Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Reflecting Back on the 18/19 Health Programs’ Achievements

As the 2018-19 academic year quickly comes to a close, the time is perfect for reflecting on significant accomplishments in the undergraduate Health Programs division. Every fall, Health faculty convene for a day-long planning conference to identify department objectives in support of student learning and achievement. In this month’s Health Programs feature, I will discuss some of these achievements.

Peirce’s Health Information Technology and Health Information Administration programs are CAHIIM-accredited which positions graduates as eligible to sit for the RHIT and RHIA exams respectively. For the third year, Peirce sponsored the RHIT/RHIA exam incentive program which reimburses successful first-time test takers at the student member cost of the exam. So far, four students have been reimbursed this year, and funding is still available. Take and successfully pass one of these exams and submit your score report by Friday, June 28th electronically to SADonovan@peirce.edu for reimbursement.

Faculty are committed to increasing student awareness of professional associations aligned with their program of study. This year, we worked to reinforce knowledge of American Academy of Professional Coders (APC), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

At the curricular level, a significant achievement was the refinement of the Certificate of Proficiency in Medical Coding Program. The number of required credits has been reduced, improving affordability while maintaining rigor and relevance. Graduates of the coding program are eligible to sit for a coding exam through AAPC and AHIMA. I applaud the work of Professors Loggains and Nickelsberg for their work on recommending improvements to the program.

Additionally, kudos to Professor Penrod for her work in advancing the virtual component of the Health Programs Student Association (HPSA). Her work in developing an HPSA course in Canvas has created a space for students to engage with one another outside of the classroom with a focus on community and belonging.

Finally, for several years Health Programs students have expressed an interest in discipline-specific attire to convey pride in Peirce and their program of study. This year we did it! Last month, students had the opportunity to purchase a Peirce College Health Programs hoodie. Also, HPSA members had a chance to purchase leadership pins showcasing their active participation and leadership in HPSA.

The 2019-20 academic year will be here in the blink of an eye, and our work in serving students and maintaining rigorous, competitive, and meaningful Health Programs curricula continues. Until then, have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Check back in in September to see what the Health Programs division has to share next once the Fall sessions start back up!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Meet Jeffrey Alexander, the 2019 Student Commencement Speaker

After many years of hard work and career development, Jeffrey (Jeff) Alexander attended a company-wide lecture and discovered a new goal he never knew he desired.

Dr. Cathy Littlefield, Professor and Faculty Chair of the Business Division at Peirce College, visited Beneficial Bank, a corporate partner of Peirce College. She spoke with Beneficial employees on the power of time management and how this skill can be directly applied to going back to school for your master’s degree. Following the lecture, Dr. Littlefield pulled Jeff aside and invited him to take one Peirce graduate course to see what he thought. This is where Jeff’s Peirce journey began.

“At the time, I had no desire of going back to school. I was busy at work, home and I volunteer a lot of hours in my community. The idea of earning another degree was furthest from my mind.” said Jeff. “But, after I spoke with Dr. Littlefield and took one class, that one class turned to two, which eventually turned to twelve.”

Jeff officially enrolled at Peirce College in the Fall of 2016 in the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management program. He was eager to further develop his skills for the workplace. “In my current position, I am part of our Education and Development department. I manage our team of trainers. My goal with this program was to better develop my leadership and management skills so I could be a better leader and coach for them.”

Throughout his time at the College, Jeff attended most classes on campus allowing him to gain experience inside and outside the classroom. He explained how not only did he learn from his knowledgeable professors, but he also learned so much from his classmates. “At Peirce, I developed wonderful relationships with both my professors and peers. I gained the knowledge they already had and was able to share the skills I knew,” said Jeff. “I made some lifelong contacts from this program and I was so impressed by every person I encountered.”

As Jeff reflects back on his time at Peirce, he said, “I am so grateful for my entire Peirce experience. My life has changed significantly for the better, I know I have a guaranteed great future ahead of me thanks to the knowledge, tools, positive outlook and contacts provided to me at Peirce.”

Thanks to that one lecture and conversation, Jeff is now going to be a proud Peirce graduate with a master’s degree that enhances his career. He said, “My goal with this new degree is to continue to work in management and in banking. I want to continue to help my company achieve its mission and goals. With the help of my new leadership and management skills, I know I can do exactly that!”

Jeff will proudly walk across the commencement stage on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, but not before he takes on another important role at graduation. I am thrilled to announce that Jeff will be this year’s student commencement speaker! Peirce College is thrilled to have such an outstanding and driven graduate stand on the stage to address, thank and inspire the Class of 2019.

