When I was in high school, one of the electives available was financial accounting. As my students approach high school age, I figured I’d be developing my own course, probably using a college textbook. Well, thanks to Michael P. Licata, Ph.D. of Professor in a Box, homeschoolers no longer have to do that.
Professor Licata has been teaching college accounting courses for the past 24 years. The last eight years, he has been teaching 100% distance learning courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. As a homeschool father, offering that learning experience to homeschooled high schoolers must have seemed like a logical next step. You can learn more about Professor Licata and the course by watching a short video.
Why accounting? Obviously, for students interested in a business degree, this could be a very useful course. But accounting is more than just number crunching. Accounting is about problem solving and logic, and is the basic language of business. So students who plan to operate their own business or who want to purchase stock would be in a better position to do so with at least a basic knowledge of accounting.
The course format is a bit unusual – they say non-traditional – as there is no textbook with page after page of confusing examples. Instead, the student watches and listens to Flash lecture slides. There are homework problems to complete using Excel spreadsheets. The students check their work, and take exams. Chapter 3, on recording transactions, is available here. The work is broken up into 28 lessons, which can be completed at a college pace (2 lessons per week for 14 weeks), over an academic year (of 28 weeks), or even as summer school (3 lessons per week for roughly 9 weeks). You can see the syllabus online.
After completing the course, the student can choose to take the new Financial Accounting CLEP. Even though this is a college level course, high school students with basic algebra skills can certainly complete the work.
Professor in a Box comes with everything you need except a PC: a booklet with the syllabus and learning objectives by chapter; an instructor CD; three discs with the lectures; a pencil; and a calculator. Currently, they are running a summer special for $134.99, which includes free Priority Mail shipping. They do have a money back guarantee: you can complete the first three chapters, and if you are not satisfied, they will issue a full refund.
Check out Professor in a Box, and see what the Crew has to say about it here: