Monday, June 18, 2018

Ready For the Next Step in Her Career, Tara Broadie Found Peirce

After over 20 years in the healthcare industry, Tara Broadie felt knowledgeable and experienced enough to continue tackling her career without a glitch. But one day, she had an epiphany. Tara started interviewing and hiring team members who had master’s degrees and, at this point in her life, Tara only held a few medical coding certifications. This is when she knew it was time to head back to school.

Tara decided to seek out a college which would cater to all her needs, so once she finally made the leap of faith to head back to school as a working adult, it would fit her life. This is when she found Peirce College. “I was in search of a program that was flexible and which would allow me to have the credentials necessary to progress,” explained Tara, “Peirce had it all – catered to working adults, accelerated classes and CAHIIM-accredited, so I was eligible to sit for both the RHIT and RHIA certification exams after obtaining my degrees.”

Tara started her Peirce journey in May 2015 by chasing her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology (HIT). As of June 2017, Tara was proudly taking her first walk across the commencement stage. But she wasn’t done yet.

After gaining growth in her career, she found a management position that was exactly what she had been looking for, but there was one catch, “I qualified for the supervisor role with my associate degree, but I knew I was overqualified and I really wanted the managerial position offered. But, in order to obtain my dream career, I needed my bachelor’s degree,” said Tara.

So, keeping with her educational journey, she transitioned flawlessly from the HIT program to the Health Information Administration program at Peirce. During her time in the program, Tara said, “I gained a lot more confidence in my current role and for my future role. I developed necessary skills, knowledge and resources I never would have obtained without Peirce.”

Even after all her experience in the healthcare industry prior to coming to Peirce, Tara explained how she was, “grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. I have been in this profession for so long and I started to think I knew everything and there was nothing else to learn, but then I came to Peirce and learned and gained more than I could have imagined.”

After countless hours of hard work, Tara finally had her Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration conferred in December 2017. By January 2018, Tara received a call about her dream career she had been fighting for for so long. Tara said, “I would not have been able to qualify for this role if it weren’t for my degree. As soon as my degree was set, I got the job!”

Tara is now the Coding Manager for the Emergency Department, Outpatient Surgery and Observation at Johns Hopkins Health System.

Not only has Tara successfully completed two degrees and landed her dream position, but she also was the first at Peirce College to sit and successfully pass the RHIA exam. Additionally, Tara was awarded the Alumni Association Raymond L. Palzer ’52 Academic Leadership Award at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony.

As Tara reflects back on all her astounding accomplishments and achievements over the past few years, she shared how the Peirce community really helped get her here, “Peirce is a family. You spend so much time with your classmates, professors, advisor and staff members that you become a family. When you have things happen in your life, they support you and help to keep you going. You are not just a number at Peirce; you are an individual with people surrounding you who want to see you succeed.”

Congratulations to Tara on her recent graduation and new job! We wish her nothing but success as she continues not only achieving her own dreams, but encouraging the next round of healthcare industry professionals to chase theirs.

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Night to Remember: Commencement 2018

“Always take time to celebrate the moments because they come too fast.” – Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia

Last night, Peirce College did just as Mr. Epps recommended – we celebrated the Class of 2018’s biggest moment: graduation. The Kimmel Center for Performing Arts was filled with Peirce graduates, family, friends, community members, alumni, board of trustees, staff and faculty as they all came together to celebrate the Class of 2018. At this special 153rd Commencement Ceremony, Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO, Peirce College, joined us for the first time in her new position welcoming, congratulating and recognizing the 285 graduates. In addition to the new President, Peirce was honored to welcome and hear from Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce, City of Philadelphia as the keynote speaker. The night was filled with inspiring stories, honor, recognition, special awards and, of course, the newest Peirce College Alumni.

If you were unable to attend last night’s festivities or you are looking to relive the moments, check out the YouTube video below of the entire celebration.