Congratulations to Jeff on all of his accomplishments!

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Degree That Opened Doors

As the countdown to commencement continues, today I re-introduce an upcoming graduate who was featured back in April 2017 right after she first began her journey with Peirce College for her Bachelor of Science in Integrated Leadership (now known as Organizational Leadership).

Elizabeth Barr originally found out about Peirce from Harcum College after graduating with her associate degree. She originally had no intentions of returning to school, but after a career shift she soon discovered it was difficult to find a job she wanted or advance without the next level of educational credentials.

“I was looking to switch my career path to work more in an office environment where there were advancement opportunities. I tried to execute this shift, but became increasingly aware that I needed the bachelor’s degree to get that edge up,” explained Elizabeth. “I applied to a lot of jobs that may not have listed needing a bachelor’s, but I continued to be overlooked and I knew it was because of that educational piece.”

In the Spring of 2017, Elizabeth enrolled at Peirce College and took on balancing work, school and life, but not without hesitation. Elizabeth said, “Originally, I just wanted to finish my associate degree and then work. I couldn’t wait to get out of school. I swore I’d never go back, but then I discovered Peirce.”

Elizabeth said how Peirce’s program fell into her lap at the exact right time, “Peirce College showed up right when I needed it to the most. School does not necessarily come easy to me, but it was something I could do at Peirce. This program was a miracle to me. Peirce accepted all my credits, allowed me to keep working, and they had the degree I needed that was applicable and practical to the career I wanted.”

During her time with Peirce, Elizabeth explained how the professors always kept the working adult in mind and she valued their respect. “The classes were definitely a lot of work and challenging, but the professors always worked hard for you if you were willing to work hard in class. They treat every student as a professional colleague, never talking down to us, and they find the value in all of our prior work experience.”

After working extremely hard for two years, Elizabeth will proudly officially graduate from Peirce College with her Bachelor of Science in Integrated Leadership on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. And this accomplishment is not the only milestone Elizabeth is celebrating.

This spring, as she was finishing up her degree, she was offered a dream full-time position as a Financial Aid Counselor. Elizabeth said, “This was never a field I felt qualified for until I earned my bachelor’s degree. Getting this next level of education opened up doors for me and got me more than I had ever expected.”

Congratulations to Elizabeth on all of her accomplishments! Peirce College wishes her well with all her future endeavors.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

From Physical Therapy Assistant to Healthcare Administration: Meet Joseph Carrozzo

As Joseph Carrozzo was finishing his last semester as a Physical Therapy Assistant major at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA, he faced the decision to either continue his education or enter the workforce. Joe was eager to go into the healthcare field and to start earning money so he decided to take a position as a Physical Therapy Assistant. Even after accepting this position, though, he always kept in mind a sign he saw before his graduation from one of Peirce’s partner schools.

“I worked for a few years after I graduated, but to climb the ladder and get a better job at my hospital I knew I needed to get my bachelor’s degree. I never forgot about a poster I saw at Harcum about their partnership with Peirce, and that I could transfer my credits to Peirce’s Healthcare Administration program,” Joe said. “It was a simple process and I felt like I had a lot of support every step of the way.”

Joe, who entered the Coast Guard after high school and served eight years, currently works full-time at The Philadelphia VA Medical Center, which leads him to attend his classes online.

“The flexibility and the fact that I can take my classes online is what I value the most about my education at Peirce. If I had to attend classes on campus, I couldn’t work, and I need to work to support my family.”

When asked how his experience as an adult learner at Peirce is different from his first go around in college, Joe mentioned his increased focus and goal-oriented approach.

“When I graduated high school I spent a semester in college, but I wasn’t serious about it back then. At that point it made more sense for me to work and save money, but now my level of focus is totally different. I’ve got a definitive goal, the end is in sight, and I’ll have a huge sense of pride when I complete my degree,” explained Joe.

He also encourages anyone that might be considering a return to college as an adult to take the leap and enroll for classes.

“It might be scary at first, but you have to believe you can do it. I had concerns and fears too, even right up to the day classes started, but once you start you’ll be glad you did,” said Joe. “I’m proud that I didn’t let my doubts hold me back.”

Joe is on track to graduate in December of 2019 with his Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration, and hopes to continue to rise in rank in the healthcare administration field. In his spare time he enjoys cycling (especially fundraising rides), hockey, and spending time with his year and a half-old son and wife.

Peirce College thanks Harcum College for providing Joe with a solid educational foundation, and wishes him the best of luck in his future!

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 ttschop@peirce.edu.