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Finance Associate Degree Program Details

Penn Foster’s online Finance A.S. Degree Program can help you take your first step toward a rewarding and fast-paced career. Your classes will cover foundational topics in business, math, accounting, management, computer applications, and more.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Finance associate degree program will prepare the student to work as an entry-level financial analyst, financial planner, or financial manager, and will also provide a foundation for further education and training.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate computer and information literacy
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and processes involved in various functional areas and the need for collaboration among the different functions
  • Complete the accounting cycle and create and analyze financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures
  • Explain the key issues of internal control of cash in balance and cash flow statements and external financial reporting
  • Create, organize, and maintain financial records
  • Discuss and apply ethical and legal standards to the Business environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of economic and financial markets and the business economy
  • Demonstrate how to assess financial data and make best-practices recommendations to management
  • Use knowledge of the financial marketplace, financial instruments, and the analysis of financial issues to achieve success in managing personal financial affairs
  • Discuss the role capital markets play in world economies, and explain how capital markets are used to achieve financial goals

Semester 1

Basic Skills Assessment

All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn how to effectively manage your time, talents, and resources in your personal life, academics, and in your career.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Examine your individual life goals and the steps needed to fulfill them.
  • Recognize how your personal financial goals mirror that of most businesses.
  • Use time management skills to make the most of your day.
  • Determine personal financial goals.
  • Set up a typical budget.
  • Explain why creative thinking, research, planning, gathering resources, and production and marketing are vital for the start-up and maintenance of a business.

Get better at finding and using information!

Objectives:

  • Search the Internet more effectively.
  • Get tips about search engines and reliable websites.
  • Learn how to search libraries and other information centers for important, useful information.

This course is designed to introduce you to basic business concepts, theories, and perspectives. It will serve as a basis for further learning in your program.

Objectives:

  • Understand the principles of business ethics and basic economics.
  • Compare the different types of business ownership.
  • Describe the basics of organizational structure.
  • Identify the differences between management and leadership.
  • Understand the importance of information technology in today’s business environments.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Introduction to Business

In this course, you will gain an understanding of artistic media, historical periods and artistic movements, the roles of the artist and the viewer, and the principles of art criticism.

Objectives:

  • Define the language, visual elements, and principles of design of art
  • Identify two-dimensional media
  • Identify three-dimensional media
  • Explain the evolution of art from ancient Mediterranean cultures through eighteenth century Europe
  • Identify features and popular examples of art throughout the history of African, Asian, Pacific, and American cultures
  • Compare the genres of the Modern and Postmodern eras of art from around the world

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Living with Art, 11th Edition

This course will hone your math skills so you are able to successfully use them in business and finance industries.

Objectives:

  • Use percentages, discounts, and interest formulas effectively.
  • Analyze present worth and sinking funds.
  • Understand how to buy in installments and price merchandise.
  • Explain depreciation, insurance, equations, and formulas.
  • Discuss investments and statistics.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Practical Business Math Procedures

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the principles of financial accounting. Topics covered include analyzing transactions; completing the accounting cycle; merchandising businesses; inventories, assets, and liabilities; and corporations, stocks, bonds, and cash flow.

Objectives:

  • Solve important accounting principles and concepts by creating four common types of financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of retained earnings, and statement of cash flows
  • Explain inventory systems, the inventory process, and the role of ethics in accounting
  • Explain cash and receivables, assets, current liabilities, and debt
  • Analyze stocks and the statement of cash flows and financial statements that are used to assess the value of a business
Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 2

This course will allow you to build your computer skills through a combination of reading and hands-on practice. You will navigate popular software tools such as Windows® and Microsoft® Office.

Objectives:

  • Create, edit, and illustrate Microsoft® Word documents.
  • Apply formulas and functions to large data sets in Microsoft® Excel.®
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs to summarize data.
  • Add, delete, sort, and lay out table data.
  • Create presentations in Microsoft® PowerPoint® using advanced tools, tables, and charts.

