Colby-Sawyer Introduces Accounting Major Online and in Classroom

Also new in the fall: math minor

Press release

Starting this fall, Colby-Sawyer College will offer a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in two venues: in the traditional classroom and online. The traditional Accounting major will combine a liberal arts foundation with a thorough business and accounting curriculum of 69 credits. Small classes offer ample opportunity for interaction with faculty, fellow students, and discipline-specific experts and networks. The online option will also feature lively interactions and classes capped at 20 students to maintain Colby-Sawyer’s close-knit, one-on-one student learning experience.

The Accounting faculty at Colby-Sawyer brings years of real-world accounting, finance, and business experience to the classroom. They will help integrate the curriculum with learning opportunities that supplement textbook learning such as case studies, financial analyses, computerized simulations, field studies, and internships. The Accounting major will prepare students for the fields of private and public accounting, tax preparation, and financial analysis, as well as for graduate studies.

“We are excited about the level of interest we have already seen for the new Accounting program on campus,” said Associate Professor of Business Administration Jody Murphy.

Assistant Professor of Business Administration Michael Lynch will teach Intermediate Accounting I in the fall. “In the wake of accounting scandals and recent economic turmoil, there is a new focus on accountability and transparency, and accountants will be needed to provide these functions,” he said. “For students who like accounting, the accounting major offers a set of technical skills that are in high demand. The introduction of this major fills a need in the marketplace and thus provides another career path for Colby-Sawyer students.”

Sustained Student Interest Sparks New Major

“Accounting has been of interest to many students here for a long time,” said Karen Bonewald, controller in the Financial Services Department at Colby-Sawyer College. “Over the years, students have expressed a strong desire to put what they have learned in the classroom into practical use within our office, with many of them continuing their studies through an advanced degree in accounting or a related field. [Our] department is quite pleased that Colby-Sawyer will be offering a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and we look forward to continuing to support learning opportunities for our students.”

In the past, Colby-Sawyer students have engaged in meaningful internships with an accounting focus at firms including Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ameriprise Financial, Business Solutions International, Huper & Suhner, East Cambridge Savings Bank, and Colby Insurance.

Business Administration major Tra Le '16 is excited about the new degree option and the chance to focus on courses that align with her chosen career. “[The Accounting major] has so much potential; it can prepare [students] to pursue Certified Public Accountant licensure,” she said.

Now Official: A Math Minor

While Colby-Sawyer has long offered mathematics courses, students can declare a math minor starting in the fall. The minor will require students to take 16 credits of math, which is equivalent to four courses. Courses in the minor, which lay the foundation for mathematical literacy, will be taught through engaged learning practices that encourage students to solve complex problems by working in groups and/or using computers and other technology. Associate Professor of Natural Sciences Semra Kilic-Bahi led the charge for the minor, along with Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences Andrew Cahoon.

“A minor in mathematics will provide students with solid quantitative and analytical skills applicable across the disciplines and needed to function efficiently in their public, private, and professional lives,” said Professor Kilic-Bahi. “Graduates who can quantify, analyze, and model future trends and propose creative solutions to issues will always be valuable to employers.”

Business Administration major Nghia Ngo '15, who was set to declare math as his minor as soon as it was approved, said, “From a student viewpoint, a good mathematics background will further understanding in other areas, especially in majors such as business and biology.”

“Mathematics is an essential skill that will help Colby-Sawyer students stand out in the workforce and attract interest from recruiters,” he added. “[It] will also be a great supplement to the Accounting major, and I hope that these programs will [draw] students to the college.”