Online Master of Science in Taxation

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Student Spotlight with Michelle Tolin

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Evelyn Liougas:
Good day everyone. Thank you for joining us for Northeastern University’s Student Spotlight webinar. My name is Evelyn and I will be your moderator for today. Before we begin, I would like to go over the logistics of this presentation. To cut down on background noise, you are in listen only mode. So, you can hear the presenters, but they cannot hear you. If you have any questions during the presentation, just type your question in the chat box in the right window of your screen and hit enter.

Please feel free to ask your questions as you think of them, but note that all answers will be held until the end of the presentation. As well, a recording of this session will be available on our website in the next few weeks.

The panelists for this webinar are, Michelle Tolin. Michelle is a senior tax analyst for Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has worked in the tax department for four years in federal, state, local, international provisions and most recently corporate tax planning. Michelle completed her undergraduate degree at Butler University and has completed nine of her 10 classes in the MST online program at Northeastern University.

Also we have Michelle Yan, an enrollment advisor, who answers your questions about the program, the admissions process and assists you in assembling your application package. In addition, myself, Evelyn, who will be your moderator for the webinar. Before we move into the student spotlight section, Michelle Yan would like to share some information with you about the online MST and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Michelle?

Michelle Yan:
Thanks, Evelyn. So, our online MS and taxation program, it is specifically designed for the working tax professionals. It will not only help sharpen your tax knowledge and research skills, but also help you keep up the date with tax laws and regulations. On top of the expert faculty in the program, I think the maim feature and benefit of this particular program is that you have the opportunity to interact with fellow entry colleagues. We have a lot of students coming from a lot of public accounting firms, we work with private industry as well, the IRS very closely as well as a lot of the big four firms.

Can I get the next slide up? Thank you. Our MS and taxation program is part of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. It was established in 1922 and has a rich history, a strong reputation for scholarly research and teaching excellence. We are accredited by AACSB International for the highest business accreditations worldwide. The main campus is located in Boston, Massachusetts. We also do have satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, and most recently in Seattle, Washington as well.

Building on high academic achievements, wide ranging work and consulting experience, rich diversity and our extensive corporate ties, D’Amore-McKim’s School of Business faculty members are leaders in their fields and regularly receive worldwide recognition and awards for their contribution to theory and the practice of management. We do have a global network of over 200,000 Northeastern alumni spanning more than 15 countries, like China, Canada, India, England and Russia, just to name a few. Almost 90% of our students pursuing graduate business degrees have work experience. So our programs are actually very accommodating and flexible to working professions. Thanks. I’m going to turn it back over to Evelyn now.

Evelyn Liougas:
Thanks, Michelle. And now we’d like to conduct our first online poll. The first question is what concerns you most about starting an online program, unknowns about the online classroom environment and technology, finding the time balancing school with other obligations, if I have what it takes to succeed, whether I can afford it or qualify for financial aid, or other, please specify? A poll should have popped up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer and I will share the results with you in a few minutes.

We will now move into the student spotlight part of the webinar. Michelle, from your perspective, who is a good candidate for this program? How has your career and educational background made you a good fit for the program?

Michelle Tolin:
Thanks Evelyn. I would say from my perspective, anyone looking to pursue a long-term career in tax who has a basic foundation of tax knowledge is a great candidate. Additionally, someone who is self-motivated and dedicated. You do have to learn a lot on your own in the program in terms of you have to read the material, the teacher can’t do that for you. They can only provide you the tool. And the tools are there for you to learn. I had what I would consider minimal tax experience in comparison to some of the classmates that I’ve run into over the last nine classes that I’ve had. And I’ve been very successful in the program thus far, hence one more class to go. I will say that it does take sacrifice. You do have to – you know we’re gonna get into this a little later, but a good work-life balance and understanding how you can make it work for you.

