Monday, August 31, 2020

From PA to VA; From Bachelor’s to Master’s

This story was originally published on Peirce College’s website found here.

In 2018, Peirce College introduced Robin Johnson, at the time a current Organizational Leadership student, who was passionate about her education and profession.

Fast forward two years and this 2018 Women Veterans Award Honoree of the Year is now a Class of 2020 graduate!

After being encouraged and supported by colleague William Blackman, Robin Johnson first started at Peirce College in 2017. “William Blackman continued to talk about Peirce College to me and pushed me to call,” said Robin. “I knew I needed some type of paper in order to progress in my field and I saw all my colleagues going back to school. Finally, I listened to Blackman and I called Karen, my Enrollment Specialist.”

Robin initially chose the Organizational Leadership program because it aligned well with what she does in the military combining her interest and experience in human resources and leadership. What she ended up getting from the program was so much more.

“What I learned by coming to Peirce College and joining the Organizational Leadership program is almost too much to name. The intimacy of the small class sizes and the relationships you create with staff, faculty and your classmates are things I will never forget,” explained Robin. “One professor in particular, Professor Chris Nosal, was so kind and approachable and I’ll always remember him saying to us, ‘I am here for you; I will continue to be here for you; we will go through this journey together.’ Those words stuck with me and it’s little things like that that make the Peirce experience so worthwhile.”

During Robin’s Peirce journey, she actually decided to switch up her position in the military and apply for a position that aligned even more closely with her new degree. Her new position as Family Readiness and Program Coordinator for the National Guard Bureau exposes Robin to human resources opportunities while allowing her to take her education from the classroom to the workplace.

She said, “After landing this new position, I remember my supervisor asking me where I could see myself in five years and I said I wanted to work my way to Master Sergeant. I knew this new position and my new degree would help me because I was now more competitive with my peers and ranked higher on the list for promotions.”

Robin had a goal in mind and she was ready to do whatever she could to achieve it. So, with her career path set, Robin graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership in the Class of 2020.

But she wasn’t done yet.

“I always said I was never going to go for my master’s degree. I said I was definitely done after my bachelor’s, but I couldn’t help but be inspired by others. I met so many people during my Peirce journey who kept going, so I knew if they could do it, so could I.”

This Fall of 2020, Robin will proudly start in Peirce College’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management program. She said, “Adding a master’s degree to my resume is going to skyrocket my career. My whole entire life is going to continue to improve with all this new education. I know I am going to land the career I desire and deserve.”

As Robin reflects back on her bachelor’s experience at Peirce and looks forward to her next degree, she said, “In the past, I put up roadblocks for myself, but I didn’t let myself this time. Peirce helped me feel confident enough to make it. When I changed positions, I moved to Virginia, which forced me to be an online student. Peirce made this possible. I could continue to get tutoring, attend events, and feel involved in all my classes from states away. I knew I could do anything with the love, commitment and support Peirce College faculty and peers provided to me.”

Congratulations to Robin on accomplishing her first degree at Peirce and good luck as she seamlessly transitions into her next!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Challenging and Motivating Each Other to the Finish Line – Meet Ashley and Thalia Rosario

This story was previously published on our website found here.

As first-generation college students, both Ashley and Thalia Rosario found themselves eager to go to college and earn a degree. Originally beginning their journey at the Community College of Philadelphia, they set their first goal to complete their associate degrees.

Ashley (left) and Thalia (right) Rosario with their daughter
“Ashley and I both come from families where college wasn’t really discussed. Neither of us had family members who had college degrees. Ashley was the first one to feel motivated to earn her degree and she inspired me to do the same,” said Thalia.

During their associate degree journey, both Ashley and Thalia decided they wanted to keep going and earn their bachelor’s degrees.

“Eventually, I want to go to law school, so I knew in order to get there I had to do what I needed to do, which meant earning my bachelor’s degree,” said Ashley.

They just didn’t know where they wanted to go.

Around the time the Rosarios started looking into schools for their next degrees, Thalia received an email from her employer about a partnership opportunity that provided a tuition discount. She said, “American Heritage, my employer, told me about the opportunity to go to Peirce College and the tuition discount. I looked into it and immediately applied.”

Ashley, on the other hand, looked around Philadelphia a bit longer weighing all her options. She said, “I was actually all set to go to a different college, but then Thalia and I had an exciting life event, which changed everything.”

Ashley was pregnant with her and Thalia’s first child and Ashley knew she needed to attend a school catered to working adults who had many responsibilities.

“Kieu Tran, Ashley and my Enrollment Specialist, was so helpful when I decided last minute to not attend my original school,” said Ashley. “Peirce allowed me to go to school online and since I was pregnant, I knew that was what I needed. At CCP, both Thalia and I were primarily online students, so this was a bonus for us to be able to continue with that flexibility now as we became parents.”

Thalia explained, “Kieu Tran was incredible during my application process. From the first time I reached out through starting classes, she did everything with me. So, when Ashley was pregnant and decided she may want to consider Peirce, too, I introduced her to Kieu."

Both Ashley and Thalia enrolled in Peirce College’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. Luckily, they both were able to transfer in all the credits from their associate degrees from CCP to help expedite their process in earning their bachelor’s.

“Kieu helped both Ashley and me transfer in all our credits from CCP,” said Thalia. “Everyone we met at Peirce was always so helpful. They were always willing to help us both knowing it was a two-for-one deal.”

After transferring in credits and getting started with classes, Thalia and Ashley buckled down and focused on the end goal.

While they were working toward the end goal of a bachelor’s degree, Erin Henrici, Thalia and Ashley’s Academic Advisor, encouraged Thalia to gain the extra credential of earning her Certificate of Proficiency in Customer Service. “Some of the electives I was choosing fit right into this certificate, so Erin encouraged me to finish out the courses, so I’d graduate with a degree and a certificate,” said Thalia.

During their experience at Peirce College, they gained more than what they were originally looking for. “I gained not only academic knowledge, but I learned how to prioritize and focus, which was helpful beyond the classroom. We discussed real world topics in class, which has helped me in many ways and provided me a way to use my voice,” said Ashley.

Ashley practiced using her voice during some discussions where her and Thalia would have different opinions and outlooks on topics and they’d have the opportunity to challenge one another and ignite powerful conversations. Ashley said, “One of the things I will miss the most about going to school together is having Thalia challenge everything I say in a way that expands our relationship with one another.”

“I loved going to school with Ashley. I recommend it for everyone! If you have someone to go to school with, do it. It was like having a classroom at home where we would talk through discussions, assignments, etc. Nine times out of ten we would have different opinions and responses, so it was great to have the opportunity to talk these thoughts through and work together,” said Thalia.

In June 2020, the Rosarios proudly graduated and completed their next college goal. They both continue to have big dreams and have no plans of stopping.

“I am currently enrolled at Rutgers University for my Master of Science in Public Administration. My plan is to continue on to law school in the future,” said Ashley.

“I currently work in the Quality Control Department for American Heritage and I am eager to apply my new degree into my career,” said Thalia.

As a final note about their experience, they both shared some wisdom for other adults considering furthering their education. “Peirce College has an answer for every ‘excuse’ in the book an adult can try to convince themselves of when holding off on returning to school. There is no reason not to do it,” said Thalia.

“After giving birth to our daughter, I left the hospital on Saturday and started classes on Monday. When you want better, you have to do better and I knew earning a degree would help me achieve my goals, so I made the moves to do it. If you’re considering going back to school, go for it,” said Ashley.