This course provides an introduction to managerial accounting; analysis: C-V-P and management; budgeting and performance evaluation; decentralized operations; differential analysis and product pricing; capital investment analysis, and cost activities.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the various concepts related to managerial accounting and the cost accounting
  • Show the different tools of management used for the decision-making process
  • Identify the various budget analysis processes and the performance measurements for decision making
  • Analyze the various components of capital budgeting, cash flow statements, and ratio analysis
  • Solve examples of real-world accounting problems using knowledge of accounting forms and equations

Textbook: Managerial Accounting

 

This course teaches the skills and techniques of effectively developing, drafting, and revising college-level essays toward a specific purpose and audience: active reading, prewriting strategies, sentence and paragraph structure, thesis statements, varied patterns of development (e.g., illustration, comparison and contrast, classification), critical reading toward revision of structure and organization, editing for standard written conventions, use and documentation of outside sources. Students submit two prewriting assignments, and three essays (process analysis, classification and division, argumentation).

Objectives:

  • Use writing skills to construct well-written sentences and active reading skills to understand and analyze text
  • Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions
  • Describe the revision, editing, and proofreading steps of the writing process
  • Distinguish between different patterns of development
  • Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write a formal, college-level essay
  • Recognize how to determine the reliability of secondary sources and to give proper credit to sources referenced in an essay
  • Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write a formal, college-level essay
  • Use techniques of drafting, evaluating, and creating a sound written argument

This course familiarizes the student with both the business environment and the manager's role within it. It covers decision making, planning, organizing, leading, and controlling, as well as developing an ethical perspective.

Objectives:

  • Summarize the functions of management and the basic steps in various planning processes
  • Explain how to make effective decisions as a manager and a leader
  • Describe the fundamental elements of an organization's structure and the components of an organization's competitive environment
  • Explain principles for setting goals that motivate employees, why companies develop control systems, and why teamwork is beneficial
  • Analyze why diversity is a critical organizational issue, the criteria for technology decisions, and managing change

Textbook: Management, 5th Edition

 

Choose one...

HUM104 - Music Appreciation

In this course, you'll understand how to appreciate music by learning about the roles of the composer and the listener, the principles of music theory and instrumentation, musically significant historical periods, and varying styles of music.

Objectives:

  • Identify the building blocks of music a composer can use to create a piece, such as rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form, and timbre
  • Explain the evolution of Western music through history, from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century
  • Differentiate between the music of the baroque era and the musical styles of previous time periods
  • Recognize the major characteristics of classical music, including form, melody, and instrumentation
  • Discuss the musical trends and innovations that occurred during the romantic era
  • Trace the evolution of American popular music in the twentieth century
  • Recognize the influence of world music on modern Western composition

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Experience Music, Fourth Edition

 

ENG115 - Introduction to Literature

This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of the main genres of literature — fiction, poetry, and drama.

Objectives:

  • Explain how to effectively read fiction for both knowledge and enjoyment
  • Identify different styles and forms of poetry
  • Use what you've learned in this course to discuss, write about, and understand literature
  • Prepare a critical interpretation of fiction or poetry based on what you've learned in this course
  • Discuss how literary dramas differ from fiction and poetry
  • Identify different strategies of critical literary analysis

This course will provide an overview of macroeconomics and the modern market economy. Law of supply and demand, the cost of living, monetary systems, international factors, and short-run economic fluctuations will be examined and discussed.

Objectives:

  • Explain the economic systems and the economic perspective
  • Identify the key factors in macroeconomics and how economists study the economy as a whole
  • Explain the macroeconomic models and fiscal policies
  • Explain money, banking, and financial policy
  • Explain extending analysis of aggregate supply, current issues in theory and policy, and international economics
  • Analyze foreign exchange and investment and the effects each nation’s economy has on another nation’s economy

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Macroeconomics

Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 3

This course will provide students with the knowledge to apply accounting theory, concepts, and procedures to financial problems. Topics covered include: computing earnings per share; lease transactions; income tax accounting; cash flow information; pension and benefit information; financial statement analysis.

