Friday, March 22, 2019

Negotiating Your Salary

Talking about money, especially during a job interview, can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be.

You should certainly not walk into a first interview and ask how much a position pays, but you should negotiate once an offer is on the table. Employers expect that job seekers will negotiate.

There are steps you can take before you enter the salary discussion to help you increase your starting salary.

For advice on earning the salary you deserve, check out this video featuring me, Leslie Ballway, Director, Career Development Services, and Sharon Thompsonowak, Workforce Development Director, Rebuild, City of Philadelphia.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Crunching Numbers All the Way from CCP to Peirce – Meet Omaira Villanueva

Current Peirce College Accounting student, Omaira Villanueva shares a similarity with many of her classmates; after her high school graduation in 1997, Omaira took a few years off to join the workforce.

Most of her employment was in the Financial Aid department at a local college, and though she enjoyed it, she knew that a college education would put her in the best position to climb the ladder at work and eventually land her ideal job. Her plan was put in to motion in 2013 when she enrolled at one of Peirce’s partner colleges, The Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), in the Accounting Program.

Fortunately for Omaira, she was able to apply her years of experience working in financial aid to a full-time position in CCP’s financial aid office, which forced her to attend class part-time due to working 40 hours per week. Working full-time at CCP while also attending classes at the college meant Omaira spent nearly all of her time at CCP, where she made many fond memories.

“I really enjoyed my time at CCP,” Omaira said. “I was thankful to be able to work there while I attended classes, and it ended up being a great choice for me since I was able to transfer all of my credits into Peirce’s Accounting program. A few of my friends had attended Peirce College and they all spoke very highly about it, so I enrolled right after I graduated from CCP.”

Omaira said she had a great feeling about Peirce College immediately upon her first visit to campus. She was also excited to find out that she could take all of her classes online, which has allowed her to continue to work full-time at CCP, now in the payroll department.

“It’s definitely challenging to work full-time and also attend classes as a full-time student, but the PeirceFit® format makes it possible,” explained Omaira. She said that she generally attends classes that she finds less difficult online, but that she likes to come to campus as much as possible for classes that are either in her major, or when a class is challenging.

Omaira currently carries a perfect 4.0 GPA at Peirce College and strives to graduate next year at the top of her class. She hopes to continue her education and earn her master’s degree to put her in the position to one day work in the field of forensic accounting.

When asked if she had any advice for working adults that might be considering a return to college, Omaira was passionate when she said, “You can’t listen to anyone that might hold you back or tell you things are fine the way they are. It’s best to find a support group that believes in you – so when times are tough and you may want to quit, you can get a pep talk to help you feel reenergized.”

Though she doesn’t have much spare time considering she works and attends college full-time, Omaira said she loves to travel (she’s recently visited The Dominican Republic, Canada, and Jamaica) and work out at the gym. She’s also a dog lover and enjoys spending time with her 11 year old Shih Tzu, Jayda.

Peirce College commends The Community College of Philadelphia for providing Omaira with a solid educational foundation, 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, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Countdown to Commencement 2019: Meet Denise Williams

The countdown to commencement is on! In just three short months, proud and accomplished Peirce College graduates will cross the commencement stage at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as all their hard work finally pays off. As Peirce prepares for this day of celebration, each month leading up to the festivities, I will be featuring a 2019 graduate to highlight their success and their experience.

This month, we start the countdown by featuring a student who has persevered and dedicated her life to achieving her goals no matter what obstacles may get in her way. Today, meet Denise Williams.

Denise started her journey with the College in the fall of 2017 with an open mind and open heart eager to complete a life goal of earning her bachelor’s degree. She found Peirce College with extensive research and after discovering the flexibility, she knew this was the place for her.

Denise said, “Peirce College has provided me with a golden online learning opportunity to complete my academic program.”

As a former sole proprietor of a health care related business and after earning her associate degree with highest honors in Health Information Technology from another university, Denise knew the perfect fit for her at Peirce would be the Health Information Administration (HIA) program.

Denise immediately found her niche with Peirce and specifically the HIA program saying, “It has been a wonderful benefit for me to have the opportunity to acquire newfound knowledge and effectively interact with my professors and fellow classmates via the online learning approach.” Furthermore, she explained, “Peirce has adequately prepared me for the professional arena via an efficient curriculum, being group project leader twice, and productive instruction from my amazing professors and advisors.”