I started in finance, so I had a good financial background. So, moving into tax for me a was a little bit of a struggle in terms of the research side. But you jump off the classes in a research class and it teaches you how to use RIA and CCH and different programs to research tax specific codes or cases. So, it’s been a great learning for me and something that I’ve actually been able to share with a lot of my co-workers and I think they’re quite jealous of the experience that I’ve had thus far.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. Next question. Michelle, from your point of view, what makes this program different from other taxation programs? And what made this program standout when you were choosing a school to pursue your degree?

Michelle Tolin:
The biggest thing that stood out to me with the Northeastern program was flexibility. It was quick and it was a top-ranked online program. I did look at two other programs when I was deciding to pursue my degree. One was here in Cincinnati and there was another one in Boston. But both were online, distance learning programs. Things that I looked for was how is this gonna fit into my schedule and some programs do have specific times you have to log onto classes and the classes are longer in length. Northeastern’s programs are five classes and then the test program are five weeks long, which for me was get in, learn the material and move on. And you crank for five weeks and then you get a break for a week. So, that was something that was really important to me.

And I think some of the other programs can be more restrictive. But it’s something that everyone needs to weigh the options in terms of works best for them and what they’re looking to get out of the program. I got the option to work with some really great tax professionals that were classmates of mine who worked in the big four firms or had IRS experience in some of the different states.

Additionally worked in the industry that actually I had some of the customers of Johnson & Johnson, vendors who supply us were some of my classmates. So, it was really interesting getting to get different perspectives from different people and different tax professionals view of tax and how they see it. And everyone is great in discussion boards on sharing their experience and I can’t say that other programs won’t offer that, but I can’t say that Northeastern’s will.

Evelyn Liougas:Thank you. Next question, Michelle, tell us about how you were able to balance school with all your other obligations.

Michelle Tolin:
Well, I’m not gonna tell anyone that it was easy. It was definitely hard. It takes a lot of discipline and sacrifice. I had to get my family on board that knowing that coming home and flipping on the TV wasn’t gonna be an option after work. I will tell you that in the last year – so, I started May 7, 2012. I have not taken a break in terms of I’ve taken a class every chance that I’ve had to take one. I’ve been on three week long vacations and I’ve been on six work trips in the last year.

And I’ll tell you the biggest thing for me was planning ahead. If I was traveling, I needed to know when was I gonna be in the air, when was assignments due, how much reading did I need to do before I left and while I was gone? What did I need to have with me. But I’ll tell you it does take discipline and sacrifice from that perspective.

Also have to know – work with your professors. I was traveling once and the time got me. When I was in California, I wasn’t used to that. And just letting them know, oh I’m traveling, I’m not – they’re great to work with, they understand. They understand that you’re working. I wouldn’t use that excuse very often, but you have to own your work and your life balance and your school balance.

I will give an example. One of the things that I tried to do was if I knew I was gonna have a really busy week at home, I would try to schedule time when I was at work, like an hour over my lunch break to read, or stay a little later at work and read at work before I went home so I wasn’t distracted by snacks and laundry and everything else that gets in the way of life.

So, those are just some of the things that I had to work on. But there are definitely other ways and I know other students in the class had other experiences. I will say I had to sacrifice a lot of things with family events and hanging out with friends and social events, because the weekends, when you have finals and mid-terms you have to study and you still have to learn that week’s material and take a final and a mid-term. It’s very doable though.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, we just have a question. We typically hold them ‘til the end, but it applies to what you said here, so I’ll ask it now. What is the average study time that you devoted each week?

Michelle Tolin:
I would say roughly 15-20 hours. But I would caveat that with saying it depends on how well you know the material. So, for me, that varied from class to class. And my corporations class, working in corporate tax, I had more knowledge of what was going on versus a gift and estate tax where I had zero knowledge going into the class of gift and estate and you have to work a little harder. So, based on where your knowledge is, that’ll determine how much study time, as well as how fast of a reader you are. There is a lot of material to read.