Congratulations to both Ashley and Thalia on their amazing accomplishments!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Sisters by Blood, Graduates by Determination – Meet Jenna and Denise Edeline

This story was originally published on our website found here.

Going back to college as a working adult can seem like a daunting task. One piece of advice given to new students is to find a support system whether it be a spouse, parent, cousin, friend, or sibling.
For Jenna and Denise Edeline, they found support and encouragement as sisters both chasing their educational goals at Peirce College together.

Jenna Edeline (left) and Denise Edeline (right)
Both Jenna and Denise didn’t originally start their degree journeys at Peirce College, though. They each started at different universities seeking different career paths. For Jenna, she originally went into a nursing program, but after her interests changed and she ran into some physical and mental health issues, she decided to take a step back from college. Denise, who began at a different school not long after Jenna, said after starting classes, she didn’t think she was made for college and decided to come back to Philly to enter the workforce.

It wasn’t long, though, before Jenna had a realization about her desire to finish her degree. “A little over a year after stopping college, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. Looking at him made me want to give him so much more than I could currently offer. After a few months, I started looking into where to finish my degree.”

Luckily, Jenna and Denise’s aunt knew someone who went to Peirce and got a tuition discount as a City of Philadelphia employee. This immediately sparked Jenna’s interest, especially since she is a City of Philadelphia employee. “One of my biggest fears about going back to school was not being able to afford it, but as a City employee, there was hope I could do it with the discount and support,” explained Jenna.

Jenna contacted Peirce in the Fall of 2016 and started classes in the Spring of 2017 enrolling in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program.

Denise, on the other hand, had a different journey back to college. After initially feeling as though she couldn’t complete school, she put her energy into the workforce and found herself moving from the food industry into a law firm where her interest for education began to grow again. “I started to really like what I was doing at my new job and my interest in furthering my education began to grow,” said Denise. “Jenna told me about Peirce and how I could take just a class or two a session and I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. I was terrified at first, but Jenna convinced me I could do it.”

So, in the Fall of 2018, Denise was officially enrolled in Peirce’s Associate in Science in General Studies program eager to achieve this goal.

Luckily, both Jenna and Denise were able to transfer in credits from their previous college experience helping to save them both time and money pushing them further along to get to their end goal even sooner. And before they knew it, they were at their finish line, officially earning their degrees in the 2019-2020 academic year as proud members of the Class of 2020.

Jenna said, “While at Peirce College, in the Business Administration program, I gained a sense of self-worth. Knowing I could earn my bachelor’s degree as a full-time employee while also being a mom makes me wonder what else I can do. It gave me the confidence to know I am strong enough and can succeed no matter what hand I am served in life. After receiving my degree, I was offered to take on more responsibilities in my department for the City of Philadelphia. I am currently a Service Representative, but am incorporating Safety Officer duties now thanks to earning my degree.”

Denise said, “From the General Studies program, I gained higher self-esteem and more confidence. I was told I would never get this far and I did it! I finally succeeded in life and have something to show for it. I chose this program because I knew it would introduce me to more interests and what I could strive to achieve with a bachelor’s degree.”

As they reflect back on their time at Peirce, they both explain their most valued points and memories in different ways.

Jenna said, “The aspect of my Peirce education I value the most is the faculty. I had such a smooth transition coming into a new school, and that is typically not easy for me. I always felt comfortable asking questions and the professors always boosted my confidence. Dr. Charlene Glenn, in particular, always pushed me to do better and each time I had her I wanted to prove to her I could do even better than the last time I had her. She encouraged me to continue my education and look into a master’s degree!”

Denise said, “I loved the professors, the flexible scheduling, and the self-confidence the College gave me. The flexible scheduling allowed me to complete work when I was able and allowed me to take classes at my pace. The confidence I gained proved to me I can do anything I put my mind to, even if others say differently.”

Although Jenna and Denise found the support they needed at Peirce, they also explained it wouldn’t have been possible without each other. They were born less than a year apart, so growing up, they have always gone to school together. Going to Peirce together just felt right.

“Before Denise started at Peirce, she would help me study and help edit my papers. Then, when Denise started, I did the same for her,” explained Jenna. “There were a few times when Denise wanted to give up, but I told her I wasn’t going to graduate without her. Sometimes I was beyond exhausted after being up all night with a toddler, and Denise would motivate me to keep going. I think we are lucky to have each other.”

Now, as Class of 2020 graduates, both Jenna and Denise are considering their next degrees looking into Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management and the Bachelor of Science in Human Services Leadership, respectively.

As the sisters celebrate their recent accomplishments while preparing for what’s ahead, they both wanted to give a big thank you to their family for always being there and never giving up on them. They said, “A special thanks to our mom for always being our rock and for telling us if you have a dream or goal, never give up on it no matter how long it takes to get there.”

Congratulations to both Jenna and Denise! Peirce College hopes to see you both back soon.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Meet Robin Neary – the Class of 2020 Student Commencement Speaker

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Robin Neary was able to work her way up the ladder in retail progressing from a sales person in the stores to an executive in corporate.

One day, she was having a conversation with a former boss, and that conversation ignited a whole new mindset.

“During one of my jobs, I was talking to my boss at the time and she told me how an applicant for a role wasn’t eligible for a promotion because they didn’t have their bachelor’s degree. My response was, ‘well I don’t have mine’ and my boss told me to keep that quiet and never tell anyone that. That felt like such a blow and made me really think about a lot of things in my life.”

A few years passed after this conversation, but Robin never forgot how it made her feel. When she was ready to transition out of retail into a new career, Robin realized that conversation had more truth to it than she could have ever imagined.

She said, “When I was attempting to move out of retail, it became obvious no one was looking at my resume. It wasn’t even making it through the algorithm into the first step because I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree.”

That is when Robin decided she was ready to enroll and change her future.

Robin partnered with Graduate! Philadelphia to find out more about adult education in the Philadelphia area. She met with Blake Scull, one of Peirce’s Enrollment Specialists, at a Graduate! Philadelphia event and the rest was history.

“I knew at the event, everyone was going to try and sell me their school, but I have been in sales a long time, so I knew what was authentic and what wasn’t. Blake was truly authentic and spoke to me like a person, listening to my story, providing his personal experience, and making me feel ready to tackle school,” explained Robin. “I had felt so competent in my career for so long, so to think of having to go back to school in my 40s felt crazy. Blake had all the right things to say, though, and the way he described Peirce made me feel like that was where I belonged.”

When it came time for Robin to select a program at Peirce, she was set on finding the one that would get her the degree as quickly as possible in the most affordable way. Luckily, Robin had earned a lot of college credits back in the 90s and was able to transfer those in to expedite her process.

Robin said, “When I first tried out college, I was an English Literature major, so I had tons of humanities credits. I knew I wanted to finish my degree as soon as possible, so Peirce worked with me to find the best path. I was able to transfer in over 60 credits and through the Organizational Leadership program, could finish in no time.”

Robin enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership program in the Fall of 2018 eager to tackle this goal. Her only hesitation was having to take a math class. She had a math phobia and feared it would, once again, hold her back from completing her degree. Fortunately, Robin discovered Peirce’s Walker Center for Academic Excellence and tackled this fear with confidence and ease.

“I no longer have a math phobia thanks to my professors and the Walker Center for Academic Excellence!” exclaimed Robin. “I spent my first year working with tutors in the Walker Center and my professors helped me every step of the way. I felt prepared and cared for the entire time. One professor in particular, Dr. Charlene Glenn, who taught at least five of my courses, was especially supportive and amazing throughout my journey. She helped me through a lot and even wrote me a scholarship recommendation letter.”

Robin added, “There is no one at Peirce College who feels as though they are above you. Everyone you meet is willing to help you succeed.”

After conquering math phobia, that wasn’t the only bump Robin ran into. During three of Robin’s sessions at Peirce, she got very sick, which caused her to run into some delays with her schoolwork. She said, “Every professor was always so accommodating and understanding at Peirce. If I needed an extension, extra help, or just some advice, they were always willing to do what they could to see me succeed. Even in my final session, when I was taking the last classes I needed to graduate, I had pneumonia and all my professors made sure I finished so I could graduate and accomplish my goal.”

And Robin did just that. She completed her bachelor’s degree in May 2020 and was eager to officially celebrate her graduation on June 23rd. Before she got to that celebration, though, she found out even more exciting news.

“I was encouraged to apply to be the Class of 2020 Student Commencement Speaker by Dr. Charlene Glenn. In previous jobs, I had to do a lot of public speaking, so I thought it would be a wonderful experience to represent my class and the school, so I applied. I knew how talented all of my classmates were, though, so I didn’t anticipate getting it. To my surprise, though, I was awarded this honor and was thrilled to speak on behalf of the Class of 2020. This honor was so impactful and meaningful for me. It made my whole journey come full circle.”

Now, as recent graduate, Robin is eager to take her accomplishments into the workplace and go into some sort of training and development role where she can combine her work experience with her new degree.

Congratulations to Robin on all of her accomplishments!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

From Hospitality to IT – Meet Jad Driggers

This story was originally published on Peirce College’s website found here.

When Jad Driggers reached his late 30s, he came to the realization that many come to at some point in their career – he didn’t want to be in his industry anymore. With a background in culinary, restaurant and hospitality, Jad was ready to transition to a new career path that didn’t have quite the demanding schedule and hours.

Jad decided he would go back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in an industry that would take him to the career path he always wanted.

As a father and husband, Jad knew he couldn’t just do the traditional educational route. He needed to find a program that fit his needs. After doing some research on schools who focus on non-traditional learners and working with his employer on their partner schools, Jad began his journey with Peirce College.

“I work for Select Health, a subsidiary of AmeriHealth Caritas and they originally encouraged me to look into non-traditional options. Peirce College was one of those options. I saw Peirce College had an Information Technology program and I could earn my degree through a competency-based format. After discovering Peirce College had a strong history in education and had the competency-based program established for a few years, I decided on Peirce.”

Jad enrolled at Peirce College in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program in the Fall of 2017. Thanks to his unique career and educational history, Jad was able to transfer in some general studies courses and dive into the Competency-Based Education (CBE) program with credits completed and goals in mind.

During the program, Jad said he gained, “a deeper understanding of the IT industry. I learned a lot about information security and I was able to earn three different IT certifications while in the program.” Jad said this new degree and the certifications were sure to help him secure jobs in the future.

Jad wasn’t wrong. Originally working in the call center for Select Health, Jad recently was promoted to the position of Data Analyst thanks to his new education and experience. “I interviewed for a job in February and when I told them I was finishing up my degree, I got the promotion,” exclaimed Jad.

Originally, Jad was on track to finish his degree in December 2020, but thanks to the flexibility of the CBE program, Jad could earn as many credits as he wanted each term and that is exactly what he did. “In January, I looked at my schedule and saw it was mapped out until December. I decided I really wanted to get this done. So, I worked with my advisor, Christa Donato, who helped me revamp my schedule to get all my classes and credits done by March.”

In the remaking of his schedule, Christa directed Jad to Peirce’s partnership with where he was able to take three courses outside of his CBE program and transfer in the credits necessary to graduate. Jad said, “My experience with and Peirce College was great and extremely smooth. Thanks to my motivation, I was able to complete three courses. All I had to do once I was done was let Christa know and she worked on the backend to get my credits in no problem.”

Thanks to the flexible opportunities and the ability to earn credits through Peirce College’s alternative credit providers, Jad was able to complete twelve months’ worth of credits in three months saving him significant time and money.

As Jad reflects back on his time at Peirce, he said, “I wish I would have found this sooner. It was everything I was looking for and more. Also, Christa Donato was paramount in getting me to the finish line. She helped keep me on track, answered all my questions, understood when I needed a slower semester, and was supportive when I wanted to load up on classes. Christa helped me get here.”

Now, as a Class of 2020 graduate, Jad offers advice for all those other working adults who may be seeking a new career path, but are unsure where to start. He said, “It might seem like a lot to take on as an employee, parent, spouse, etc., but it can be done. You will be paired with a mentor and advisor who will work with you to come up with a schedule and plan that fits your life, but gets you to your end goal.”

Congratulations to Jad on all of his accomplishments!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Reflecting Back on His Time at Peirce – Hear from DeVonte Douglass

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Back in August 2019, Professor Mike Agnello introduced a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice student, DeVonte Douglass. At that point, DeVonte was engrossed in his studies and tackling different internships gaining both knowledge in and out of the classroom.

Now, I am thrilled to re-introduce DeVonte as a Class of 2020 graduate who finished his degree this past May.

Originally earning his Associate in Science in Criminal Justice from Peirce College in 2018, DeVonte moved right into his bachelor’s degree eager to continue his studies in the field where he found his calling.

“I chose the criminal justice program because I have family members who were done wrongfully by the criminal justice system. I want to be the change inside of our criminal justice system,” explained DeVonte. “I want to be able to get the victim or the State of Pennsylvania, the justice they deserve by restoring trust in our criminal justice system for both the victims and defendants who enter those courtrooms.”

With this burning passion, DeVonte plans to take his bachelor’s degree and move onto law school. He said, “I plan on using my degree in Criminal Justice to go back to school and become a criminal attorney either as a prosecutor or criminal defense attorney.”

DeVonte feels equipped to take this next step thanks to all his studies at Peirce College, but feels especially prepared thanks to one professor in particular. “I have gained knowledge from each and every one of my professors, including Associate Professor and Faculty Chair of Legal Studies, Michael Agnello who encouraged me to push forward to become a criminal attorney. He has continued to help put me on the right path with assisting with all of my questions and being there regarding the criminal justice program.”

Reflecting back on his time at Peirce, DeVonte shared, “My overall Peirce experience was a rewarding one. It came with challenges, which is expected when you are trying to better yourself.”

DeVonte elaborated on his challenges, explaining, “The challenges I faced were personal and financial both which could have stopped me from pursuing my degree. I thought about the people I would be disappointing when I felt like I did not want to pursue my degree any longer and it inspired me to keep going. The professors also always encouraged me to keep going no matter what. The professors were more accommodating than they needed to be, but it makes a difference when you have professors who care about you. Also, being a scholarship recipient two years in a row helped significantly with the financial struggle that I was going through.”

Through his challenges, DeVonte learned a lot and is eager to share his knowledge with others. He said, “You should not hesitate about returning to college, but you should know it comes with challenges. Everything in life comes with challenges. You will find, though, that going back to college is a rewarding experience. It betters your life and the people around you. I have set a good example for the little ones that look up to me and even the people in my neighborhood.”

