Convenience is factored into graduate tax program
Whether you’re shopping or learning, convenience always counts.
In an effort to add an element of digital convenience to the Master of Accountancy in Taxation at Rutgers Business School, program director Jay Soled is offering students the option of “attending” class remotely.
Students can easily connect to class using the collaboration tool WebEx if they are unable to attend physically. Videos of entire, individual classes are also made available to students on the web-based learning tool Blackboard, offering them the opportunity to see and hear what they missed if they weren't able to be in the classroom.
Working students – 95 percent of the students in the taxation program are employed – are often juggling meetings, work-related travel, family and parenting commitments, as well as the course work to complete a master’s degree. In New Jersey, there’s also traffic and long driving distances that add to challenge of time management.
“Many students put a premium on convenience,” Soled said. “We have several students who are from Western or Southern New Jersey, who have asked about the prospect of online classes. This is a good compromise.”
“This way, the majority of the time, most students will attend, and on those occasions when they can’t, they don’t feel they’re sacrificing their tuition dollars,” he said. “We’re trying to offer the best of both worlds.”
Currently, students taking courses in “Partnership Tax” and “Graduate Income Tax” have the option of connecting via WebEx or catching up via video. Professor Soled is working with other faculty to provide the video and WebEx options on a more extensive basis. In the spring, he expects the majority of the program’s core courses to be available remotely. Next year, he hopes the option is available for all courses.
Soled said students are still required to take exams in class, and he continues to work hard to ensure the classroom experience is something students find valuable. His program is known for its challenging curriculum and strong faculty. In a new ranking by Accounting Degree Review, the Rutgers Master of Accountancy in Taxation was No. 5 among taxation programs in the U.S.
Still, Soled knows that times are changing and the ability to provide students with flexibility is essential.
“If someone can’t be present for a class, this prevents me from having to repeat information, and I’ve found that some students perform better if they have a chance to re-listen to classes,” Soled said. “From a pedagogical point of view, it makes a lot of sense.”
- Susan Todd
Photo illustration by Getty Images.
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