Friday, June 29, 2018

From Manor College to Peirce College – Myasia Is Chasing Her Paralegal Dream

At the youthful age of 21, Myasia Williams might not be as “experienced” as many Peirce College students, but, like most students, she still carries with her many responsibilities outside of the classroom. Some might think that working full-time as a Paralegal as well as being an active member of a large family might make it impossible to be a full-time college student, but to Myasia, it’s all in a day’s work.

Myasia didn’t begin college immediately after her high school graduation. Instead, she needed to work for a year just to save money to be able to afford tuition. “We didn’t have much money when I was growing up, so going right to college wasn’t an option. I had to work to save money to be able to afford my first year,” she says.

While she was considering what she wanted to study, one thing that stuck out to Myasia was her love to argue and debate, and as she says, oftentimes coming out on the winning end of those debates. She started to look into Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies programs, and found a home at Manor College in Jenkintown, just north of Philadelphia.

Myasia loved Manor College for its small school environment, quality of education and for its wonderful Paralegal faculty. Specifically, she mentioned Mary Sims, Manor College’s Director of Legal Studies programs. “She was my advisor, I had her for a few classes, and she helped me get my job after I graduated. I can’t say how much I appreciate Mary.”

The job she mentioned, which is where she works to this day, is as a Paralegal at Sabatina and Associates in Northeast Philadelphia, where she works on Family and Estate Law cases. Working full-time is a hard thing for most students to do while they attend school, but Myasia can’t imagine it any other way. “It’s all about time management. You have to know what’s important to you and how to prioritize.”

Though she did find full-time employment immediately following her graduation from Manor College, Myasia always knew she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree. So after graduating from Manor in May of 2017, she started the Paralegal Studies bachelor’s degree program at Peirce in September. “I actually heard about Peirce from Mary Sims! She told me it would be a great fit for me since I liked the small-school feel. She also told me about scholarship opportunities, and that all my credits would transfer. It’s been great because there hasn’t been much of an adjustment.”

Incredibly, Myasia attends most of her classes here on campus even though she does work from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday. “It’s tight most days, but I always do my best to come in for class. I really like the in-person element, but it’s also great to be able to log-in to class online if I can’t make it into the city after work.”

When she’s not working at Sabatina and Associates, spending time with her family, or at Peirce College in the evening for class, Myasia loves to exercise, cook and eat, and explore Philadelphia. She wishes she had more free time, but she knows that a bright future (with more leisure time) awaits her after she completes not only her bachelor’s degree, but her master’s degree as well! Peirce College salutes Manor College on providing a fantastic educational foundation for Myasia, and wishes her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Partnerships, at 215.670.9203 or ttschop@peirce.edu.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Get to Know More About Peirce’s ABA-Approved Paralegal Studies Program

At Peirce College, our Paralegal Studies program offers students the opportunity to build a solid career as a legal professional. From a certificate to an associate to a bachelor’s degree, Peirce offers it all. This month we are featuring (and applauding) the Paralegal Studies program.

Peirce’s Paralegal Studies program allows students and alumni to stand out above the rest! Peirce’s paralegal studies bachelor’s degree is the only American Bar Association (ABA) approved program of its kind in the Philadelphia region. During their time with Peirce, students prepare for careers working in law firms, judicial offices, corporate legal and human resources departments, government, nonprofit organizations and more!

Need more convincing? Hear from one of our students on how pursuing her paralegal degree at Peirce is exactly what she wanted (and needed):

After her five children were grown and her husband was settled into his own business, Robyn Petersen realized that it was time for her to do something for herself. Robyn immediately knew what she wanted to do – head back to school.

Robyn always had the idea of earning her degree in the back of her mind and recently found the inspiration she needed. With over 11 years of Human Resource experience at TD Bank, it was time to broaden her horizons.

Robyn said, “I could acquire as much experience as possible, but wanted a degree in something I was passionate about that would lend itself to multiple people and issues.” This is what motivated Robyn to attend Camden County College to complete her associate’s degree.

After finding her balance with work, family and school, Robyn excelled and graduated in 2018 with her degree in Paralegal Studies. Following this accomplishment, Robyn wasn’t quite sure what her next step would be. Luckily, a classmate saved the day. “I was speaking with a fellow student who mentioned they would be transitioning to Peirce following graduation. She explained to me how Peirce College had the only ABA-approved bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies in the Philadelphia area and I was instantly intrigued,” explained Robyn, “My husband and I came out to visit and as soon as my Enrollment Specialist, Blake Scull, welcomed us, I felt that this is where I needed to be.”

Once Robyn started at Peirce, she immediately felt the support. Right away, Robyn said she was included in the Legal Studies Student Association where she could learn and participate in various events and activities. In addition to this new organization, Robyn found support from her professors, especially Professor Cynthia Gentile, who brought an important event up to Robyn and encouraged her to attend.

