My name is Timothy Rupert. I’m a Professor in the Accounting Group and also I’m the Group Coordinator, which is our equivalent of being the department chair of the group. I teach two of our courses, the corporations and shareholders and partners and partnerships. They’re both entity courses, and so they’re part of the required courses that students take in the program.
We have two tracks in the Online Master of Science in Taxation (MST). One deals with entity type of courses and the other deals with financial planning and more individual related courses. I teach two entity courses in our required courses that everyone takes, but those then are a feeder into those entity level courses that they take in the more advanced track for our program.
My courses are meant to give you the background, so that you can learn more, for example, about international taxes and if you are operating as a partnership or operating as a corporation and you’re doing that in an international setting, my courses give a foundation for that. I really connect with the approach that we have to education, which is experiential learning and practice oriented learning.
My research also combines with that. I look at issues that people face in the tax system. Psychology, actually, is my supplemental area. And so I look at why people comply with the law and when they do, what happens when they don’t, what happens, what drives those decisions. And I also look at factors in our tax system that might change their decision making process.
Coming into an online program, it’s different for a lot of students. Often times they’ve taken one course maybe online or maybe no courses online before coming into our program. And it is a different format that people have to get used to. Our courses are accelerated. They happen in five weeks, which is a really short period of time. And in those five weeks, we’re doing the same thing that we would normally do in a 13 or 14 week semester. So, I think one of the things that students can do to prepare for taking that type of online course is really making sure they have time in their schedule to devote to that class.
One of the things that’s great for our particular program is the fact that the students are coming from all over. We have students that are taking the program internationally, but they’re all working in tax, and they’re seeing different aspects of our tax system and what it means to be a tax professional, what their clients are like. And so, in each one of those cases, I think people can learn really well from each other.
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