Friday, January 5, 2018

January Program Feature: Healthcare Administration

Peirce College students have choices, with programs ranging from Information Technology to Business to Health to Legal Studies. In fact, there are so many options that you may not be familiar with all of them. Over the next year, we want to change that. We’ll introduce you to one program each month through student and alumni testimonials, program updates, faculty perspective and so much more.

The first program up to bat: our Bachelors of Science in Healthcare Administration (HCA), which Peirce College began offering in 2010. Since its development, many students have graduated with this degree and entered the workforce seeking out an administrative or managerial career in settings like hospitals, ambulatory care, healthcare insurance companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

To get the inside scoop on this growing program, Jennifer Shaw, a 2016 Peirce College alumna, shared her story and experience working in the field.

Jennifer has been a Peirce community member since the early ‘90s, having graduated with her Associate Degree in Healthcare Administration in 1995. That means she has plenty of insight on Peirce’s health programs and the opportunities they offer.

Following her first Peirce graduation, Jennifer found herself not utilizing her degree right away as her time and energy were immediately given to the Philadelphia Police Department for 15 years. Following her police career, she was offered a promotion by the City of Philadelphia to a position within the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

That’s when Jennifer found her way back to Peirce College.

“The location of my job was just around the corner from the Peirce Campus. I walked by quite often and always wanted to return. Peirce always felt like a home of sorts to me,” explains Jennifer, “With my new position being in the field of Public Health as well as it being an Administrative field, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take my education a step further.”

Jennifer joined the HCA program in spring 2013, ready to advance in her career, but she got much more than that. “What I valued most was the time that my professors were able to apply to my education knowing that, like myself, they also worked full-time jobs during the day,” she says. “Teaching classes in the evening as well as online and being available to their students was a blessing.”

Jennifer expanded on her experience with the program by exclaiming, “I learned so much from my program! Yes, we were taught anatomy and physiology and medical terminology, but we were also taught compassion, public speaking and people skills. I was taught by professionals in my field. They did talk the talk and walk the walk. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Jennifer’s promotional job led her back to school, but there was also something else pushing her. “I wanted more for myself and my son. I was a single mom by the time I applied to Peirce and knew at that point that I could handle being a mom, working full-time and being a student again,” explains Jennifer. “I wanted a career and not just a job. I had always enjoyed learning. I just knew it was the perfect time.”

She knew it wouldn’t be easy, and it would differ from the traditional-age path, but she also knew Peirce had what she needed to succeed as an adult learner in her dream program. “The big difference is that I had a full-time career, a teenage son, a home and family to take care of as well as bills to pay. I had adult responsibilities that traditional school-aged students aren’t privy to.” But she never let the differences or difficulties stop her.

In June 2016, Jennifer graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration. Continuing to follow her dreams, she landed her ideal career. She is now the Executive Secretary II in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, which she calls “an amazing place to be.”

Jennifer Shaw found her place at Peirce in the Healthcare Administration program. You can, too. Contact an Admissions Representative today at 215.670.9000 or to find out more.

Check back in each month to see what program will be featured next!