During her time with the College, Denise discovered a formula for success and is excited to share with others who may be preparing to return to College. She said, “Peirce College’s robust dedication, care, support, assistance, comprehensive instruction combined with a college student with diligence, commitment, resilience, and adoption creates a collaborative winning combination for great accomplishments and good fortune towards future aspirations.”

The proof of this formula is certainly seen in Denise’s GPA who will be graduating in June with a 4.0! Denise plans to complete her RHIA certification following graduation and looks forward to accomplishing more future goals that include taking part in charitable foundations, writing books, pursuing her master’s degree and taking her career to the hospital systems.

As Denise prepares for graduation, she hopes to inspire others to take the leap of faith and head back to school. She said, “I hope that my story will inspire many others to have the conviction in themselves to be successful in their future aspirations.” Denise shared that one of her frequently inspirational perspectives is the following, “Always have great passion for learning and sharing with others upon each journey in life towards every accomplishment.”

Peirce College wishes Denise great success in all of her future endeavors and appreciates that she chose our institution for her continued education.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Redefining Leadership at Peirce College’s Women in Leadership

March is National Women’s History Month.

March 8, annually, is International Women’s Day.

March 20, 2019 is Women in Leadership at Peirce College.

This month join the College as we celebrate women leading in all different roles all over the world. From the corner office to the classroom, leadership comes in many forms.

At Women in Leadership 2019, Peirce College will redefine leadership with the help of a panel of leaders from around the College. These panelists represent women at different stages of their own leadership journeys and careers, guiding our conversation on what leadership looks like at the finish line and throughout the race.

This year's panelists will include:
  • Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, President & CEO
  • Dr. Charlene Glenn, Professor, Business Division
  • Jamie Loggains, Assistant Professor, Health Programs
  • Melissa Jackson-Schmidt, Peirce Alumna ‘18, Business Administration Program Manager at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter High School, Student Senator with the Peirce Graduate Student Association
With Janet Eickhoff, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & Institutional Advancement, as the moderator.

Join us on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. on campus (1420 Pine St., Philadelphia, PA, 19102) to take part in this timely conversation.

Register today at

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Jump-Start Your Legal Career With Peirce’s Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal Studies

Are you interested in a rewarding career in the legal profession? Do you have a bachelor’s degree but are looking for a different direction? Are you already employed in the field but would like to add to your credentials? Peirce College has a program for working adults like you!

Many students in the post-baccalaureate Paralegal Certificate program at Peirce College have a degree in an area other than the law and are interested in developing the skills that will prepare them for a career in the field. Within this program, students will learn about areas such as litigation, contract law, criminal law, legal research & writing and legal technology; the curriculum provides a basic foundation without the need for an additional degree.

The entire program can be completed in as few as two semesters; students have the option to decide whether or not to take the program in an accelerated format.

The post-baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies at Peirce College is approved by the American Bar Association. This recognition is important because it signifies to employers the quality of our program and our graduates.

Following the completion of the program, graduates typically work for law firms, government agencies, corporations and other organizations. Several of our graduates have gone on to law school. We truly owe our strong reputation in the legal environment to the success of our graduates and the willingness of our alumni to give back to the College.

If you are interested in learning more about the Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal Studies at Peirce College, please reach out to our Admissions Team at 215.670.9000 or

Friday, February 22, 2019

Moving Up In Your Organization

Now is your time to move up in the organization you love to a position you desire!

Growing your career with your current employer can be extremely beneficial for not only you, but also your organization.

There are steps you can take to ensure you are not only noticed as someone eager to advance into a new position, but also as someone ready to add more value to the organization as a whole.

For advice on moving up in your organization, check out this video from Sharon Thompsonowak, Workforce Development Director, Rebuild, City of Philadelphia and, myself, Leslie Ballway, Director, Career Development Services:

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Upcoming Professional Association Events for the Health Programs Field

In November, as part of the monthly Health Programs blog series, the Peirce College Health Programs faculty identified six professional associations that directly align with Peirce’s Health Programs and discussed the benefits they offer to students. These associations included AAPC, ACHE, AHIMA, HFMA, HIMSS, and MGMA.

By participating in local chapters of professional associations, you will have an effective way to get involved and network with peers, attend live professional development sessions and earn continuing education credits while keeping costs at a minimum.

