Submitted to the Faculty Senate APC by the Stillman School of Business September 2013

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1 Proposal for New Graduate Accounting Certificate and Request for Approval to offer Accounting/Tax Certificates and Graduate Business Degree Programs at Verizon and other Corporate Locations Submitted to the Faculty Senate APC by the Stillman School of Business September Program overview, rationale, and expectations This section should include an overview of the program, a justification for the program as understood in the context and demands of the discipline and academic and institutional goals and plans of the University, and should also define program objectives and expectations. Overview The Stillman School seeks formal approval to offer a new 15-credit Graduate Accounting Certificate and to offer the following programs to selected domestic offsite corporate groups: (1) This new 15-credit Graduate Accounting Certificate. (2) Our existing 12-credit Certificate in Graduate Taxation. (3) The full curriculum of our existing MS in Accounting program. (4) The full curriculum of our existing MBA program. The School currently offers, on an experimental basis, a 15-credit Graduate Accounting Certificate to executives working in the finance division of Verizon in Basking Ridge, NJ. The Certificate is offered in collaboration with the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CEPS). The School plans to explore, with CEPS, opportunities for providing the same program to other corporate groups (with FASB approval) at their workplace or in classes held on campus. We wish to provide students in the Certificate program with the option of continuing their studies, at their workplace, in one of our existing graduate degree programs. We also would like to provide the option of our 12- credit Certificate in Graduate Taxation to corporate cohorts. The key elements of the new Graduate Accounting Certificate program are: Format and Curriculum. The Certificate is designed to prepare students to become educationally qualified to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination and, ultimately, licensed as CPAs. The Certificate consists of the following required courses: BACC 7100 Financial Reporting BACC 7123 Auditing Standards and Problems BACC 7128 Advanced Accounting BACC 7135 Essentials of Federal Taxation 6 credits 3 credits 3 credits 3 credits

2 BACC 7135, which was offered for the first time in Spring 2013, is an experimental course. The course covers significant concepts and applications related to both individual and corporate taxation. The remaining classes, which are standard requirements of virtually all accounting programs, are regularly offered as part of our MBA, MS in Accounting and MS in Professional Accounting programs. Students who complete the 15-credit Certificate are eligible to apply to one of our graduate programs and use all certificate courses to fulfill applicable degree requirements. Admissions Requirements. Students in the Certificate program study on a nonmatriculated basis. Consistent with our policy for non-matriculated study, applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in any field with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher. In addition, applicants must demonstrate prior coursework in basic financial accounting. Those students who wish to continue their studies through admission to one of our accounting-related graduate programs (i.e., MBA, MSAC or MSPA) must meet all current requirements for admission to that program. Faculty. Full-time Stillman faculty and adjuncts will staff courses, as appropriate. Full-time faculty members may teach these courses as part of their regular load or as an overload assignment. Courses may be offered in an online or hybrid format. Learning Outcomes Assessment. Currently, students in the School s MS in Accounting and MS in Professional Accounting programs complete a comprehensive knowledge examination as an assessment of their mastery of program learning goals. The Department does not currently have a stand-alone version of this exam for the collection of courses included in the Certificate. Accordingly, the Department will design an appropriate learning outcomes assessment for the program. Justification The 15-credit Accounting Certificate fulfills an important market need. Business practitioners who wish to pursue licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) must successfully complete a minimum number of undergraduate and/or graduate credits that address specific accounting discipline domains. The Certificate curriculum was designed to bridge the gap for individuals who do not possess a degree in accounting but wish to pursue CPA licensure in New Jersey. Offering our courses onsite at Verizon accommodates Verizon executives and managers who would not find it practical to travel to the South Orange campus to take classes. Finance division employees greatly appreciated the advantages of a traditional in-class format with the convenience of onsite delivery. Furthermore, offsite course offerings enable Seton Hall to serve its mission with minimum use of saturated oncampus resources. 2

3 Thus, the proposed program is responsive to Strategic Direction Six, Responsibility in Stewardship, which includes the following action item relating to diversifying and increasing sources of revenue: Create non-traditional pedagogical opportunities such as off-campus and distance learning opportunities, alternative degree programs, and activities of interest to prospective students and underserved populations. Our work with the team at Verizon has helped to strengthen our ties with the company and is likely to yield benefits in terms of graduate placements and other collaborations. In the Stillman School s current work to develop a new strategic plan, the action item of developing partnerships with businesses and corporations emerged as our highest priority. As such, building these types of relationships is an important goal for the School. Objectives and Expectations Our objectives and expectations for this program are to: Strengthen Seton Hall University s reputation and relationship with such as Verizon, an important employer and corporate citizen. Increase graduate enrollments generally and promote interest in our graduate business programs. Gain experience in delivering a bridge program for non-accountants who wish to pursue CPA licensure. 2. External and internal market assessment This section should include components relevant to the desired program target market(s). This section could cover such items as national, local, and regional demand for the program, competitive institutional benchmarks, employment opportunities, and projections and likelihood for new and current student enrollments. If the target is the current student population external assessment is not required. The accounting profession continues to be an attractive career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, representing an additional 190,700 jobs. The Handbook further indicates that candidates with the CPA designation and/or a master s degree in accounting have an advantage in the job market. Our experience with Verizon suggests that there is substantive demand for additional accounting education. We began offering Accounting Certificate courses at Verizon to a 3

