Villanova Grad Tax Online Info Session

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Originally presented July 12, 2016

Joshua Scofield, Enrollment Advisor, Online Graduate Programs in Taxation


Speaker 1: For those of you that have just joined us, welcome to the Villanova University Graduate Tax Online information session. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us today. My name is Annie. I’ll be the moderator for tonight’s session. And we’ll be covering a number of topics to provide you with further information about Villanova University and the Graduate Tax Online program. So before we begin, I’d like to go over a few logistics for the presentation. All participants are in listen-only mode in order to cut down on background noise so you can hear us, but we can’t hear you. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions. Please do so by typing them into the Q&A box and hit send. We’ll answer as many questions as time allows at the end of the presentation.

And if your question was not answered during the session, one of our enrollment advisors will follow up with you directly. And then lastly, a recording of today’s presentation will be available shortly after the event. And we will make sure to email it to you at the email you provided when you registered for the webinar. And with that, I’d like to introduce our presenter for tonight, Josh Scofield. Josh is an enrollment advisor for Villanova University’s Online Graduate Tax programs. Many of you may have had the opportunity to speak with Josh already. Josh’s background includes over ten years of experience in recruitment, training and management. And he has extensive experience working with certificates, bachelor’s, master’s and LLM candidates. And he holds an MBA. Now let’s get started. Josh will take you through our session for today.

Speaker 2: Thank you, Annie. On the agenda for today, we will discuss the Graduate Tax Online programs including curriculum and faculty. We will review topics such as the structure of the Online Graduate Tax program, learning outcomes and expertise of the faculty. I will be discussing the application process and some helpful hints, tips to keep in mind when you’re completing your application for admission. I’ll also discuss important dates and deadlines for our upcoming fall 2016 semester. We’ll finish up with a question and answer session at the end where some of your questions will be answered. Once again, we ask that you type any questions into the Q&A box, I believe on the right-hand side of your screen.

We’ll start off with some program highlights for Villanova University and the Online Graduate Tax program. Villanova University is a prestigious, private institution with an established and highly respected graduate tax program. The online option for our graduate tax program mirrors the campus-based option in reflecting the high quality curriculum and industry experienced professors, some of whom we will touch on later in the presentation. The program takes a practitioner-oriented approach while keeping class sizes small and providing a flexible learning environment for students. Villanova’s Graduate Tax program offers both a Master of Laws, LLM in taxation as well as the Master of Taxation or the MT. The LOM, Master of Laws is for those individuals who have completed a Juris Doctorate from a school of law that is ABA accredited.

The Master of Taxation is primarily for individuals who hold a degree in accounting and have either completed the CPA exam or have completed the GMAT or GRE or are planning to complete the GMAT or GRE. The duration of the program is 100 percent online and can be completed in as soon as 18 months to two years, depending on the program. The Online Graduate Tax program affords those who are accepted the same level of rigor as those pursuing the program as a campus-based student. The program is designed to bridge the theoretical to the real world so the graduates are able to apply these concepts in their daily roles. The program is made up of 30 total credits spread across 9 to 12 courses, depending on the program.

As you can see, the curriculum for the program are six core courses and six elective or specialization courses. The six core courses range from survey of tax, Taxation 1 and Taxation II, taxation of corporations and shareholders, professional responsibilities and tax with research and writing and partnership taxation. Your electives or specialization courses include tax procedure, wealth tax, employee benefits and executive compensation, taxation of corporation acquisitions and reorganizations, state and local tax and international tax. We will next touch on some of the professors that are included in the Graduate Tax program. First off, Mr. Ed Liva, the director of the Villanova University Graduate Tax program and professor of practice. Professor Liva’s background includes teaching partnership taxation and survey of tax.

He previously was the national industry leader for KPMG’s US Real Estate Tax Practice and partner in charge of KPMG’s Northeast Real Estate Tax practice. He is also currently a frequent speaker and panelist on taxation of real estate investment. Next up, Mr. J. Richard Harvey, a distinguished professor of practice. He teaches survey of tax. Professor Harvey previously was a senior government official in the US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service during the Reagan, Bush II and Obama Administration and also previously a tax partner and leader of Pricewaterhouse Coopers US Banking and Capital Markets Tax Practice. Also within the program is Joy Sabino Mullane, professor of law. She teaches wealth tax – previously a judicial clerk for the Honorable Susan H. Black, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit – also previously worked at Davis & Harmon, LLP in Washington, D.C. – also at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Atlanta.

