Thursday, August 30, 2018

Flexible, Rigorous & Accredited – Get To Know Peirce’s Accounting Program

We know Peirce means business, and what is business without accounting?

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the projected number of accountant and auditor positions in the US is expected to increase by 10% by 2026, and this growth is faster than the average of all other occupations. If that is not enough, the median pay for Accountants and Auditors in nearly $70k per year.

Now that I have your attention, let me share some specifics on how Peirce College’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting program can get you there.

Last year, I was part of a team who conducted a comprehensive review of Peirce’s accounting program. The results encouraged an increase in flexibility, while maintaining rigor. With that in mind, we adjusted our curriculum to offer students the flexibility to transfer in previously earned credits, as we know many students come in with previous college coursework completed outside of Peirce. In alignment with our rigorous curriculum, if you are interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant, we offer courses with the content knowledge needed to sit for the CPA exam.

As a student, you will take classes in the areas of business, finance, accounting (Intermediate I, II, and Managerial), international business and cultures, taxation, stats, auditing and ethical leadership. If you have a desire to pursue the Certified Public Accountant exam, we also recommend courses in advanced accounting, government & non-profit accounting, cost accounting and management as electives.

But wait, there’s more! Did you know our accounting program holds a specialized accreditation by ACBSP? If not, now you do! ACBSP is the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and recognizes not only our business administration program, but also designates Peirce College’s accounting program as only 1 of 19 in the country with this specialized ACBSP Accounting Accreditation. Most notably, we are the only college/university in Philadelphia with this recognition!

Not only do we have the flexibility, rigor and accreditation, we also have a diverse and experienced faculty with connections to industry associations where students may be able to get involved and earn potential scholarships! These industry associations include PICAP (Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants), NABA (National Association of Black Accountants), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and more. As a student, discounted memberships are frequently available and encouraged. In fact, one of our accounting students, Ashley Reed, was awarded one of fifty scholarships in the state of PA! She was granted a $4,000 scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year from PICPA. Congratulations Ashley!

Eager to get started with this growing and successful program and industry? Reach out to our Admissions team today to learn more at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From A Catering Job To Catering To Her Education – Meet Alex Georgiou

As the summer months come to a quick close and school starts back up for many, we have one more incredible 2018 Peirce Graduate to feature for the summer series. Alex Georgiou, an inspirational and determined alumna, shares her story of perseverance, hard work and accomplishment.

When Alex started considering career paths in high school, her immediate passions drew her to the music industry, specifically music education. After auditions and applications, Alex was accepted into a liberal arts school and received a merit scholarship to play the euphonium. Unfortunately, as life does, it threw a curve ball that required Alex to question every plan she had set.

“My excitement to go off to college, far from home, was halted when my father was diagnosed with cancer,” explained Alex. “I had to make a decision – delay my first year of college to be with my family, potentially losing my scholarship – or moving 500 miles away from my family at this difficult time.”

After much debate and support from her family, Alex decided to head off to college where she stayed for about two years. After these few semesters, Alex found it too difficult to be far from home under such circumstances, so she moved back to Philadelphia and joined the workforce.

Fortunately, her father beat the cancer and was on the road to recovery as Alex continued to work hard with multiple jobs in the Philadelphia region. Among the multiple jobs, there was one in particular with a catering company that led her to more than she could have ever imagined.

“For years I did catering service and got to know Peirce by serving students, alumni, faculty and staff at large events like the Alumni Spring Reception. It was at these events that I learned a lot about the Peirce Family – the events were always diverse, accepting and full of joy,” said Alex.

With this new exposure to a college that really worked for working adults, Alex began to contemplate going back to school to finally earn the bachelor’s degree she had always wanted, “When I started to think about finishing my degree, I was encouraged to consider Peirce by my contacts in the school, and having come to know the people here I felt like it would be a great fit.”

In January 2015, Alex officially enrolled with the College and was thrilled to immediately discover her previous coursework would not go unappreciated as Peirce’s Integrated Leadership (now: Organizational Leadership) program was able to accept most of her previously earned credits and set her up for an efficient degree completion process.

