Thursday, November 29, 2018

Six Professional Associations for Health Programs Students

As a compliment to their coursework at Peirce and their field of study, our Health Programs students are encouraged to join a professional association. This past fall, Health Programs faculty identified six professional associations that directly align with Peirce’s Health Programs while determining the benefits they offer to students. As part of the monthly Health Programs blog series, in this post, I will discuss each association and highlight the benefits.

American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

AAPC is “the world’s largest training and credentialing organization for the business of healthcare, with more than 175,000 members worldwide who work in medical coding, medical billing, clinical documentation improvement, medical auditing, healthcare compliance, revenue cycle management, and practice management.”

While the benefits of AAPC membership may serve all Health Programs students, faculty believe students enrolled in Peirce’s Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding (CMC) will benefit most from AAPC membership through networking opportunities, access to resources, education and job postings. AAPC administers certification exams for Medical Coding, Medical Billing, Auditing, Medical Documentation, Compliance and Practice Management.

American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)

The American College of Healthcare Executives is “an international professional society of 48,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. ACHE's mission is to advance its members and healthcare management excellence.”

Faculty strongly encourage membership for students enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration (HCA) program. ACHE offers credentialing in FACHE® while offering financial assistance through generous scholarships to Student Associates. Interested students should explore ACHE’s resources for Students and Early Careerists and the Competency Assessment Tool.

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)

The American Health Information Management Association was “founded in 1928 and served to improve health record quality by taking a leadership role in the effective management of health data and medical records and delivering quality healthcare to the public.” Today, “AHIMA is the premier association of health information management (HIM) professionals worldwide. Serving 52 affiliated component state associations and more than 103,000 health information professionals, it is recognized as the leading source of HIM knowledge, a respected authority for rigorous professional education and training.”

AHIMA membership is recommended for all Health Programs students and especially those enrolled in Peirce’s HIM track which includes the Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding (CMC), Associate in Science in Health Information Technology (HIT) and Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration (HIA).

AHIMA offers specialty credentials in coding as well as the RHIT and RHIA credential for which graduates of the HIT and HIA programs are eligible, respectively. Students should check out their Student and Career Center online for valuable resources such as the Career Map and Salary Snapshot.

Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)

HFMA is “a membership organization that brings together executives and financial managers from provider organizations, physician practices and health plan markets to collaborate and address the many financial challenges the US healthcare system faces today. An indispensable source for networking, practical tools and industry news and perspectives, HFMA creates and delivers education, analyses, and tactical guidance to its members through a variety of programs and channels.”

Student membership of HFMA may be most beneficial to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration (HIA) and Healthcare Administration (HCA) programs. Student e-Membership is FREE and available for students currently enrolled full-time in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program and are not presently employed in the healthcare finance profession or one of its specialties.

Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

HIMSS is “a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of health through the application of information and technology. As a mission driven non-profit, HIMSS provides thought leadership, community building, public policy, professional/workforce development and engaging events to bring forward the voice of our members. HIMSS encompasses more than 70,000 global individual members, 630 corporate members, and over 450 non-profit organizations. Thousands of volunteers work through HIMSS to leverage the innovation of digital health to improve both the health of individuals and populations, as well as the quality, cost-effectiveness and access of healthcare.”

HIMSS offers two certifications; CAHIMS which is an entry-level certification and CPHIMS.

Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)

As their name implies, MGMA is a professional membership for medical group management. They “empower practices, providers and patients to create meaningful change in healthcare.”

Members can access Resources and their Career Pathways page to learn more and to get started. MGMA administers the Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) credential; the industry standard to reflect competency and knowledge in medical practice management.

To learn more about these associations and their benefits, please contact me, Dr. Stephanie Donovan, at 215.670.9327 or sadonovan@peirce.edu.

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How to Ask for a Raise

Asking for a raise can seem like an overwhelming and intimidating process, but if you prepare well you will find success when tackling this career move.

Going in cold with “Boss, I need a raise” is a big mistake. You need to present valuable and measurable reasons for why you deserve a raise. If you want to make more, you have to bring something more to the workplace.

The first step to salary advancement is asking your boss for feedback. You should know how you are currently performing, where there is room for improvement and what you need to do in order to move your career forward. Understanding these factors will allow you to lay the groundwork for a conversation about a raise.

To learn more about asking for a raise, check out the sneak peek below and then visit our webpage to view the full video on How to Ask for a Raise.





Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Peirce College has a lot to be grateful for. From our students to our alumni to our faculty and staff to all those who continue to support the College day in and day out, we THANK you.

During this season of gratitude, Peirce wanted to not only express what we are thankful for as a whole, but what each member of our community holds near and dear to their heart as we celebrate this special time of year.

Take a look at some of the things Peirce faculty and staff shared as they reflected on what they are thankful for:



Peirce College wishes everyone a safe and healthy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Mother Of Two Children; A Graduate With Two Degrees

There’s a good reason why Peirce College is often referred to as “the college that really works for working adults,” and recent graduate Shania Bebee is the perfect example. After earning her associate degree in Business Management at Montgomery County Community College, a community college partner of Peirce College, Shania wasted no time enrolling at Peirce as she knew the flexible class schedule and ability to complete her degree online would allow her to be a full-time student even while working and raising two children.

