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ASAP: Vital Foundation for New Jenkins MAC Students with Non-Accounting Bachelor’s Degrees

Students meet between sessions to prep for classes.
Students meet between sessions to prep for classes.

With a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Gardner-Webb University, Brad Minor planned to become a university strength and conditioning coach. But soon after starting an internship in his field, he realized that it wasn’t the right career path for him. “I started talking to different people, some of whom were accountants, and realized that accounting would give me a business background and open up a lot more doors,” he said.

After being accepted into the Jenkins Master of Accounting (MAC) Program in the NC State University Poole College of Management, Minor said he was pleased that he could enroll in the Accelerated Summer Accounting Prerequisite (ASAP) Program, launched in summer 2017.  ASAP—an optional summer program for MAC students with undergraduate studies in fields other than accounting—enables students to complete in just five weeks the fundamental undergraduate accounting coursework necessary for the Jenkins MAC Program’s core courses and electives.

“For our MAC program, students either need an undergraduate degree in accounting or a bachelor’s degree with seven prerequisite classes,” said Kathy Krawczyk, Dixon Hughes Professor and Jenkins MAC Program director. “ASAP is an option for students who are interested in a MAC and are basically starting almost at square one with their accounting coursework. This program allows them to fulfill the prerequisites in five weeks rather than in a semester or more.”

Students need to have completed one accounting course before enrolling in ASAP. Once in the program, they complete a series of compact modules, each lasting from two to five days, covering financial accounting, business law, risk and assurance, and an introduction to income tax preparation.

The courses are taught by experienced professors from the MAC program. Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Bruce Branson, who taught intermediate financial accounting during the inaugural week of the ASAP program, says that he was impressed by the caliber and diversity of the ASAP students.

The students participated with enthusiasm and were able to demonstrate proficiency at the end of the module,” Branson said. “Having a small classroom setting that is very interactive, with hands-on teaching, is a real benefit to these students.”

Jenkins MAC student Wenxin Liu agrees. After receiving an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwest University in Xian, China and a Master of Science in finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Liu worked for a year as a financial operations analyst. “I realized I wanted to understand the logic behind financial transactions,” she said. “Accounting, combined with my knowledge of finance, will help me go further in my career.”

She said the ASAP program provided her with a strong foundation before starting her master’s program. “The professors are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. They answered every question and gave me a great start for my accounting program courses,” Liu said, adding that having a small cohort which bonded together and discussed the course content throughout the summer was another benefit of the program. “We were together all day and will stay connected during the master’s program,” she said.

Krawczyk said that ASAP is designed for students who have an interest in advancing their careers, appreciate the ability to get things done, and are very motivated. “Students will live and breathe this program during its five weeks,” she said.

Minor said that the teachers and the small group of students made ASAP a great experience. “Learning so much so quickly is somewhat overwhelming and sort of like drinking water from a fire hydrant, but for someone who doesn’t have an accounting background, this was the best and most efficient way to get the prerequisites done,” he said.   

About the ASAP Program

The total cost of the ASAP Program is $5,000, which provides six ASAP Program modules, online tutorials and proficiency exam assessment, and two events to kick off and celebrate completion of the program. Students admitted to the NC State MAC Program who have completed undergraduate coursework equivalent to some of the ASAP Program modules do not need to take those modules. They can enroll in the remaining modules individually at the cost of $1,000 each.

View details about the ASAP Program, and read more about the Jenkins MAC Program at the NC State Poole College of Management. For additional information and to register, contact Jay Arrington, associate director of admissions for the Jenkins MAC Program, NC State University Poole College of Management.

This story was written for the Jenkins MAC Program by writer Michele Lynn.