During Alex’s time as a student, she said what she valued the most were the people who surrounded her not only in the classroom, but in her outside-the-classroom experiences, as well. Alex was able to gain knowledge about interpersonal dynamics and organizational dynamics, which she could directly apply to the workforce. In addition to these soft skills, Alex gained a well-connected and caring family, “I value the people that I met, the network that I’ve developed both with Peirce faculty and staff and the students.”

It was with this supportive Peirce community that Alex was able to keep going as another difficult time entered her life. Alex's mom, Polly, was, unfortunately, diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Like Alex, Polly had returned to college as an adult and knew the balance it took to manage all aspects of life. With that, Polly encouraged her daughter to keep going, despite what she was facing. She made Alex promise to stay in school and to continue chasing her dream.

"I reallocated my time so I could help with my mom's care and continue with my classes. Without the Peirce Fit® program I don't know how I would have been able to manage everything,” Alex said.

Now, as a proud 2018 graduate, Alex reflects back on her time with Peirce and provides encouragement for all those considering taking the leap of faith to head back to school. “Do it! Schedule your time! Not only for your classwork but also for yourself – you need to take care of yourself so you can succeed in school and so you can take care of everybody else in your life,” explained Alex, “I struggle with keeping things balanced, but completing my degree helped me prove to myself that I can be effective, professional and that I can do it!”

And Alex sure did do it! In June 2018, Alex crossed the commencement stage officially earning her Bachelor of Science in Integrated Leadership. But that was not all she accomplished, she also graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Student Award. Alex had finally achieved her educational dreams surrounded and supported by her immediate family, including Alex’s extremely proud mother, Polly, who is doing well these days, and now her new and ever-growing Peirce family.

As Alex officially enters the workforce with a degree in hand, she is happy to report she didn’t leave Peirce for too long. “I recently became a full-time team member in the Student Financial Services department here at Peirce. I support students and staff as an Administrative Coordinator.” As Alex gives a lot of credit for her new job to her education, she also gives a shout-out to the department where she was a work study during her college experience, “I learned a great deal from Career Development Services and Leslie and Sharon are the best. All students should make an appointment to further develop their career goals and preparation. They helped me so much!”

Congratulations to Alex on not only completing her much-desired bachelor’s degree, but also landing a full-time position! We wish Alex nothing but success as she continues chasing her goals one degree at a time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Year Up Greater Philadelphia Graduate Shahrzad Mohammed Shares Her Journey

When Shahrzad Mohammed and her mother suddenly found themselves moving from Brooklyn to Philadelphia, Shahrzad’s life came to a screeching halt.

For as long as she could remember, she had lived in New York with her mother, building a life filled with friends and interests. Then one day, things changed and Shahrzad wasn’t sure what to do next. Moving to Philadelphia was an entirely new world for her; one moment she was constantly go, go, go and the next she was in a completely different environment feeling lost.

During this trying time, a friend from New York came to visit. Unfortunately, the visit was anything but uplifting. Shahrzad and her friend were in a terrible car accident, which led to weeks of physical therapy.

As Shahrzad prepared for physical therapy one day, she stopped and looked around at her life. She asked herself, “what am I really doing?” To her dismay, she realized the most exciting thing in her life was going to physical therapy. That was when she realized she needed a change.

After searching the internet, Shahrzad came across a Year Up advertisement and decided to apply. She felt that Year Up’s offer of job skills training, Peirce College courses, and an internship would be an opportunity to take her life in the direction she wanted.

After attending an information session right here on Peirce's campus, she started prepping for her next steps, which would involve an interview. After scheduling and practicing, she felt ready to go, but, to Shahrzad’s dismay, her interviewer got sick on the day of the interview. She didn’t let this hiccup slow her down though; she still handed in her paperwork, which included a personal essay where she was able to demonstrate her true passion, writing. After sharing this piece with Year Up, they asked her to interview on the spot due to her skill set. Following the interview and a few whirlwind days of paperwork, Shahrzad was accepted into Class 9 of Year Up Greater Philadelphia in August 2017.