Also within the program is Mr. Leslie M. Book, professor of law. He is a national authority on tax procedure and issues affecting the low-income tax community. He’s also a frequent speaker and panelist at bar associations and public interest organizations and teaching areas include introduction to federal income tax, taxation of corporations and shareholders and tax policy. I’d like to discuss the rankings and accreditation that Villanova holds. Villanova University is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. For example, US News and World Report has ranked Villanova University No. 1 in the best universities Master’s category in the northern region for over two decades. The same publication has also ranked Villanova University No. 2 in the best-value schools, northern region.

Forbes has ranked Villanova University in the top 100 of America’s top colleges. The National Law Journal ranks Villanova University’s School of Law in the top 50 of their 2014 go-to law schools list. Villanova University’s School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association. And Villanova University’s School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of business. Now I’d like to pass it back to Annie quickly to provide important reminders as we move forward.

Speaker 1: Thank you so much, Josh. I just wanted to remind everyone on the line if you have any questions for Josh throughout the remainder of the session, please type them into the Q&A box and hit send. And we’ll address as many questions as we can throughout the presentation via Chat or at the end of the presentation live. Josh will now review the admission requirements as well as some important dates to keep in mind.

Speaker 2: Thank you once again, Annie. I will now take a few minutes to speak about the application process and the admission requirements for the program. You’ll first need to start your application by accessing the online application. Either DeAndra Loggins or myself, your enrollment advisors for the program can send you the link to your application if you do not have it already. Regarding admission requirements, they are as follows: For LOM applications, they should hold a Juris Doctorate from a US school of law that is ABA accredited or a completion of all requirements to practice law in a foreign country or the MT or Master of Taxation applications. They should hold a Bachelor Ed degree in accounting from an accredited institution and have passed the CPA exam or be able to provide a GMAT or GRE score.

Additionally, at least one year of professional experience is preferred but not required. All applicants also need to also submit the following: a personal statement of approximately 500 words, a resume, one letter of recommendation, official transcripts from all institutions attended and completing their application with a $50.00 application fee. International students will also need to submit a TOEFL score and an evaluation of all foreign transcripts and credentials and complete interview. We do have three start dates per year, fall, spring and summer. And you are welcome to start in whatever semester works best for you. It is important to keep in mind that things are filling up quickly for our upcoming fall 2016 semester. As the admission process is rolling, it is a best practice to submit the application items well in advance or prior to the application deadline.

Some helpful tips to make the process smoother includes some of the following: start the application by creating your online profile. You can save your progress as you finish each section and submit it when you have everything complete. If need be, schedule your GRE or GMAT if you have not done so already or request your scores to be sent to Villanova’s School of Law. Also request an official copy of your transcripts to be either emailed to your advisor directly or mailed to our off-site processing center. The address is listed within the application. Important dates and deadlines to keep in mind are our fall semester starts on August 29th. And the formal deadline to have all of your application items submitted for consideration is July 31st.

Speaker 1: Thank you so much, Josh. For those listening in, if you have any questions at this time, you can type your question into the Q&A box and hit send. And we’ll cover as many questions as we can at this time. Our first question for you Josh is what’s the difference between the LLM and MT?

Speaker 2: The primary difference is the point of entry. Again, the LLM is for those that hold a Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited school of law. The MT or Master of Taxation is for those individuals who hold a degree in accounting, have possibly completed the CPA exam process. Once admitted into the Graduate Tax program, both are sitting in the same classes. So it is really just a point of differentiation as far as entry point.

Speaker 1: Thank you. Our next question is, is the program all online? Or would I ever have to go on campus for anything?

Speaker 2: The program is 100 percent online. And there are no residency requirements; meaning that students if accepted into the program would never be required to be on campus for any portion of the program. However, we always do like to mention to folks that if accepted into the program, you would be a student here at Villanova. So if there were anything or things that you wanted to take advantage of as a student, whether that’s coming on campus and utilizing a library or any other thing or things that you could take advantage of remotely, we highly encourage that you do so.

Speaker 1: Thank you. Our next question is what’s the difference between the on-campus and online program?

Speaker 2: The primary difference between the two options is modality. The campus-based program you’re sitting in a physical classroom. With the online program, you are sitting in a virtual classroom once a week. Things such as level of rigor. The courses are the same between the two programs and things of that nature. The professors that teach the courses and all of these things are the same between the two programs. Modality is primarily the difference.

Speaker 1: Thank you. The next question we have is if I need to take a break due to work or family, is that possible?

