Friday, July 27, 2018

Remembering Brian Webb

In May 2018, tragedy struck when Brian Webb, a 2018 Peirce healthcare graduate, lost his life. Brian was an incredible student, community member, son and friend. He is remembered and cherished by many, including his Peirce College family.

In celebration of Brian’s memory, today we are sharing his story of persistence, determination, and success.


As is the case with many students, when Brian Webb graduated from high school, he wasn’t quite ready for college. According to Brian’s mother, Mrs. Juanita Webb, Brian was very self-aware of what he wanted and needed at that time in his life, so he joined the United States Airforce. After leaving the military, he established a place for himself in the City’s workforce.

One day, seemingly out of the blue, Brian approached his mother and declared he was going back to school. In recalling the moment between them, Mrs. Webb said, “Brian inspired himself. It was all a personal decision and journey. I was, of course, very encouraging of this decision once he enrolled, but Brian came to this new educational path all on his own.”

Brian first started his educational journey at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) where he earned his associate degree. And while this was an incredible accomplishment, he still had bigger dreams to realize. A proud mom, Mrs. Webb watched him seamlessly transition from CCP to Peirce College to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration.

Brian’s mother explained, “Brian’s hobby was his education. There was never a time he wasn’t studying, reading or writing a paper. He found such interest in the topics. I never knew of his passion for the healthcare industry until he was so involved in it during college.”

In addition to Brian’s passion for education and the healthcare field, Brian had a drive to be kind to everyone, everywhere. Mrs. Webb said, “Brian found the good in every situation and every person. He would always look for the positive no matter where he went or who he met.” His kind spirit extended well beyond supporting people. Brian also had a passion for nature. In his spare time, you could find him giving time, energy and love to the beautification of surrounding lawns.

Brian completed his degree in April 2018 and was scheduled to walk across the stage at the Kimmel Center this past June. He passed away in May. Although his death was a devastating tragedy to all who knew him, his life was still a gift to those who called him relative, colleague, Peirce community member and dear friend.

As Brian’s family and friends continue to remember him for his passion for education, humility and kindness, Mrs. Webb also wants to underscore some advice she knows Brian would encourage. “For all those individuals out there thinking they are too old to go back to school or those who think they won’t be able to keep up, it is never too late. Brian was as sharp as ever at his age and he would encourage everyone to follow their dreams. Brian had a dream of earning his bachelor’s degree and he made it happen; his dream came true!”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Preparing Students For A High Demand Industry: Information Technology

Prominent cybersecurity breaches have become almost a daily occurrence. Such events dominate the news, happening on a larger scale than ever before. No one seems immune, and individual computer users, retailers, financial institutions and even the government all struggle to detect, remedy and deter cyberattacks. Despite the costly and difficult battle they attempt to fight, they can't seem to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

As a result, cyber- and information security knowledge is in huge demand in the job market. This month, we highlight Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration, and Information Security (NAIS) as the program feature of the month to show how Peirce College has been offering a portfolio of security coursework preparing graduates to meet this lucrative, growing demand for over a decade.

Peirce’s Information Technology with a concentration in Networking, Administration, and Information Security (NAIS) program offers six courses that focus on cyber, network and information security. These courses range from those that focus on highly technical “hands-on” skills to courses that tackle the mission-critical administrative, policy and training issues that transcend technology.

Our security coursework starts with Introduction to Network Security, which addresses the technologies and procedures to identify and mitigate risk and identify and remedy security incidents, in the name of maintaining the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization’s information. This course aligns to the objectives of the popular CompTIA Security + industry certification, which provide those seeking to build a career in security a respected, vendor-neutral credential to demonstrate to employers their mastery of network security basics.

The CompTIA Security + certification is not only a well-regarded certification in the field of Network and Information Security, it is also a requirement for most IT Security jobs in government and for government contractors.

Additionally, the four information security (“ISC”) courses students will take part in provide a broader, high-level perspective on the many facets of cybersecurity, addressing security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations and software development security.

These courses align with the objectives of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium’s (ISC2) much sought-after CISSP certification, an advanced certification which has long been considered the gold standard of Information Security Certification.

In addition to Peirce’s advanced security-based courses already developed, there are currently plans to add a course that maps to the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacking certification (CEH), as well as a security-related cloud and virtualization course.

In the Peirce Information Technology division, our goal is to provide the education that puts our graduates in the best possible position to succeed in the workforce. By providing a well-rounded core of foundational IT skills in conjunction with deeper, up to date knowledge in high demand specialties like cybersecurity, we are able to do just that.

To learn more about our Information Technology 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!

Monday, July 23, 2018

A Degree and A Proposal – Machele Jackson’s Dreams Came True

Machele Jackson first attended a Peirce College Commencement as a proud family member in the audience. As Machele watched her sister walk across the Kimmel Center Stage, she felt a sense of desire to also achieve this milestone. This was when Machele knew it was time to head back to school.

