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.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

From an Internet Search to a New Degree: Meet Marvin Nichols

In the summer of 2017, Marvin Nichols set out to find a place to earn his master’s degree that would cater to his needs as a full-time working adult. He turned his research to the internet and typed in, “colleges for working adults” and Peirce College popped up on his screen. He immediately inquired and after attending an open house, he was sold.

“I was instantly intrigued by Peirce because I quickly learned how much they supported working adults and as a full-time employee, this was important to me,” explained Marvin. “When I came to open house, I learned about Peirce Fit® where I would have the flexibility to choose whether to attend class on campus or online. I met with faculty who explained the graduate program in general as well as my program of interest. Finally, I met with current students in the Graduate Student Association who confirmed my belief of Peirce’s dedication to working adults. I knew this was the school for me.”

Marvin soon enrolled in Peirce’s Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHCA) program because it so seamlessly aligned with his current and future career goals. “I have over 20 years of experience in the medical field in some capacity. When I heard what the MSHCA program entailed, it felt like a natural progression for me to move into this opportunity,” said Marvin.

During the program, Marvin gained more than he anticipated. “From this program, I gained a better and broader understanding of healthcare. The curriculum is designed to introduce all different parts of the healthcare industry to best prepare students for the real world.”

Marvin further explained, though, how not only did the curriculum and schoolwork expand his knowledge, but so did those surrounding him. “I learned so much from both my professors and classmates. There were such diverse backgrounds and work experiences in each class, which contributed to my learning. We all taught one another and I don’t know if I would have found this type of diverse knowledge anywhere else.”

After dedicating himself to his studies, Marvin proudly completed his degree last month in December 2019. With his new degree, he expects to apply his new knowledge and leadership skills to his current role as a Practice Transformation Specialist and hopes to continue to advance his career within this field.

As Marvin reflected back on his time at Peirce, he said, “This was one of the best things I have ever done. My entire experience was amazing. Every student at Peirce had the same goals and agenda of balancing responsibilities, but eager to earn our degree. The faculty and staff were always ready to answer questions. Peirce is an academic institution that wants you to succeed, but also makes sure you get a strong education in the process. I am so blessed that I was able to attend Peirce College to earn my Master of Science in Healthcare Administration.”

Congratulations to Marvin on all of his successes! Peirce College wishes him nothing but the best as he continues to chase his career goals and apply his new degree to the workforce.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Back to Peirce College 47 Years Later: Meet Carolyn Wharton

At 75 years young, Carolyn Wharton is not only one of Peirce College’s most “experienced” students, but she may also have one of the most interesting stories about her enrollment at the College.

Scratch that – she may have TWO of the most interesting stories about her enrollment at the College.

Carolyn graduated from Camden High School in 1962 and wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do. She wrestled with thoughts of going to college and joining the work force, but after seeing an ad in the paper for Peirce Business College (Peirce College’s name back then) she enrolled in a seven-week program in 1963 to become certified as a key-punch operator for computer systems – a very popular program back in those days.

With this certification, Carolyn worked as a key-punch operator at a Veterans Center for six years before she took a break to raise her children. When she was ready to re-enter the work force, she again found employment as a key-punch operator, this time with Camden County’s city offices. It was while Carolyn was employed at Camden County’s offices in 1975 when she realized she worked just a few blocks from one of Peirce College’s partner schools, Camden County College.

“I had a great experience at Camden County College,” Carolyn explained. “It was right down the road from my office, and I figured I would enroll as a Computer Information Systems major so I could learn more about my industry.”

Carolyn only took one class per semester since she worked full time and took care of her children, so she graduated with her associate degree from Camden County College in 1985, a full ten years after she originally enrolled. Rather than view the duration of time as a setback, Carolyn sees it as a testament to never giving up on her goals.

“I was never in a hurry,” Carolyn said. “I knew all along that nothing would get in the way of my degree, and I took my time and saw it through.”

After 28 years working with Camden County, Carolyn finally retired to spend more time with her family and church groups. Although her professional career was over, her educational journey was far from complete. As Carolyn explained, Peirce College had left a lasting impression when she was first a student in 1963, and though it took many years, it was only a matter of time before she returned.

“It took me 47 years, but I had always known that I wanted to return to Peirce College to get my bachelor’s degree. The college just had a special place in my heart and it originally opened the doors for my professional career, so I wanted to return to the place where it all started. In 2010, I enrolled in Peirce’s Business Administration program with a concentration in Management.”

Just like she did at Camden County, Carolyn takes one class per session at Peirce College, so she is once again on the non-traditional “ten-year” plan for her next degree. She currently has an excellent 3.75 GPA and intends to graduate next year, which she says will be a very special year because it will not only be her graduation year, but also three of her grandchildren’s graduation year.

“I can’t tell you how special it will be to earn my bachelor’s degree around the same time as three of my grandchildren. It’s just a really wonderful thing for me and my family,” Carolyn beamed.

When she’s not in school, Carolyn can almost always be found spending time at her church or active in ministry. She’s the Superintendent of Sunday School and she also teaches youth classes. She loves bowling, sewing, and arts and crafts, especially when she’s working on them with the children at her church.

Peirce College thanks Camden County College for providing Carolyn an excellent educational foundation, and wishes Carolyn the best in all of her future endeavors!

