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.