Peirce College Adds Online Degree Options –

Responding to student interest in advanced degrees, Philadelphia’s Peirce College is set to launch a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management, beginning fall 2013.

“Our biggest short-term goal is to have a successful online launch of our first master’s degree program,” Pat Rucker, senior vice president of academic advancement and provost at Peirce College. “We’ve had a lot of interest in that program and some students have been waiting a long time for us to offer it. We developed this master’s so that any of our students can matriculate into the program.”

Currently, more than half of the student population at Peirce College is enrolled in a business degree program. The private, not-for-profit school has been offering online programs since 2000, and currently 58% of the credit hours taken at Peirce are online.

“All of our business degrees are available fully online,” said Pat Rucker, senior vice president of academic advancement and provost at Peirce College. “Brand-new college students can complete their degrees entirely online and someone with an associate degree can come earn their bachelor’s degree. We try to be a fit for any student.”

The school offers accelerated courses lasting eight weeks. Students must complete 61 credits for an associate degree and 121 credits for a bachelor’s degree.

“Business students will have a business core curriculum which includes introductory classes in business, marketing, finance, and accounting,” Rucker said. “The bachelor’s programs include classes in human resources, advanced marketing, and advanced financing. There is a capstone at both the associate and bachelor’s level.”

Rucker said Peirce adheres to a relationship-driven, high-engagement approach to teaching and emphasizes interaction of faculty with students. Group discussions and virtually connecting through Adobe Connect create a sense of community among online students. The school also utilizes social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

“The students are very active with social media; it’s the way of the world right now,” Rucker said. “Students really enjoy that social interaction.”

Support services available to online students include advising, counseling, access to library databases, new student orientation, and Smart Thinking—a tutoring service. Students are guaranteed a response to their questions within 24 hours.

Rucker said Peirce has plans to expand its business programs, depending upon the need and demand as well as career opportunities for students.

Business students can currently pursue an associate in business administration, or a bachelor’s in business administration, accounting, or human resource management online.

Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and its business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN