University approved for new program

Published 9:41 pm Friday, October 9, 2009

For those interested in seeking a master’s degree from Troy University, a new option has been added to the choices.

University officials announced Friday that the Alabama Commission on Higher Education has approved the Troy University to begin offering a new master’s degree in professional taxation.

“The addition of the Master of Taxation program provides another opportunity for our graduate business and accounting students to advance their skills in an area of need in the state of Alabama,” said Associate Provost and Graduate School Dean Dianne Barron.

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“In this global economy, there is a growing demand for highly qualified tax professionals and preparing our graduate students to be leaders as tax professionals is good for Troy University and good for the state of Alabama.”

The program will provide students with advanced tax law knowledge, identification of tax issues, tax research and communications training, and will not only prepare degree-seekers for careers as tax professionals, but for admission into a doctoral program in accounting with an emphasis in taxes.

This program will consist of 30 semester hours.

For those who do not wish to seek a master’s degree, the Sorrell College of Business will also offer a 15-semester hour certificate in taxation.

According to Kaye Sheridan, interim business school dean and director of the accounting program, this program is also available to those who either hold a masters degree or are a certified public accountant. The university will immediately begin accepting students for the spring 2010 semester. All applicants must meet all requirements for admission into the Graduate school.

Those who have completed a masters or higher degree from a regionally accredited university or who have passed either the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination or the Certified Financial Planner Examination may be admitted unconditionally. To begin with, the program will be offered on the Troy campus, but will be available to the Montgomery, Dothan and Phenix City campuses through videoconferencing.

According to Barron, the program will eventually be available online through eCampus.

Former Business School Dean Don Hines, who died in late August was a driving force in getting the program started at Troy.

“Dr. Don Hines was a driving force that moved the Master of Taxation program forward,” Sheridan said. “He saw it as an opportunity for Troy University to provide a needed service to those providing tax services in the state of Alabama and beyond.” According to Sheridan, Hines got inspiration for the program after he met with state Revenue Commissioner Tim Russell who expressed the need for more graduate tax courses.

Plans for the initiative were discussed with member of the university’s accounting advisory council, which consists of representatives from 15 public accounting firms in the state, student groups and alumni.

“Dr. Hines saw the existing need for qualified tax professionals and felt that the Master of Taxation program was the appropriate degree to fill this need,” Barron said.