Objectives:

  • Understand and interpret the history, structure and process of financial accounting and accounting standards
  • Analyze the balance sheet, the income statement and know when and how to disclose important information
  • Perform the full accounting process from creating journal entries for transactions through the closing process
  • Apply your knowledge of revenue recognition and the time value of money to be able to accurately report revenue and the value of investments on financial statements
  • Examine different ways to properly account for cash, receivables and inventory
  • Value and account for changes to long-term assets including property, plant and equipment as well as intangible assets

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Accounting

This course will introduce students to the world of finance including financial concepts, instruments, and financial decision making. Topics covered include financial assets, investing in long-term assets, capital structure and dividend policy, financial planning, and working capital management.

Objectives:

  • Categorize financial management functions and organizational structure
  • Analyze a firm's financial statements, cash flow values, risks, and returns
  • Recommend budgeting policies, planning, structures, and costs for a firm's capital

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Finance: Applications & Theory

 

This course provides an introduction to the various methods of organizing material for a professional setting. Students will compose business documents using the ABC method. These include memos, emails, outlines, reports and proposals, descriptions, and organizing materials. Students also work on honing their grammar skills.

Objectives:

  • Describe the basics of the writing process and the ABC method of organizing material for a document
  • Identify the parts of speech in a sentence
  • Demonstrate correct pronoun use
  • Choose proper and effective words for writing documents
  • Identify the elements of a well-written sentence
  • Demonstrate how to use length, directness, emphasis, and variety to craft impactful sentences
  • Explain how to construct a coherent paragraph
  • Describe how to write an effective cover letter and resume
  • Format and write an interoffice memorandum, a routine business letter, and an effective email
  • Identify the different ways to write for blogs, the Internet, and social media
  • Describe how to create an organized formal outline
  • Identify the types of research and methods of documentation used in business and technical writing
  • Explain how to create visual interest and clarity in reports with illustrations, tables, graphs, charts, and overall design
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various types of informal reports
  • Describe the nature of formal reports and identify their components
  • Differentiate among external, internal, informal, and formal proposals
  • Describe an object or a process and prepare a set of instructions
  • Describe the preparation and submission of professional and technical articles and manuals

Study basic algebraic concepts. Review the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals. Learn how to factor polynomial expressions and simplify rational expressions.

Objectives:

  • Explain basic algebraic concepts
  • Solve and graph linear equations and inequalities
  • Analyze relations, functionality, and systems of linear equations
  • Prepare algebraic operations on polynomial and rational expressions and equations
  • Solve problems involving radicals and complex numbers

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts and importance of personal financial management, including analysis and management of personal assets and financial instruments.

Objectives:

  • Apply money management skills to personal financial goals and plans
  • Formulate a plan for saving, protecting, and managing financial assets and debt
  • Develop strategies for consumer and housing purchases
  • Evaluate various types of investing
  • Determine the type of investments that best suit your financial goals
  • Construct a will, a trust, and an estate plan

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Focus on Personal Finance

Choose one...

SCI120 - Introduction to Biology

This course will allow you to explore the origin of life and the relationships among all living things.

Objectives:

  • Explain how organisms are structured and how they work.
  • Discuss the various forms of life and their processes.

Textbook: Essentials of Biology

 

SCI140 - Nutrition 

This course will allow you to develop a healthier lifestyle by making smarter nutritional decisions.

Objectives:

  • Explain the various components of nutrition as a science.
  • Describe nutrition from a global viewpoint.
  • Understand the importance of water and exercise.
  • Identify the basics of human growth and aging.
  • Discuss food safety procedures.

Textbook: Nutrition for Life

 

SCI110 - Earth Science

This course will allow you to learn about planet Earth and the various aspects of the environment.

Objectives:

  • Describe specific characteristics of Earth.
  • Describe different types of rocks and minerals.

Textbook: Earth Science

Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 4

This course will provide you the opportunity to explore statistics and how they affect business.