This month, I expand on those local associations of interest by highlighting upcoming events available for those seeking a way to participate beyond the classroom.

The American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) has several local chapters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Upcoming meetings in Pennsylvania include, “Personal Patient Experience” and “HCC coding” both of which will be held at Independence Blue Cross on Market Street.

The American College of Healthcare Executives' (ACHE) local Pennsylvania chapter is the Healthcare Leadership Network of Delaware Valley (HLNDV). Upcoming events include “ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership” and “4th Annual Healthcare Management Student Case Competition.”

Local chapters of AHIMA include SePHIMA and NJHIMA. Upcoming events for SePHIMA include a webinar on “Improving Partner Collaboration” and the PHIMA Annual Meeting held in May in State College, PA.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) local chapter is the Delaware Valley. Their upcoming spring symposium, “The Patient-Provider Experience: Beyond the Point of Care” is planned for March 21, 2019 at the Hilton in Philadelphia.

The Pennsylvania MGMA will host its “2019 Healthcare Leaders Summit: Leading Beyond Limits” in King of Prussia on April 10, 2019.

To learn more about these associations and their upcoming events, please contact me, Dr. Stephanie Donovan, at 215.670.9327 or

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Philadelphia Resident Scholarship Opportunities

If you are a Philadelphia resident looking to gain some extra financial assistance for your education, you are in luck! There are a variety of scholarship opportunities available for current students who are in search of the best way to fund their college degree. Check out the list below of some recent Philadelphia resident scholarships now available:

1. Herb It Forward Scholarship
- Eligible students include individuals 17-25 years of age who graduated in 2018 or earlier from high school, received their GED or have been homeschooled.
- Deadline: March 1, 2019

2. Feinstein Fund for Philadelphia Scholars
- Eligible students include high school seniors who demonstrate a financial need and who have a minimum GPA of 3.25.
- Deadline: March 22, 2019

3. GSK Opportunity Scholarship
- Eligible candidates include high school seniors, undergraduate college students, graduate and post-baccalaureate students.
- Deadline: March 15, 2019

4. Richard A. Ash Scholarship
- Eligible students include high school seniors and undergraduate college students who demonstrate a financial need.
- Deadline: April 5, 2019

5. Joseph E. Coleman, Esq. and Jessie L. Coleman Scholarship Fund
- Eligible students include high school seniors and undergraduate college students who demonstrate a financial need and who have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
 - Deadline: April 5, 2019

6. Hussain Scholarship Fund
- Eligible candidates include undergraduate college students who are a student of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries descent and who have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- Deadline: April 5, 2019

7. Luther and Mary Ida Vandross Scholarship
- Eligible students include undergraduate college students who demonstrate a financial need, who are enrolled in a 4-year Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and who have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Deadline: April 5, 2019

To learn all the eligibility and application requirements, please visit: The Philadelphia Foundation’s Scholarship page. If you are a current Peirce student, please reach out to your Financial Aid Specialist at 215.670.9600 or

Friday, February 15, 2019

From MontCo to the Workforce to Peirce – Meet Jesse Alexander

For some high school students, continuing right on to college after graduation isn’t necessarily the “next step” as it may be for others. Their next step could be work, family, the military or many other things that take priority over a college education at the time. This was the case for Peirce College student Jesse Alexander, who spent three years working after high school graduation before he enrolled as a Liberal Arts major at one of Peirce’s Community College partner schools, Montgomery County Community College.

Jesse chose Montgomery County Community College because as he says, “It just made the most sense.” It was close to his home, he had heard good stories, and the cost-per-credit made it very affordable. “I loved my time at MontCo,” Jesse said. “Every professor I had in class was knowledgeable and truly cared about the success of their students. It ended up being a great fit.”

After Jesse earned his associate degree, he immediately went back to the workforce and served as a Department Manager at Giant for eight years. Realizing that he didn’t want to stay at Giant forever, he decided that the best way to put himself in a good position for a new career would be to earn a bachelor’s degree. The deciding factor came when he found out he would soon be a father, which was the final push Jesse needed to enroll at Peirce College in 2016.

Jesse decided to major in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. He had always taken an interest in financial markets, day-to-day operations at companies, and supply chain management, so it was a logical choice for him to work towards a degree that would leave him an expert in those topics. Currently working full-time as a cook at a restaurant in Bucks County, Jesse hopes to become a product manager or operational coordinator after he graduates in June of 2019.