As eager as Shahrzad was to get started, there was one personal struggle standing in her way. She suffers from social anxiety, so getting herself to join and take part in an organization filled with complete strangers in a totally new place was a lot. But Shahrzad knew she needed this program, so she pushed herself to attend the first day and take a chance on this new program.

At first, Shahrzad felt pessimistic and unsure of the room filled with fellow classmates and leaders. She had only felt negativity for so long, she wasn’t sure she could find the positive in anything anymore. Then, Shahrzad learned that many people in the room felt similar to how she did and experienced similar life challenges.

“Year Up created such a community and amazing space where even the most cynical people could eventually turn around and start moving forward,” explained Shahrzad. “We all understood there will always be scars, but now we saw how they could become manageable.”

Shahrzad chose to take part in the Information Technology track (Year Up students can choose between IT and Business). “I was hesitant at first and it was a little weird when classes started because I was originally interested in anthropology in New York,” she said. “But, computers have always been an interest of mine so I decided to go this route.””

After taking classes at Peirce for a semester, Shahrzad was placed in an internship with Wells Fargo. However, she found out quickly that IT wasn’t the right career path for her.

“The first thing I realized when I started with Wells Fargo was how much I didn’t actually like IT,” she said. “But, I decided to take the opportunity to talk to people and network to discover what I really did like.”

Shahrzad started moving around the company learning about different departments and discovered her niche with communications. Shahrzad was able to focus on her passion for writing and found herself contributing to company website content, newsletters, newspapers and more.

She credits the things she learned in the first part of the Year Up program with helping her break out of her shell and become “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Without these skills, she may have never had the drive to seek out other opportunities and find something she truly loved.

As Shahrzad’s internship concluded, she was encouraged to begin applying for full-time positions within Wells Fargo. As she got ready to start the process, to her surprise, she didn’t have to apply to a single one! A manager at the company approached her and offered her a position working for him in San Francisco at Wells Fargo headquarters. She knew this was the journey and fresh start she was looking for. So, as of August 1, 2018, Shahrzad relocated to California to begin her next adventure as an Innovation Strategy Associate.

In just a year, Shahrzad went from feeling lost in her Philadelphia apartment to landing a career in San Francisco with the help of Year Up Greater Philadelphia and Peirce College. Congratulations, Shahrzad! Best of luck on this journey!

Are you a young adult who could benefit from the Year Up program? Do you know someone who might be interested? Visit peirce.edu/YearUp to learn more!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Valley Forge Military College Transfer, An Eager Entrepreneur & Now A Peirce Student: Meet Corey Hinson

Corey Hinson always knew he wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree, but when he started to work full-time after he earned his associate degree in Criminal Justice, his education was put on hold. With initial dreams of becoming a police officer after graduating from Valley Forge Military College (VFMC), a proud Peirce partner, he instead decided to take a different route and began working with Public Safety at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Soon after he started security work with Jefferson Hospital, Corey realized he was great at his job, which inspired him to start his own personal security company which he devotes about 20 hours to per week. Corey said, “I had originally wanted to be a police officer, but then once I was exposed to security and public safety I knew it was a strong suit of mine, and that I could go far with it.”

But after four years of working in this field, Corey took on an additional managerial job at a restaurant that changed his outlook on his future. “I started to get interested in business principles. I wanted to learn more about how to grow my own business, and maybe start another one in the future.” But, more than anything, Corey started to heavily consider a career in teaching and inspiring others. For each of those reasons, Corey enrolled in Peirce College’s Organizational Leadership program in January of 2018.

When asked about how Valley Forge Military College set him up for success both professionally and academically, Corey was very enthusiastic in his praise. “VFMC gave me additional structure and discipline that I was able to eventually apply to my career. Everything from time management, learning study habits, working with the other cadets, it was all instrumental,” explained Corey.

Though there was a four-year gap between Corey earning his associate degree and when he started at Peirce, he says that he was well prepared to begin school again due to his background at VFMC. “There are more similarities than differences between VFMC and Peirce,” he said. “The small-school feel, the way the instructors make themselves available to help you whenever you need it, the family atmosphere; there are tons of things that make them both feel like home to me.”

