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 info@peirce.edu. 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 ttschop@peirce.edu.

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.”

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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!