Jesse attends nearly all of his classes online, but says he still feels like he’s a part of the Peirce College community. “I can still interact with classmates, communicate with instructors and do anything a student that attends class on campus can do. I owe the fact that I’ll soon have a bachelor’s degree to the flexibility that Peirce provides.” Currently holding a 3.78 GPA, Jesse is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society, and clearly an exemplary student!

Though he works full-time in addition to attending class as a full-time student, Jesse still tries to find some free time to play video games, and, as he puts it, “contemplate the mysteries of the universe.”

Peirce College commends Montgomery County Community College for providing Jesse with a solid educational foundation, and wishes him 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, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Bringing Passion and Credits from Florida to Philly – Meet Cedrick Massey

Having to relocate to New Jersey after completing nearly 60 hours in an associate degree program in Florida may have caused some to put their dreams on hold; not Cedrick Massey though. Cedrick moved north and immediately began to figure out how he could finally complete his goal of earning his degree.

Finding his passion within Paralegal Studies, Cedrick knew this was the path he wanted to continue down, but where would he go?

He began looking throughout New Jersey and eventually his search led him to Philadelphia, specifically 1420 Pine Street where he met Karen Hun, one of Peirce’s Undergraduate Enrollment Specialists.

After discussing Cedrick’s difficulty with financial aid and tuition costs, Karen had the perfect solution for Cedrick: a scholarship!

“Karen Hun encouraged me to apply for the Presidential Scholarship as a way to solve my dilemma of not having the finances to finish my degree,” explained Cedrick. “To my surprise, I won! Thanks to that scholarship and Karen, my life has changed forever.”

In Fall 2014, Cedrick enrolled in Peirce’s Paralegal Studies bachelor’s program. Cedrick was able to transfer in all his credits from Florida, so not only did he find the most affordable option for school, but he found the most efficient.

Cedrick said during his time at Peirce, he was challenged in ways he was not accustomed to, and that was exactly what he was looking for. “Peirce College is not going to cheat you of an education because it is structured for adults. Peirce provides a great education for all.”

Cedrick even expressed how his education was directly applicable to his current career as a Corporate Paralegal and Compliance Administrator, “Peirce is one of the leading schools for Paralegal Studies in the country and it has been directly relatable to my job with the skills and knowledge I learned in the classroom. My boss has even made comments to me saying, ‘Do that Peirce thing you learned’ and would note how my homework was extremely similar to his in law school.”

Beyond just the workforce-relevant experience he gained, Cedrick said the flexibility and community-feel were two other components of Peirce that made him truly enjoy his time with the College. “Peirce Fit® is wonderful because it takes online and on-campus classes to a whole new level of flexibility, especially for working adults. Additionally, all the faculty and staff are personable, knowledgeable and compassionate. Peirce is not just about numbers, they are about each and every student.”

Cedrick completed his original goal of earning his Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies in December 2018 from Peirce College. After accomplishing this milestone, he realized he was not done yet. “Now I want to move on to law school. I am going to be working with Peirce’s Career Development Services to finalize my resume and start applying to schools!”

Congratulations to Cedrick on all of his accomplishments and we wish him much success with his next educational and career adventure!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Honoring and Celebrating Black History Month

As we celebrate Black History Month in February, Peirce College wants to take a moment to remember and recognize all exceptional African Americans who made significant contributions to our culture through their bravery and accomplishments. Did you know there are many noteworthy and courageous African Americans who lived in Philadelphia who assisted in changing history forever?

Get to know some of these prominent figures by checking out the list below and also by stopping by Peirce College’s lobby any time in February to pick up an information and trivia packet:

Edward Rudolph “Ed” Bradley, Jr. (1941-2006) was an American journalist, best known for 26 years of award-winning work on the CBS News television program, 60 Minutes.

Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was an American singer and actress. Waters frequently performed jazz, swing and pop music on the Broadway stage and in concerts, but she began her career in the 1920's singing blues.

Julian Francis Abele (1881-1950) was a Philadelphia native who enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania in 1898. He became the first black person to graduate from Penn’s Graduate School of Fine Arts in 1902. He designed many notable buildings in Philadelphia which include the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Tiffany Lane (1974-present), better known as Charli Baltimore, is an American rapper and songwriter. Charli Baltimore is an alumna of Peirce College graduating in 1995 with her associate degree in Paralegal Studies.