This event would change Robyn’s educational journey for the better: The South Jersey Legal Association’s Paralegal Education Symposium. “I learned and gained so much from this event. I recommend it to every student out there looking for a networking opportunity. I got to meet so many people and grow in my experiences just from one event,” said Robyn.

In addition to the new relationships made, Robyn left the event with a goody bag in hand. When she took a look inside, she found a form for a scholarship opportunity. After giving it some thought, she applied and, to her surprise, she WON! Robyn is now the proud recipient of the 2018 Paralegal Educational Scholarship.

After receiving this honor, Robyn is now back in the classroom; she is giving it her all and pursuing her academic and professional goals. Robyn said what she loves most about taking part in Peirce’s Paralegal Studies program is, “you can get a certificate, an associate and/or a bachelor’s degree. Not many places offer all three and these days you need a higher education credential to land a job, so the flexibility of offering all three is incredible.”

Now, a proud scholarship recipient and a dedicated student, Robyn is on the fast-track to earning her bachelor’s degree with an anticipated graduation year of 2019. Following graduation, Robyn hopes to work as a corporate paralegal, so she can combine her passion for working with people and the law.

Peirce College and the Legal Studies Department are honored to serve a student like Robyn who is finally chasing her personal goals by earning her bachelor’s degree! To learn more about our Paralegal Studies program, reach out to our Admissions Team at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Check back next month to see what program feature will be up next!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Two Degrees Later: Wayne Vance Exceeded All Expectations

Many years ago, a high school counselor told Wayne Vance he just didn’t have what it took to go to college. After earning two bachelor’s degrees, receiving multiple educational awards and gaining an acceptance into an MBA program – Wayne proved he not only had what it took to go to college, but he had what it took to conquer his educational dreams.

Despite his successes today, Wayne’s college journey did not start out as easily as it does for some. With the high school counselor’s words circling his mind, Wayne never felt he was good enough. Luckily, this negativity did not hold him back. Wayne started focusing on his career and began to move up the ladder to a supervisor role.

Then one day, it hit him.

Wayne had 17 people reporting to him, 13 of which were earning their college degrees. He knew he could do it, too, but he just needed to get beyond his hesitations and fears. Once he made the leap of faith, he never went back.

Starting at another institution, Wayne found he had the capability to succeed, but he hadn’t found the right fit yet. Thankfully, Wayne did find a professor who soon turned into his mentor. She recognized his strengths and his needs in order to be successful in the college environment; that’s when Wayne heard of Peirce College. “My mentor knew I needed an educational community, which was lacking at my first institution. She had colleagues who worked and spoke highly of Peirce; so she knew it was what I needed. From the Walker Center to the caring professors, Peirce had the nurturing environment I was looking for,” said Wayne.

Wayne took his mentor’s advice seriously and after much discussion, Wayne found himself applying and starting at Peirce in September 2012 in the Technology Management program. After finding his niche with the accelerated classes, Wayne was able to finally complete his first bachelor’s degree in August 2016. As Wayne waited to walk across the commencement stage in June 2017, he decided to put his time to good use and started right back up in the Accounting program at Peirce.

Wayne said he decided on Technology Management and Accounting because he believes they are both the backbone of any business. “I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so my passion fell with the two primary pieces of a business: Information Technology and Accounting,” explained Wayne, “They work well together and go hand-in-hand as I continue growing my business mindset.”

Wayne said not only did both programs contribute to his passion for education, but the professors did, as well. “The professors at Peirce are exceptional. My professors would call me even on the weekends to work through accounting problems because they truly cared about my successes,” said Wayne, “You get individualized attention. You become a part of the Peirce family. Faculty and staff know the students personally ensuring you are not just a number.”

As Wayne continued to find success at Peirce with his education, he also found success with his career. In July 2016, Peirce’s Career Development Services found Wayne a way to not only keep up with his studies, but also gain real-world experience. The accounts payable department was looking for a work study and CDS knew just who to call. Wayne started and immediately found interest and importance in this field of work. After just a few months of dedication, Wayne was asked to move from work study to a part-time employee where he currently resides today as an Accounts Payable Representative.

Wayne said eventually as he continues growing and progressing in his career, he hopes to one day be a professor in higher education. He said, “Thirty-five years ago I was told I was not college material and now I can happily say I certainly was. No one deserves to hear they are not good enough. Some may take longer than others, but everyone can do it. I want to be an educator to help everyone get to where I am today.”

As of this month, June 2018, Wayne has certainly exceeded all expectations. He not only received his second degree – Bachelor of Science in Accounting, but he also was awarded the Alumni Association Raymond L. Palzer ’52 Academic Leadership Award at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony.

Peirce is honored to not only have Wayne as one of our Peirce alumni community members, but also as a staff member who contributes daily to the work and mission of the College.

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

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.















Timestamp:

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 ttschop@peirce.edu.

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.