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Why Become a CPA?

by South University
February 27, 2015

If you hope to work in the field of business and finance, there are few more prestigious roles than that of a certified professional accountant (CPA). Candidates must undertake comprehensive academic and technical training, spend several years on the job and pass a rigorous exam. Here are some reasons why many find the commitment to be worthwhile.

Top 4 Reasons

Career Diversity

When people think of accounting professions, they often think of crunching numbers in a dusty back room. The reality couldn’t be more different. CPAs typically enjoy a high profile career with a chance to work in areas such as forensic and environmental accounting. Globalization makes the opportunities for multi-lingual candidates wishing to enter the field of international accounting even more enticing.

Financial Reward

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average median salary for a standard accountant at $63,550, but CPAs can expect to earn considerably more. Actual remuneration varies, but the Robert Half 2015 Salary Guide for Accounting & Finance reports that, nationally the salary of a forensic accountant is between $71,500 and $111,500 a year. As you might expect, additional experience and expertise can lead to opportunities and salaries of even greater magnitude.

Professional Development

Entry-level accountants are to be commended for their problem-solving abilities and critical thinking skills, but you will only get so far on the back of a bachelor's degree. Many candidates choose to strengthen their goal of becoming a CPA by earning a master’s degree. Doing so will highlight your desire to enhance your career and help you to prepare for leadership and management roles. Indeed, some roles are only available to candidates with a master’s-level qualification.

Job Security

Employment for accountants and auditors is expected to climb by 13% in the ten-year period leading up to 2022. Furthermore, the Mergis Group Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index shows that at ten points above the national average, confidence among U.S. accounting workers is at a level not seen since prior to the recession. CPAs, in particular, are important thanks to the current government’s demand for broader oversight of financial markets.

Next Steps

Becoming a CPA requires a firm commitment and a strong desire to succeed. The route to achieving this higher-ranked position in the field of accounting serves to attract only the most motivated of candidates. Do you have what it takes?

Learn more about our Master of Science in Accounting program, available fully online.

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Faculty Member Kim Kuebler Plays Key Role in Upcoming Conference

by South University
February 24, 2015

This March, state and federal policymakers and public officials along with nurses, physicians, researchers, and other healthcare professionals from across the country will converge at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort to discuss one of the biggest issues in healthcare today—patients with multiple chronic conditions.

What Makes This a “Can’t Miss” Conference

Today, 7 out of 10 Americans in medical waiting rooms and 2 of 3 Medicare Beneficiaries have multiple chronic conditions (MCC)—conditions that have lasted longer than 6 months. The US spends 66% of healthcare resources on this patient population—making it the most expensive population, in addition to being the largest and the one with the most rapid growth. By 2030, 171 million Americans are expected to be living with MCC.

The Health Policy and Clinical Practice Conference for Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions was created to discuss the way we, as healthcare providers and as a nation, care for these patients today and the way this will change in the coming months and years with the influence of the Affordable Care Act. With this population being a major focus of healthcare reform, the conference is an opportunity for professionals—and the general public—to discuss and explore today’s policies and their practical application to improving care for this important patient population.

A Schedule Packed with Interdisciplinary Expertise

Assistant Program Director and faculty member at South University, Online Programs’ College of Nursing and Public Health, Dr. Kim Kuebler, DNP, was the primary force behind developing this 3-day conference, which starts March 26. She will also be 1 of 5 presenters at the conference. “This goal of our conference is to inform attendees on the massive changes that are unfolding right now in the field of healthcare,” said Dr. Kuebler. “This October, taking care of chronically ill patients will be completely different than ever before.

In addition to her role at South University, Dr. Kuebler is an Adult Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Specialist in Oncology, an award-winning author, and the Director of the Multiple Chronic Condition Resource Center. She has worked with the World Health Organization in China and been appointed to The Michigan Governor’s Commission on End of Life Care and The US Department of Health and Human Services Medicare Evidence Advisory Committee.

Dr. Kuebler’s talk, which takes places on the morning of 3/27, is titled “Federal Overview of the Issues: Multiple Chronic Conditions and Self-Management” and will explore the ways in which healthcare policy has increased the importance of teaching patients to self-manage their conditions.

Other topics include:

  • The Effects from the Affordable Care Act on State Medicaid Reimbursement for Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions | Director James K. Haveman, Jr.
  • Where Are We When It Comes to Managing the Care Needs of the Frail Elderly | Dr. Joanne Lynn
  • Patient Perspective in Drug Development: Whose Opinion Counts Anyway? | Dr Virna Dapic
  • The Institutes of Medicine Report on Dying in America | Judith R. Peres
  • Summation of the Affordable Care Act: Where Are We Now? | Dr. Joanne Lynn moderated by Dr. David O’Dell

Each presenter brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the podium. Currently the Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, presenter James K. Haveman, Jr. was, in 2003, appointed by the White House as the Coalition Provisional Authority Senior Advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Health and served as Iraq’s Acting Minister of Health for three months. Another presenter, Dr. Joanne Lynn, MD was recently described by the American Medical Association as one of the most influential physicians in Washington, DC.