Finally, as DeVonte prepares for his upcoming commencement, he explained who this new degree was really for. He said, “I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me throughout my college career. This degree is dedicated to my Grandmother (Carol Douglass Smith), who lost her battle to cancer in August 2019.”

Congratulations to DeVonte on all his successes! Peirce College looks forward to supporting DeVonte as a new alumnus and cheering him on at the virtual commencement on June 23rd.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mother, Grandmother, Author, and Graduate – Meet Tamara Hawkins

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

In 2012, Tamara Hawkins decided to take her supervisor’s advice on earning her bachelor’s degree and started to look into programs in the Philadelphia area. She discovered a college she once knew as a two-year business college had evolved over time and had just what she was looking for.

That is when Tamara found Peirce College.

“I stumbled across Peirce’s bachelor’s programs and saw the evolution of Peirce over the years. I remember Peirce when it was just a two-year school. To see it grow so much really stood out to me,” explained Tamara. “So, I decided to visit campus and talk to an admissions representative.”

Her visit to campus was eye-opening and allowed for her to understand just how long it would take to earn her degree and how much it would cost.

“When I met with my admissions representative, she told me Peirce would take all of my credits from the Community College of Philadelphia. Having an associate degree from CCP allowed me to save time and money at Peirce because it would take less than 2 years to complete my bachelor’s degree,” said Tamara. “Additionally, Peirce College was the only school that would clearly identify what classes I needed to take and map out my exact route to graduation. After seeing all of that, I said, ‘let’s do it!’”

Tamara enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program and found herself graduating in no time. In 2014, Tamara completed her goal and turned her focus back to her career.

Working in health care for over 20 years inspired Tamara to stay in contact with Peirce and take a few Medical Coding classes here and there to continue expanding her knowledge to bring back to her line of work.

In 2016, though, Tamara heard that Peirce College had developed a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program and this caught her attention. “After my bachelor’s degree was complete, I swore I was done with degrees. Then I heard about Peirce’s MSHCA program and it aligned with my career and interests, so I reached out once again to learn more.”

After gaining a better understanding of the classes she would be taking this second time around, Tamara enrolled and found herself immersed in the content more than she ever thought possible. “In the MSHCA program, my eyes were opened to so many things I never knew before. I gained a deeper understanding of insurance, health care, technology, HIPAA, and more. This program aligned with my interests and career path perfectly.”

In 2018, during her time in the program, Tamara landed a new position within the health care field. “I originally wanted to be a nurse, but when I decided against that career path, I always knew I wanted to be in the health care field. During my master’s program, I started as a Senior Biller at the Temple Dental School. My master’s has helped me significantly in this position because it has taught me the lingo you really can’t learn anywhere else.”

In December 2019, Tamara finished her master’s degree and is now a proud member of the Class of 2020. As Tamara reflected back on her time at Peirce, she said, “My Peirce College experience was phenomenal. I love learning and being challenged and I got all that and more from Peirce. I made so many friends who have now become family. Also, I was able to do so much even as an adult learner. There were workshops, events, trips, etc. for me to take part in as a student, which made my experience that much better. Peirce just offers so much, which made me want to stay as long as possible.”

Tamara is the proud mother of two and grandmother of three. She said, “School can be overwhelming at times as a parent, grandparent, employee, churchgoer, and student. My advice is to try and find balance, which includes time for yourself. I found time for schoolwork, my family, my church, while also scheduling a little downtime here and there to give myself a break. If you stay organized, you’ll be able to achieve this balance and accomplish your goals.”

In addition to all that Tamara has already accomplished, she has also written and self-published two books, within the past year, with a third one coming out soon for children. She said, “Peirce College and all my professors have given me the motivation to believe I can do whatever I put my mind to do, and then go do it successfully!”

Congratulations to Tamara on all her successes! We look forward to applauding her at Peirce’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony on June 23rd.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

No Plate Is Too Full For This Healthcare Hero

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Back in 2017, Peirce College introduced the community to an inspirational student, Joye Lavender, who was chasing her bachelor’s degree. Now, two years later, I am proud to re-introduce Joye as a proud graduate who earned both her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.

When Joye first started at Peirce College, she knew she wanted to earn her degree to not only better her career, but to show her one child – at the time – how as a single mother who was working full time, she could still do it.

As her classes took off and she got deeper into the program, a new blessing came into Joye’s life. She found out she was pregnant with twins! Now, chasing her degree got a bit trickier, but Joye refused to stop.

“During my bachelor’s degree, when I found out I was pregnant with twins, the professors at Peirce College encouraged me to keep going,” explained Joye. “I continued to push to go to class and get my work done. Even when I had to stop working for a while to be off my feet because of my pregnancy, I didn’t stop taking classes.”

Joye used the extra time at home to her advantage and decided to enroll in Peirce’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program, specifically joining the Grad Scholars program. Through this opportunity, Joye could finish her bachelor’s degree while starting to take a few master’s classes at the undergraduate price.

Joye’s twins were born in October of 2017 and by that May of 2018, Joye finished her bachelor’s and was already a couple classes into her master’s program.

“I decided just to keep going because my plate was already full and as the kids continued to get older, I knew it would only get fuller,” said Joye. “I knew the future wouldn’t be any freer than it is now, so might as well keep going and show all my children how you can do it no matter what you are balancing.”

With Peirce’s small class sizes and the resources available to students, Joye knew despite her full plate, she would have no problem finishing this next journey. “Peirce has always made school convenient for me. With the intimate classroom setting and the availability of support for all students, I knew I didn’t want to earn my master’s anywhere else. Peirce made me feel comfortable enough to just do it sooner rather than later.”

Joye took the “sooner rather than later” seriously and finished her next degree in record time. As of August 2019, just a little over a year after graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Joye proudly handed in her final work for her master’s program and ended with a 4.0 GPA.

Joye said her experience in the master’s program was nothing like she anticipated. She said, “When you hear of a master’s program, you immediately get nervous thinking about all the work and assignments. But, at Peirce, they make it possible. There is plenty of time to complete everything and get the help you need from professors and tutors to do it well. In this program, I gained more than just knowledge from the coursework, I learned from both my professors’ and classmates’ experiences.”

With both of her degrees in hand and a vast amount of knowledge, Joye took her education right into the workplace. “I earned a management position once I earned my bachelor’s degree. I manage two departments, pre-certification and appeals, at Temple Hospital.” Joye explained how now with her master’s degree, she is working to incorporate her new skills and experience to amplify her career even more.

Working in healthcare, this current year has definitely presented some difficulties for Joye, but nothing she can’t handle. “I am still working during COVID-19. It’s definitely difficult and different with the social distancing guidelines and the fear it creates. As an employee in the healthcare field, I want to provide for my employer and help as much as I can while also caring for my family and doing everything I can to not bring anything home. It’s a tough balance between being a dedicated employee while protecting my family.”

Peirce College commends Joye not only for balancing a full plate of work and family while earning two degrees, but also for her dedication to serving the community during this pandemic. Thank you for all you do, Joye.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Inspired by Her Son, Driven by Her Goals: Meet Ayanna Abdullah

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

As a young, working mother and wife, Ayanna Abdullah was determined to do more by earning her degree. Originally looking into a bigger university, Ayanna found they didn’t have the programs or curriculum that aligned with her career plans.

After a fellow coworker recommended Peirce College, their alma mater, Ayanna began to look into what the College had to offer and quickly found her place.

“I started doing some research on Peirce College online and discovered the curriculum for the program I was interested in aligned with my goals,” said Ayanna. “I also realized Peirce would be a great fit as a mother and wife because of the option to do things both online and on campus.”

As Ayanna began to really take an interest in Peirce, she found out even more great news. As a member of 1199c district, Ayanna was able to receive a corporate partner tuition discount. All signs pointed to Peirce College, so Ayanna enrolled in the Associate in Science in General Studies program in 2015.

After working hard, she was able to complete her first degree in 2018, but she immediately knew she was not done yet. “I have a family full of individuals with their master’s and doctorate degrees. I knew it was important to follow in their footsteps to get to where I want to be, so I started my bachelor’s right after finishing my associate degree,” explained Ayanna.

Transitioning seamlessly into Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership program, Ayanna found this degree path offered her the variety of skills, experience, and knowledge she was seeking. “What sold me on the Organizational Leadership program was all the different avenues you can take with this degree,” said Ayanna. “Human resources, leadership, corporate business, medical world, etc. are all covered within this degree path.”

As Ayanna went through the program, she gained even more than she initially thought possible. “In this program, I really got a better understanding of how organizations work, different techniques in the business world, unique leadership styles, how to communicate effectively, how to manage a team full of diverse individuals, and more,” Ayanna said. “The diversity within the classroom and within the lessons taught gave me a bigger outlook on how to operate an organization within a leadership role with individuals from all different backgrounds and walks of life.”

In addition to the valuable knowledge she gained from her classwork, Ayanna said one of the things she valued the most during her time with Peirce is the Walker Center for Academic Excellence. She explained, “The Walker Center has absolutely been the best experience for me. Working one-on-one with tutors got me through some of my toughest classes, such as statistics. I would come to campus again and again for appointments and my tutor always gave me the help and attention I needed to do well. The entire team was always patient, kind, and willing to help with whatever I needed.”

Now, as Ayanna quickly approaches the end of her bachelor’s degree journey, on track to complete her last class next month, Ayanna is still moving her educational goals forward thanks to her true inspiration. “My son has been my inspiration through all of this. He has always driven me to want to do more. That is why as of May 12th I will be starting in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management program.”

While finishing her second degree and preparing to start her third, Ayanna continues to work hard as a Team Lead for Patient Registration at a health care facility. Her job consists of training employees, which is a place where she can take her classroom knowledge right into her line of work.

Congratulations to Ayanna as she finishes up her second degree in May and moves onto earning her third. Peirce College is proud to serve students like Ayanna who have a drive to do more each and every day.

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Peirce Positive Project

Peirce College understands how challenging your current situation may be as COVID-19 continues to impact our world. To help bring some positive light to your day, members of the Peirce College community have come together to share positive words of encouragement and inspiration that have helped us keep going each and every day.

We call it the Peirce Positive Project.

Check it out below:

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Registering for 20/21 Virtually & On Time

Have you ever heard the saying the early bird catches the worm? Well, this is certainly true when registering for classes.

At Peirce College, we recommend that you contact your Academic Advisor to register early for the entire upcoming academic school year. Why? It’s simple: You will reap the benefits of:

1. Getting the Classes You Want: Popular classes fill up quickly. If you register for all your classes now, you won’t have to worry about a class being full later.

2. Seeing The Bigger Picture: In viewing the class schedule for the entire academic year, you will see that there are some classes that are only offered certain sessions or just once per year. Missing out on these classes could hinder your ability to graduate on time. Therefore, seeing the full academic schedule can help you register for the right classes at the right time.

3. Avoiding Roadblocks: When you register early, you can get a jump start on common roadblocks such as textbook issues, financial aid issues, and unexpected holds on your account.

4. Avoiding Class Cancellations: Nothing is more frustrating than having a course that you need get cancelled. We run courses based on class enrollment. If enough students register early for a class, we will run it. It is as simple as that.

5. Planning Your Schedule in Advance: Registering for classes early allows you to lock in your schedule for work, family, and summer vacations. After all, who does not want to take a nice vacation?

Currently, with the global pandemic, we know that our “new normal” involves doing everything remotely. With that being said, here are some tips to manage registration without ever having to come to campus:
  • Call or email your Academic Advisor to set up a phone or virtual appointment for planning out your next academic year
    • Or click on your Academic Advisor’s appointment calendar found under his or her email signature to set up an appointment on your own
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor by phone, Google Hangout or Zoom
  • Request that your Academic Advisor send you a recommended schedule by email for review
  • Register yourself for classes on under the My Classes Tab and Add/Drop Section and then send your Academic Advisor an email asking him or her to review your schedule
    • Or send your Academic Advisor an email or a Google Hangout chat message to register one on one through the chat box
Even during this time of online communication, there is no reason to wait. Registration for 2020-2021 opens Monday, April 20th. Contact your Academic Advisor today at 215.670.9177 or and take the first step to securing your next academic year and getting even closer to reaching your goal of graduation.

Monday, April 6, 2020

From Morocco to Peirce College: Meet Naima Qadimi

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

After leaving 19 years of middle school education experience behind and moving from Morocco to the United States, Naima Qadimi was seeking a way to reshape her career, find a new opportunity that fit her new life, and advance her education.

Naima was eager to start her journey in Philadelphia and began asking around and looking into different programs. She learned of Peirce College and came to visit campus seeking guidance on next steps. What she found was so much more.

“When I came to Peirce at first, I was looking for advice on earning a degree,” explained Naima. “I met Steve Bird, who I am so thankful for, because he was so helpful and warm immediately welcoming me and making me feel comfortable. I knew this was the place where I could improve my career and earn my degree.”

Originally enrolling in 2014, Naima started with her associate degree in the Business Administration program. She chose this degree path because, “it is the field that can fit into so many opportunities in the labor market. Also, because of my ability to speak multiple languages (Arabic, French, English) I would love to open my own business as a translator one day.”

After applying herself to her new educational goal, Naima completed her first step in 2016. She immediately moved on to the bachelor’s program once again focusing on Business Administration and this time adding on a concentration in management.

During both programs, Naima said she gained so much from skills on managing a business to real-world lessons and information. She said, “In the Business Administration programs, I was able to earn degrees that can serve me better in my career. I learned how to be an ethical leader while managing a business; practical knowledge on the United States market; time management skills; and skills to help my future business grow and expand.”

Beyond the skills she learned within the classroom, Naima said she really appreciates the relationships she gained at the College. “I really value the professionalism and friendships of all the College staff and faculty. There is a huge support system for working adults to help students achieve their goals and advance their skills in many disciplines.”

In December 2019, Naima proudly completed her second degree and said, “My Peirce experience was the best experience of my life because it allowed me to learn so much and meet new people. Pursuing my degree was always a dream of mine and Peirce College helped me turn that dream into reality.”

Naima is continuously working towards her dream of opening her own business, which she hopes to do soon. In the meantime, she has some future goals in mind that may lead her back to Peirce. “When it comes time for me to think about earning another bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, I will definitely be back at Peirce College to once again be with the team that works with me side-by-side to empower my career and life.”

Congratulations to Naima on all her accomplishments!

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tips for Interviewing Remotely

The sun is shining, Spring has sprung, and you – you are stuck in your house in accordance with government recommendation during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Like many others, you are adapting to a whole new set of norms.

However, during this transition, there is no need to leave your career goals behind. Below, check out some tips on how to shift your mindset and optimize your job search during this unprecedented time in history.