Continue to learn and celebrate this inspirational and historic month by taking part in some events around the area:

1. National Constitution Center & the Free Library Of Philadelphia are hosting events and programs throughout the entire month.

2. Independence Seaport Museum: Take part in discussions about the “struggles African-American women have faced during the 400 years since the first enslaved people arrived in America.” Saturday, February 9, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

3. Trolley Tour of Murals in Philadelphia: Sunday, February 10, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

4. Kulu Mele Drum African Dance & Drum Ensemble: Saturday, February 16, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

5. Museum of American Revolution: Join in on a night of learning on how African Americans from Philadelphia gained their freedom. Tuesday, February 19, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

6. Woodmere Art Museum: A tribute to Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson; Friday, February 22, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

7. The Franklin Institute: Black History Month Trivia; Monday, February 25, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Take Control Of Your Finances & Your Future

You will always be able to find an excuse for why “right now” is not the best time to head back to school to finally earn your degree. As many of our students and alumni will tell you, though, there is never going to be a perfect time to take on this new educational adventure. But they will also tell you, once you start, you find your balance, learn how to make it all work and before you know it you are lifting that diploma in the air in celebration of all your accomplishments.

If you are someone who has been delaying your dream, don’t put it off any longer. Peirce College is ready to get you across the finish line!

The first step? Join us for Peirce Night.

Peirce Night is an open house designed to not only launch your educational journey, but to also introduce you to some of the external opportunities you will have available when you join the Peirce community.

At this particular event, you will get to take part in a Saving and Budgeting workshop presented by Clarifi for free! This workshop will cover topics such as the bare bones of budgeting, taking control of your budget and financial well-being, money management, family financial education, connecting personal finance goals with current spending and more.

As a Peirce student, you will get to not only learn from professors who are experts in their fields, but you’ll have countless workshops available like this one to further develop your professional and personal skills. When you graduate from Peirce College, diploma in hand, you will be ready to take your new skills and knowledge to the workforce and achieve your top career goals.

So take the first step and come meet the Admissions Team at Peirce College who are eager to get you started! Join us on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. on campus at 1420 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA. RSVP today by visiting

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Distance Between Florida & Philly Wasn’t Enough To Hold Back Vanessa Wiggins From Finding Success at Peirce

One aspect of Peirce College that many students love is the flexibility of taking classes fully online. For Vanessa Wiggins, a Health Information Administration student living in Florida, this online opportunity has allowed her to complete all of her coursework without ever having to travel to Philadelphia to visit campus. It’s been a luxury that she says has allowed her to work full time the entire time from a completely different state while being enrolled as a student, which shows how Peirce College really is the college that works for working adults.

Vanessa, who completed her associate degree in Health Information Sciences at Lehigh Carbon Community College, one of Peirce College’s community college partner schools, originally wanted to study something in the healthcare field because her mother had worked in the industry and enjoyed it. She knew she didn’t want to work in a clinical capacity and preferred the administrative side, so the major was a perfect fit.

Once it was time for Vanessa to consider the next step and enroll in a four-year institution to earn her bachelor’s degree, she settled on an online school in California, but grew skeptical about the college’s accreditation. A quick check on the CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) website proved that she was right to be curious, as the college was not properly accredited. Peirce College however, which is CAHIIM-accredited, caught Vanessa’s eye. Once she found out that all of her credits transferred in from Lehigh Carbon County College and that she could take the entirety of her courses online, she enrolled at Peirce and started classes in January of 2017.

When asked about her experience at Peirce College, Vanessa says that she appreciates how both her instructors and advisors are hardworking and attentive. “Even though I never physically met my instructors, I feel like I got to know each of them well. They respond to questions quickly, share a lot of industry knowledge and it’s clear that they truly care about their students’ progress,” explained Vanessa.

Specifically, Vanessa mentioned Peirce instructor Jacqueline Penrod and how influential she was for Vanessa. “Professor Penrod was the best! She’s compassionate and caring, and it’s clear to see she wants her students to have a great career in the health information industry,” Vanessa told me.

Vanessa was also quick to comment about how strongly she feels about adults considering a return to college after many years of being out of school. “No matter how old you are, don’t lose sight of your dreams”, she said. “If education or earning a degree might help you achieve a dream you have, don’t hesitate at all, do it!”