“It’s truly a multi-disciplinary conference. There will be physical therapists, doctors, behavioral health scientists and more—all sharing diverse ideas and perspectives from different disciplines,” said Dr. Kuebler.

Training the Trainer

On Saturday, March 28, The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is partnering with the conference to offer an all day, complimentary train-the-trainer workshop. At this event, attendees will be taught AHRQ’s SHARE approach, a 5-step process for helping healthcare providers share the decision-making role with patients and their families.

The workshop will explain ways to use evidence-based, patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) to support the shared decision-making process. Attendees will then learn how to train their own colleagues to use this same approach.

Continuing education credits may be available. Register here.

Conference Registration and Details

Don’t miss this exciting networking and learning opportunity! For registration details (including student registration rates), continuing education information, and the full conference schedule, see https://www.doctorsofnursingpractice.org/2015PolicyConfSavannah.htm.

Sources

US Department of Health and Human Services, Multiple Chronic Conditions (2010, 2014): Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
US Department of Health and Human Services, Multiple Chronic Conditions (2012, 2014), Agency for Health Research and Quality.

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Scholarship Opportunities for Nursing Students

by South University
February 19, 2015
stephoscope

With a college education becoming a requirement for many healthcare employers, your nursing education could be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. However, we know that securing the funds needed to support this important endeavor can be challenging.

Many students use a combination of personal resources, financial aid*, employer tuition assistance and scholarships to pay for their nursing education. If you’ll be working while attending nursing school, check with your employer to see if the company has a tuition assistance program. Every organization doesn’t offer this benefit, but it’s always wise to ask!

Searching for a few nursing scholarships to apply for? The following programs offer varying amounts of financial assistance that could help you pay for your nursing program:

  1. A Nurse I Am Scholarship, Presented by Cherokee Uniforms (March 1 deadline): Have you watched either the educational version or the documentary of the film “A Nurse I Am”? If so, Cherokee Uniforms is offering you the chance to win one of 10 scholarships worth $10,000 each! Submit an essay of 750 words or less on the designated topic and to try your best to impress the judges.
  2. AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship (March 31, June 30, September 30 & December 31 deadlines): The AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Fund offers one $2,500 scholarship per quarter to students pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate-level degree in Nursing. Special consideration is given to graduate students planning to become a Nurse Educator, students completing an RN-to-BSN or an RN-to-MSN program and anyone enrolled in an accelerated program.
  3. NURSE Corps Scholarship Program (Opening in March): The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program allows nursing students enrolled in a diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree program to receive financial support for their educational and living expenses. Upon graduation, recipients agree to work at designated healthcare facilities located in Health Professional Shortage Areas for at least two years.
  4. Johnson & Johnson (Deadlines vary): Johnson & Johnson has compiled a total of 330 scholarships available to nursing students at all levels. A total of 64 scholarships are available to students with an impressive GPA and an overwhelming 156 apply to doctoral programs.
  5. Colon Furr Memorial Nursing Scholarship (September 25 deadline): If you’re a permanent legal North Carolina resident who has been accepted into or is currently enrolled in a 1 year Licensed Practical Nurse program or if you’re enrolled in a 2, 3 or 4 year program leading to certification as a Registered Nurse, you’re eligible to apply for this $600 scholarship.
  6. American Assembly for Men in Nursing (June 1 deadline): AAMN is offering six $500 scholarships to pre-licensed nursing students and two $1,000 scholarships to graduate nursing students. The awards are open to male nursing students who are members of AAMN.

Remember, it may take considerable time and effort to secure the funds you need, but continuing your education is a commitment to your future!

Thinking about continuing your education? Explore our programs in the College of Nursing and Public Health, or learn about admissions, financial aid, and more at South University today!

*Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

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8 Scholarships that Could Help You Fund Your Education

by South University
February 17, 2015
scholarship imagery

Whether you’re a current college student or still researching schools, you’re probably excited to be preparing for your future, but perhaps you’re still trying to nail down the details of your financial plan for your education.* When you’re thinking about how to pay for school, don’t forget about scholarships! Scholarships are typically merit-based and may not have to be paid back, so there’s a big potential reward for applying to relevant scholarships.

Here are a few scholarships to get you started, but there are many more you can find across the web on sites like fastweb.com and collegeboard.com, and, sometimes, even through local and community organizations!