Most recently, you may have been invited into an office to conduct an interview with either a Recruiter or a Manager. With many employers directing their staff to work remotely or exercising precautions with social distancing, you will now likely be interviewed by phone or video.

Recruiting has to rely on technology or phone to complete the interview process. They may request you get on a video platform like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. They may ask you to record answers to questions or do a real-time virtual interview, where you will be having a conversation with someone over streaming video. Here are some tips to make this the best experience it can be:
  • Access the platform prior to the interview to troubleshoot the software and finetune your camera and microphone.
  • Find the camera and position yourself so your eyes are level with it. Try to look at the camera, not at your face or even the face of the interviewer.
  • Dress for success. From head to toe, wear that interview suit with confidence. Your presentation still matters even if they can only see part of you, and dressing the part can make you feel prepared and ready.
  • Determine the quietest area of your home to take the interview. School closings mean that may be easier said than done, so ask your family (even young children) for help creating an atmosphere where you can concentrate.
  • Do you have headphones with a microphone? In this circumstance, it is appropriate to wear those during your virtual interview to block outside noise.
  • Don’t get flustered if you’re interrupted. The recruiter or hiring manager might be experiencing the same situation, so simply apologize and keep going.
  • Rehearse your answers ahead of time so you can appear comfortable on camera. Try to keep the interview conversational – remember, you’re making a relationship with your interviewer.
  • Smile, especially in a phone interview. It makes a difference!
  • Be sure to send a thank you email. You won’t be able to mail a thank you card, as the recruiter is likely working remotely. Do not ask for their home address – just send them a personalized, warm thank you email and follow up a week or two later to reiterate your interest in the position.
Recognize that these are special circumstances and factor that into every step of the recruitment process. Interview and hiring processes may be longer, budgets may be impacted, and processes may be changed. Stay agile and stay positive!

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Eager to Make a Difference in the World – Meet Olivia Bannister

From trade school to trade school, Olivia Bannister continued to bounce from one education track to the next never really understanding the importance of finishing a degree. However, in 2012, that all changed when Olivia decided it was time to enhance her mind and inspire her kids by going back to school.

“I could feel myself not succeeding in life. I knew I needed to go back to school to stimulate my mind, gain a firm foundation of education, and to show my kids no matter how old you are, it is never too late to earn a degree,” said Olivia.

After a search online, Olivia quickly discovered Peirce College and their dedication to assisting adult learners earn the degree they need to succeed. “One of the main reasons I decided on Peirce was because of the College’s focus on helping adults go back to school. Additionally, Peirce’s flexibility within each degree program caught my attention.”

Combining the program’s flexibility with her desire to expand her knowledge, Olivia enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting program.

After working hard balancing all her responsibilities as a mother, employee, and student, Olivia finished her first degree in May of 2017.

Olivia decided she was still eager to learn and grow more with her education and re-enrolled at Peirce in the Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program.

“You hear the term ‘Healthcare Administration’ frequently in the healthcare community,” said Olivia who explained how this was where she could see her career going. Thanks to the curriculum at Peirce, Olivia immediately started gaining knowledge and experience discovering her passion for the field.

Olivia said she owes a lot of her positive experience at Peirce to her professors and advisor who helped motivate, guide, and teach her along the way, “One part of my education I value the most is the life lessons I learned from each professor in my undergraduate and graduate program,” explained Olivia. “I have gained so much experience in the programs and I owe a major part of that to my Advisor, Dr. DeVida Rembert.”

Twelve classes later, Olivia proudly finished her next degree in December of 2019 and is officially a Class of 2020 graduate. She currently works for a brokerage company and is excited at the idea of taking her new degree into the community to make a difference thanks to the many avenues she is able to pursue with a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.

As Olivia reflects back on her time as a student at Peirce, she shares some wisdom for all those considering going back to school. She said, “What really helped me complete both of my degrees at Peirce College was staying focused and surrounding myself with people who had the same goals as I did. Additionally, I treated school like a job by taking it very seriously. I knew my ultimate goal was to better myself and family and that allowed everything else to fall into place.”

Congratulations to Olivia on all of her accomplishments! Peirce College wishes her the best as she takes her degrees out into the world and helps make it a better place.

Check back to the blog soon for more Class of 2020 stories as we countdown to commencement!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Celebrating Women’s History Month

On February 28, 1909, America’s first National Women’s Day was celebrated to honor all the hardworking and accomplished women of our country. This day was elevated even higher to Women’s International Day on March 8, 1911 when women around the world were celebrated and acknowledged. The evolution of this day continued and eventually turned into a Women’s History Week in 1978. However, this was still not the end of the development for the celebration of women’s accomplishments. In 1987, Congress passed a proclamation establishing March as Women’s History Month, which honors remarkable achievements of women.

That brings us to today. This month, we keep the tradition alive and celebrate all women around the world. As we know, there are an extensive number of women each year we can honor for Women’s History Month who have inspired and impacted our society today. Below are just a few of those great women who have come from our own Philadelphia area and changed the course of history forever.

Alice Paul: Born in 1885 in New Jersey, Alice was a descendant of William Penn. She attended Swarthmore College which was co-founded by her grandfather. She went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania and then furthered her education at a Quaker School in England. After returning from England, she lived in Philadelphia where she became extremely involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. She was an advocate for passing the 19th Amendment for the right of women to vote and in 1923, she wrote the Equal Rights Amendment, which, unfortunately, has not been enacted. Alice spent her life fighting for women’s protection against discrimination and other women’s rights.

Rebecca Cole: Born in 1846, in Philadelphia, Rebecca was the second female African-American doctor in the United States. She provided services for the poor, especially women and children, in their homes and also opened a Women’s Directory Center in 1873. She was committed to teaching and influencing others about her findings, which inspired others to follow her path. Rebecca did not allow sexism and/or racism to stop her from doing her job. She broke down walls and barriers to do what she loved.

Denise Scott Brown: Born in 1931, Denise is recognized as the most impactful architect of the 20th century as well as her husband, Robert Venturi. Denise attended the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her Master's Degree in city planning and then became a professor; she then obtained another Master’s Degree in architecture. She continued with her teaching at many colleges, but then came back to Philadelphia and joined forces with her husband where they worked side-by-side making a difference throughout the City.

Louisa May Alcott:
Born in 1832, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Louisa is most known as the author of Little Women, but was a very successful novelist of the 19th and 20th century. Several of her publications supported women’s rights and Louisa was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Connecticut. Still today, her books appear on the bestseller list.

Patti LaBelle or better known as the “Godmother of South”: Born in 1944 in Philadelphia, Patti has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Hall of Fame, the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. Not only is she a singer, but she is also a songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. During her impressive 50+ year career, she's racked up awards and sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Patti paved the way for a lot of women interested in pursuing music.

Jill Scott or better known as “Jilly from Philly”: Born in 1972 in Philadelphia, Jill has spent a majority of her life calling this City her home. She is a songwriter, singer, and model. When Jill was a college student at Temple University, she wanted to be an English high school teacher. Unfortunately, professors did not agree with her philosophy of helping students learn with singing. These negative thoughts only inspired Jill to do more with her music and create a difference through song. Jill is against the degradation of women in pop music and she uses her music as an expression of emotions.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Combining Her Passion for the Legal Field & Non-Profit Work: Meet Kim Mosley

Right after graduating from high school in 1987, Kim Mosley started college immediately to chase one of her biggest dreams – earning her degree. After a couple years into a program, Kim decided she wanted to take some time to prioritize some other parts of her life. Kim got married, had kids, and found herself immersed in the workforce.