Vanessa currently holds a 3.97 GPA and expects to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in Health Information Administration in June 2019. She hopes to work at a hospital in the healthcare and compliance field once she passes her RHIT exam upon her graduation. Additionally, Vanessa will be making the journey from Florida to Philadelphia for her graduation, and we cannot wait to see her!

Though she works 40 hours a week in addition to being a full-time student, Vanessa enjoys traveling (she’s an avid cruiser), working out and spending time with her friends and family. Peirce College salutes Lehigh Carbon Community College for providing Vanessa with an outstanding educational foundation, and wishes Vanessa 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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

From a Certificate to Certifications to a Successful Career

Are you looking to dive into a career in healthcare where you play an essential role in the healthcare revenue cycle? Look no further! Medical coding may be the best fit for you.

According to the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), “medical coding is the transformation of healthcare diagnosis, procedures, medical services and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes.” In this field, you will be responsible for reviewing medical records and assigning diagnostic and procedure codes that are critical to accurate billing and timely health insurance claims processing.

You’ll be doing important work in a growing industry while also being compensated generously. Classified under Medical Records and Health Information Technicians in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the average salary for medical coders in Pennsylvania is $52,376.85.

If this sounds like the career path for you, Peirce College is ready to get you there! Peirce offers a Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding which provides students with hands-on training with the latest medical coding systems and software. This program also positions graduates to sit for coding-specific certifications through the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) due to the valuable, transferrable skills developed during the program.

Certifications, specifically the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS®) and the CCS-P Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based certifications, are highly encouraged by not only Health Programs faculty, but also industry-leaders because according to AHIMA, “Certified Coding Specialists are mastery-level professionals skilled in classifying medical data from patient records, generally in the hospital setting.” As a mastery-level professional, you are certain to land a position that matches your skill set and career goals.

AHIMA offers the CCA, CCS and CCS-P exams; all worthwhile for a medical coder. These certifications in addition to the Certificate of Proficiency from Peirce College will prepare graduates to possess expertise in the ICD-10-CM and CPT coding systems, while also being knowledgeable in medical terminology, disease processes, pharmacology, health information documentation, data integrity and much more.

AAPC offers the Certified Professional Coder (CPC®) which “validates proficiency in the correct application of CPT®, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used for coding and billing for medical claims in a physician's office.” They also offer the Certified Outpatient Coding (COC™) certification which “validates proficiency in the correct application of CPT®, HCPCS Level II procedure and supply codes, and ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used for coding and billing in an outpatient hospital or facility.” Lastly, they offer the Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC™) Certification which “validates proficiency in the correct application of ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes used for coding and billing for medical claims in an inpatient hospital or facility.”

Earning a Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding from Peirce College will set graduates up for success with earning the required certifications to become a top-level professional in the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding program at Peirce College, reach out to our Peirce’s Admissions Team today at 215.670.9000 or

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Health Programs Student Association Celebrates Community

In addition to the six professional associations mentioned in the November Health Programs blog feature, Health Programs students at Peirce College are offered yet another way to get involved outside the classroom to expand their network and build their resume. The Health Programs Student Association is the perfect way for all health-related majors to meet fellow classmates and further develop their relationships with the faculty.

Who can join? Each and every student at Peirce who is enrolled in a health-related major is welcomed as a member of the Health Programs Student Association at Peirce College. The group has a strong and solid foundation of students who are interested in meeting each other and becoming leaders by lending a helping hand through personal and professional networking, sharing advice and discussing field-related information.

Get to know a little more about what the Health Programs Student Association does together by checking out their most recent event:

On Saturday, December 15, the Health Programs Student Association held its first annual Winter Festival on campus. Health Programs students and faculty had a much-needed and well-deserved chance to relax, unwind and get to know one another better in an inviting and comfortable environment. The party kicked off with delicious hot hors d’oeuvres, holiday cookies, candy, hot cocoa and apple cider.

The event was more than just delicious foods and beverages, though! Attendees could participate in a fun (yet informative) Peirce trivia game that shed light on the College’s history and then move on over to the holiday selfie screen to take some fun photos with newly made friends.

