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Master of Science in Business Ethics and Compliance

Course Descriptions

MBEC: Course Descriptions

MBE 501
Regulations and Regulators
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the philosophy, history and context or regulations and regulatory agencies within various industries, including, but not limited to financial services, health care, and human resources. Students will evaluate and assess the external role of the compliance process, including federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. Students will study the complex regulatory environment that has recently grown in an effort to safeguard the public’s personal information and prevent abuse within various industries.

MBE 510
Governance, Ethics and Compliance
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

This course aims are to provide students with a basic understanding of corporate governance as a term and as a practice involving relations between a firm’s executive leadership, its governing board, and its stakeholders including shareholders and others who have an interest in the oversight of the entity. The course explores various governance models practiced in the US including both for-profit and non-profit and looks at the role and responsibilities of each of the parties in these relationships both as set down in the legal code and as suggested by current best practice. The role of various board committees will also be discussed along with their relationships with the regulatory agencies such as the SEC. A fundamental part of the course is a discussion of the ‘purpose of a corporation’ and of the various perspectives held by prominent thought leaders in the US on this subject. The course will also look at changes made in board practices following the Sarbanes Oxley legislation in 2002 and at recent trends in corporate governance.

MBE 560
The Culture of Ethics
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

This course aims to provide student with a basic understanding of ethical theory and ethical decision-making. It begins with an introduction to several concepts in ethical philosophy. The psychological aspects of ethical decision-making are then introduced, along with ethical and social dilemmas. Concepts covered include ethical perspectives such as objectivism vs. realism and consequentialist theories such utilitarianism. Students will look at how ethical reasoning can be impacted by individual psychologies such as unconscious bias, perceptions of fairness, future discounting, and in-group favoritism. The course will also allow students to explore ethical and social dilemmas such as ‘tragedy of the commons’ and the ‘prisoner’s dilemma’. Students will also be presented with practical examples of how these ethical principles and social dilemmas impact the business environment and business decision-making. The course ends with an exploration of the application of ethical principles to the business world and to the ethical cultures that prevail in many of our business institutions.

MBE503
Accounting & Ethics
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

This course’s aims are two-fold: first, to provide students with a basic understanding of accounting methods as they are used for financial reporting and managerial control purposes; second, to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the role that our financial accounting system plays as a motivator and driver of managerial behavior. This course is suitable for both those experienced and unexperienced in accounting.

Basic principles and methods of accounting will be taught and accounting exercises will be included, but the focus of the learning will be on how accounting rules are applied in business settings and their implications for managerial behavior and decision-making. We will study accounting concepts such as materiality, the matching principle, relevance, and reliability. In looking at each of these concepts, we will explore situations in which managerial bias and measurement error can enter the system, altering the perception of firm performance and the reliability of a firm’s financial information. As a result we will include topics such as executive compensation, asset valuation, revenue recognition, and the use of non-financial measures in reporting.

MBE555
Legal Issues:Employee and Labor Relations
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

In this course, students consider the connections between employment issues and product markets, labor markets, and business strategies. The focus is on the effect of the constantly changing relationship between employers and their workers. Topics discussed include the complex structural, behavioral, and legal environment of management-employee relations with attention both to working with labor unions and to employee relations in settings in which workers are not collectively represented.

MBE 515
Enterprise Risk Management
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

The purpose of this course is to understand the broad overview and perspective of risk management and both its theoretical and practical applications to corporate compliance issues, policies, and procedures. The course seeks to put Governance, Risk Management and Compliance in context by providing an introduction and foundation to risk management.

MBE 525
Fraud Examination and Techniques
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

This course introduces the basic fundamentals behind fraud and its impact on the business world. It aids in gaining an understanding of the significance of fraud in the modern accounting world. This course prepares you to identify, detect, investigate, and prevent financial fraud. It outlines the nature of fraud and the different types of fraud, to include unique e-business fraud that is now possible in today’s technological world.

This course also touches on cutting edge elements of data analysis in fraud detection as well as the investigation and concealment of information. It will explore consumer fraud activities, as well as tax fraud strategies and methods. A specific focus will be on the financial statement fraud standards to include SAS 99 and Sarbanes Oxley impacts.

MBE 540
Corporate Compliance Case Studies
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE501

The purpose of this course is to identify and assess both how corporations “went wrong” and what corporations consistently “do right” in business ethics and corporate compliance. Students will identify specific areas of regulatory and non-compliance based on actual case studies. They will also examine specific corporate policies and procedures which have been successful in creating a positive and productive corporate compliance culture.

Each week, two of the case studies or articles in the reading sections will be tied to a discussion board question. This gives students an opportunity to discuss each reading topic with the professor and classmates. In the current business environment, there are a lot of interesting topics to debate.

MBE 550
Conducting Internal Investigations
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

Most executives and HR professionals will have to conduct at least one formal investigation during their careers. Many will have to do so on numerous occasions for reasons such as theft, drug use or possession, discrimination, threats, assaults or sexual harassment. This course is a guide to conducting thorough and lawful internal investigations. Investigative legal ramifications, principles and techniques will be examined in this course.