Depending upon the class, gosh, I read more books in this MST program than I think I’ve read in the last two years, or last five years, since college kind of thing. It’s a lot, so I would say you need to be prepared for a lot of reading. The material is good, but the professors choose very relevant books and relevant material to teach the material. But I will say, it does depend on how quickly you absorb. And you know there are topics I had to read twice. So, that would expand the amount of time I had to study.

Evelyn Liougas:Okay, moving on to the next question. Michelle, how does student and faculty interaction occur in the online courses? What was it like overall to learn online?

Michelle Tolin:
Well, the student and faculty interaction occurred in one main way – I’ll say two main ways. There are discussions that are weekly, and you have an instructor discussion weekly and you’ll have a professor discussion weekly. The professor discussion is with a tax professional essentially who is the professor for the class. Your instructor is typically – I don’t wanna equate them to a teaching assistant, but they’re the person who is grading the material, but they are also a tax professional and they are there to answer questions, technical questions, any technical question that the instructor cannot answer, they will facilitate reaching out to the professor. All of the professors that I had were always an email away if I ever needed anything.

But, one of the great things is in the discussions on the weekly chats, so you log into a webinar, similar to how we are today and you have a chat. And you can use a web cam, you can use a head piece to speak out loud, or you can simply just chat on your computer. And it’s a great way to learn about personal experiences that the professors have had. They talk about real life cases that they’ve been involved in. They talk about real-life experiences with clients that they’ve had or consulting engagements they’ve been involved in that’s relevant to the material that you’re working on.

Each professor approaches the chat differently. Some professors will present material in the chat, and some will use it more as an opportunity to have a discussion with the students. So, you do have to always log into the first one to kind of find out what their chats are gonna be about. But it was a great opportunity to share my experiences online and some of the things that I was working in, even the things that I got to work on that professors hadn’t worked on. So, you can teach the professors and the professor can still teach you.

I will tell you learning online is, it’s a lot of material and it’s very quickly. And I alluded to the reading. Some of the books that you’ll receive in the mail are quite large and there are some of them that you’ll get all the way through the book. It’s great because you are learning so much material and I think I said this earlier, I have co-workers here in Cincinnati who work in tax and have worked in tax for 20 years. And some of the things that I’m learning in class I’m teaching them because they haven’t learned it in their 20 years of experience. And they’re jealous of the case knowledge that I have now and I can rattle off a case or rattle off a code section that is relevant to something we’re working on. So, that’s been probably the most uplifting experience for me to have very little tax experience, but now I have a lot of tax knowledge to back it up.

So learning online is great. I always assumed that I would go to an on ground program if I went back to school. But unfortunately here in Cincinnati, an on ground program was not available to me. So, I did have to look online, and this has always been the best decision that I’ve made for my career, because I now know that I won’t have a feeling that’s gonna keep me from going where I wanna go next.

Evelyn Liougas:Great. Thank you, final question for you Michelle, how relevant is this program? I suppose you’ve answered this a little bit, but if you could expand a little bit more, how relevant is this program to your career path and goal?

Michelle Tolin:
so, I did mention it a little, but I would say it’s extremely relevant. I had touched on some of these subjects in terms of corporate tax, but in my corporation, there are some things that I’ll never deal with because my corporation doesn’t buy and sell commodities or do certain things. And when you get into your master’s of tax, you’re gonna learn about a lot of different other specialties that I didn’t even know were out there. And a lot of different credits and deductions and taxes that are out there that you get more knowledge on. And it just expounds anything that you wanna do.

I feel like I could leave my job today and I could go anywhere. I could go into the public sector and be successful. I could go to another industry and be successful because I have a good base knowledge of anything that I could see out there. I will say, you’re not gonna know everything 100% by the end of the program, but at least I know where to go look to find more information and I have a good starting point. And I think that’s the biggest thing that the program gives you.