Corey’s GPA has improved with each of his sessions at Peirce College, currently standing at 3.3. He continues to work full-time at Jefferson Hospital, part-time at his own business and attends school full-time. Needless to say, Corey doesn’t have much free time on his hands, but when he has a moment he enjoys working out, catching up on TV and spending time with his girlfriend.

Peirce College commends Valley Forge Military College on providing Corey with an excellent educational foundation, and we wish Corey nothing but the best of luck in all of his 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.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Using LinkedIn to Advance Your Career

Most people know that LinkedIn is a great tool for managing a professional network. But did you know that LinkedIn is also an important tool in job searching and career planning especially as a Peirce College student?

LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with over 7,100 Peirce alumni throughout the Philadelphia region and across the globe. You can reach out directly to people with whom you’d like to connect, or use LinkedIn’s alumni tool to quickly see who is working in your target industry. According to LinkedIn, 70% of people are hired at a company where they already have a first- or second-degree connection, so these connections become an important way to move your career forward. Reviewing the profiles of senior executives (or someone who recently changed careers) is also an important way to inform your own career moves. You can see what types of jobs helped these individuals advance, and think about what types of 3-5 year jobs will help you reach your 5-10 year career.

In addition, LinkedIn continues to develop career-related resources, most recently launching a new job-searching tool that lets you search job postings by industry and region, as well as a salary comparison tool so that job seekers can quickly see average pay rates for candidates with similar levels of experience in their industries.

These tools are important because most workers today will need to develop their own career pathways. The more you know about opportunities that are available, the pay rates you can expect – and, of course, the pathways of others – the more you will be able to map out your strategic moves.

Remember that all of this work builds on a strong LinkedIn profile that includes:
  • A clear photo of you, smiling, in front of a neutral background
  • A snappy headline that captures your core professional skills
  • A brief summary of your experience to date (think: personal commercial or elevator pitch)
  • Your complete work, educational and volunteer histories
But you don’t have to do this alone! Your network starts at Peirce. Not only will Career Development Services (CDS) help you amp up your LinkedIn profile, you can also get a new headshot taken right in the CDS office. Contact us at 215.670.9202 or cds@peirce.edu to make an appointment today!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

How Do You Find Balance? What Does it Take? – We Are Here To Help!

With the start of the 2018-2019 academic year, the Health Programs division at Peirce College is honored to be starting a monthly blog series where we introduce you to our experienced and knowledgeable faculty and connect you with some of our corporate partners all while giving you the inside scoop on what’s new in the healthcare industry.

For the first post, I wanted to share a bit of inspiration to start us off. I wanted to discuss a bit about pursuing your degree as an adult and how the Health Programs division, and the entire College, is here to support and encourage you every step of the way.

With September just around the corner, some of you will begin your studies at Peirce as first-time college students, others may be returning to the classroom after a long hiatus and some may be joining us from a different higher education institution. Stepping into a new academic environment can feel vulnerable, uncomfortable and downright scary, but it can also be empowering, and it’s a necessary step toward creating the future you envision for yourself.

As an adult learner and current student, I have been reflecting on what it takes to pull it off, to get through it, to balance work, life, school and all the messy stuff that we hope to avoid until we reach graduation. I’ve come to learn that life will throw us wicked curveballs at the most inopportune times calling on us to dig deep, stand tall and keep moving forward.

So how do we balance it all? Getting organized, being able to prioritize and practicing effective time management are among the critical building blocks of academic success. The rapport we have with our faculty members and our willingness to reach out for help, guidance and clarification cannot be underestimated as an important part of the success puzzle. And leaning on our support system of family, friends, neighbors and community is vital, especially when things get tough.

What is it that keeps us going in the toughest of times? This may take some personal reflection. Perhaps it is our perceptions of ourselves and our ability to overcome failure. Perhaps it is trusting that our most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Perhaps it is seeing and believing in the final end result.