0:00:00 – Pre-Commencement Slideshow
0:51:29 – Processional
1:03:42 – Opening, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost
1:04:45 – National Anthem, sung by Peirce Voice 2018 Winner, Nathaniel J. Griffin
1:06:30 – Opening Continued, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost
1:13:03 – Salute, Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO
1:24:05 – Introduction of Student Speaker, Dr. Adrian Zappala, Dean, Graduate Studies
1:25:05 – Class of 2018 Student Address, Sondra R. Allen ‘18
1:35:24 – Introduction of Keynote Speaker, Wayne Vance ‘18
1:37:12 – Address to the Graduates, Harold T. Epps, Keynote Speaker
1:53:22 – Conferring of Honorary Degree, Barbara A. Prutzman, Chair, Peirce College Board of Trustees
1:55:33 – Presentation of the 2018 Hamilton Award
1:59:15 – Presentation of Special Student Awards
2:08:48 – Roll Call of Candidates
2:09:45 – Master of Science, Healthcare Administration
2:10:35 – Master of Science, Organizational Leadership & Management
2:14:45 – Bachelor of Science, Accounting
2:16:58 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Business Administration
2:24:00 – Bachelor of Science, Human Resource Management
2:25:06 – Bachelor of Science, Integrated Leadership
2:27:21 – Bachelor of Science, Healthcare Administration
2:30:02 – Bachelor of Science, Health Information Administration
2:32:06 – Associate in Science, Health Information Technology
2:34:18 – Certificate of Proficiency, Medical Coding
2:34:38 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Information Technology
2:37:51 – Associate in Arts, General Studies
2:39:33 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Post-Bachelor Certificate of Proficiency, Paralegal Studies
2:42:33 – Bachelor of Science, Legal Studies in Business
2:43:36 – Bachelor of Science, Associate in Science, Criminal Justice Studies
2:46:28 – Recognition of 153rd Class, Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO
2:48:56 – Introduction to Alumni Association, Barry James ‘07, President, Peirce Alumni Association
2:50:25 – Congratulations & Recessional, Dr. Rita Toliver-Roberts, Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost

Congratulations, once again, to the Class of 2018! As Dr. Mary Ellen Caro said, “Commencement means the beginning! As you have shown, your journeys are far from over and tonight marks the beginning of another chapter as a graduate of Peirce.” As you all continue on with your future endeavors, never forget that no matter where life takes you, you will always have a home at Peirce.

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Convenience of the Peirce at Deliverance Partnership Was Everything Frances Needed!

“I had to get rid of fear. It’s a big thing that holds people back who have been out of school for a while. Once you get rid of fear, you can move forward.” – Frances Johnson

After two associate degrees, Frances thought her educational journey had come to a close. She always knew she wanted a higher degree, but didn’t think a bachelor’s was in her future. Then one day, Celeste Atkins, Coordinator for Education at Deliverance Evangelist Church, told Frances about the new Peirce College at Deliverance partnership and Frances’ educational journey was back in action!

Frances was ready to start chasing her new degree thanks to the convenience of the new partnership. Frances did not want to commute into Center City, so with the accessibility of taking classes right at the Deliverance Evangelist Church, this was the perfect situation for her. Frances said, “It’s much easier for me to get to Deliverance. The parking, the easier commute, the comfortable environment – it is everything I need.”

When deciding on which program to take part in, Frances knew the business-focused degree of Organizational Leadership was the right path. As an aunt of three boys who own their own business and a mother of a son who is going into business as well, Frances wanted to contribute some business knowledge to the family. Frances was ready to gain more insight into the business world that she could directly take to her nephews and son.

Going back to school may seem difficult as a working adult with a full schedule, but it wasn’t for Frances. She said going to school as a nontraditional student is actually better because, “I am able to sit down and apply myself now. I am not running everywhere else putting off my work as I had in the past,” explained Frances.

Now, five classes into the program, Frances is on the fast track to graduation. She said after completing her bachelor’s degree, she isn’t done yet. This has inspired her to continue chasing her dreams by hopefully earning her master’s degree, as well!

One final piece Frances left us with is her words of advice for anyone at any age considering going back to school, “Follow your dreams! Push yourself forward even when you feel like stopping. If I can do it, so can you!”

We congratulate Frances on all of her successes so far and wish her nothing but the best as she continues chasing all of her new degrees!

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

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 Student Commencement Speaker: Sondra Allen!

Back in November 2017, Peirce was honored to share Sondra Allen’s heartfelt story with the community showing her perseverance, determination and tenacity. Today, Peirce is thrilled to announce that Sondra Allen, Class of 1986, 2016, and now 2018, will be the Student Commencement Speaker at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony!

In addition to being the student speaker and receiving her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management, Sondra is also the 2018 Recipient of the Alumni Association Raymond L. Palzer '52 Leadership Award and the Patricia A. Rucker Graduate Studies Award for Academic Excellence. Sondra has certainly left her mark with Peirce College! Before she crosses the stage and becomes an official alumna for the last time, we asked Sondra a few questions as she reflects back on the past 32 years of her Peirce experience.

How does it feel to be receiving your third degree from Peirce? I am proud, humbled and, of course, excited! My goal was always to achieve two degrees, but once Peirce developed the master’s program, the third degree entered the equation. I originally was comparing a few schools when looking into my graduate degree, but once my husband and I came back to visit, it was a no-brainer. Peirce is home for me and I knew I wanted to stay home.

