New Accounting Assistant program

Blackhawk Technical College is introducing an Accounting Assistant program for the 2014-2015 school year, a one-year curricula that will lead to a technical diploma in Accounting and open employment doors to those seeking entry level accounting positions in small businesses.              

The 29-credit program is essentially the same as the first two semesters of Blackhawk’s two-year accounting program with the exception that students in the one-year program will take an Advanced Excel course

The Blackhawk Business Division is adding the Accounting Assistant track to allow students the option of gaining a degree and seeking employment after one year. The second year of the Accounting program emphasizes more specialized corporate accounting classes.         

“We wanted to be able to give students options at the end of the first year,’’ said Theresa Laws-Dahl, an instructor in the Accounting program.  “The focus of the first year is small business accounting.  Students interested in small business accounting could earn a technical diploma and get a great job in accounts payable, accounts receivable or as a payroll clerk.”  

Students who earn the one-year technical diploma also may opt to take the second year and earn an associate degree in accounting at a later time or at a slower pace.          

Kay Fratianne, also an Accounting instructor, said that experience has shown that students may be overwhelmed by the demands of the two-year program when they have a number of outside commitments like work, children and being a single parent.  The one year Technical Diploma will give those students an option of getting into the work force sooner and allow them to continue their education earning the Associate Degree taking a smaller course load.

“Being a full-time student in accounting can be like having a full-time job,’’ Fratianne said.

Students interested in the new program may go through the regular application process at Blackhawk. Fall semester courses are: Accounting Spreadsheets; Accounting I; Intro to MS Word; Written Communications; and Math with Business Applications.

Spring semester courses are: Accounting II; Accounting Information Systems; Payroll Accounting; Computerized Accounting; Advanced Excel; and Oral and Interpersonal Communications.

Students who decide to finish the two-year program are academically on track to receive a four-year accounting degree. Blackhawk Technical College has an arrangement with Upper Iowa University that would allow an interested student to complete a four-year degree while attending classes at the Blackhawk campus.

Registration for the BTC 2014 summer and fall semesters has begun.