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 peirce.edu/peircenight.

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 ttschop@peirce.edu.

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 admissions@peirce.edu.

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.