Dr. Mary Ellen Caro Named First Woman President and CEO of Peirce College

Jun 24, 2019, 14:48 PM by Amanda Hill


PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28, 2018 — Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, an experienced higher education leader and business executive with extensive knowledge in cross-sector partnerships, workforce development, and the needs of working adult students, has been unanimously elected by the Board of Trustees as Peirce College’s eighth president.

On April 16, 2018, Caro will succeed James J. Mergiotti, who announced his retirement from the College last year after serving as its President and CEO since 2009. Caro becomes the first woman to hold the position in Peirce’s 153-year history.

“In Dr. Caro, we found someone uniquely equipped to lead the College into the future, as Peirce continues to serve the evolving needs of non-traditional students and the region’s employers,” said Barbara A. Prutzman, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Her many accomplishments, as both an educator and business professional, have prepared Dr. Caro for the challenge of guiding the College through the changing higher education landscape. She is deeply qualified to build upon Peirce’s legacy of academic innovation and to further develop connections in the Philadelphia business community that meet the needs of our students, the city, and the region.”

Caro is currently Vice President of Enrollment Management and Learner Services at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, N.J. An institution of more than 17,000 students, Thomas Edison, like Peirce, is also focused on serving adult learners. Caro is responsible for a wide range of functions, including student affairs; strategic corporate and military partnerships; marketing; and enrollment management. She previously held other leadership positions at Thomas Edison, including Executive Vice Provost, Associate Provost and founding Dean of the School of Business and Management.

Caro joined Thomas Edison in 2004 after a 25-year career at AT&T, where she progressed through several executive positions, culminating as Vice President in AT&T Business Services managing a global portfolio of more than $1 billion with Fortune 100 clients.

“Peirce College is an integral piece of the puzzle for workforce development and adult degree attainment in Philadelphia,” Caro said. “I look forward to building on this 153-year legacy and I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with new partners throughout the region to benefit working adults, businesses and the regional economy.”

Caro completed her doctorate in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing her dissertation on partnerships between business and higher education. In addition, she earned a Master of Science in Management from Stanford University, where she was an AT&T Sloan Fellow; a Master of Science in Applied Statistics from Rutgers University; and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Saint Elizabeth, where she majored in Mathematics and Sociology.

Recently, the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey have strengthened their focus on building a more equitable economic ecosystem through cross-sector workforce development programs and skills-focused education partnerships. Peirce College has been a key participant in these regional conversations and initiatives and Caro’s focus on partnership development is well-aligned with Peirce’s critical role in this space.

“Dr. Caro’s expertise and vision will provide the perfect ingredients to expand on the great work of the Peirce community,” Mergiotti said. “I am very enthusiastic about the College’s future under her direction and delighted that an executive of her caliber will be joining the leadership ranks in our region."

About Peirce College

Founded in 1865, Peirce College has been providing working adults with affordable education, flexible classes, and personalized support for more than 150 years. Peirce offers bachelor and associate degree programs in the areas of Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Legal Studies, and Master of Science degrees in Healthcare Administration and Organizational Leadership & Management. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Peirce is a non-profit institution that specializes in serving the unique needs of working adults through both online and on campus education. In 2015, Peirce took life-friendly learning and degree attainment to the next level with the creation of Peirce Fit®, a revolutionary learning format that allows students to choose each week whether to attend class in person or online. Through competency-based education in Peirce’s IT program, students may also choose a faster, more affordable path to a degree. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). Additionally, select programs are accredited by The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the American Bar Association and the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

For more information about Peirce College, call 888.467.3472, or visit www.peirce.edu. Visit Peirce’s blog, Peirce Connections, at blog.peirce.edu. Become a fan of Peirce College on Facebook. Follow @PeirceCollege on Twitter. View the Peirce College YouTube Channel .


Peirce College
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Amanda Hill
Director, Marketing & Communications

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