I don’t ever expect that I’m going to be a specialist in gift and estate tax, for example. But I at least know how I wanna plan mine in the future. I now know how if I – when I have enough money to gift to other people how I would go about doing that. And I can actually advise people around me. I now feel like I can answer questions from other people and I’m sure many of you guys have had this experience if you’re in tax and you work in industry and people in the finance organization walk over and say, well I was doing my personal taxes the other day and I have this question.

And I know a couple of them and can answer them off hand now, but the first thing I do is I go out and I research it and I know exactly how to research it and I can get them some good articles and some good information to get them started or to take to their tax accountant and say, hey I have this information, can you tell me more about it?

But I did mention, in answering the last question, I feel like with an MST, there isn’t a limit to where I can go now, especially working in the industry that I work in right now, in corporate tax, having a master’s for me, allows me to move to the next level or two levels above that if I want. I don’t feel like someone will look at my credentials and say, well she doesn’t have enough experience, because now I have the experience and I have the technical background to back it up.

So I really feel like Northeastern has kicked me off on the right foot in terms of tax. I think we started off by saying – I was a finance major, so coming into a tax, technical master’s program was extremely intimidating to me. And trust me, if I can get through this program and learn this material, I think really anyone who has a good tax foundation can do it also.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. We do have one question. Has anyone ever applied or have you ever applied the hours of completed credit to meeting continuing ed requirements for certified or designated focus?

Michelle Tolin:
I have not, but that is a good question that – I certainly think you could, but you would have to follow up, I think, with someone more knowledgeable on that subject.

Evelyn Liougas:Okay, great. So, we will now move back to Michelle, our enrollment advisor who would like to talk about the application requirements for the MST.

Michelle Yan:  
Thanks Evelyn. So, the application checklists, these are some of the requirements of what we initially will evaluate students on. So, first of all, you need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Undergraduate GPA we are looking for is about a 3.2 out of a 4.0 scale. We are looking for a minimum of two years of tax experience, including one busy season or holding the following credentials such as a J.D., CPA, CST or an enrolled agent. And as you see on the right hand side, the upcoming start dates for 2013, we actually have two more coming up, one in August, August 19th and the other one is September 30th.

In terms of financial aid information, Northeastern’s MS and taxation program, we do qualify for financial aid. And a lot of times I would suggest students to apply to something called graduated Stafford loans if you are interested. I believe graduate Stafford loans will offer up to a maximum of about $20,500 per year as a loan.  But again, for more information, definitely speak with your advisor. And we can also give you links to the financial office so you can ask them directly for your specific information questions as well.

Evelyn Liougas:Thank you Michelle. Before we move into our Q&A session, we would like to conduct one final poll. The question is what types of webinars would you be interested in attending in the future: (a) program information; (b) application process; (c) student or alumni spotlights; (d) faculty spotlight; or other, please specify. A poll should have popped up on the right side of your screen. Please take a moment to select your answer and I will share the results with you in a few minutes.

We would also like to let you know that in addition to the MST that the D’Amore-McKim School of Business also offers the following online programs: an MBA with a specializations, the master of science and finance, of course the master of science and taxation and recently we’ve added a graduated certificate in supply chain management.

We would now like to begin the question and answer period. Just as a quick reminder, if you have any questions, simply type in your question in the chat box on the right hand corner of your screen. So, first question is for Michelle T. Are costs of books included in the tuition?

Michelle Tolin:
They are not. They are separate.

Evelyn Liougas:
Could you tell us on average, what the cost would be per course?

Michelle Tolin:
About average it’s gonna range between $150-$300. You can buy a lot of books on Amazon. I’ll plug for them because you can get used books there.  But, a lot of the books are casebooks, so they tend to be a little more expensive. But that’s just a range. I had one class that was a little more expensive, but typically, I’d say $150-$250-$300 would be the max. But probably close to the $150-$200 range if you use Amazon and buy used.

