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 ttschop@peirce.edu.

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 www.peirce.edu/personalmission

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.