After her kids were in high school, Kim finally had some time to think back to her dreams of college and decided it was time to finally finish what she started.

Originally starting at a community college, Kim slowly integrated herself back into college life taking a few classes at a time as she figured out her new path. Kim had worked in the corporate world, but was never fulfilled with the work she was doing. This is when she discovered her passion.

“I worked for 12 years at a mortgage company where I had exposure to the legal department. I worked on various projects with their team and my interest in the legal field started to grow,” said Kim. “Unfortunately, after the company downsized, my team was eliminated. This was another reason for me to finally finish what I started.”

From her new interest in the legal field, Kim soon learned of Peirce College’s Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies program. “After doing some research on the best places to earn my degree in the legal field, I discovered I really liked what Peirce College’s program had to offer. It was very comprehensive and diversified. You were not just focusing on one topic or type of law,” explained Kim. “Additionally, I liked the idea of the Peirce Fit® option to choose to attend class online or on campus each week.”

Kim quickly discovered beyond the well-rounded program and flexibility Peirce had to offer, Peirce also was able to accept so many of her previous college credits. “I was able to transfer credits not just from my recent community college classes, but also from my first college classes nearly 30 years ago. This saved me a lot of time when earning my degree.”

After working hard and finding a balance as a mother, student, and employee, Kim graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies in June 2017, but not before launching into her next educational adventure.

“As I was approaching the end of my bachelor’s program, I decided to apply and take part in Peirce’s Grad Scholars Program. This allowed me to take some graduate-level courses during my undergraduate career at the undergraduate price,” Kim said.

After earning her bachelor’s degree and some graduate-level credits, Kim decided to officially enroll in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management (MSOLM) program. She was eager to advance her existing skills even further, and learn new skills to apply to the family-run non-profit.

“In addition to working in the legal field, my family runs The Cathy Miller Cancer Fund (CMCF), an all-volunteer, non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and contributions in support of cancer patients staying at the Hope Lodge, in memory of my aunt. The MSOLM program at Peirce directly aligned with my work and responsibilities for the non-profit.”

Unfortunately, about a year into her master’s program, Kim’s uncle, the founder and executive director of CMCF, passed away. “When my uncle passed away, it created a huge bump in the road. We all had to figure out our new reality while restructuring CMCF and continuing its mission while grieving and dealing with the changes in own lives,” said Kim. “Luckily, everything surrounding me personally was aligning with what we were learning in class from emotional intelligence to change management and everything in between. The master’s program was able to give me direction during one of the hardest times in my life and career. I was able to take my real life problems into the course to discuss them and find solutions.”

No hardship could stop Kim from finishing her next degree. In December 2019, Kim officially earned her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management. Kim currently works as a Paralegal for the New Jersey Department of Children & Families, which she landed after obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Peirce. She also continues to work hard for The Cathy Miller Cancer Fund where she seamlessly transfers her knowledge from her master’s classes right into her business and work ethic.

Congratulations to Kim on all her successes! Peirce College wishes her nothing but the best as she continues to implement both degrees into her career and life.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Etiquette Luncheon Gives Students the Tools to Stand Out

Philadelphia’s Capital Grille is no stranger to executive business meetings where high net worth deals are made and employees are hired. Whether you are an entrepreneur, seeking a job or proving you deserve a promotion, you may find yourself selling yourself in a fine dining setting.

On Wednesday, February 19th, the Capital Grille, located at Broad & Chestnut Streets, was the elite backdrop of a gathering of Peirce College students and alumni for the Annual Etiquette Luncheon.

The Luncheon is a partnership between Peirce College’s Center for Career & Professional Development and the Capital Grille offering a presentation on how to conduct a power lunch meeting.

Business deals and job interviews typically occur in boardrooms and offices; however, a potential business partner or a hiring manager may invite you to join them for lunch or dinner. Part of the evaluation is how to conduct yourself throughout the professional lunch or dinner, which signals your awareness of respect and making a positive impression.

Alexis Lundeen, Director of Operations for the Capital Grille, facilitated an in-depth and engaging presentation instructing students on the unspoken rules of the business world, which govern these professional interactions.

Alexis reminded attendees that small subtle things are clues. Something as simple as how you butter your bread can say a lot about you and your work ethic.

She demonstrated that your plate is to the left but you pass the bread to the right. You take butter onto your butter knife; smear it on the plate with the bread. Then, you take off a piece of bread, cover it in a pat of butter and eat it.

Alexis also discussed how to use your utensils and napkin to signal to the dining staff when you are finished with the course and ready for the next course. By communicating wordlessly, it helps the staff to respond to your needs without disrupting your business meeting.

The overall message conveyed was that presentation matters and as a prospective employee or business associate, you set the tone of how you are perceived based on how you represent yourself. The goal of a professional lunch or dinner is not to eat. It is an opportunity to show your best self in a situation where others may fold because they don’t know the rules of engagement.

To hear even more about this event, CBS News, Channel 3, covered the event on their nightly newscast. Reporter, Vittoria Woodill, not only observed the interactions, but also participated and added her perspective when requested. To check it out, please visit the CBS News, Channel 3 website.

For more career and professional development workshops, events, and advice, please contact Peirce’s Center for Career & Professional Development at 215.670.9202 or

Friday, February 14, 2020

Following His Passion for IT – Meet Ivan Kovacevik

Though a majority of Peirce College students grew up in or around the city of Philadelphia, there are also those who come from another part of the state, country, or even across the Atlantic Ocean. This was the case for Ivan Kovacevik, a current Peirce College Information Technology student who moved to the United States from Serbia in 2002.

After his big move, Ivan devoted the majority of his time to working to support himself and his family, but he always knew he had an interest in computers and programming he hoped to one day pursue.

Ivan got his first computer as a teenager and once he tried his hand at programming, he was hooked. “It’s funny but my love for computers began when I got an old Commodore 64 system. I started to tinker around with that, and then my interest just continued to grow and grow. I knew that if I ever went to college, I’d major in Information Technology,” Ivan said.

Ivan initially decided to give college a try back in 2008 when he enrolled at The Community College of Philadelphia. After taking a few courses, he decided to pause his education to again focus on full-time work. In 2015, though, Ivan was ready to revisit his educational journey this time at Bucks County Community College, determined to earn his associate degree in Information Science and Technology. That day came in May 2018 when all of Ivan’s hard work finally paid off in the way of his first (but not last) college degree.

Ivan knew he wanted to continue his education and earn a bachelor’s degree after he graduated from Bucks, and discovered Peirce College after an online search of Bucks County Community College’s transfer partners. Once he learned that nearly all of his credits would transfer and that he could do the majority of his program online, his mind was made up and he enrolled in Peirce’s Information Technology bachelor’s degree program.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Ivan says about his time at Peirce. “The curriculum is right in line with what I want to do—it’s mostly programming, but I’m earning all the certifications I need to.”

Ivan, who works full time at a Medical Support company in New Jersey, is also a full-time student at Peirce. His busy work schedule prohibits him from being able to come on campus for many classes, so he completes the majority of his coursework online. Ivan says he’s keeping his options open as far as employment after he graduates, but knows he’d like to work as a programmer or a system or network administrator. He also hopes to continue his education and earn his master’s degree in Information Technology.