Evelyn Liougas:Next question is for Michelle Y. I have 28 years of experience in tax. So, how important is my undergraduate GPA for admissions into this program? And sorry, here’s an addition. This person is also a CPA and a partner in a public accounting firm.

Michelle Yan:  
Okay, fantastic. I mean the guidelines on the generic minimum requirements is basically a guideline. We do look at students on an overall basis. So, we will evaluate based on the type of designation that you have, the type of tax work experience that you have as well. So, I’ve had students come to me and said, well the last time I went back to school or my undergraduate degree was quite some time ago and I may not necessarily meet the 3.25. Is there something that can compensate in terms of my work experience and so forth?

And like I said, we do definitely do look at that as an overall. But for more information, you definitely can speak with an advisor. But like I said, we do look at students with a _______ background. I think that’s something that we’re more so considering, if you have a strong tax background coming in, we definitely will consider you as well.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. Also for you, Michelle Y, what is the cost of the program?

Michelle Yan:  
The total cost of the program is $1,385 per credit hour. Altogether there’s about 30 credits. So overall tuition, you’re looking at about $41,550. Like Michelle Tolin said, in terms of textbooks, I would allocate another $150-$200 on top of the tuition costs. And that will give you the total amount in terms of what you’re looking for. So, about $1,385 a credit hour.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. For Michelle T, are there group projects? If so, how do I communicate with others in my class?

Michelle Tolin:
There is one group project that I can specifically think of and it is via email. It’s specifically in the individual taxation course. And you actually have a couple group assignments in that course and you’re assigned to a group, so it’s very easy. And my group used – I used my conference call number and we had conference calls and chatted. Using Blackboard it’s kind of hard to explain, but I don’t know how many people are familiar with Blackboard, but Blackboard is the basis that Northeastern uses to facilitate the classes. And there are discussion boards for each of the groups working together when you have a group project. So, you can post all your discussions, you can email with your classmates. We email files around, we use Google Docs. So, there are a lot of ways to facilitate working together.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. This is for either – I’ll go with Michelle T. Do I ever have to come to campus?

Michelle Tolin:
No you do not unless you wanna walk for graduation.

Evelyn Liougas:Okay, great. Next question also for you Michelle T. How do I turn in my assignments?

Michelle Tolin:
It’s all done electronically via Blackboard. There are electronic dropboxes where you upload your assignments. It’s very easy and once you upload an assignment, you get an email confirmation that your assignment was uploaded. You can actually see the document before it uploads, so you can ensure that the correct use – you selected your corrected latest version that you wanted to.

I will tell you I have, on occasion, and it happened to me, actually in my last class, where I uploaded not the latest version and just simply emailed my professor and attached the document and said, review this one instead. I just missed attaching it. Because once you upload a document, you cannot upload a new document in its place.

Most of the assignments are also done via a discussion board, which works similar to a blog where the professors will post questions for the week and give you certain dates on which you need to respond to the question by, and then post questions to your other classmates by. So, to give an example, Monday for all classes is day one. Wednesday is day three and Friday becomes day five. Teachers would typically ask you to have a discussion board post by day three and a response to classmates by day five.

And some professors have you do two discussion boards in a week, so you just have to be aware of which ones you should be posting to, but they’re all posted out there. Some of the professors get very engaged in the discussion boards and will actually post questions to the students and comment on the material that’s being brought up to ensure that the discussion goes in the right direction.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. Michelle Y, once you begin the MST program, do you have to graduate within a specified period of time? Is it possible to take only one course per semester or take a semester off?

Michelle Yan:  
That’s a very good question actually. I’ve often encountered these type of questions, especially if you are going into tax season as most tax professionals do, whether being the beginning of the year aiming for your 4/15 or your 8/15, 9/15, 10/15. So, yes. Even though the program itself is about 16 months in timeframe, as Michelle Tolin mentioned, she did take one course at a time and she’s going straight through. But if you feel that times are hectic, if you’re running into your busy season, you feel that, things are just hectic, there’s no way I can take any courses during that time, we do allow for breaks during that time.