How was your time with Peirce College? Going to Peirce has been such a great experience for me. I had the privilege to study under the tutelage of great professors. I had the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of fellow students and build networks. I was able to form and develop life-long friendships. The Lord knew what He was doing when He sent me here. Everything happens according to His plan. I first attended Peirce right out of high school back in 1984. At that time I felt it was a necessity. My focus was earning a degree to allow the opportunity for a permanent position and set a positive example for other teenage parents. When I returned to Peirce in 2014, I was here because I wanted to be. I wanted to learn and grow. This was not a forced decision; it was for personal growth, development and self-achievement.

What are some of your favorite memories from Peirce? There are so many! Joining the Graduate Student Association (GSA) board allowed me the opportunity to participate in many Peirce events, network and dine on delicious food Peirce provides at these events. My fellow GSA board members and I had some great times hanging out after class and building bonds. I enjoyed participating in Peirce Open House events where my fellow GSA Board members and I had the opportunity to interact, encourage and share our Peirce stories with potential graduate students. Participating in those events, allowed peer-to-peer networking that I hope in some way helped increase student enrollment. Also, I enjoyed participating in Capstone Boot Camp events; it provided a great foundation and overview of what’s expected in the OLM 590 Capstone Course. It provided a wealth of information, tips and steps needed for a strong preparation for the final course of the program. Further, it allowed for an opportunity to ask questions of faculty and other students who have been through and completed their capstone. I encourage ALL graduate students to participant in Capstone Boot Camp. Another fond memory was working on the many team projects throughout the graduate program. It was so much fun creating and developing processes and sharing ideas. Working in teams is a great opportunity to enhance your skills, share your strengths, and learn from others.

What are some of your most influential moments from Peirce? Witnessing the strength of my fellow classmates. Even when my classmates were going through personal hardships, I saw them press on and complete all their assignments; that was very encouraging and inspiring for me. Also the pure passion for success of each student from my professors was influential for me. The professors believed in me, saw my potential and motivated me beyond my comfort zone. Whether it was through learning APA or how to write a purpose statement or even just workplace skills and experiences, they helped my development. With the influence of fellow classmates and professors, I got through this journey. I appreciate and value every single one of them.

What advice would you offer to other working adults who are considering going back to school? If furthering your education is one of your top goals then please go for it! It is never too late. If it continues to be in the back of your mind then you need to reflect on why it’s there and why you’ve been pushing it aside. Develop a list of pros and cons and create a plan. Furthering your education will be so rewarding in the end whether it is personally, professionally or a combination of both. I am so glad I did it and I don’t have a single regret.

What advice would you offer to fellow students who are not quite at graduation yet, but are chasing their educational dreams? I am proud of you. I know not many of us hear that enough, so I am proud of you. You are here. You are pursuing your educational dreams and that is so wonderful. I encourage you to allow time for studying, work, family and personal activities - work-life balance is important. We all have a journey and will experience difficulties along the way; but we will also experience achievements and success. Don’t give up, stay focused, work hard and remember the reason why YOU are chasing your educational dreams. One day soon you will get to look back and say, “I did it” and that feeling makes it all worth it.

Congratulations to Sondra Allen and the entire Class of 2018!

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Creating Bridges Between Education and Workforce Development

As part of its continued efforts to increase our city and region’s socioeconomic mobility through workforce-ready education and strategic partnerships, Peirce College recently joined forces with the Urban League of Philadelphia to host its Urban Tech Jobs Program.

This free program, with the goal of bridging education and workforce development, offered fourteen students the opportunity to participate in classroom learning and job readiness and resiliency workshops – all in preparation for the CompTIA A+ Certification exam and stepping stone into the tech space. By completing the certification exam, students became well equipped to compete for living-wage jobs in a booming industry. The Urban League covered the cost of the certification exam and Peirce College provided both instruction and a pathway to earning their associate’s degree.

“The responsibility for battling unemployment in Philadelphia does not fall to any one entity. It is up to all of us in the higher education, non-profits, for profit, and government sectors to work together toward our shared economic goals,” said Uva Coles, vice president of institutional advancement and strategic partnerships at Peirce. “We are thrilled that the Urban League has chosen us as a collaborator in its Urban Tech Jobs Program and that we can play an integral role in this work.”