4 group of 14 students in Fall In Spring 2013, an additional 25 students began taking Certificate classes. We held an onsite information session for prospective students on July 15, 2013, and approximately 25 Verizon employees expressed interest in learning more about the opportunity to pursue graduate studies with the Stillman School. Informal discussions with representatives of the New Jersey Society of CPAs lead us to conclude that this program will appeal to business professionals in other organizations. 3. Internal impact This section should describe the impact on and support needed from other schools and programs. Support may include cognate courses to be provided by other units and possible cross-listings, duplication of existing courses offered by other campus units, and competition for students in other existing programs. The Accounting and Taxation certificates consist entirely of graduate accounting/taxation courses, and the MS in Accounting includes only graduate accounting and business law classes. Our MBA program includes only graduate business classes. Thus, the programs covered by this proposal will not require direct support from any other SHU schools or programs, and there is no curriculum duplication. This proposal will enable the Stillman School to serve a new market business professionals who seek to become educationally qualified for CPA licensure but are not yet prepared to commit to completing a master s program. It will also afford us the opportunity to promote our graduate business degree programs for those students who do wish to continue their graduate education. 4. Program needs This section should describe resource needs relevant to meeting the desired program objectives. Considerations may include such things as faculty numbers, current and future library holdings, instructional support and materials, facilities and classroom space, equipment and technology, and administrative needs. Depending on the size and scope of the program proposal, more or less information will be required. Faculty in the Department of Accounting and Taxation will be the primary instructors for required Certificate and MS in Accounting courses. Full-time faculty members may teach Certificate/MS courses as part of their regular load or as an overload assignment. Experienced adjuncts will be assigned as needed to meet demand for specific courses. Verizon will provide the classroom facilities. Students will be issued SHU IDs and will be able to access electronic holdings in SHU s University Libraries. 4

5 The Director of Graduate Accounting Programs will serve as the primary faculty liaison to the Verizon program. 5. Program evaluation This section should describe how the program will be evaluated, in light of the stated objectives and goals. Applicants should detail the need for any outside accreditation needed to open a new or expand/modify an existing program. The program will be evaluated in terms of attainment of student learning outcomes, enrollment trends, percentage of students who matriculate into graduate degree programs and faculty qualifications and performance. As indicated previously, the Department of Accounting and Taxation will design an appropriate learning outcomes assessment evaluate outcomes and use results to modify curriculum and/or teaching methodology where appropriate. We will track program enrollment levels, the percentage of students who successfully complete Certificate requirements and the percentage of students who subsequently matriculate into one of our graduate degree programs. We will also track statistics on the profile of admitted students (undergraduate GPA, years of work experience and GPA as applicable). We will maintain CVs of all faculty teaching in the program and will classify these instructors as to their academic qualifications, according to Department standards. Students will complete Teacher/Course evaluations for each course taken in the program. These results will be tracked and appropriate feedback will be provided to faculty teaching in the program. 6. Statements of support Proposals should include: statements from the Chair of the Department and Dean of the College in which the program will be offered confirming adequate planning and resource availability; a statement from the Dean of the Library, after consultation with the library liaison to the unit proposing the new program, confirming that current and future library resources are available to support the program, evidence that the program has been reviewed and approved by the College Educational Policy Committee, or equivalent, and the appropriate Faculty Body. Programs requiring significant internal or external resources should also include a statement of acknowledgment from the Provost s office. 5

6 Academic Policy and Core Curriculum Committee Approval Application Form Posted on March 21, 2012 by Christine Mallon New Program Approval Form SIGNATURE FORM NEW PROGRAM: INTRODUCED BY: DEPARTMENT CHAIR I support this program and will make available the departmental funds and/or other items (such as space, secretary time, work study etc.) necessary to implement it. NAME OF CHAIR: SIGNATURE: COLLEGE DEAN I support this program and will make available the college funds and/or other items (such as space, secretary time, work study, etc.) necessary to implement it. NAME OF DEAN: SIGNATURE: LIBRARIAN I support this program and will make available the library funds necessary to implement it. NAME OF DEAN: SIGNATURE: 6

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