So some students will say, well, you know, I have two months where tax season is very busy, am I able to take time off? Absolutely. So, we certainly accommodate for that. One you’re in the program, you will be working very closely with our student services department. And so as long as you speak to them, let them know your schedule, the courses that you need to miss, they’ll ensure that as those courses swing back around the curriculum, they’ll just help you pick it back up again.

So, again we do accommodate for time that you need breaks. Like I said, this particular program, we are designed specifically towards working tax professionals. So, we understand the flexibility you need. We understand your busy season. So, we’re very good at working with you to accommodate that schedule for you.

Evelyn Liougas:Great, thank you. It’s probably for both, but I’ll start with Michelle Y. During the classes, are students allowed to pick subject areas that relate to specific areas of interest, such as GST or gift estate for projects?

Michelle Yan:  
This MST programming, you do start off with your core courses first. You typically will start off with two pre-requisite courses and it’s either going to be federal tax issues or tax research. And then there are core courses that you have to go through, and one of them is estate and gift. There’s corporations, there’s partnerships. And then once you move on elective section, you actually do have an opportunity at that point to choose the courses you would like to take. Specifically when we have two tracks, we have a taxation entity track, as well as a taxation individual track. So, depending on the track you’re more interested in, you could certainly specialize. But I’ve also had students come up to me and say, well I think that there are courses in both of the tracks that I’m interested in taking. Am I able to mix and match? And absolutely, you can do that as well.

Evelyn Liougas:Anything to add Michelle Tolin?

Michelle Tolin:
No, I completely agree.

Evelyn Liougas:Next question is how – oh this is for you Michelle Y, how quickly from applying will an acceptance decision be made, and when can we start the program?

Michelle Yan:  
We have rolling starts. I mean typically every year, we have about six start dates throughout the year. Like I said, at this point, there’s two remaining starts and it’s up on the screen right now. Upcoming start dates are August 19th as well as September 30th. We are still collecting applications for these two starts. I mean if you want to get in for August 19th, for example, all documentation needs to come in to us by end of this month, so July. So you have about 2 ½, three weeks left. It can be done.

The turnaround time is actually fairly quick. Once you put through an application, all your documents are submitted, you can usually hear back from the admissions committee within a 2-3, even three week timeframe I would say. But like I said, if students are interested in pursuing any of the start dates coming up this year, the two start dates up on your screen right now, we actually do take applications at this point. And you can feel free to contact your advisor to put together an application.

Evelyn Liougas:Great. Next question is for Michelle T. How many people will there be in my class?

Michelle Tolin:
Roughly 7-12 I would say in your class. So, you do get a lot of personal attention in terms of there are – the class numbers are very small. I think most classes, the max number that they take is 20 for the online program. But, I have not been in a class that’s been that large yet.

Evelyn Liougas:Just a follow up question. Do you go through the program with the same group of people?

Michelle Tolin:
No. Because there are rolling start dates, there will be a couple people that you’ll see pop up in each of your classes. But no one person, probably, will have the same person in every single class. So, you do get a lot of different people. And as Michelle Y alluded to, some people do take breaks and choose to take their courses in a different order. So, it varies what people are deciding to take, especially when you get to the core classes. The core classes you’ll see a lot of the same people and then when you get to your electives portion, you’ll see varied people popping in and out.

Evelyn Liougas:Great. I think we may have addressed this, but just if we can reiterate, Michelle Y, how long is each course and term?

Michelle Yan:  
So, the program itself is about 16 months. There are 10 courses involved. You take the courses one course at a time and each course is about five weeks. So, it is considered an accelerated program. It’s about five weeks. But like I said because you’re only taking the one course at a time, we really do focus you on that one course and hopefully wont’ spread yourself too thin so that you can balance your school and work and also, I do have a lot of students coming to the program with family and kids and whatnot. So, just to give you a good balance that way.