Speaker 2: There is quite a bit of flexibility included in the program. That would be one area where there is a flexibility. Individuals can complete the program in as soon as 18 months to two years. However, all students have up to five years to complete the sum of the program. If individuals had something arise where they did need to step away for a semester, they do have that flexibility inherent within the program.

Speaker 1: Our next question is, is the GMAT a requirement?

Speaker 2: In short, it would depend on the program and the individual’s background. For the LLM program, no; for the Master of Taxation, potentially. For those individuals that have not completed successfully all four segments of the CPA exam and process, they would need to submit a GMAT or GRE score as part of their application. However, for those MT candidates that have successfully completed all four segments of the CPA exam, they would be able to waive the need to submit a GMAT or a GRE score.

Speaker 1: Thank you. The next question is, are there requirements to be online at a certain time of day?

Speaker 2: Yes, with the program, one of the more important parts is the live component or the individual classes week to week. The classes are in essence made up of asynchronous homework, required reading material, practice questions, assessments, things of that nature, which can be completed and fit into a person’s schedule throughout the week. However, there is the live component that occurs once a week, generally on either Wednesday or Thursday evening for about an hour where the class and the professor all convene via audio and video in this virtual classroom to do many of the same things that you would do if you were all sitting in the same physical space – thus whatever’s being covered that week, ask questions, et cetera. And for that live component, it is an expectation that students do attend.

It is important to note, however, if a person were unable to attend a given week, the live component is recorded so that a person would still be able to go back and take in whatever was discussed and the questions that were asked.

Speaker 1: Thank you. The next question we have is does Villanova allow transfer credits?

Speaker 2: There is the opportunity to transfer in credits from a prior pursuit. For those individuals that have completed graduate-level tax coursework, there is an opportunity to transfer in up to four courses into the program. Some of the things that surround the request process, however, include any credits that are going to be requested need to have been taken within the last two years. They need to be directly applicable to any course or courses within the Graduate Tax program here at Villanova. And an individual would need to have received a B or better, not a B minus or below to have the course or courses considered for transfer credit.

Speaker 1: Our next question is, am I able to attend Villanova for graduation?

Speaker 2: As I mentioned a little bit earlier, the short answer is yes. The longer answer is if a person is accepted into the Graduate Tax program, you do have hall of the same benefits as do campus-based students. If you wanted to attend graduation, we would be delighted to see you.

Speaker 1: Our next question is how are the tests administered for the program?

Speaker 2: There is a final exam for each of the individual courses. And much like the rest of the individual courses, it is facilitated through the online class website. The last week of the class, there’ll be a date and time to sit down and do the final. And the person is not required to go to a proctor location – whether from home or wherever a person has a strong, reliable connection to the Internet, you’d be able to complete your final.

Speaker 1: Thank you. Our next question is on average, how many hours per week do I need to dedicate to the program?

Speaker 2: Good question. Of course there are variables. However, what is recommended – and there are two-credit hour courses and three-credit hour courses within the program. But what is generally suggested is for the two-credit hour courses, individuals should plan on investing 15-plus hours for week. And for the three-credit hour courses, individuals should plan on investing 20-plus hours per week.

Speaker 1: Thank you. Our next question is, do your professors have meeting hours dedicated to online students?

Speaker 2: Yes, another key component of the individual classes week to week would be that the professors do have weekly office hours. In addition to the asynchronous homework, the live component and the finals for the classes, if you wanted to reach out and speak with your professor one-on-one from week to week, you would have the opportunity to do so.

Speaker 1: Thank you. Our last question that we have to cover is the following: Does the Villanova online program offer scholarships?

Speaker 2: Unfortunately, at current, there are not scholarships available for the Graduate Tax program.

Speaker 1: Thank you. Thank you everyone for your questions today. If for any reason your question was not addressed on the session either via Chat or aloud just now from Josh, one of our enrollment advisors will follow up with you after the session. Now Josh will actually provide you with some contact information that we have on the screen.

Speaker 2:First and foremost, thank you all for joining us today. Our contact information is on your screen now. If you have any questions or think it’s time to apply, please don’t hesitate to reach out to DeAndra or myself. And we will be glad to assist you through the enrollment process and/or answer any questions that you may have about the program.

Speaker 1: Thank you very much, Josh, for your time. This concludes today’s webinar. And thank you to everyone who was able to join us today. Please note that you will receive a follow-up email message shortly after the event with the recording of today’s presentation, which will be sent to the email you provided when you registered for the webinar. And please feel free to reply to that email with any questions you may have. Thank you everyone and have a great evening.