With the opportunity to balance it all, Shania decided it was time to pursue her true dream and enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management program. “Ever since I was active in a Business Academy in high school I always wanted to major in business in college. I would have majored in Human Resource Management at Montgomery County, but since it wasn’t offered, I was eager to start studying that once I moved on to Peirce,” Shania said. “Montgomery County was a great start for me, and it worked out well because even though I changed to a different business program, almost all of my credits transferred.”

When asked about her favorite aspects of Peirce College, Shania was quick to mention the support system that surrounds all students. “Peirce was very proactive in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and how they can help you overcome any hurdles. If you’re showing any signs of struggling, they’ll make sure you get tutoring, or some extra time with instructors to make sure you understand the material.”

Understandably, Shania attended most of her classes online since she worked for Cigna full-time and has her four-year-old and nine-year-old to care for. However, she loved the fact that she could attend class on-campus whenever she needed some in-person instruction or needed immediate help with coursework. “I definitely appreciated the fact that I could come in to class whenever I was struggling or needed some face time with my instructors. It was very assuring to know that I could visit the tutoring center or work one-on-one with my instructors whenever I needed help,” Shania said.

Shania was also passionate when asked what advice she might share with other adults considering a return to college. “Don’t push it off even one more day! The older you get, the more commitments and distractions you have, so you really have to juggle your time. It’ll never be a ‘good’ time to go back to school, so before even more things pile up in your life, just do it!”

Shania graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management in June 2018 with a 3.4 GPA, and is currently looking for full-time work as an HR Generalist. In her spare time, she likes to take part in her book club, work out (she’s involved with Herbalife), and spend time with her family and children. Peirce College salutes Montgomery County Community College for providing Shania with an excellent educational foundation, and we wish 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.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Soft Skills, Hard Skills: Gain It All With A Work Study Position

At Peirce College, we don’t just offer our students the opportunity to learn in the classroom, but we ensure there are plenty of out-of-the-classroom experiences to build both hard and soft skills. One of these opportunities is through the Work Study program where eligible students who are looking to increase their workforce skills while balancing school can get hands-on experience right on campus in a variety of departments.

When students are selected for Work Study positions, they work part-time alongside Peirce faculty and staff members who are eager to assist in their professional development. This opportunity is a great way to combine what you are learning in your degree program with valuable on-the-job experience – plus, you are able to cultivate strong professional relationships with your supervisors, faculty, staff and even fellow Work Study students.

Don’t just take my word for it, though: meet one of our Work Study students who shares her story of personal growth within the Work Study program at Peirce College.

After graduating from the Community College of Philadelphia, Nazia Bibi knew she wanted to continue on with her educational journey to earn her bachelor’s degree. When deciding to take on this next step, she looked around the Philadelphia area and found a school that would not only fit the style she needed, but would accept just about all of her credits. This would allow her to learn in the environment she desired while earning her degree in the most efficient way possible.

That school was Peirce College. “Peirce not only took the largest quantity of my credits, but they offered Peirce Fit® where I could have the flexibility to take class online or on-campus each week. This combination was exactly what I was looking for.”

Nazia began her journey at Peirce in Fall of 2016 when she enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program. She knew this program and this career path was for her when she encountered a personal experience that led her to where she is now.

“My father was a victim of an online scam. We had to make phone calls and figure out what was going on to solve the issue,” explained Nazia. “This is when I knew I wanted to learn more about this industry, so I could assist in stopping this type of privacy invasion.”

So far during Nazia’s time at Peirce, she has been able to obtain knowledge she had never even heard of before. “Some classes I entered, I knew nothing about the topic at hand. But by the end of the course, I had learned so much and gained new perspectives I would have missed out on without the class.”

As Nazia began learning all about the Information Technology world, she knew she wanted to find a way to better fund her education and gain workforce experience. That is when Nazia began doing her research around the student portal and came across information on the Work Study program.

“I knew I would need to pay for college somehow and the Work Study program at Peirce allowed for me to earn money while gaining real experience. Since the opportunity is part-time, it gave me a great way to balance both work and school,” said Nazia.

Nazia is the Work Study for three different departments in one central location: Admissions, Student Financial Services, and Marketing and Communications. Through this exposure she is able to learn about many different techniques, projects and assignments.

Nazia said, “I have learned so much during my Work Study experience. Most projects I had to learn from scratch, but it was a great challenge to be exposed to. Every day I am still learning new things and continue to work on better developing my skill set.”

For those students who may be considering a Work Study position, Nazia encourages everyone to do so, but to take the proper steps first. She said, “Talk to Career Development Services. They really helped me develop and organize my resume and prepare to take on this position. I was so nervous at first when looking into this opportunity, but Career Development Services helped me conquer my fears and land this wonderful experience.”