  1. WyzAnt College Scholarship (May 1): The $10,000 WyzAnt College Scholarship is available to students who plan to enroll in a four-year college or university between August 1, 2017 and November 1, 2017. You’ll need to submit a 300 word essay explaining how your education has empowered you.
  2. DutchCrafters Heritage Scholarship (May 1): High school seniors and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the $500 DutchCrafters Heritage Scholarship. To qualify, you must be enrolled at an accredited institution for the entire 2015-16 school year, be a legal U.S. citizen or resident and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  3. 7th GotScholarship $20,000 Give Away (February 28): The 7th GotScholarship Give Away is open to all areas of study for U.S students, international students and alumni. No GPA, financial need or essay is required. The recipient of the $20,000 is chosen by random and the funds must be used for educational expenses.
  4. TeenDrive365 Video Challenge (March 16): Make a video highlighting the importance of safe driving for your chance to win $15,000 and the chance to work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot your video into a PSA for television! Second place will get you $10,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip for two to a Velocity show, the third place winner will receive $7,500 and the People’s Choice Winner gets $5,000 and a behind-the-scenes trip for two to a Velocity show.
  5. Buick Achievers Scholarship Program (February 27): Buick is awarding up to 50 renewable scholarships of a maximum of $25,000 per year — for a total of $100,000 over a four-year period. Eligible students plan to major in a course of student focusing on engineering/technology or certain design and business programs and have an interest in working in the automotive industry or a related field.
  6. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest (March 3): Enter for your chance to earn a $1,000 scholarship from DiplomaFrame.com by submitting an original, digital creation displaying how you “frame your future”. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000 scholarship, $1,000 donation check to their school and a commemorative Frame My Future frame. Additionally, four scholarship winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and commemorative Frame My Future frame and 19 finalists will be given a Frame My Future certificate.
  7. Mometrix College Scholarships (May 22): Mometrix Test Prep is having a college essay scholarship contest, giving you the chance to win scholarships of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000. To qualify, submit an essay of 2,000 characters or less explaining what test prep practices work best for you and why. Submissions will be posted on their site for visitors to vote on their favorites.
  8. Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program (March 13): High school students getting ready for your first year at South University have a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship from Kohl’s! Eligible students are 18 years of age or younger and highly passionate about giving back to their community.

Don’t forget to ask about Tuition Assistance

Many companies offer tuition assistance programs, and possibly even scholarships, to help supplement the cost of higher education. If you’re working while attending school, be sure to check with your employer to see if this benefit is offered!

Learn about admissions, financial aid, and more at South University today.

*Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

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10 Facts about the Business behind Valentine’s Day

by South University
February 11, 2015
Valentine's Day Flowers

Are you planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? 

Every February, couples, friends, families, and school children plan to spend the 14th of the month celebrating love, friendship, and togetherness. In other words, this Saturday, expect restaurants to be packed, roses to reach their annual sky-high prices, and slim pickings in the card aisle of your local drugstore.

Whether you love the holiday or hate it, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day is big business. Curious how big? Here are 10 things we learned from a January 2015 survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

1. More people are celebrating than not. Almost 55% of survey respondents said they will partake in Valentine’s Day festivities this year.

2. Men plan to spend more than women. While women expect to spend about $60 on the holiday this year, men are prepared to shell out something closer to $130.

3. Pets are getting love too. Four-legged friends won’t be left out this year, as over 20% of people said they’ll be buying their pet a gift, spending $25 on average.

4. Department stores will attract the biggest crowds. 37% of shoppers plan to purchase gifts at a department store, followed by 35% at a discount store, 25% online, 19% at the florist, 13% at other small businesses, and 12% at a jewelry store.

5. Candy is the most popular gift. 53% of people plan to give candy this year while 51% will also be giving greeting cards. 38% of people will gift flowers, 16% clothing, and 15% gift card/certificate. 35% will have an evening out on the town! This is the first year since at least 2007 that greeting cards haven’t been the most popular gift.

6. People will spend the most on jewelry. Those giving jewelry to their loved ones plan to spend the most, at an average of $172, followed by $90 on clothing, $78 on an evening out, $74 on a gift card/certificate, $42 on flowers, $24 on candy and $15 on greeting cards.

7. Some people who aren’t celebrating still buy gifts. While they’re boycotting the holiday itself, 3% of those not celebrating reported plans to purchase anti-Valentine’s Day gifts.

8. Valentine’s Day is losing some of its luster. While slightly more people are celebrating Valentine’s Day this year than last, the number of people participating in the day has sharply declined from 63% in 2007 to 55% this year.

9. People are spending more than ever. While fewer people are celebrating the day, these people are spending more than ever. In 2007, shoppers only spent an average of $88.17 on the day — nearly $8.50 less than this year’s $96.63 average.

10. Southerners might be the most romantic. More people in the south plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day than any other part of the country.

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