Evelyn Liougas:
Michelle T, are there tests involved and how are they facilitated?

Michelle Tolin:
There are tests. Depending upon the class that you’re in, there can be a mid-term and a final, or just a final. They are all administered online. Some of them are downloaded exam where the Blackboard records the time that you download the exam. They are all timed. Most of them, I would say are open book. A couple of them are not open book and the exam is too quick for it to be open book. You wouldn’t have time if you didn’t know the material to make it open book to look things up.

So, there are a couple classes based on the material that there are not finals and mid-terms and that’s just because the way the material is presented, I can give a good example, state a local. It would be very difficult to test everyone on state and local taxation. So, there are more writing assignments, and it’s a very heavily, writing and discussion board based class. And then other classes are spread between papers, discussion boards and exams.

But you would never have more than two exams, mid-terms always fall on the third week of the class and finals always fall on the last week of the class. They open on Friday at midnight, or Friday at 12:00 in the morning, I guess. And they’re open to 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. The program does allow for students that are across time zones to equalize. So, assignments are typically due at 3:00 a.m. the day after. So, if it’s due on day 7, it’s actually do Monday at 3:00 a.m. is the latest you can submit something. If you need more clarification, just let me know.

Evelyn Liougas:
Great, thank you. Michelle Y, what accreditations does the school have?

Michelle Yan:  
The accreditation, we are regionally accredited and we are also, like I mentioned before, AACSB accredited, which is one of the highest business accreditations worldwide. So, we have ________ accreditation. It’s the same accreditation that we do have on campus with the university, as well as the D’Amore-McKim School of Business on campus as well. So, those are the online MST as well as the on campus MST as accredited by the same accreditation board.

Evelyn Liougas:Thank you. So, we have time for another couple of questions. Next one is for I guess Michelle T. Do you require any special technology to access the program?

Michelle Tolin:
No, I think Internet Explorer or some sort of internet – anything equivalent to Internet Explorer would work and Google runs on that. Java is also needed, but when you sign up for the program and enroll in your first class, all of the information – student services is great, they get you set up. They help you understand Blackboard, and then Blackboard has an entire support system. So, if you’re having any IT issues.

The only thing that I would suggest is I did buy a headset for calling into chats because my computer does not have a microphone. But I could have used a different computer, so depending upon the computer that you have, you know, if you have a Mac, then you have a webcam and a microphone in the computer, but my work computer is the computer that I default to using. So, it really is dependent upon what you had access to. But if you have a computer, then you can do it. You don’t have to have a webcam, and you don’t have to have a headset. That’s not a requirement of the program at this time. And I will say some teachers are just better about using the webcam and the chat function and it makes it a little easier to interact.

Evelyn Liougas:Final question is for Michelle Y. Can I come to campus if I choose, or could I take a course on campus of I choose?

Michelle Yan:  
Typically if students start online – I mean there is a way to come on campus if you decide that, well I tried the online course and maybe I don’t wanna push through online, but the requirements for the on campus program is a little bit different. They require a GMAT no matter what. So, that’s something to consider. But say if you started the online program, you have no issues taking a GMAT and you decided you wanna come to campus, you are able to do so, but you can’t switch back. Because even though the courses and the curriculum are the same, the timing is a little bit different, whereas the online program, we go about five week per course, and the on campus program is a little bit different in terms of their schedule. Same thing if you start on campus and you wanna come online, you are able to do so, but you wouldn’t be able to switch back.

Evelyn Liougas:
Great, thanks. Just some closing remarks before we end this webinar. An enrollment advisor will be following up with you over the next few days to answer any questions we were not able to answer. If you would like to contact an advisor immediately, you may reach them by calling the number on the screen. Thanks everyone and this concludes our webinar. Have a great day.

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