Faculty members for Southern Oregon University's online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting program bring academic knowledge and practical, real-world experience to their online classrooms.
Associate professor Dennis Slattery and instructor Sara Adams each hold master's degrees and CPA credentials and have more than a decade's worth of university-level teaching experience between them. The two have continued to work in their profession in addition to maintaining their classroom responsibilities; this combination provides their students with insights gained from both theoretical and practical viewpoints. Being able to draw from their expertise and share what they have learned in actual business practice blends well with the thrust of the online program curriculum, which includes students delving into real-world challenges faced by actual businesses.
Aligning Real-World Experience and Coursework
"I want them to learn how to learn," Slattery says of his goals for students in the accounting-focused MBA program. "To think critically about numbers, not just take them at face value. How to use numbers to manage the enterprise."
Slattery draws from a breadth of practical experience, from having had his own CPA practice to managing multiple resort-style hotels as an executive. Additional insights he can share with his students stem from his nonprofit experience serving as a chamber of commerce president, university board trustee and city council member.
Adams also brings a wealth of experience, which she gained in the banking, manufacturing, construction and healthcare industries, to her classroom. There, she wants to provide her students "with the confidence to read, interpret and analyze financial statements ... to help build the skills they need to go into meetings and have productive conversations with upper management about financial results and strategies for improvements."
An MBA's Added Value
In a survey of 10,000+ business school alumni, the Graduate Management Admission Council's research division found that those completing a graduate degree had a higher chance of career advancement. A companion GMAC report looked at the value alumni place on their graduate degree; four out of five indicated an "outstanding or excellent value" — and that earning the degree had been "a personal, professional, and financially rewarding experience."
Slattery and Adams are in agreement that an MBA adds value to a person's resume. "It raises the expectations of your performance; if you meet those expectations you will write your ticket anywhere," says Slattery.
Adams adds, "It opens doors and gives versatility in your career."
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