As the age of 30 quickly approached, Machele found herself working a job that was not aligned with her true passion. Machele knew she wanted to pursue a career in medical coding, but was never sure how to make the transition. Once her sister encouraged her to invest in her future by attending Peirce and then, furthermore, after discovering the healthcare programs offered, Machele was sold and never looked back.

Machele joined the Peirce community in January 2015 by enrolling in the Health Information Technology program, which would allow for her to finally be on the path to her dream career. Machele said, “I gained so much from this degree program; from a better working knowledge of medical coding to developing many new relationships. Most importantly, I have gained a better sense of who I am and became extremely marketable to employers.”

In addition to the new personal and professional skills, Machele said, “I value the flexibility of Peirce College as well as the consistent involvement from the professors. The professors always seem to understand and respect you are an adult with responsibilities, but, yet they continue to encourage you to push yourself!”

Machele was able to find her success with Peirce and as of June 2018 she was now the one crossing the stage of the Kimmel Center earning her Associate in Science in Health Information Technology.

As if the night of commencement was not already exciting enough for Machele, she had another big surprise waiting for her as soon as the ceremony concluded. Once in the lobby of the Kimmel Center where family and friends gathered to celebrate her successes, her boyfriend, Robert Forrest, got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage! Machele said, “I was completely taken back and even more overwhelmed. We have been together for 18 years come this November; we are high school sweethearts.”

Machele said this special moment was the perfect ending to a perfect night for both of them. Robert is not only now Machele’s fiancé, but he has been her constant support system throughout her college journey. “Robert has spent a lot of his time making sure that I made test deadlines and stayed awake to complete assignments. He definitely deserves some of the credit for my successes because he was by my side every step of the way. I am glad that he was able to enjoy this moment as much as me,” explained Machele.

As Machele now prepares for planning a wedding, she still has her career goals in focus. As a Supervisor for Veterans Administration in Philadelphia, Machele said she has already been able to directly apply what she learned and gained at Peirce to her current position. Machele hopes to continue to grow into management one day with her new skills and degree.

Congratulations to Machele on graduation and her recent engagement! We wish her nothing but a lifetime of success and happiness as she continues chasing her dreams.

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Rebecca Carpenter Found Her Niche In The Small School Setting

Rebecca Carpenter graduated high school in 2008 and immediately started her college career at a much larger university in the Philadelphia area, thinking that the big-school feel would be perfect for her. But like many Peirce College students, she eventually discovered that the sheer size of the campus and lack of student focus left her wanting more. Following the birth of her son shortly there-after, Rebecca knew she needed more of a hands-on experience in a smaller class setting, so she enrolled at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC).

“I had always been interested in health sciences, so when I started college I wanted to be a nurse,” Rebecca said, “But then I had my son, and I knew it would be almost impossible to work typical nursing hours while taking care of him. So, I started at MCCC originally intending to do Medical Billing and Coding, but after I earned my certification I wanted to continue on and get my associate degree.” Rebecca finally accomplished her goal in June of 2017, when she graduated from MCCC with her associate degree in Health Services Administration.

Fortunately for Rebecca, she soon found a great job working as the Manager of Revenue Cycle for the Neurosurgery Department at University of Pennsylvania Hospital. It had been her intention to continue on in this position when, to her surprise, Rebecca was alerted that there was a new job opportunity within her department in a leadership position. In order to achieve this new career goal, Rebecca knew she needed her bachelor’s degree. That’s when she learned about the Organizational Leadership bachelor’s degree program at Peirce College.

“My manager at work was actually a Peirce College student, so she told me it would be a great place to transfer my credits and earn my bachelor’s degree,” Rebecca said. “She knew I would need a flexible class schedule because of my full-time work schedule and my son. I also knew as a visual learner I might need a mix of in-person and online school. Once I learned that Peirce provided what I was looking for and nearly all of my credits transferred, that was that.”

Since Rebecca works full-time at University of Pennsylvania Hospital and also raises her son, she takes advantage of the PeirceFit® format. She tries to make it in to the College as often as she can, but she says that her online courses still effectively foster a community feel. “I know I have all the resources I need to succeed,” she says. “It’s great to feel interactive with other students and instructors even though I attend class online most weeks.”

When asked what advice she might share with anyone considering a return to college after having children or working full time, Rebecca laughed and shared her favorite quote, a line from Finding Nemo, “‘Just keep swimming!’ As difficult and overwhelming as things may seem, people are so much stronger and more resilient than they give themselves credit for.” Rebecca claims that she “doesn’t know what free time is anymore,” but smiles and says that her favorite hobby is hiking outside with her son and their dog.

Peirce College wishes Rebecca the best of luck and congratulates her on her achievements thus far, and commends Montgomery County Community College on providing Rebecca with an excellent educational foundation!

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, July 17, 2018

Earn Your First Competency FREE With CBE!

