will amplify Peirce’s impact and that of many other practitioners focused on workforce development. At a time when our nation is pulled apart by our differences, this strategy pushes us closer together and gives us a necessary, common purpose. More than a City’s workforce strategy, it is a call to action for us to focus on what really matters—building inclusive, collaborative solutions and serving those who could benefit most from Philadelphia’s spirit of teamwork and partnership. Check out the information provided online at

Friday, February 2, 2018

February Program Feature: Health Information Administration

Stephanie Sheeley is a mother of two, a working adult and an eager and dedicated student who found Peirce’s College’s Health Information Administration (HIA) degree to be the program for her, and it might be the right one for you, too.

Building on last month's program feature - Jennifer Shaw’s story on Healthcare Administration - we focus this month on Health Information Administration. Peirce began offering our HIA degree in 2012. Since then it’s grown and gained much recognition, most recently through the accreditation by CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) last year. This accreditation means students like Stephanie will be able to sit for the RHIA exam, a highly valued certification by regional and national employers, following graduation.

Stephanie enrolled in the program after life threw her a twist and she found herself needing to return to the workforce full time. Stephanie realized what many working adult learners do: if you want the career you deserve, you need a degree.

For Stephanie, returning to the workforce full-time “was a wake-up call because it made me realize what a disadvantage it was not to have a college degree. I was able to find a job, but it was well below what I needed to earn as a single mom. I knew I deserved better and was capable of so much more.”

Stephanie looked into accelerated Health Information programs for adult students and quickly came across Peirce College. She says, “Once I made the decision to return to school in this area, it was almost as if Peirce found me, which demonstrates that making the commitment to accomplish a goal starts to open doors that we may not have ever known were in front of us.”

Once Stephanie found Peirce, she was immediately pulled in by the flexibility. “I had been to a few information sessions at other area colleges that offered accelerated degrees, but none of them offered a degree that fit my experience and interests.”

When looking closer at Peirce’s Health Information Administration, she discovered it would be the best fit for her for three main reasons: “First, I was already working in the healthcare field. Second, I enjoy the complexity and diversity of what it takes to provide care for patients behind the scenes. Third, it is a career path with a strong job growth rate and potential to work in a variety of roles.”

Stephanie's description of the industry is spot on. Health Information Administration graduates usually enter jobs in the healthcare setting, including hospitals, clinics, medical offices, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And that’s only a portion of the variety of job opportunities available to you when you earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration.

Currently, Stephanie works as an HIM Operations Analyst at UHS, Inc. She had been working in a psychiatric hospital prior to her current role, but was eager to move up. Once she began at Peirce and started to obtain the required education, she was able to advance to her new position. “I am excited to say that my experience and my education through Peirce helped me to successfully land that job. I hope to continue to grow in my career and advance within the company.”

Stephanie is getting the most out of her experience with Peirce and wants to be sure you do the same. For all those working adults out there considering going back to school, Stephanie has some advice.

“It may seem like a lot of work, but it is easier, in many ways, to make the sacrifices necessary to earn a degree as an adult. Once you set a vision for yourself, your mind will find ways to make it a reality,” says Stephanie. “I think many adult students are afraid to go back to school because they fear they are not smart enough, but the truth is, they only need to be willing to put forth the effort. My experience at Peirce has taught me that my effort is matched by faculty that have encouraged and supported my path to graduation.”

Stephanie is set to graduate this June! Congratulations to her on all of her accomplishments.

Check back for more program features in the coming months!