NATCHITOCHES – Beginning with the Fall 2013 semester, Northwestern State University students will be able to earn a bachelor of science degree in accounting entirely online. Upper level online accounting classes will appeal to non-traditional students working to complete their degrees and advance their careers. Core curriculum requirements are already online, making it possible for a student to earn the four-year degree as a distance learner.
“We had a lot of requests to place our program online, mostly from working students hoping to complete their degrees and sit for the CPA exam. There has been a lot of interest among non-traditional students and our distance students in Alexandria and Leesville,” said Dr. Nat Briscoe, professor of accounting in Northwestern State’s School of Business. “The program is appealing because Northwestern State’s tuition is low in comparison to many other schools and most accounting classes taken at other universities will transfer to Northwestern.”
Beginning this fall, course sections in intermediate accounting I, cost accounting, income tax and fraud examination and financial statement analysis will be taught online. The following semester, students can take courses intermediate accounting I, advanced accounting, intermediate accounting II, auditing and corporate tax.
Briscoe said that recent advancements in tools and resources available for students and professors made offering accounting classes online more viable. He expects enrollment in the program to double by next year and noted that the program will award diplomas to its largest class of graduates this spring.
“Publishers have more online student information and testing services that make it easier for instructors to teach online. Most classes will include presentation of lectures made in the classroom and supplemental resources,” said Briscoe, who will teach a combination of online and traditional accounting courses. His lectures will be recorded and posted online, available for both online and traditional students to review. Small classes and the accessibility of professors to students are also important, he said. All of the accounting faculty at Northwestern State are certified public accountants and two are certified fraud examiners.
Briscoe said that demand is high and opportunities abundant for accountants as companies increase the number of accountants and fraud examiners they hire. In the last three years, almost all of Northwestern State’s accounting graduates have obtained employment before graduation, working in the oil and gas industry, business firms and financial institutions.
“People think accounting is math-dependent, but it’s not,” Briscoe said. “Most CEOs and CFOs have a background in accounting or finance. Accounting is the language of business. If you can’t read a financial statement, you probably won’t be a manager. Accounting and finance are the basis of just about everything.”
For more information on Northwestern State’s accounting program, visit
business.nsula.edu/accounting or call Briscoe at (318) 357-5709.