When asked if he had any advice for adults considering a return to college after many years out of school, Ivan offered, “Don’t be nervous! It’s never too late, no matter what age you are. Peirce is a great place for adult learners and they’ll make you feel welcome. If you’re disciplined and persistent, you’ll do well.”

It’s hard for Ivan to have much free time considering he works and attends classes full-time, but when he does have a moment to himself, he loves to explore parks and go hiking. He’s also an avid videographer and enjoys editing and producing his footage.

Peirce College thanks Bucks County Community College for providing Ivan with an excellent educational foundation, and wishes Ivan all the best in 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 11, 2020

No Roadblock Can Stop Daron Coney From Chasing His Dream

Through personal determination and perseverance, Daron Coney is on his way to finishing his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Peirce College.

Right out of high school, Daron enrolled in a different college eager to continue his education. After the school shut down out of nowhere leaving him with nothing but a bad taste in his mouth for education, Daron entered into the workforce and moved college to the back of his mind.

After shifting from job to job for a few years, Daron decided it was finally time to return to school to earn the degree he always wanted. “Since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted a four-year degree,” said Daron. “It was always a goal of mine, but I had a bitter taste toward education for a while. After being in and out of jobs for some time, I decided a degree would be what I needed to land a career and accomplish my dream.”

As the first in his family to go to college, Daron had to do some personal research online to discover where his journey would take him next. He found Peirce College, and after speaking with Blake Scull, his Enrollment Specialist, about Peirce’s dedication to working adults, he knew this was where he wanted to be.

In 2015, Daron officially enrolled at Peirce and started focusing on his business-aspirations. “I have always associated myself with the business side of a job. My mom works in a business setting and it inspired me to go into that field as well. I have always seen myself on the path to management and I knew Peirce would get me there,” explained Daron.

Right as Daron was starting to see the end of his degree journey approaching, he ran into an issue not uncommon to many students. Daron said, “I was told with only a few classes left that my financial aid funds were just about out and I wouldn’t have enough to finish.”

This hardship did not stop Daron, though. Instead, he took matters into his own hands, and he reached out to Dr. Shannon Begley, Dean of Academic Advising & Registrar at Peirce College to ask what he could do to reach his goal. Together, with the help of the Director of Student Financial Services, Ruthann Wyatt, they came up with a plan to get Daron to the finish line.

“Meeting with Dr. Begley and Ms. Wyatt was so refreshing. They did everything they could to help me figure out how to finish my degree,” said Daron.

Through recommended scholarships, courses, and other financial options, Daron now has a plan in place to get him to where he has always dreamed of being – graduation.

As Daron focuses on finishing up his final classes, he wanted to offer some advice to others who may be considering going back to school, “Develop a strong work-life balance. With life being as hard as it is, adding school in may seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. When you take time for yourself and prioritize, you can fit everything in. Keep your end goal in mind and create a plan to get there. You can do it!”

Congratulations to Daron on all of his successes so far and good luck as he continues to chase his dream of earning his bachelor’s degree.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Black History Month: African Americans and the Vote

Each year we celebrate Black History Month in February to recognize African American achievements and the impact of blacks in United States history. The year of 2020 marks some major anniversaries of milestones reached throughout history. The Fifteenth Amendment, which states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude,” celebrates its 150th anniversary. We also celebrate the Nineteenth Amendment, which states, “The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protest” as it rings in its centennial year.

In addition to these historic amendment anniversaries, throughout the entire month of February, we celebrate and honor the accomplishments and central role of African Americans throughout all of history in the United States and around the world. Each year, there is a unique theme designated to this monthly celebration and recognition. This year, the theme is focused around the two amendments because of their noteworthy anniversaries in 2020. The theme is “African Americans and the Vote.” As we reflect and honor the theme and all it represents this month, we must continue to recognize there are still ongoing struggles of African American men and women for the right to vote. This month calls for the recognition of how far we have come, but also calls for realization in how far we still have to go.

The two milestones in African American History mentioned above are only a small sampling of significant events that are celebrated and honored each year during the month of February. I encourage everyone to continue learning and understanding the history of African Americans to not only better appreciate Black History Month, but to further assist in the progress of our society today.

If you are interested in Black History Month events and opportunities in the surrounding Philadelphia area, check out the Guide to Black History Month in Philadelphia 2020 provided by Visit Philadelphia.

*Amendment information provided by

Friday, January 31, 2020

Advancing Her Life From the Ground Up: Meet Vernice Everett

Vernice Everett found herself moving from job to job with little to no stability all due to her lack of credentials. She began to struggle with what to do next to better her surroundings and life.

This is when Vernice decided it was finally time to return to school and earn the degree she needed for the career she deserved.

Starting from the ground up, Vernice enrolled at the Community College of Philadelphia ready to earn her first degree. After working hard, she graduated in 2015 with her associate degree in Paralegal Studies. “I chose to pursue my degree in Paralegal Studies because I have always had a passion for law,” explained Vernice. “I never finished high school, so when I finally decided to return to school, I was determined to follow my passion and achieve my dreams.”

Earning an associate degree was a big milestone for Vernice, but she wasn’t done yet. “I completed my first degree from CCP, but was eager to move along into my bachelor’s degree. An associate degree just wasn’t enough. Two of my friends recommended Peirce College, so I began to look into next steps,” said Vernice.

After speaking with Blake Scull, her Enrollment Specialist, Vernice determined Peirce was where she needed to be. She said, “Peirce had a Paralegal program that aligned with my career goals and all of my credits from CCP transferred in, which saved me time and money.”

Vernice dove into the Paralegal Studies program at Peirce and was ready to enhance her resume and skillset. As she began classes and started working toward her next degree, Vernice experienced an illness that almost took her life. However, this still did not stop her determination.

From her hospital bed, Vernice continued working on her coursework and achieving assignment deadlines. Soon after, she reached a different milestone in her life adding a new and very important piece to her story. “In 2016, while earning my bachelor’s degree, I got pregnant with my son. I never once stopped taking my courses, though. I knew I had to keep going and find a new balance as a single mother, working adult, and student,” explained Vernice.

With determination, perseverance, and a new appreciation for time management, Vernice earned her Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies in June 2019. Originally, she hoped to gain a new credential, but what she got from the new degree was so much more. “I not only gained a lot of knowledge personally and professionally within my degree program at Peirce such as law and business etiquette, but it also opened up a lot of doors for me in the workforce.”

Vernice went on an interview for a new position after earning her bachelor’s and was told she’d hear back in the future, but thanks to her new skills, knowledge, and credentials, that was not the case. “When I was on the interview, they told me they weren’t hiring right away, but I would hear back eventually. To my surprise, I got a call the next day and I was hired as a Paralegal with Capehart & Scratchard because of my bachelor’s degree and my next educational goal.”

What was that next goal? Her master’s degree! Vernice decided to keep going after earning two degrees and enrolled in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management program. During this next educational journey, she hopes to enhance her current degrees and gain more leadership skills relevant to her new line of work.

As Vernice reflects back on her time at Peirce for her bachelor’s degree and eagerly looks forward to her upcoming courses, she said, “I love my school. Life has not always been kind to me, but since starting at Peirce, I have seen my life go from a negative to a positive. More doors have opened for me, I landed a great job, and this is all thanks to Peirce.”

Congratulations to Vernice on all of her accomplishments! Peirce College wishes her nothing but the best as she continues to chase her dreams and reach her goals.