After the trivia game, photos continued to be snapped, guests continued to mingle and I collected a fun mystery fact from each attendee. The group then played a round of “Guess Who?” This allowed for all participants to learn interesting facts about each other! I read the fun facts out loud as the guests tried to figure out which fact belonged to which guest. The facts revealed some big surprises, including a student revealing a cameo role in the first Rocky movie! The game led to new discussions about our common interests and concerns while offering lots of laughs. Before closing the event, students’ names were drawn for several raffle gifts, including a collection of games and a mini-relaxation kit.

The event was a fun and cozy way for students to let off some steam and relax together after a successful session. More importantly, the event helped build bonds within the Health Programs and Peirce Community. All of the faculty and students who attended received one very valuable gift – that of friendship and support.

Professors Loggains and I, who act as faculty advisors for the Health Programs Student Association, deeply appreciate everyone who attended, especially the student leaders. Special thanks go out to the students who came early to decorate and stayed late to help with cleanup!

Health Programs students can get more information about the Health Programs Student Association (HPSA) by accepting their free enrollment in the HPSA Canvas course.

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Genuine Promise Turned Into A Successful Reality – Meet Anthony Hasara

College had always been on Anthony Hasara’s mind and when he finally decided to take that step he felt endless support around him, but one person’s support stood out above the rest. Anthony’s grandmother was a huge advocate for him to continue on with his education and when she had heard Peirce College was on the table she raved and shined with pride. Unfortunately, right before Anthony was about to begin his journey, his grandmother passed away, but not before Anthony made a promise to her to go to college, do well and make something of himself.

Three years later, Anthony kept his promise and exceeded all expectations.

Anthony originally heard of Peirce College through his family. His two older siblings also attended Peirce and his father is an employee of the College. He had seen over the years the family-oriented environment and knew it was a place he would thrive.

“Everyone is so warm and welcoming at Peirce College,” explained Anthony. “From the professors to the staff to the security guards, everyone knows your name and makes you feel at home.”

Additionally, Peirce College has a well-known and respected Criminal Justice program that drew Anthony in even further as this was the field he believed he was ready to pursue. So in September 2015, Anthony enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program.

Anthony said he chose this field because, “Criminal justice always caught my eye and once I got started in the program, my interests were confirmed and the content was everything I had hoped for and more.”

During his journey within this program, Anthony developed personally and professionally through the classroom material and the caring and encouraging professors. “The material in this program applies to a plethora of careers and provides valuable skills I would not have gained elsewhere,” Anthony explained. “The professors, especially Professor Kempf and Professor Laielli, taught me not just the required classroom material, but also personal and professional development techniques to further me as not only a student, but as a person outside of Peirce.”

Anthony could not say enough positive remarks about his interactions with Professor Kempf, Professor Laielli and all the professors he came in contact with at Peirce. “The professors at Peirce really want you to succeed. They speak to you with respect; they are not intimidating; they are knowledgeable and passionate which shows in their teaching style. They are the best support system and truly treat you like family.”

Due to the passion and support he felt in the classroom, Anthony knew he was ready to take his education to the next level by entering the legal workforce. Professor Kempf had posted in the student portal about an internship opportunity in the legal division with SEPTA, a partner of Peirce College, and Anthony knew he could not let this chance pass.

Anthony reached out to Peirce’s Career Development Services team eager to prepare and apply for this internship in the best possible way. Thanks to his enthusiasm, passion and Peirce’s support, Anthony landed the internship and spent the past 4 months gaining real-life work experience in addition to his classroom knowledge.

As of December 2018, Anthony completed his first educational goal and officially earned his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, as he had promised his grandmother. How he exceeded this goal, though, was through his final GPA, which ended up being a 4.0! Anthony not only achieved his goal, but he exceeded all expectations. Anthony said, “We all have different motives for doing things and we also have people that are responsible for our motivation. Making my Grandmother proud and completing the promise I made to her was the one that mattered the most.”

Now, as Anthony continues on with his internship with SEPTA, he recognizes that he is not done just yet. He immediately applied and is starting with Peirce’s Certificate of Proficiency in Paralegal Studies as of next week. Anthony has now set a new goal to accomplish this certificate and move on right away to law school. Following law school, Anthony does hope to return to his alma mater and share his knowledge with other eager students like himself as a professor. Anthony said, “I want to continue to unlock my potential. I know I only have this one life and I plan to get the most out of it by chasing my dreams and aspiring to be the best I can possibly be.”

