Bluffton University to offer degree-completion option in accounting

Bluffton University is offering a new degree-completion program starting in the fall of 2017. A bachelor of arts in accounting joins Bluffton’s current degree-completion options of organizational management and nursing. The program will increase career pathways for students and professionals who already hold an associate degree in accounting.

“I think this opportunity highlights how Bluffton is being innovative and forward-thinking in our understanding of the needs of the workforce in our region,” said Erin Burkholder, director of adult and graduate studies at Bluffton. “Bluffton’s classes will enhance and build upon the coursework students have taken at our local community college partners so that they can contribute to their organizations in new and exciting ways.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement for entry-level accounting jobs. There are currently 1.3 million accounting and auditing jobs in the United States with an 11 percent growth expected through 2024. Median pay in the industry increases by $30,000 a year for professionals with a bachelor’s degree versus workers with little or no college education.

“There is a huge demand for professionals with an accounting degree,” said Jason Swartzlander, associate professor of accounting, “and accounting offers so much variety in terms of career opportunities—auditing, taxes, corporate accounting, financial analysis just to name a few.”

Courses can be taken through Bluffton’s blended online programs which include three Saturday seminars on campus with weekly online sessions or in the traditional face-to-face format with one-night-a-week classes on campus. Either way, Bluffton’s coursework emphasize experiential learning. Classes are offered in three convenient locations: Bluffton, Archbold (Northwest State Community College) and Piqua (Edison State Community College).   

“This program is designed for people with an associate degree in accounting and are looking to move up in their careers while maintaining their family lives and busy schedules. This program taps into what Bluffton is all about—building relationships and serving students,” explained Swartzlander.

Degree-completion classes are offered in the fall, spring and summer. The program can be started at any time. For more information about Bluffton’s degree-completion programs contact Adult and Graduate Studies by calling 419-358-3897 or emailing