Penn College Adds Financial Counseling, Computerized Accounting

Published 07.29.2016

Student News
Accounting & Business Administration
Business, Arts & Sciences

In Fall 2016, Pennsylvania College of Technology will add to its business offerings a minor in financial counseling. Additionally, updates to coursework in accounting majors will prepare graduates to use and build secure accounting information systems for their future employers.

The changes continue the college’s trademark responsiveness to community and industry needs.

The financial counseling minor gives students the background to help clients improve their financial well-being. They’ll be equipped to educate clients about sound financial principles and guide them to overcoming debt, improving money management, developing financial goals and strategies, and working through financial challenges.

Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, leads a class in Penn College’s Financial Markets Investment Lab. For Fall 2016, the college will add computerized accounting coursework to its accounting majors, as well as a minor in financial counseling.The 18-credit minor includes a course in General Psychology as well as an elective from either the human services or psychology departments, which will help equip graduates to give financial counsel to clients who are at risk or already experiencing a nonfinancial crisis.

“You can’t tackle human-services problems if you don’t have a strong financial foothold, because you’re constantly worrying about paying the bills,” said Roy A. Fletcher, assistant professor of business administration/banking and finance, who is also department head for accounting and finance majors at the college.

“My hope one day here at Penn College is that our students can run a financial clinic … and gain counseling experience,” Fletcher said. “It’s about combining your passion for people with your ability to help them overcome financial challenges.”

The college already offers a minor and competency credential in financial planning, which prepares students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner certification exam. CFPs generally work with clients of higher net worth to help them plan investments, more complicated estate plans and the like.

In addition to the new minor, the college’s accounting degrees will see updates as courses incorporate more technology. A new class, Computerized Accounting, has been added to second-semester coursework, while a course in Accounting Information Systems further indoctrinates students into electronic commerce, covering file and database management, system auditing, security and encryption, and analyzing data to make management decisions, as well as other topics.

Students will gain hands-on experience with an “enterprise resource planning” system. ERP is a business process management software that allows an organization to manage the business and automate many back-office functions.

“My goal for our students is that they should feel confident, if tasked with setting up an accounting information system, that they’ll be able to do that without any problem,” Fletcher said. “We’re using technology throughout the program.”

The purpose is to help engage students and to supply the accounting industry with employees who possess the skills it needs most.

The college had already been preparing students for the revised Certified Public Accountant exam to be offered beginning April 1, 2017. On the new exam, Fletcher said, test-takers will need to understand the role of accounting in the larger context of a business organization. The CPA Exam will have an increased emphasis on testing higher-order skills.

Penn College offers a bachelor’s degree and an associate degree in accounting, a bachelor’s degree in business administration: banking and finance, a competency credential and minor in financial planning, and a minor in financial counseling.

To learn more about banking and finance majors at the college, call 570-327-4505.

For more about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.