Rawls College of Business 2003-2008 Graduate Program Review Revision of April 27, 2007




НазваниеRawls College of Business 2003-2008 Graduate Program Review Revision of April 27, 2007
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Rawls College of Business 2003-2008 Graduate Program Review Revision of April 27, 2007

Texas Tech University E: Assessment Reports



APPENDIX E:


Graduate Program Assessment Reports


MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING

MSA Objectives and Assessment Measures

The MSA programs prepare students for careers in public practice accounting. They also provide a good avenue for students to acquire the 150 credit hours necessary to take the CPA exam in the state of Texas.

OBJECTIVES:

The Area of Accounting has identified four learning objectives which are applied to both the bachelors and masters programs. MSA student are expected to perform at a much higher level than are BBA students for each of these learning objectives.


  • Technical expertise

  • Technology skills

  • Communication skills

  • Critical thinking


Following is a table for each learning objective. Each table contains the skills associated with the respective learning objective and defines how those skills will be demonstrated by both BBA and MSA students in our programs.

Program Objectives: Technical Expertise

Skill

MSA

Use the vocabulary of business properly

Recognize, understand, and properly use business, accounting, and tax terms.

Identify recordable transactions

Differentiate between recordable events and non-recordable events (e.g., placing a purchase order vis-à-vis purchasing).

Understand business processes

Understand and explain the economic phenomena and human processes that underlie common business transactions, and recognize the impact of different choices on cash flows, financial statements, and tax filings.

Design and implement appropriate controls

Analyze accounting control systems, identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and recommend cost-efficient improvements.

Choose and apply appropriate  principles for recording transactions

Choose properly among competing US GAAP and/or tax treatments for a transaction (e.g., the accrual method vis-à-vis the installment method vis-à-vis the cost recovery method for installment contracts). Find and apply proper US GAAP and/or tax principles applicable to complex and uncertain transactions.

Generalize and transfer information (principles)

Recognize differences in application of principles across different reporting systems (e.g., for-profit vs. not-for-profit entities, and tax vs. book financial statements), and understand commonalities across the different frameworks applicable in each.

Prepare appropriate financial and/or tax statements with accompanying disclosures

Prepare complex financial statements for corporate entities; prepare tax returns for individuals and all types of business entities.

Use financial and/or tax statements to support financial and/or tax decisions

Use the data in financial statements and/or tax returns to make or recommend economic decisions for a business or client.

Plan transactions

Design future transactions to accomplish economic, accounting, and tax objectives.



Objectives – Technology Skills



         Skills

MSA

●  Document processing and Professional presentation program (e.g. Microsoft Word/Powerpoint/Adobe Acrobat) proficiency

■  Demonstrate advanced usage of word processing programs including linkage of table of contents to text body and incorporation of tables and graphs.

■  Incorporate tables, graphics, and micro-media in Power point presentations.

■  Create PDF documents using scanning and other PDF creation tools.

●  Spreadsheet/Database programs, and Electronic Research Engine Knowledge

■  Incorporate advanced skills related to statistical functions, accounting ratio analyses, charting, and tables in interactive spreadsheet applications.

■  Perform complex database queries using enterprise systems and/or generalized audit software

■  Perform professional level research using databases such as EDGAR, FARS, and CCH Tax Research Network

●  Internet and Email Familiarity

■  Use Outlook Meeting scheduling/calendar functions, electronic signatures and advanced email options on a regular basis

■  Recognize and identify potential limitations of internet searches and potential danger of over-reliance on internet data.



Objectives – Communication Skills


         Objectives

                           Graduate

●  Develop effective written

    communication skills

■  Prepare basic written reports that are clear and concise

■  Prepare more complex written reports that are clear and concise and that communicate more complex issues to the intended audience

●  Develop effective oral

    communication skills

■  Communicate basic ideas orally in an effective manner

■  Communicate more complex ideas orally in an effective

     manner

●  Develop effective

    interpersonal

    communication skills

■  Interact with others in an effective manner

■  Identify, communicate and solve problems in a team

    situation

■  Understand concept of personal values and show

    sensitivity to values and views of others

Learning Objective: Critical Thinking


Learning Objective: Critical Thinking


Skill

MSA

Identify relevant information and recognize and address uncertainties

Focuses on most important relevant information1. Identifies and discusses the significance of the most important uncertainties2

Integrate multiple perspectives, clarify assumptions, and interpret information

Provides reasonable and substantive justification for assumptions[3] used in analysis. Preserves problem complexity, but emphasizes the most important and/or most relevant and reliable information

Use guidelines or principles to judge objectively across options

Maintains objectivity while establishing reasonable priorities for reaching a well-founded conclusion.

Communicate and implement conclusions and address solution limitations

Appropriately tailors communication or implementation plans to the setting and audience and focuses on most efficient ways to address limitations or to gather additional information







Overall Approach to the Problem

Proceeds as if goal is to come to a well-founded conclusion based on objective consideration of priorities across viable alternatives


Masters Programs – Key Assessments


The learning objective skills and their respective levels of performance for the MSA program as reflected in the above tables was finalized by the Area late in the Fall 2007 semester.  Our next step will be to identify multiple assessment techniques and measurement opportunities.  While the Area has identified some key assessment methods and opportunities, we recognize that we have more work to do in this area in the future. We are starting off by trying to effectively measure and use the resulting measurements for some of the identified skills in each program.  Each year we plan to increase the amount of skills assessed and measurements taken.   To date, we have identified the following assessment possibilities:


  • Technical expertise

At the MSA level, students prepare C Corp and S Corp tax returns in the corporate tax course which is a required course for all MSA students. 


At the MSA level, we began requiring, in Fall 2007, a course designed to prepare our students for the CPA examination and entrance into the accounting profession.  In this course, all areas of accounting are reviewed and tested including auditing, tax systems, financial and cost/managerial.  Business law and business and economic concepts are also covered.  Students must search databases including FARS, Lexus-Nexus and the AICPA databases.  Students must also complete writing assignments in which they must address an accounting issue in a well-written, brief and concise manner.


  • Technology skills.

Key assessments are still being identified for Technology skills at the Masters level.


  • Communication skills. 

At the MSA level, in our new graduate auditing course, we are utilizing a writing expert from the English department on campus to help evaluate student assignments.  The students are receiving feedback as the semester progresses.  Through this process of assessment and feedback, significant improvement has been noted in general over the semester.  This assessment addresses the students’ ability to prepare basic written reports that are clear and concise as well as their ability to prepare more complex written reports in which they communicate complex issues well.


At the MSA level, we plan to begin video recording a sample of student presentations in multiple MSA courses.  These presentations will be reviewed by a faculty committee.  The committee will then report to the faculty so that areas of concern may be addressed.

We will begin this process in Fall 2008.


  • Critical thinking skills. 

At the MSA level, critical thinking skills are being assessed throughout the coursework.  Students are regularly presented with assignments which contain some ambiguity and do not have one “right” answer.  Students instead are asked to make a recommendation appropriate to the circumstances and backup that recommendation

Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University
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