Through the nine-week program, participants learned how to assemble components; install, configure and maintain devices, PCs and software; diagnose, resolve and document common issues; and provide appropriate customer support. Students found value in this training and provided their own personal feedback on the experience:

“The Urban Tech program was an awesome learning experience, and a great opportunity to take part in. It is designed to stretch you into what is current, and prepare you for a complex work environment. I feel that I am now provided with enough information to engage in the future and contribute to the tech world.” – Valerie Tartt

The partnership with the Urban League is just one example of the connections Peirce College has built throughout the Philadelphia region to help in its efforts to improve the lives of working adults and their families through targeted educational and workforce programs. Peirce College looks forward to working with the Urban League on future cohorts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Turning A Passion for People Into A Career – Human Resource Management

From generalists to specialists, Human Resource Management is a top field to get involved in if you have an interest in working and developing employees in businesses of all sizes. As a continuation of our Program Feature of the Month, for May we are introducing a program at Peirce College that is full of possibilities: Human Resource Management.

Human Resource Management students at Peirce will gain practical experience through simulations, case studies, and hands-on work with the latest industry technology. They will have the option to go into careers such as human resource generalist, benefits and administration, recruiting and organizational development, training and employee development and more! With the opportunity to earn your Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management, you are also directly positioned to go on and earn your Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management from Peirce.

In addition to being a part of a program which includes courses accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), students also will be participating in a curriculum that directly aligns with the competencies for human resource professionals spelled out by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Plus, program graduates are prepared to sit for professional and senior professional SHRM certifications. Peirce offers the only program of its kind in the region!

While gaining the classroom skills, students will also have the opportunity to take their education outside the classroom. Students can join SHRM as an active member and not only gain team and leadership experience, which is crucial for your career, but also take part in activities such as human resources educational and networking events. The most recent one was held on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in New York City. Peirce’s SHRM Chapter traveled to the Plaza Hotel to listen and learn from speakers ranging from licensed New York attorneys to successful CEO's who spoke with the attendees on career engagement and lessons learned in their years of career experience.

One of the most well-known speakers in attendance was Pro Football Hall of Fame member and Dancing with the Stars Alum, Jason Taylor. Taylor spoke to the group on leadership and leading from the present into the future. He provided his secrets for success and spoke of resiliency and adversity, which resonated with the audience members, especially our Peirce students. Jason Taylor left the audience with a strong piece of advice saying, “Good leaders put people in a position to succeed. They provide support, resources, and training.”

Events such as this one with inspirational leaders and speakers like Jason Taylor are just one reason potential students should consider joining the Human Resource Management program at Peirce College. There is so much to gain as you develop and grow into your desired career.

To get started or to learn more about our Human Resource Management program, please contact us at 215.670.9000 or Check back in next month to see what program feature will be up next!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Eager for Advancement, Ricky Neff Found Peirce’s CBE Program To Be Just What He Needed

As a single father eager to achieve his educational dreams of earning a bachelor’s degree, Ricky Neff knew he needed to find a college and a program that would fit his life.

As a current employee for AmeriHealth Caritas, Ricky quickly learned of Peirce College through the partnership with his employer, but would it have what he was looking for? After much research, Ricky found out Peirce was exactly the place for him, “As soon as I learned of the Competency-Based Education program at Peirce and spoke further with Christa Donato about it, I was hooked.”

Peirce’s Competency-Based Education (CBE) program is an opportunity for students in the Information Technology field to earn their bachelor’s degree in the quickest and most efficient way possible. With the help of past professional experience, students have the opportunity to earn their degree faster than ever before.

Ricky had previously earned his associate degree in Information Technology, so he had the prior knowledge to get started right away. The transition back to school to earn his bachelor’s was smooth thanks to his passion for the subject. He said, “The fact that I am going to college for something I love makes the experience positive. It is easy to write papers on things I have personal and professional experience with.”

Peirce’s CBE program allows for Ricky to have the flexibility necessary to complete his degree in a relaxed yet effective way, so he can continue to have a passion for education without the stress. Ricky said, “With CBE, there are not constant deadlines stressing you out. CBE is done on my own schedule when I find the right time to work on the material rather than feeling forced to get it done for a certain time frame.”

Additionally, Ricky adds how he can, “fly through the courses because I have the experience and prior knowledge to earn credits faster.” CBE allows for students to earn as many credits as they can in one semester for one flat rate. This allows for a quicker path to graduation!

Ricky also gave a special shout-out to Peirce’s CBE Coach, Christa Donato, while explaining his experience with the program. He only had great things to share on how she has really helped make the process even better. “Christa is a rockstar!” exclaimed Ricky, “She answers all my questions and is always there for me. It’s nice to have such individualized support.”

Currently working as the Senior Technical Support Analyst, Ricky hopes to continue improving in his position, but also achieve advancement opportunities in the future with his new degree. He said, “I have done desktop support for 10 years and would love to broaden my skill set through advancement, but most high-level positions require a bachelor’s degree, so I am ready to achieve that step.”

