Peirce College, which focuses on teaching non-traditional students with busy work schedules, has just raised the bar.
Actually, the bar rose three years ago and was met earlier this month when the first graduating class of the special three-year Parent University Program attended commencement.
Seventeen students graduated with their Associate’s Degree this month, and many plan on continuing their education.
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The Parent University Program began enrollment in 2010. In order to attend, applicants needed to be working parents with children in the Philadelphia School District. The initiative is geared toward getting local parents to go back to school and earn a degree while still being able to juggle a career and family.
“I knew it was going to be hard work,” says graduate and police officer Jennifer Boone. “But I’m proud to be one of the first to experience this, it’s really cool.”
Boone says that she wants to get her bachelor’s degree in early education, proving that at no point is it too late to pursue a new career goal.
Carla Bell is also one of the prestigious 17 to complete the specialized program.
“I feel like this class is the role model for other parents,” says Bell. “It feels really good. It just shows that you can go back to school and work and get yourself to a better place.”
Bell says that she will also continue learning and will work toward being a small business owner.
Both women spoke about the support that they received from their families. Boone told us that her 19-year-old daughter, a Penn State student, has been a great support.
“She has been very helpful,” says Boone. “She’s been helpful with knowing how to apply for things, and I’ve helped her with the study process.”
Bell has not only received encouragement from her family, she’s also inspired her son and her sister to attend Peirce.