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From the Dean’s Office

Dean Wood
Dean Bob Wood

Not Your Father’s Classroom...

I’ve written before about how the Perdue School faculty members are special. Their approaches to teaching vary widely, but all have one thing in common: ensuring that the students have a memorable learning experience. I’d like to share four of these classroom experiences.

The Auditing Internship (ACCT 497) is described as “a capstone experience that prepares graduates for their professional careers.” Founded 20 years ago, the program was developed to enhance the core competencies of accounting graduates. The internship is organized and run as an actual accounting practice in which the instructor serves as the executive partner and student teams serve as the professional staff. The client base consists of not-for-profit organizations that vary in size and complexity. The program recently completed an AICPA mandatory peer review for quality of accounting, auditing and attestation services performed by AICPA members in public practice. On-campus recruiters cite this experience as one of the outstanding hallmarks of the program.

In 2000, the Perdue School became the first University System of Maryland university to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to manage an investment fund. The program is designed to help students experience life as security analysts and portfolio managers and to provide an experience that enhances career opportunities in the investments field. The privately funded portfolio’s objective is to achieve long-term capital growth by investing in marketable U.S. equities with a risk profile that is similar to that of the S&P 500 Index. With a current value of approximately $400,000, the portfolio has outperformed its benchmark S&P 500 Index by approximately 15 percent. The portfolio is managed with a top-down approach, focusing on economic trends and allocating sector weights based on economic expectations.

Nationally, student enrollment in the information systems major is declining. At SU, the information systems major is the fastest growing program in the Perdue School. The faculty attributes this growth to the development of three “soft-tracks” – course sequences that emphasize particular knowledge and skillsets. This “soft-track” approach has enabled the department to remain particularly agile and current in addressing rapidly changing technologies. In addition, the emphasis on skillset development has dramatically increased the number of information systems minors.

In order to be better prepared for the University’s job fair, students in Paula Morris’ Social Media class spent an afternoon “Speed Branding” – think of “speed dating” in a professional setting. The students rotated through 22 seasoned professionals with five minutes to establish rapport and sell themselves at each stop. Not only did the students have a valuable learning experience, but the professionals were impressed.

These are but a few examples of what makes the Perdue School special. Our nationally recognized faculty go the extra mile to ensure that our students get the preparation needed to excel in the global economy.

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