After just one semester in, Ricky is already on the fast track to earning that next degree by achieving 13 credits in just one semester. Ricky hopes to earn even more for this upcoming summer session! Congratulations to Ricky on his success with the program so far and we wish him nothing but continued excellence as he further chases his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

Monday, May 21, 2018

From Peirce College to Rachael Ray – Meet Janet Taylor

On Monday, May 14, 2018, Peirce College was honored to host the 2018 Spring Alumni Reception where our alumni community came together in celebration. During the event, we also recognized the two 2018 Alumni Award Recipients: Shandai Moore-Jenkins, Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, and Janet Taylor, Distinguished Service Award recipient. Today, we want to take some time to introduce you to one of the award winners: Janet Taylor.

Janet is a 1986 Peirce graduate who majored in Fashion Merchandising who has found much success during her career journey. She is the Founder and President of Totally Organized, LLC where she provides expert tips and tricks on managing one’s life and space in a stress-free way. Most recently, her work was recognized on national television by Rachael Ray.

Before Janet was a career superstar, she went through her own unique educational journey where she built her tenacity and determination. Starting at a larger institution, Janet was less than inspired when a professor told her she would never be a success. Janet knew this wasn’t true, but she also knew this wasn’t the school for her. Janet said, “I knew I was smart, but I needed a school that fit me. I needed something more intimate.” Janet headed closer to home and started to search for her new path, “I wanted a college with great reputation and that was Peirce.”

After discovering Peirce, Janet said everything fell into place even adding, “Peirce gave me a second chance.” After earning this second chance and finding her true niche, Janet graduated with a 3.7 GPA and headed into the workforce to further discover everything she was capable of.

In 1994, Janet found her calling as an entrepreneur and that is when she opened her own business, Totally Organized, LLC. At first, this small business was just a part-time commitment, but as demand grew and her services became more well-known, Janet took on owning and running her business full time. Soon enough, she was being recognized all over the world.

One day, as Janet was scrolling through her email, she discovered something that looked intriguing. The Rachael Ray Show found her on Instagram and wanted to chat with her about tips for organization! To Janet’s surprise, this was a real request that soon grew into an invitation to come on the show.

After making a home video and taking lots of deep breaths, Janet had the opportunity to go on the Rachael Ray show where she competed against another top organizer for the title of Clutter-Free Queen. The best part? Janet won! This passionate Peirce Alum showed how her creativity and vision could turn the most amount of clutter into a beautiful piece of artwork.

After all of the excitement of Rachael Ray began to calm down, Peirce College had a surprise of their own for Janet. As a dedicated alumna who has served on an advisory board, participated in multiple panels at student events, and given back time and energy to the College, Janet was rightfully awarded the 2018 Distinguished Service Award. As Janet put it, “I have to pinch myself at times. I have such a special place in my heart for Peirce. They gave me the second chance I needed. And now they have allowed me to be a part of the advisory board where I can give back to the next generation.”

Peirce College is honored to have a community of alumni, such as Janet Taylor, who not only bring their enthusiasm and expertise back to the College, but also represent us so well as they continue to find success in their careers.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Transfer Feature of the Month From Delaware County Community College: Meet Correy Gibbs

When Correy Gibbs started his college career at Delaware County Community College in 2010, he had just graduated high school, wasn’t working yet, and could afford to focus all of his energy on his class work. But by the time he enrolled at Peirce College in 2016, he had a full time job, a busy personal life, and he wasn’t sure he had enough time in his day to continue his success as a student.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Well, two years later, Correy is maintaining a 3.85 GPA, and finds himself with less than one year remaining until he graduates with his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration and Information Security.

Correy said he had a wonderful experience at Delaware County Community College (DCCC), but that it almost stopped before it even started. He originally declared as a Computer Science major, but after ten minutes into his new student orientation at DCCC, Correy said he quickly learned that his interest fell elsewhere. “My dad had steered me towards computers and I thought it’d be right for me, but then I learned about Network Engineering and thought it would be a better fit for what I wanted to do career-wise,” he says.

Immediately upon graduating from DCCC with his associate degree in Network Engineering, Correy was hired by the college full-time at DCCC’s IT help desk. Though Correy enjoyed his work and had no immediate intention of leaving DCCC, he started to become more and more interested in cyber-security and began to think that it would be wise to earn his bachelor’s degree. “Normally the guy they call to fix high-level data breaches has more than just an associate’s degree,” Correy said. “It was time to get back in school and get my bachelor’s.”

