New masters program calculates value

Crowell adds a new accounting program that aims provide students with more business credentials in less time.

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New masters program calculates value

Kevin Vandekamp, senior accounting major and president of the Biola Accounting Society, will enroll in the MPAcc program next fall. Vandekamp believes that MPAcc will become the standard program for accounting majors at Biola.  Philip Woodward, accounting professor and director of the MPAcc program, believes that in future years it will be rare for accountants to not have a masters degree. | Nikki Hadley/THE CHIMES

Kevin Vandekamp, senior accounting major and president of the Biola Accounting Society, will enroll in the MPAcc program next fall. Vandekamp believes that MPAcc will become the standard program for accounting majors at Biola.  Philip Woodward, accounting professor and director of the MPAcc program, believes that in future years it will be rare for accountants to not have a masters degree. | Nikki Hadley/THE CHIMES

Kevin Vandekamp, senior accounting major and president of the Biola Accounting Society, will enroll in the MPAcc program next fall. Vandekamp believes that MPAcc will become the standard program for accounting majors at Biola.  Philip Woodward, accounting professor and director of the MPAcc program, believes that in future years it will be rare for accountants to not have a masters degree. | Nikki Hadley/THE CHIMES

Kevin Vandekamp, senior accounting major and president of the Biola Accounting Society, will enroll in the MPAcc program next fall. Vandekamp believes that MPAcc will become the standard program for accounting majors at Biola.  Philip Woodward, accounting professor and director of the MPAcc program, believes that in future years it will be rare for accountants to not have a masters degree. | Nikki Hadley/THE CHIMES

Grace Gibney, Writer

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Crowell School of Business will kick-start a degree program next fall that allows accounting majors to complete two degrees in five years.

The Master of Professional Accountancy program will help students earn their masters degree in accounting while earning credits to become a certified professional accountant upon graduation starting fall 2015. The program is the result of the state of California following most states in changing their CPA requirements from 120 units with two years of professional work experience, to instead requiring 150 units.

THE MASTER’S PROGRAM

Philip Woodward, accounting professor and director of the MPAcc program, believes that in future years it will be rare for accountants to not have a masters degree.

“It always looks good on one’s resume to have a master’s degree. Some students are coming back because they know that if they ever want to teach in a college situation then they need a master’s degree,” Woodward said.

The new program offers an additional year of advanced training after receiving the bachelor’s of administration degree. MPAcc students will take additional courses in taxation, auditing, research and ethics.

Biola currently offers no accounting degree, but rather a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting worth 130 units. However, starting fall 2015, the degree will decrease to 124 units. This will encourage students to pursue the additional 26 units necessary to obtain the accounting masters degree, Woodward said.

“Normally I tell students that I’m not concerned about you getting a job, but what kind of job you’re going to get,” Woodward said. “We’re training them to go anywhere and to take light into the dark world anywhere. If you’re good at what you do, you’re going to be able to open doors.”

MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS

Heather Hurlock, senior business major with an accounting emphasis, has taken an assortment of elective classes in order to meet the CPA 150 unit license requirement.

“I have just taken random, miscellaneous classes during my time at Biola to get my 150 units, but it would be more attractive to get a masters, to actually have something to say for those units rather than just taking random classes,” Hurlock said.

ENROLLING STUDENTS

The program aims to include 12-15 students during its first year, said Woodward. Even though she graduates this spring, Hurlock thinks the program will grow and many underclassmen will graduate from the program in four years instead of five.

“I think it’s wise that they’re actually reducing the amount of required units for the undergraduates in order to supplement those 30 units with the masters program,” Hurlock said. “I think that it’ll probably become the norm, especially since you have to have so many units and start with a higher pay and you have extra time to study for your CPA. I think it’s a brilliant idea.”

Kevin Vandekamp, senior accounting major and president of the Biola Accounting Society, will enroll in the MPAcc program next fall. Vandekamp believes that MPAcc will become the standard program for accounting majors at Biola.

“Just to know that Biola’s prepared its students well enough to compete in those environments and to bring that much value was really encouraging. Hopefully with the master’s program and the accounting society gaining momentum we can continue to build the accounting degree as a whole,” Vandekamp said.