MBE 565
International Business Ethics and Compliance
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE501 & MBE510

Different legal, political, and business models have grown up in different parts of the world. Companies wishing to successfully operate outside of their own national boards and systems are finding themselves increasingly required to adapt to both international and foreign national standards of law, business practices, and ethics and conform their original business model to international and foreign national regulatory bodies. This course is designed to prepare students to understand practical ethical and compliance problems and phenomena which arise out of specific functional areas of companies or in relation to recognized business professions such as accounting, human resources, sales and marketing, production and intellectual property in a multinational corporation.

MBE580
Strategy, Missions & Governance
3 credits

Prerequisites: None

This course explores the relationship between firm strategy and external environmental factors such as societal norms, governance frameworks, consumer expectations, and supra-national guidelines. Specifically, the course introduces students to the concept of ‘corporate social responsibility’ (hereafter CSR) along with firm strategies, governance mechanisms, and implementation approaches that explicitly integrate CSR concerns. Labeled as ‘win-win’ strategies, these approaches treat the externalities of economic activity, such as environmental damage or social displacement, not as costs to the firm, but as opportunities for cooperation and development. They also represent examples of how corporations can contribute to addressing some of the world’s more pressing problems through partnership and innovation.

MBE581
Corporate Stakeholder Relations & Communication
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE510

Approached from a corporate communications perspective, students are provided with techniques for successfully managing and communicating with firms stakeholders. The course looks at the range of communication outlets that require attention in various firm-stakeholder contexts, including negotiations, crisis management, stakeholder protest, etc. Students also explore potential areas of misunderstanding and conflicting priorities that underlie contentious firm-stakeholder relations and study examples of companies that have turned around situations that risked the reputation and legitimacy of the firm.

MBE582
Measuring and Monitoring ESG Performance
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE503

Increasingly firms are being asked to account and report on their performance in the social, environmental and governance realms. To be more than simply anecdotal accounts, firms are developing approaches to measure and monitor their performance. This course looks at the recent history of non-financial reporting, explains the nature of investor and stakeholder expectations for ESG reporting systems and at the various systems now in use including the GRI, the ISO standards, as well as voluntary agreements such as the UN Compact for corporations or the PRI for the investment community.

MBE583
NGOs, Consumer Advocates & Issues Management
3 credits

Prerequisites:

This is a hand-on course on how to manage partnerships with communities, charity organizations and special interest groups. Students learn about ways to work with non-profit groups to improve relations and develop community-targeted projects. They are also exposed to the different forms of association or partnership that are appearing in order to provide structure and effectively manage the resources needed to achieve the goals set for collaborative ventures between business and the non-profit world.

ACC 501
Forensic Accounting
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE503

This course offers a thorough examination of the current methods and legal concerns for detection and prosecution of economic crimes. The course walks through the forensic process of initial detection, indictment and finally to gaining a conviction from the accountants standpoint. Students will study fraudulent financial reporting, misappropriation of assets, indirect methods of misappropriating income, money laundering and cash flows, evidence management, loss valuations, and providing litigation support and testimony. The course examines how prosecutors enable tax code violations, offshore banking violations, and the Rico statutes to gain conviction of fraudulent and illegal crimes. The forensic accountant is the chief tool used in this process from the standpoint of initial detection, information gathering, and supporting the case from an expert witness and subject matter expert.

ACC 520
Forensic Data Analysis
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE503

This course covers the data collection and analysis aspect of forensic science applied to both the accounting and computer world. Most digital evidence is stored within the computer's file system, but understanding how file systems work is one of the most technically challenging concepts for a digital investigator because little documentation exists. This course prepares you to understand and be able to testify about how file system analysis is performed.

This course begins with an overview of investigation and computer foundations and then gives an authoritative, comprehensive, and illustrated overview of contemporary volume and file systems: crucial information for discovering hidden evidence, recovering deleted data, and validating your tools. Along the way, the course examines data structures, analyzes example disk images, provides advanced investigation scenarios, and uses today's most valuable open source file system analysis tools.

ACC 530
The Forensic Audit
3 credits

Prerequisites: MBE503

This course provides an overview of forensic accounting fraud auditing and investigative accounting techniques and tools. Fraud is no simple vice for business. Recent years have seen it grow both in size and complexity, to the point where some estimates place losses due to fraud at well over $100 billion a year. With the increasing complexity of financial structures and the intensity of business competition, fraud has become harder to detect and more enticing to commit.

Much of the responsibility for the detection of fraud has fallen to the accounting profession, forensic accountants must learn how to recognize its signs early on and how to best approach and investigate potential cases. This course focuses on the investigation, detection, documentation, and prevention of accounting frauds, stock frauds, and employee theft and embezzlement. It provides an in-depth analysis of how fraud occurs within an organization and explains the latest techniques for fighting it.

MBE 570
Capstone: Ethics and Compliance
3 credits

Prerequisites: Completion of all other courses needed to meet degree requirements

The purpose of this course is to allow students to cement their learning through the completion of a comprehensive project. Students will engage in individual or group projects as a means of learning how to implement the concepts covered in their degree work. Assignments are designed to turn theory into practical application and the final project will be tailored to the career area the student is pursuing.

Beginning in January 2016, the Capstone course will extend over two sessions — a total of eleven weeks. An exception is made to NECB’s usual policy concerning simultaneous enrollments. During the first session of this two session course; students may enroll in another course while simultaneously being enrolled in the capstone course. During the second session of this two session course, students must be enrolled only in the capstone course.

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