Correy first heard about Peirce from DCCC’s transfer counseling department as a student, but it wasn’t until he was a graduate working for DCCC that one of his co-workers told him he was planning to attend Peirce College for Information Technology. Remembering that Peirce allows students to take online coursework that would enable him to keep working full-time, he decided to enroll in the Network Administration and Information Security program in the fall of 2016.

Correy admits that it’s difficult to maintain such a high GPA since he still works full-time at Delaware County Community College, but he’s firm in his stance that nothing will prevent him from earning his bachelor’s degree. When asked if one particular class or instructor at Peirce has had a significant impact on him, Correy didn’t hesitate when he said he thoroughly enjoys classes taught by Professor Patrick Coyle. “His classes aren’t easy and he demands a lot from students, but there’s no way you can finish the class without learning all the information.”

When he’s not fixing anything and everything “tech-related” at Delaware County Community College or completing his studies online through Peirce’s PeirceFit® format, Correy enjoys fishing, mountain biking, and hiking. “If I’m not working with computers and getting networks back online, you can always find me outside in nature,” he says. We congratulate Correy on his successes to date, and wish him all the best in his future!

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

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Introducing the 2018 Commencement Speaker: Harold T. Epps

Commencement is less than a month away. So now it’s time to reveal this year’s Commencement speaker…

Harold T. Epps!

As a child of first-generation college graduates and a natural born leader and businessman, Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia, is just the role model our Class of 2018 graduates need as they start and advance their journeys into the region’s workforce.

Epps started his higher educational journey at North Carolina Central University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, and continued his studies at Western New England College, where he earned a Master’s of Business Administration.

Throughout his storied career, Epps has served in a number of high-profile, senior leadership positions where he has led with passion, knowledge and purpose. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of PRWT Services, and as the company’s President and CEO from 2007 to 2014. Prior to that, he held executive roles at Quadrant, Menasha Corporation, and Polaroid. Throughout his career, Epps has built a solid reputation for positioning organizations for sustained growth, successfully managing change and restructuring, improving efficiency, spurring innovation and maintaining a focus and discipline of continuous process and performance improvement.

During a recent visit to campus where he met with some of our upcoming gradates, we sat down to ask Epps a few questions:

Tell us about your professional path. “I always wanted to be a businessman. I always wanted to be in charge and to run things. Now I have been doing that at a variety of levels for more than 25 years.”

What do you think makes Peirce and Peirce graduates special? “In recent years, my appreciation and awareness for how Peirce fits into what I call ‘the quilt of higher ed’ for Philadelphia has increased significantly. Peirce has the opportunity to strongly assist in changing the conversation and the gap in higher education. Two places in this city will play a role in closing the [degree attainment gap] and they are Peirce and Community College of Philadelphia. Peirce and CCP have geographic accessibility, affordability and a mission and a vision that embraces those that need a hand up.”

How can Peirce graduates stand out in the workforce? “Every day deliver your best self. You are much better served to receive positive action when you deliver positivity.”

What is your advice for our Class of 2018? “See it through. It is a saying that I learned as a child and which has reminded me to push through the most difficult times. Remember that you are not going to face anything that another person hasn’t already faced. The test of a person is not what they do in good times, but what they do in bad times.”


We are so excited to welcome Harold T. Epps, Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia as the Peirce College 153rd Commencement Speaker!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Master Plumber to Master Student – Meet John Murphy

As a young professional, John Murphy took on the personal responsibility of running his father’s business by becoming a master plumber. After his father became ill and was ready to retire, John left his undergraduate career behind and went straight to the workforce.

After years of owning and running the family business, John was ready for a new scene. He transitioned into a bigger world when he started with SEPTA as a plumber. After 10 more years of working in his specialty, he decided he was ready to learn and grow even further in his career, which meant heading back to school.

Thanks to conversations with his father-in-law, John was inspired to go toward the direction of business. So with his goals in mind, he enrolled at Delaware County Community College (DCCC) ready and eager to achieve his associate degree.

Once John started hitting the books again, he discovered he had a more direct passion within the business world: Accounting. He had personal experiences where he learned first-hand how to balance some tax issues, which escalated his new possible career path.

After graduating from DCCC with his Associate in Science in Business Management, John was ready to narrow down his business mindset and focus on this new passion he had discovered. In 2015, John enrolled at Peirce College and began chasing his Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

His new career idea was only amplified as he continued to take classes with Peirce. “The accounting and finance professors here are phenomenal and kept my fascination alive. The real-world experiences professors talk about really draw you in,” explained John, “My wife would wonder why I would come home so late; it was because I would just sit there and listen to them.”

As much as the professors were a huge draw for John’s positive experience with Peirce, there was something else that kept him coming back session after session: Peirce Fit®. This innovative learning model allowed for John to balance his current job and his education. “Peirce Fit makes life a lot easier. You can always tell when you hit a hard spot in class because everyone is there, which is great,” said John, “I actually got sick for a couple weeks, so chose to do it online, and it eliminated the stress of needing to come to class. It’s nice having the choice.”

John even took a little trip down memory lane by discussing how he believes Peirce’s founder would truly appreciate and support this flexible opportunity, “Peirce Fit is definitely something Thomas May Peirce would have done and enforced. Based on what I have read, he was always trying to innovate and make things work for every individual.”

As a working adult, Peirce Fit made John’s Peirce experience much more relaxed and enjoyable. This led to his desire to come to campus more often and really create lasting connections. He said, “Peirce has such a sense of community. I didn’t realize how much I missed out on when I did all online. Now I have connections with people I have taken class with for two or more years. As I wrap up my career with Peirce, I am truly sad.”

As John prepares for graduation next month, he has some advice that can go a long way for any prospective or current student, “The hardest thing to do is to not be obsessed with when you finish such as saying, ‘I have x amount of classes left.’ It’s very stressful looking at it that way. Make smaller goals; make a simpler plan. Register out for one year and focus on that. If you look at how big and how long the trip is, it makes it harder to tackle. Look at things one step at a time and, remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Peirce College is incredibly proud to serve a student like John Murphy who is not only a dedicated learner and soon-to-be alum, but also a successful working adult who now holds the position of Manager of Facilities Programs with SEPTA. Congratulations to John on all of his accomplishments from school to work to life. We wish him much continued success!

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Results Are In! Meet the Second Annual Peirce Voice Winner

Peirce College is extremely excited and honored to announce the Second Annual Peirce Voice Winner: Nathaniel James Griffin III. This inspirational student is a former U. S Army Sergeant and served as a Combat Medic from 1986 to 2013. He is an ordained minister, a father of four children, a singer and songwriter, an inspirational speaker, and the founder and owner of The Sgt. Nate Fitness Studios in Center City Philadelphia. Oh, and he is about to be a Peirce College Graduate (for the second time) earning his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership this June!

Nathaniel’s journey with Peirce College was not the traditional route. He enrolled at Peirce College in 1998 but left after his first year to start his own business. After realizing the need for a degree and further knowledge on opening and operating a business, he re-enrolled in 2012 and went on to receive his Associate in Science in General Studies in 2015.

After discovering his desire to learn, explore and share knowledge, he stayed on board at Peirce College and enrolled in the bachelor’s degree program for Integrated Leadership (now Organizational Leadership). During this season of study, he was able to immediately apply what he was learning directly to his business.

“It was a challenge juggling my academic studies, running a business and maintaining what was left of a social life. However, with the help of my academic advisor, the Walker Center’s amazing tutors and support from friends and clients, this former sergeant soldiered on,” explained Nathaniel.

Nathaniel is now considering going on to get his master’s degree this fall, which will serve him well as he continues to grow his business and train new leaders for the future.

As the Second Annual Peirce Voice Winner, Nathaniel will be the National Anthem singer at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony on June 11, 2018. When Nathaniel takes the stage to sing, it will not be his first appearance. Nathaniel performed the National Anthem at The Philadelphia Phillies game on July 4, 2001. He also performed on the steps of the Art Museum during the passing of the Olympic torch in 2000 and at The Sons of Liberty Ceremony in 2000 and 2001.

Peirce College is thrilled to have such a passionate and driven student (and soon to be alumnus) sing at this year’s commencement ceremony. Congratulations to Nathaniel!

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Resilient Advocate and Hero – Meet Gabriel Grove

Gabriel Grove, a 2015 Peirce alumna, has tackled some of life’s toughest challenges, but with a resilient and driven spirit, she has achieved more than she ever imagined.

In 2006, Gabriel was living in a homeless shelter with her children when she took a look around. In the midst of dealing with her own challenges, she could not help but notice how much larger the issue now affecting her family really was.

“I realized we all need to do more to help and bring light to homelessness in Philadelphia,” explained Gabriel, “Before the shelter, I was not aware of the extent of homelessness, especially with women and children.”

Even while she was busy caring for herself and her family as a resident of one of Philadelphia’s local shelters, Gabriel still found time to make a plan to help those around her.

First, however, Gabriel knew she needed to help herself and her family. She would begin with achieving a lifelong goal—degree attainment. “My end goal was always to earn my degree,” she said. “I knew it was needed; having experience was no longer enough. If I wanted to move forward in my career, I needed to check this off my to-do list.”