Anthony said to anyone else who is unsure about taking the plunge to chase their dreams, “Set aside your excuses and don’t cheat the grind. Everyone and anyone can find excuses, but the ones who are succeeding put them aside and find the ‘why.’ Once you can find your driving force, hold onto it and never forget it. Keep this ‘why’ in the back of your mind with everything you do. Before you know it, it will be your time to throw your cap in the air and celebrate all you have achieved.”

Congratulations to Anthony on his outstanding academic accomplishments! Peirce College wishes him nothing but success as he continues to chase his dreams.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

From A Bucket List Goal To Discovering Her Career Passions – Meet Deidre Gray

Originally starting her master’s degree as a bucket list goal, Deidre Gray finished her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management with not only self-satisfaction but a new appreciation for her current role as well as a self-discovery on her true career passions.

Deidre Gray had been out of college for over 25 years, but she never let the idea go of wanting to attain a higher degree. One day, she learned that a colleague and friend was finishing up his master’s degree and he told Deidre about the positive experience he had at an institution focused on working adults. Deidre’s friend recommended the institution knowing it was a place where Deidre could succeed. Deidre had her doubts at first, but after much persuasion Deidre looked into Peirce College and never looked back.

Starting in January 2017, Deidre enrolled in the Organizational Leadership and Management program because she held multiple leadership roles inside and outside of work and was ready to amplify these skills. At first, when she started at Peirce, Deidre was going back to school to fulfill a personal goal and to inspire her daughter who, at the time, was a junior in college. Deidre said, “I wanted my daughter to have someone to look up to who was accomplishing an even higher degree to inspire her to keep going.”

After taking her first class at Peirce, Deidre knew she was going to get even more out of this experience than she originally intended. “After my first class, I was reassured that Peirce was the place for me with the attention on adult learners and the variety of age and experience within the classroom,” explained Deidre. “I learned from not just the professors, but also the students. I even found one classmate who is now my friend for life, Marlena Gordan.”

Deidre spoke on how her and Marlena took every class together, encouraged one another and discovered a beautiful friendship she never would have found elsewhere. Peirce’s focus on working adults and the opportunity to form relationships with classmates and professors are what Deidre really valued the most during her time at the College.

Beyond the personal connections, Deidre gained the leadership skills she was looking for and immediately began putting them into action even after just her first class. While building and developing these leadership skills, Deidre realized some other things about herself she didn’t know before such as her true career passions.

Deidre entered Peirce College while holding the position of President of the Black Alumni Chapter and Founder of the mentoring program within the Chapter at West Chester University, where she worked directly with students on achieving their educational dreams. During the master’s program at Peirce, Deidre was able to express her interest in this position and learn how she could amplify this passion into a future career. “Thanks to Peirce’s master’s program, I now have a clear vision of my future and career goals. I have a passion for higher education and working directly with students, which was developed and nurtured during the program. I was able to write papers and have discussions on topics relevant to these goals and now that I have this degree, I can use it to pursue my dreams,” said Deidre.

Additionally, while discovering her true career passions, due to information learned and experiences shared, Deidre gained a stronger appreciation for her current full-time position as a Customer Service Representative with Penn Medicine. “When I first started in this position, I felt as though I wasn’t doing anything of importance,” said Deidre. “But thanks to my classes and the conversations, I learned how to find value in my work and focus on improving myself as an employee every day.”

Deidre said thanks to the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management program at Peirce College, she was able to gain a new appreciation for herself, her current position and her future aspirations. Deidre gave a special shout-out to her academic advisor, Dr. DeVida Rembert, who was her primary supporter through the entire journey. She said, “Dr. De supported me in a personal and professional way I had never been exposed to before. She offered me multiple forms of communication to get in contact with her, so no matter when it was she would be there for me. I will never forget Dr. De and her endless care and encouragement.”

As of December 2018, Deidre Gray finished her master’s degree crossing a goal off her bucket list, but also gaining so much more. As Deidre reflected back on her time at Peirce, a personal quote came immediately to mind. She said, “Maya Angelou’s quote, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ resonates with me in regard to my time at Peirce. I have always wanted to be sure I am the one spreading the positive feelings to others, but in the case of Peirce, I was the recipient of these feelings and that is something I will never forget.”

Congratulations to Deidre on her recent academic accomplishment! We wish her nothing but success on her continuous personal and professional journey.