Objectives:

  • Interpret and present data.
  • Analyze frequency distribution, averages, dispersion, and index numbers.
  • Conduct time series analysis.
  • Forecast business.
  • Apply the theory of probability and statistical inference.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Statistics for Business and Economics

This course explains the steps in making investment decisions, the nature of securities and markets, how technical analysis is performed, and how to set up a portfolio.

Objectives:

  • Outline the basic concepts of risk and return, how to invest, and the types of investments and investment managers
  • Summarize how stock markets function and behave, how investors choose investments, and how stocks are given value
  • Calculate various interest rates, bond values, and yields using a number of analysis formulas
  • Identify how to form a diversified portfolio and how to evaluate the portfolio's performance
  • Differentiate futures and options and the investment strategies built on each
  • Explain how investors use option valuation, financial statements, credit ratings, and economic indicators to make investment decisions

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Fundamentals of Investments: Valuation and Management

This course is an introduction to the legal environment of business. Topics covered include American court practice and procedure, alternative dispute resolutions, employment law, business organization and regulation, contract law, and agency relationships.

Objectives:

  • Explain the sources of law.
  • Discuss the judicial process and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Describe different forms of business organization and their characteristics.
  • Explain the elements of contracts and rules pertaining to contracts.
  • Explain the law of agency and laws concerning employment.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Business Law

Choose one...

FIN310 - Corporate Finance

Objectives:

  • Evaluate financial statements and long-term financial planning
  • Analyze the value of an investment based on cash outflows and/or inflows
  • Evaluate new projects and determine which new projects to accept
  • Perform and interpret a scenario analysis and incorporate risk into the analysis
  • Determine a firm’s cost of debt and equity capital

ACC211 - Computer Applications in Accounting

Objectives:

  • Explain how to install, register, and update the Sage 50® accounting software
  • Print reports and back up data files using Sage 50®
  • Record, post, and complete the accounting cycle for a service and merchandising enterprise using an automated accounting system
  • Analyze the business flow of transactions in automated accounting systems, including customer lists, vendor files, inventory records, and employee files
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the voucher system, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll systems, and departmentalized accounting
  • Analyze and solve management accounting problems relating to operations and business profitability and financial reporting

This course provides students with a foundation in the basic concepts of public speaking. Students will learn how to research, organize and write effective speeches, incorporate presentation aids, and rehearse and deliver speeches effectively. Students will prepare, rehearse, record and submit speeches in a number of rhetorical styles to be graded.

Objectives:

  • Describe how to effectively use of the 10 necessary steps to preparing and presenting a public speech
  • Demonstrate effective delivery and presentation techniques through practice and rehearsal
  • Show how to effectively organize and present a narrative/personal experience speech
  • Make effective presentation aids to enhance your public speaking
  • Produce a speech to inform your audience of a product or service
  • Prepare a speech to persuade your audience on a topic in which you are personally invested
  • Demonstrate the key elements of public speaking through a variety of formats and occasions
Choose one...

SSC130 - Essentials of Psychology

This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.

Objectives:

  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.

Textbook: Psychology and Your Life

 

SSC105 - World Civilizations

This course will allow you to understand the importance of studying history as it relates to the individual and society as a whole.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the major events of the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.
  • Explain the consequences of events and the trends that they cause.

Textbook: Understanding World Societies: A Brief History: Volume 2

 

SSC125 - Introduction to Sociology

This course is designed to introduce you to social structure and social interaction through groups, networks, and organizations. Study politics, the economy, population, social movements, technology, and social change.

Objectives:

  • Describe deviance, crime, and social control.
  • Discuss the effects of stratification, racial and ethnic inequality, sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Examine the role of health, family, education, and religion in human behavior.

Additional Course Materials:

  • Textbook: Experience Sociology
Proctored Exam

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Associate Degrees from Penn Foster College are awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

DEAC
SARA
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Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson or take an exam? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Finance Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Finance course would look like.
Penn Foster Sample Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
Access to Microsoft® Office 365 is a requirement for this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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