After taking classes at a variety of colleges and universities, Gabriel finally enrolled at Peirce in 2014 after hearing about the flexibility Peirce offered and the 25% tuition discount she received thanks to Peirce’s corporate partnership with Independence Blue Cross, her employer at the time.

“Peirce allowed me to complete my degree in a timely manner and with ease,” reflected Gabriel. “It truly is the college that really works for working adults and that is what I needed. I was ready to finally earn my degree and Peirce was ready to get me to graduation, faster.”

In 2015, Gabriel accomplished her goal and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Leadership (now called: Organizational Leadership).

Following this accomplishment, Gabriel set out on her next mission: changing the world.

In July 2017, Gabriel was finally able to set her dreams into action. She opened her very own non-profit, For Her Sake Foundation, Inc., where she collects essential toiletries—from toothpaste to soap—and donates them to local women’s shelters. A believer in investing in her own cause, Gabriel often self-funds those supplies to ensure she can increase the number of people she serves.

In less than a year since starting her organization, Gabriel has already been able to donate to nine shelters in the Philadelphia area, assisting women who don’t have access to these items.

Gabriel said, “We sometimes take the small things for granted. These women living in shelters have to make tough choices every day. They need to decide whether to spend their small sums of money on toiletries for themselves and their children or to allocate it toward medicine or other necessities.” She added, “I want to help alleviate these hard decisions as best as I can.”

As Gabriel’s non-profit continues to grow, she has even bigger hopes and dreams for the future. “My end goal is to open my own women’s shelter in Philadelphia,” she said. “This is just the start!”

In addition to this work, Gabriel has also found a way to be sure she is giving back at the college that helped her earn the degree she always wanted. Gabriel recently partnered with Peirce to launch The Gabriel Grove Scholarships.

The first book scholarship will be awarded to a woman in the Information Technology field, as Gabriel would like to encourage more gender diversity in the industry. The second book scholarship will be awarded to a woman looking to earn her master’s degree in Healthcare Administration at Peirce. Gabriel is also earning her master’s and wants to ensure other women are not constrained by financial barriers as they pursue their goals.

“Education is my passion,” said Gabriel. “I wanted to give back to Peirce students so they could follow their dreams like I did, so I decided to start the scholarships to help women return to school.”

Peirce College is grateful for Gabriel’s generosity and encouragement. While she continues to chip away at making the world a better place, we are proud to see that she is #PoweredbyPeirce and is ensuring other students can do the same.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Program Feature of the Month: Criminal Justice

On Thursday, April 19, students, faculty and community members gathered to take part in a unique conversation at the Criminal Justice Panel and Networking Event. This event, sponsored by the Peirce College Legal Studies Student Association, featured a diverse panel of criminal justice professionals from across the spectrum. Panelists included:
  1. Xavier Beaufort, Deputy Warden, Philadelphia Department of Prisons
  2. Trooper Danea L. Durham, Pennsylvania State Police Recruitment Unit
  3. Gina Gorbey-Zarko, Assistant District Attorney, Delaware County PA
  4. Cerena J Coughlin, Special Agent, FBI Philadelphia
  5. Renée Julian, Staff Operations Specialist, FBI Philadelphia
The conversation at the event was led by these unique experts who opened up about their educational, personal and professional backgrounds with the audience. They also led a discussion on requirements for entering the field and best practices for the application and interview process. They allowed for the community to hear their stories and learn from their own experiences. Additionally, they opened the floor for questions where the audience could get involved and ask the hard-hitting questions everyone was thinking.

This event ties directly into the goals of the Peirce College Criminal Justice Program, which includes the opportunity to best prepare our students with workforce-relevant skills for those aspiring to enter the criminal justice field or to advance in their current criminal justice position. This event ties the knot between real-world and classroom experience, which is vital for our students’ success following graduation.

Peirce's Criminal Justice Program provides a solid foundation for progression in many different criminal justice fields of study including law enforcement, correctional system, criminal investigation and more! This foundation is made possible with the help of courses such as, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminology, Juvenile Court Systems, Criminal Law, and Criminal Investigation, just to name a few. Our faculty is made up of experienced criminal justice professionals from a variety of backgrounds including police officers, district attorneys, and seasoned investigators. Students who join the Criminal Justice Program have the opportunity to receive their associates and/or bachelor’s degree.

Peirce is humbled to have been able to welcome such an elite panel of professionals in order to offer an event like the Criminal Justice Panel and Networking Event for our students, so they can expand their knowledge beyond the classroom walls and best prepare for their dream careers.

To get started or to learn more about our Criminal Justice program, please contact us at 215.670.9000 or Check back in next month to see what program feature will be up next!

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.

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!