Mississippi State University Meridian has long been a source of excellence in accounting instruction. This fall, the Division of Business there has taken a step further in the opportunities it offers to students.
Previously, students in Meridian have earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in accounting. Beginning this semester, a Bachelor of Accountancy degree will be offered.
“Now we’re seamless with Starkville,” notes Dr. Kevin Ennis, Associate Professor of Accounting.
Ennis, who has taught at Meridian since 1995, handles the Tax, Audit and Cost Accounting courses. Assistant Professor Dr. Joseph Faello came on board last year and teaches Financial Accounting and Accounting Systems I. Dr. Seungjae Shin, a Professor of Information Systems and Supply Chain Management who joined the faculty in 2003, leads Accounting Systems II.
MSU-Meridian has 539 students enrolled in three academic divisions: Business, Arts & Sciences and Education. The Division of Business is housed at MSU-Meridian’s Riley campus, in the city’s business district. The number of accounting students averages around 40, and most come from the four nearby community colleges. The program also enrolls military personnel from Naval Air Station Meridian.
“Most tend to be nontraditional, place-bound students,” observes Ennis. “We’re designed for people who have fulltime jobs or families.”
The students who are employed see very directly how what they learn in the classroom translates to the professional environment. Class discussions are usually peppered with examples and questions that come straight from their jobs.
“We’re very oriented to the needs of our students,” says Ennis. “Classes are small, and they’re taught by faculty who have practical experience. Scheduling accommodates those who have jobs – by leaving work an hour early one day a week, they can be enrolled in two college courses, which allows either a part-time or full-time course load.”
Student Kristi Matthews comments, “Having professors who care about the students – not just their passing a test, but knowing the material and being able to apply it to real situations – makes all the difference in the world.”
Matthews works in Ellisville, MS, as the Accounting Manager for Parish Transport Logistics and Lamb Transportation. Her studies have served as an example for the Matthews’ autistic son.
“He has seen how hard I work and how much I study and put into my schooling, and it shows him that you have to be committed to what you do,” she remarks.
After graduating magna cum laude in December, Matthews has continued her education through the master’s degree program at Mississippi College. It is common for students to move on to graduate school or law school, though many go right to work. The program encourages them to pursue professional certification.
Like Matthews, Meridian students typically understand in a practical way what their education will mean to their careers and their families. It drives them to excel.
“We get very bright students,” states Ennis. “They are motivated to do well because they want to improve their lives.”
republished from January 2017 Bulldog Ledger - news from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy