News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy
Cutting Edge Classroom to Host New Online Graduate Programs
The 2021-2022 academic year brings the introduction of online master’s programs to the Adkerson School of Accountancy. The School will offer both the Master of Professional Accountancy and the Master of Taxation completely online. Mississippi State is leading the way as one of the first SEC accounting programs with this capability. Both degree programs may be started online or face to face in the fall, spring or summer semester.
“The future of graduate education is increasingly moving to online delivery,” observes Kelly Walker, Clinical Assistant Professor and Graduate Coordinator. “Our online students will have the same professors, the same curriculum and the same textbooks, and they’ll earn the same degree as face-to-face students.”
To ensure that the quality of ASAC’s online graduate education is as exceptional as that provided on campus, a substantial investment has been made in a high-tech classroom. Funding largely came from a gift by School namesake and alumnus Richard C. Adkerson.
MSU’s University Television Center consulted with ASAC to design the room with a studio-style background and lighting. Classroom cameras feature software that enable them to follow the professor’s movement. The new sound system includes microphones above the in-person students’ desks so their online peers can hear questions that are asked; online students will be able to ask questions as well. The professor will have a large Wacom tablet to make notes that can be seen onscreen in the classroom and at home. The room has its own dedicated server to ensure dependable delivery.
“It will offer as close an experience to an in-person classroom as possible,” states Walker.
While graduate class sizes are kept small, the room was built to accommodate up to 80 face-to-face students, to allow for flexibility in future uses. Faculty members have trained on the use of the new technology, and the Center for Distance Education has aided in developing effective teaching practices.
The School has been marketing the programs on various social media platforms, and they have drawn students from a variety of backgrounds. The first online graduate students include career changers, those who hold undergraduate accounting degrees, recent college graduates and those who have degrees in business areas other than accounting. The inaugural class includes MSU alumni as well as several graduates of other institutions.
The full curriculum of the Master of Taxation and Master of Professional Accountancy will be offered online. Students may complete either degree in twelve months or on a part-time schedule. In addition, the new classroom will host some undergraduate education. This includes the two Principles of Accounting courses that have been provided online for some time. New additions to the online offerings will allow students to complete the prerequisites for either accounting masters program. The prerequisite offerings Cost Accounting, Intermediate Accounting I and II, Income Tax and Auditing. These are required by graduates of other business disciplines who want to pursue their CPA designation or graduate degrees in accounting – a group that has grown in recent years.
For more information about the Adkerson School of Accountancy’s online offerings, please visit www.online.msstate.edu/mtpa.