What does this mean for us? Higher education is designed to transform us as individuals, but expect turbulence along the way. Earning your degree is supposed to be hard; it’s part of what makes the reward of holding your diploma so sweet.

Completing your degree may very well be one of the hardest endeavors of your life. Hopefully, it will also rank among those most worthwhile. When you hit bumps in the road, and it’s likely you will, remember why you started and be kind to yourself along the way. Good luck!

Check back in each month to see what the Health Programs division has to say next!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

From Bachelor’s to Master’s to Doctorate – Meet Timmi Kilgore

Back in 2016, Timmi Kilgore shared a bit of her story on finally achieving her dream of earning her bachelor’s degree. She spoke of perseverance, dedication and her commitment to showing her children and grandchildren the true importance of education.

As Timmi completed her first goal of earning her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, she knew she wasn’t quite done yet. As Timmi approached the end of this first educational achievement, she learned of and eventually took part in Peirce’s Grad Scholars Program. This opportunity allowed for Timmi to begin taking graduate level courses while still completing her undergraduate degree. Once she graduated with her bachelor’s, Timmi was already on the fast track to earning her master’s.

Timmi knew she wanted to continue with her education even after achieving her bachelor’s degree because as she put it, “I believe that education is the best investment that one could ever take. In life, many things can be given and taken but, once you have education nobody can take that away.”

After taking almost 30 years off prior to returning to school, Timmi is now the proud recipient of not only her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, but also her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management.

Unfortunately, earning her master’s degree was not as smooth sailing as earning her bachelor’s degree. Timmi suffered a brain injury in December 2017 right as she was finishing up her capstone course for the program. Luckily, with the support and encouragement she felt at Peirce, Timmi was able to complete her courses, tackle her newest goal and proudly cross the graduation stage for a second time in 2018.

Now, after having had to leave her job due to the brain injury, Timmi is eager to get back out in the workforce especially with her new degree and skills. But, as Timmi awaits her new career path, she is certainly not just sitting still.

Timmi recently enrolled in a doctoral degree program where she will continue to pursue her educational goals one degree at a time. Timmi said, “I only came back to school to earn one degree to inspire and motivate my children. Now I am in a doctoral program, which is way beyond any expectations that I originally had and I owe it all to Peirce. My education at Peirce has prepared me to go through the doctoral program with ease.”

Peirce College is extremely proud to serve students like Timmi who exceed their own expectations by achieving their first goal and immediately moving on to conquer the next. We wish Timmi continued success as she chases a new career and a third degree.

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

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Applications Are Open For The Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund

Last year, Peirce professors Glenn Barnes, Cynthia Gentile, and Ivy Kempf and friend of the College Dr. Ruth Shaber created the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor the late Professor Edwin B. Miller and to provide college scholarships to current Peirce Legal Studies students in need of financial assistance. Now, Peirce is excited to announce that applications are being accepted for the scholarship!

Professor Edwin B. Miller served the Peirce learning community for more than 16 years, growing the College’s Legal Studies programs and educating, mentoring, and guiding countless adult learners. Today, the College seeks to continue Professor Miller’s proud tradition of helping mold legal minds by rewarding scholarships to those who are seeking career advancement.

In order to be eligible, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
  • Be a Peirce College undergraduate student, currently enrolled in the Paralegal Studies, Legal Studies in Business or Criminal Justice Studies programs
  • Completed at least twelve (12) credit hours at Peirce
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or above
  • Demonstrate financial need
Interested students must submit a completed application by August 10, 2018 using the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship application. Applicants must also submit a one (1) page typed essay about his/her activities at Peirce or in the community to illustrate the virtues of commitment and compassion and provide reference letters to further illustrate his/her commitment and compassion. Essay and recommendations must be submitted to scholarships@peirce.edu by the deadline.

There are a limited number of scholarships available, but we encourage all eligible students to apply. For more information, please visit the Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund page located on Peirce’s website.

If you are interested in making a gift to help grow our scholarship funds, which help our students reach their dream of attaining a college degree, please visit our Online Giving Form.