If you or someone you know is looking to transfer to Peirce College, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Director, Strategic Partnerships & Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Learning to Say Yes to Your Personal Mission

Work, Family, School, Life – how do you find the time to balance it all?

As a student, do you find yourself asking this question on more than one occasion? Are you trying to juggle many hats and you’re just not sure how to keep it all going?

If so, Peirce College’s Student Associations & Honor Societies Committee wants to help!

On Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 6:00pm, take part in Learning to Say Yes to Your Personal Mission, an online event designed just for YOU!

This student-centric opportunity will feature a trivia game around bettering yourself physically and mentally, a keynote speaker who will help you channel your inner strengths and elevate them to their full potential, and finally a panel discussion from fellow working adults who have been in your shoes and are eager to share their stories. This event will be held entirely online through Canvas – yes, the platform you know and love from your courses.

Peirce College recognizes that sometimes the craziness of our schedules can get in the way of focusing on ourselves and reflecting on who we are and where we want to be. That is why Peirce College has created this event for YOU that you can join from anywhere! You can do something to better your life without having to leave your home, work, or other priorities.

So, take a little time for yourself on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 6:00pm and find the balance you have been seeking alongside those who understand your path.

To RSVP, please visit

Friday, January 10, 2020

Bringing Law School Within Your Reach

Are you interested in law school, but you’re not sure where to begin?

Like most busy adults, you are not alone. The decision to pursue a legal career is exciting, challenging and, for some, a little scary. It is also a field of study that people are truly passionate about. Every day, we see the impact the law has on individuals in areas such as social justice, victims’ compensation, constitutional rights and business ethics. Despite all of the lawyer jokes and stereotypes, a career in the legal profession really does enable you to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

As faculty chair of Legal Studies at Peirce College, I know how anxious students can get when it comes to pursuing a law degree. I also know the challenges that some individuals may face when chasing this dream. That is why I am excited about Peirce’s new partnership with Rutgers Law School to offer a Bachelor-to-Juris Doctor Program to eligible students. This program will enable students to complete their Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in six (6) years instead of the traditional seven (7).

How does it work?

After completing 94 credits towards their bachelor’s degree, eligible Peirce students may seek admission to Rutgers Law School. Courses successfully completed at Rutgers during the first year of law school will satisfy the remaining requirements of the bachelor’s degree at Peirce. This will save students both time and money.

To learn more about this new program, I hope you can join us for an Information Session on Saturday, January 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The Information Session takes place at Peirce College, located at 1420 Pine Street in Philadelphia, in Room 51. We look forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

From Criminology to Business – Meet Erica Walker

Growing up, Erica Walker thought her education and career would eventually lead to becoming a judge. After earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology, Erica quickly realized this was not the path for her. Holding two degrees with little flexibility, Erica decided in order to really advance her career and future, she would need to return to school.

In 2017, Erica met Steve Bird, Peirce’s Director of Strategic Partnerships & Corporate Enrollment at an event with her former employer. She learned of Peirce’s online options, flexibility, tuition discount for corporate partner employees, and the focus on adult learners. Erica was sold.

“When I was deciding to return to school, I was a mom of a toddler looking for the option to take classes online in a flexible way that matched my needs,” said Erica. “Steve explained how Peirce had all of that and invited me to an open house on campus to learn more. That is where my decision was made.”

Erica soon met alumni and fellow classmates who spoke highly about the Peirce College family environment and Erica was hooked. She enrolled in Peirce’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management (MSOLM) program in Fall 2017.

Choosing this program was easy for Erica because she was looking for a broader program that was business-centric with leadership ties. Erica said, “The MSOLM program at Peirce offered me entrepreneurial experience, public speaking classes, unique industry information, valuable leadership skills and more. I knew this degree could benefit me for what I saw in my future.”

During her time in the program, Erica gained more than she ever anticipated. “Peirce was the best experience of my life. From the classmates to my professors, I gained lifelong friends and knowledge I could not have received anywhere else. Every book I picked up taught me something new; every discussion I did educated me more; and every piece of coursework was more intriguing than the last.”

As a working mom, Erica did choose to take all her courses online and that was exactly what Erica needed. She said, “Having the option to be online granted me the balance I needed as a working mom and student. I was never overwhelmed. Peirce knows we work, we have family, etc. They have the courses set up in a way where you can get it done and done well.”

Even as an online student, Erica felt the family environment she was sold on from the beginning. “I know it is cliché to say, but Peirce really is a family. I wasn’t sure I believed it at first, but I am here to say it is absolutely true. Everyone wants you to be successful; everyone wants to make sure you reach the finish line; and everyone is always available to support you.”

In June 2019, Erica proudly transitioned from a Peirce student to a Peirce alumna as she officially earned her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management. She explained how this would not have been possible without her true inspiration – her daughter. “My daughter is young, but she watches me and understands. She is now in Kindergarten and comes home eager to do her homework to, ‘act like mommy.’ Motivating her to love school inspired me!”

Beyond motivating her daughter and achieving a second graduate degree, Erica landed a phenomenal position as the Director of Admissions and Outreach for Job Corps. Erica never imagined she would have had the opportunity to land this type of career. She said, “My new degree got me my new job. It opened doors for me that weren’t available to me prior to graduation.”

Congratulations to Erica on all of her accomplishments! Peirce is proud to have such inspirational alumna telling the Peirce story to the community.