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 ttschop@peirce.edu.

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, Study.com 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 www.history.com