HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
SELECT SUB COMMITTEE ON TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND CAREER READINESS
Friday, September 16, 2016
Steamfitters Union, 420 Hall, 14420 Townsend Road, Philadelphia PA 19154
Testimony by: Uva Coles, Vice President, Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships, Office of Institutional Advancement & Strategic Partnerships, Peirce College
Located in Center City, Philadelphia, Peirce College (“Peirce” or “the College”) is a private, not-for-profit, postsecondary institution offering bachelor and associate degrees in Business, Health, Information Technology and Legal Studies, and master’s degree programs in Organizational Leadership & Management and in Healthcare Administration.
Peirce is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The College’s Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association; the Business Administration and Accounting programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP); and its Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
While there are numerous academic institutions throughout the Philadelphia area, few have targeted and successfully supported the non-traditional student for over 150 years. Even fewer have understood the fundamental connection between education and economic prosperity as Peirce has.
Founded in 1865 to assist returning Civil War veterans in their transition to a new commercial economy, Peirce has been educating the Philadelphia region’s workforce by offering working, adult students career-related degree programs. Over 75% of our students live in Philadelphia. They are, in essence, representative of Philadelphia’s diverse labor force. In fact, 70% of our working adults are African Americans and more than 72% of them are women. Many of our students are from working-class backgrounds for whom a college education was not feasible immediately after high school. Life experience has taught these adults that higher education has a direct impact on their future success and opportunity to upskill, attain relevant credentials, and transition from a life-sustaining job to building a career pathway.
Therefore, despite an array of challenging obstacles, these adults have chosen to further their education and obtain a college degree. It is a brave and sometimes difficult decision that Peirce understands well. Peirce has commi