Do you know someone who is looking to earn their bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in the most affordable and efficient way possible? If so, now is the time to refer them to Peirce’s competency-based education program, so they can earn their first competency completely for free!

The College has launched a free trial program that lets prospective CBE students take a brief trial course to better understand the system and how it works, all while earning their first competency in the program. There is no catch; we want anyone who is interested to see how this unique learning model can work for them. It’s a sneak peek into your future academic journey.

It’s simple to sign up. Just head to peirce.edu/CBE-Free-Trial and click the “Sign Up Here” button; create an account and you’ll immediately be entered into the CBE Free Trial portal. This portal will give you direct access to the FREE CBE introduction course. Read the instructions at the top and start completing your course activities!

Now is a great time to get started on finally earning that degree. And with our free trial program, you can earn your first competency before you even apply! Contact our Admissions Department if you have any questions.

*The credit for prior learning is not transferrable to other institutions or other Peirce College programs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

It’s Time to Discover Endless Possibilities at Peirce Night

Since 1865, Peirce College has welcomed new students to campus with open arms, ready to get the next round of dreamers on the right path to earning their degree. That’s why our open houses have always been designed specifically to help prospective students build a plan for the future they deserve.

This year, we decided to take that a step further by offering even more at Peirce Night! In addition to setting a degree completion plan, our in-house career development expert, Sharon Thompsonowak, will lead an exclusive LinkedIn workshop. By partnering with our Career Development Services department, you can now obtain professional career insights you can’t get anywhere else.

The workshop will help you discover the secrets to building and using LinkedIn for career advancement and how networking can assist in taking your career to the next level. Free LinkedIn headshots will also be taken.

Following the workshop, you’ll receive individualized attention from your personal Enrollment Specialist and Financial Aid Specialist, to help you set a plan for getting the qualifications you need to really standout in the marketplace. Enrolling at Peirce gives you the opportunity to gain the skills and credentials necessary to be better prepared for career progression in the workforce. You’ll also make deep connections to our faculty, who are professionals with extensive experience and networks in their industries, and our expansive alumni network. There are more than 6,800 Peirce alumni on LinkedIn, so becoming a Peirce student will immediately give you access to a robust community of professionals throughout the Philadelphia region.

Don’t miss out on the new and improved Peirce Night on Thursday, August 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on campus (1420 Pine St., Philadelphia, PA 19102) where you will get the chance to combine your experience and desire with a degree and networking skills! Register today by visiting peirce.edu/peircenight. If you can’t make it to this open house or would like to speak to an Enrollment Specialist prior to the event, please reach out to our Admissions team at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

From An Open House to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital – Meet Tiffani Nazzario

Tiffani Nazzario was familiar with Peirce College after being raised by two Peirce Alumni parents! But, following high school graduation, Tiffani wasn’t entirely sure where her future would lead her.

Tiffani decided to take a look at the College where her parents found success and attended an open house. After meeting Professor Stephanie Donovan, Faculty Chair and Associate Professor of Health Programs, Tiffani was sold. Tiffani said, “[Professor Donovan] made a presentation that really stood out to me and made me make up my mind that this was the college I wanted to go to.”

Once Tiffani’s mind was set on where she would attend college, the next question came rather quickly: what program would she enroll in? After hearing from Professor Donovan and reflecting on her true passions, Tiffani decided to take part in the Healthcare Administration program. She said, “I chose Healthcare Administration because I always wanted to help people. I felt that by being in the healthcare field, I could help patients and medical personnel on a daily basis.”

Once Tiffani started, she immediately realized she had made the right decision. Tiffani began learning more than she could have imagined as soon as classes started, “Healthcare Administration expanded my horizons on many things like health insurance, medical issues, certain illnesses and business operations that go on in a hospital or healthcare facility.” Tiffani knew she was getting the knowledge she needed to succeed in an ever-growing industry.

After much dedication and years of hard work, Tiffani was able to complete her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration in June 2018. But before she achieved this astounding accomplishment, she was able to reach her post-graduation goal before she even crossed the commencement stage! As of May 2018, Tiffani was offered and accepted an Administrative Assistant position in the Clinical Research department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Tiffani said, “I value Peirce College so much for giving me the education and degree that helped me achieve my goal of working at a hospital. I gained so much knowledge and Peirce really helped me come out of my shell and develop my intrapersonal and communication skills.”

As Tiffani transitions into a Peirce alumna and takes on the workforce, she left us with a little insight for all future students on how she was able to reach her goals, “Peirce College is such a great school not just for young students, but for older students, as well. Peirce is the best because they offer night classes, many classes online and Peirce Fit® classes, which allow you to pick from week-to-week if you want to attend class online or on campus. The faculty and staff here at Peirce College really care about you and treat everyone like one big family, and I just love that.”

Congratulations to Tiffani on obtaining her degree and landing her dream job! We wish her nothing but success as she continues chasing her dreams.

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