If you or someone you know is interested in taking part in the Work Study program, please visit our Work Study page or contact Career Development Services at 215.670.9202 or cds@peirce.edu. To apply for a Work Study position, please visit peirce.edu/workstudy.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Combining Business And Technology For A Successful Career

Making a difference in the workplace increasingly depends on integrating technology and business. And as the sophistication and impact of technology grows, that integration becomes more challenging and more complex. Individuals with a solid foundation in both technology and business can have a real impact in all types and sizes of organizations.

This month we highlight Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Technology Management as the program feature of the month to showcase an attractive option for students who have already earned significant college credits elsewhere and wish to put them to productive use earning a bachelor’s degree combining business and technology.

Organizations can have the best, most advanced technology available, but if it isn’t leveraged to advance business objectives, that technology’s potential is being wasted. Likewise, if an organization offers the finest product or service around, but can’t leverage technology for efficiency, analysis and insight, it is unlikely to flourish. This is when organizations look for employees who are able to assist in combining business needs with advancements in technology.

While Peirce’s degree in Information Technology proudly focuses on hands-on experience, diving deeply into specific applications and technologies, the Technology Management program takes a different track, focusing on higher-level skills like project management, systems analysis and data management. These are combined with coursework in business areas like organizational dynamics, accounting and management.

This approach can be ideal both for students who have already worked “in the trenches” in information technology and wish to target managerial positions or to move outside of the IT organization, as well as those who desire a career focused on analyzing the technology needs of a business or integrating technologies into organizations.

Because the Technology Management curriculum includes 30 credits of free elective coursework, students can custom tailor their studies to their particular interests and ambitions. Additionally, those who have earned previous college credits can put up to 30 of them to use irrespective of whether they were for a technology-related degree or not.

Today’s employees and leaders need a digital focus. Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Technology Management program offers the flexibility and relevance to empower students to build a career to meet that need.

To learn more about Peirce's Technology Management program, reach out to the Admissions Team today at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Learn From The Experienced: Tips For Scholarship Success

Last month, four students who were proud recipients of the 2018 Professor Edwin B. Miller Memorial Endowed Scholarship shared their advice on the benefits of applying for scholarships. This month, three new students keep the trend going by sharing what they believe to be some top tips and tricks for success when taking the step to earning financial rewards during your college journey:

This month’s students are three of the 2018 W.W. Smith scholarship recipients. The W.W. Smith scholarship has been supporting Peirce College students since June 2004. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to eligible full-time undergraduate students who are in need of some financial assistance to achieve their academic dreams.

Check out what these three recipients have to say on the best advice for how to land that scholarship:

“The scholarship application process can seem intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing I learned when completing my own applications is to give yourself enough time. Do not wait until the deadline to try to get everything done. The essay question portion of the application is important; there are no right or wrong answers but how you answer is critical so you want to make sure that your answers are concise, articulate, thoughtful, honest, and, most importantly, answer the question being asked.

If recommendation letters are required, my advice is to focus on this task first as you want to give the person enough notice. Keep in mind those you ask for a recommendation will need to carve out time in their schedule to write the letter, so allow them time to do so. Additionally, even if you only need two letters I suggest you have at least one other person in mind in case there is a scheduling conflict you’re not left scrambling to complete your application.

Lastly, always proofread your work and make sure all of your information is correct. There are free online tools that will check your work for spelling and grammatical errors but the Walker Center here at Peirce College and SMARTHINKING are also excellent resources and easily accessible. You can type up your essay(s) in a word document and submit it for a tutor to review. They’ll help you correct any errors before you submit your final scholarship application.” – Jackie (Jackmely) Hernandez, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Health Information Administration Student

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"Taking part in the scholarship opportunities at Peirce is a great way to help pay for your college education. If you are like me, scholarships are a lifesaver. In order to attain these awards, such as the W.W. Smith Scholarship, there some things that must be done on the applicant’s part. First, one must ensure that they, in fact, qualify for such awards (GPA, residency requirements, extra-curricular activities/community service, etc.). You can check with your Academic Advisor if you are unsure of the criteria and to check in on your qualifications. Second, there will most likely be an essay requirement. This is probably one of the biggest causes of unclaimed scholarship money. Students fail to complete the essay due to the time and energy one must put into it. I understand that this is yet another requirement on top of your actual school work, but by writing a complete and well thought essay you may receive a scholarship award that results in peace of mind as you tackle your classes. Finally, my greatest advice is to read the requirements thoroughly and give much attention to detail when completing the required essay. It will all pay off." – Corey Hinson, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership Student

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“Peirce College made the process of applying for scholarships simple. All there is to do is find the scholarships you are interested in, write the necessary essays, and submit letters of recommendations. My first suggestion to make this process more successful is to apply for more than one scholarship to increase your chances of receiving a reward. Additionally, several months prior to applying for scholarships, reach out to multiple people you have working relationships with for recommendation letters. I would suggest including professors that you have developed a great rapport with and have done well in their classes. Lastly, make sure all of the requirements for the essays are met and don’t be reluctant to add personal touches to your submissions. Good luck!” – Joseph Hicks, Current Peirce College Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Student

Thank you and congratulations to all our 2018 W.W. Smith Scholarship recipients! Check back in next month for a new scholarship highlight and some more advice on funding your education as a working adult.