School of Business adds new programs

NEWS4The School of Business improved its offerings by implementing new certificate and masters programs this semester. Both current MSUM students and community members looking to further their education can now take advantage of the new curriculum.

“A lot of the new programs really will get us connected to the local business community,” said Marsha Weber, dean of the College of Business and Innovation. “There are many programs for students who enroll at MSUM, but there are also a lot of options for people that work. So, I think many of the new programs are really outreach programs to the community.”

The first of seven proposed programs went into effect last spring, when the first classes for the master’s of science in accounting and finance were offered. MSUM is one of only a few schools that offer such a program, giving them a competitive edge in continuing studies programs.

“The master’s of science in finance and accounting is a unique degree,” Weber said. “There is not any other of those degrees in the United States, really. There might be a couple close ones, but nothing really similar to this.”

The new master’s program gives both accounting and finance students expanded experience in the field and helps them reach the required credit hours needed to take the Certified Public Account Exam.

“Accountants need 150 credit hours for the CPA Exam, which is the equivalent of an extra year,” said Sheri Erickson, co-chair of the School of Business. “Rather than them taking undergraduate courses, we thought it would be nice to offer them a masters degree with that.”

Professors said this new master’s program is great for both accounting and finance majors, especially because finance majors could use more accounting courses and vice versa.

“I think finance students would be best served with more accounting, and in a typical finance curriculum that’s true for many schools,” said Olgun Sahin, School of Business co-chair and finance professor.

This fall, the second of three proposed master’s programs, a master’s in health care management, officially started, along with a certificate or minor in entrepreneurship, a certificate in doing business in China and an online business completer degree.

The certificate or minor in entrepreneurship is another unique addition. The minor is intended for current students, and the certificate will be offered to community members or special students that are looking to gain more business experience.

“Really what drove that (entrepreneurship certificate) is there were a lot of other majors on campus that felt their students in those programs needed some business background,” Erickson said.

Classes will start in spring 2014 for the business analytics certificate. The business analytics certificate will be useful to not only business majors, but also to those in mass communications and marketing because it sometimes focuses on social media and hits on a Facebook page and how you can use that data, Weber said.

The School of Business is waiting on one more pending program, a general MBA. Classes will commence in fall 2014 if the program passes the final stages of approval at the MnSCU level.

MSUM has not offered a master’s degree in business programs for more than a decade, and the addition of the new programs will provide students with what they need to succeed in the business world.

“I think these new programs will really increase MSUM’s presence in the markets for undergraduate and graduate students,” Weber said. “I am very excited. The School of Business has done a lot of work, and I think it will pay off in the future.”

BY MEREDITH WATHNE
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