At its meeting last Thursday, UTM’s Academic Affairs Committee approved proposals that will see the masters of management and professional accounting advanced standing option shortened to 12 months, as well as the introduction of a new minor program for forensic science.

The first proposal presented to the committee was to reduce the MMPA advanced standing option from 16 months to 12. This proposal came as a result of new guidelines for education in accounting released by the CPA Professional Education Program in 2013. UTM’s Institute for Management and Innovation responded by revising the program to help students better meet its learning expectations.

The full MMPA program lasts 27 months and is offered to students who do not necessarily have a business background. Students who do have a previous background in commerce and accounting, in addition to an excellent academic record, will now have the option of enrolling in the 12-month program, effective September 1, 2015.

The 12-month program is expected to accept about 45 students who would be drawn from UTM’s BCom (accounting specialist), the Rotman Commerce BCom (accounting specialist), and UTSC’s BBA (specialist in management and accounting). This would mean a total of 130 students in the MMPA, with 45 students in the advanced 12-month program.

Additionally, despite having a separate section in the MMPA program, the students enrolled in the 12-month program are expected to join students from the 27-month and 24-month programs to attend workshops and non-course learning experiences.

The 12-month MMPA advanced standing option will include case competitions, workshops, and a co-op work term. Students will cover the required material over the course of an academic fall session, followed by a winter co-op term, and then a summer academic session.

According to MMPA director Len Brooks, consultations on the proposals revealed strong support for the changes. Consultations were held with faculty and administrators from IMI, the MMPA program, and Rotman, in addition to other academic departments and administrative offices. Consultation also took place with students currently enrolled in the MMPA program along with undergraduate commerce students.

The second proposal approved by the AAC was a new minor in forensic science, also to become effective next September.

The new minor will allow students who do not have the scientific foundation required for major and specialist programs to be introduced to forensic science and receive training in the field.

The existing major can only be taken in conjunction with a major program in anthropology, biology, chemistry, or psychology. The new minor is expected to open the field to students studying in other areas.

The program will be proposed as a Type 2 Subject POSt, which typically requires specific prerequisites to be taken prior to enrolling as well as the maintenance of a certain GPA.

In addition to the two proposals, it was announced that the UTM and UTSC Campus Councils’ past operations are under review. A committee will evaluate the efficacy of the model under which the two councils operate and recommend refinements to help the Campus Councils and their committees accomplish their respective mandates.

The next Academic Affairs Committee meeting is scheduled for November 12.