FINC 301 Managerial Finance I Course Guide
Managerial Finance I introduces students to the major financial concepts, principles, and analytical tools of corporate finance. The course introduces students to the topics of financial statement analysis, forecasting, the risk/return tradeoff, the time value of money concept, valuation, the cost of capital, and the capital budgeting process. The course helps students understand how to utilize these concepts, principles, and techniques so that they, as managers, can make well-reasoned decisions.
Specific, Assessable Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
Planning and Control
Essential Concepts of Managerial Finance
Recommended Teaching Methodology
The teaching methodologies employed will depend to a large degree on the preferred teaching style of the instructor and the size of the class. Since most of the material will be new to the students, and since the classes may range in size up to 30-35 students, lectures and class discussion may play an important role in efficiently conveying knowledge to the students. It is very helpful to incorporate a lot of questioning of the students into the lecture/discussion in order to keep the students engaged in the learning process. Other methodologies which may be utilized include small group work, written and/or oral case analyses, and current events analysis/discussion.
Case analyses and the analyses of Wall Street Journal articles are very beneficial because they help the students to develop their higher-order learning skills such as application, analysis, and synthesis. They may also allow the students to develop and/or reinforce their oral and written communications skills, and their computer skills.
The use of the internet and finance-based websites is also beneficial for students. Textbooks often provide information on useful websites. The instructor may want to develop specific web-based assignments, or at least encourage the students to utilize the websites cited in the textbooks to further enhance their learning experience.
The readings for the course will come primarily from the course textbook, and can be supplemented by additional readings assigned by the instructor, such as articles from the Wall Street Journal or other sources.
Recommended Assessment Measures
Somewhere within the course the learning outcomes listed above must be assessed. In addition, the instructor should also assess the students’ written communications skills.
The department wants to assess the students’ higher level learning skills (application, analysis, and synthesis), in addition to the students’ ability to master the more basic levels of learning.
Exam-type questions and problems may be utilized to assess the relevant learning outcomes and skills. Open-ended questions, problems, and essay-type questions may be utilized to assess the higher levels of learning.
The department has a set of common assessment questions and problems that will be used to assess the students’ achievement in mastering the learning outcomes. Each semester, the department chairperson will distribute specific assessment questions to each instructor for the course, to ensure that all of the learning outcomes are assessed. The instructor is responsible for making sure that his/her students complete the assessment questions and problems, and for providing the results of the assignments to the department head for evaluation by the department. The problems and questions can be incorporated into existing exams, or given as separate assignments. The results may or may not count towards the students’ course grades, as the individual instructor deems appropriate.
Case analyses are also a tool that an instructor can use to assess any of the learning outcomes listed above. In addition, a case analysis allows an instructor to evaluate the students’ skills in the areas of application, analysis, and synthesis. A case analysis can also be used to evaluate written and/or oral communications skills. If practical, an instructor should try to incorporate at least one case analysis into the course, and preferably two or more if time and class size permit. Textbooks often have end-of-chapter integrative problems that can serve this purpose, as well. Instructors may not substitute case assignments for the common assessment questions and problems of the department; however, they can provide additional information very useful in assessment, especially the assessment of the higher level learning skills. Other types of assignments may also be used by the instructor to assess students’ abilities.
Assessing Written Communications Skills
All FINC-301 courses must assess students’ written communications skills with at least one graded written assignment. The specific assignment is up to the instructor. For example, a written analysis of a Wall Street Journal article, a case analysis, a discussion of the pros and cons of an ethical issue, or a take-home essay question from an exam would meet this requirement. In-class test questions cannot be used. We are trying to evaluate the students’ ability to formulate well organized and clearly articulated thoughts and arguments; we are not trying to evaluate the students’ ability to write under a time constraint. In addition, it is required that the assignments be typed using word processing software. This reinforces the students’ basic computer skills, and also will make it easier on the professors evaluating these assessment assignments at the end of each semester. The students’ responses must be at least one page in length. The quality of the writing itself (spelling, grammar, clarity, organization, proper use of business terminology, etc.) must receive a separate grade, in addition to any grade assigned to the project reflecting content or knowledge. If practical, the professor may want to use several assignments which specifically assess written communications skills.
Coverage of Ethical Issues
As part of the School’s policy of integrating ethics into the core courses, each FINC-301 class will discuss at least two ethical issues, and preferably more as time permits. The ethical issues can come from whatever source the professor chooses, including textbooks, magazines, the Wall Street Journal, etc. If an instructor would like some specific examples, contact the department chairperson. In addition to making excellent discussion topics for class discussion, the analyses of ethical issues can also make excellent projects for assessing written communication.
Statement of Expectations
This course is a required core course for all business majors. It provides the students with a foundation in the functional areas of corporate finance, and the concepts and analytical techniques will/may be utilized in some manner in other courses in the students’ major. It will certainly be utilized in the students’ business capstone course, Strategic Management MKMG-450. In the capstone course, the instructor will expect that the students have an understanding of the basic concepts and analytical tools covered in FINC-301, and can apply them to the specific situation at hand to make well reasoned decisions.
Therefore, students should have an inherent interest in mastering the material of this course. Students are expected to thoroughly prepare for class by completing any readings, homework problems, or other assignment given by the instructor. Students are expected to attend all classes and to actively participate in any class discussion or other class activity. Students are expected to fully complete any assignments given, and to turn in all assignments on time.
Students should have a basic understanding of the various functional areas of a firm: accounting, marketing, and management. Usually, this knowledge will be obtained through the core business classes.
In addition, students should understand the basic features of the income statement and balance sheet. Students should understand how the activities of the firm are represented on the financial statements. Students should understand basic accounting concepts such as depreciation, book values vs. market values, the accrual principle, and the matching principle. . Usually, this knowledge will be obtained through the core accounting class, ACCT-200.
Students should also understand the basic principles and concepts of microeconomics. Students should understand the characteristics of the various market structures (perfect competition, imperfect competition, oligopoly, and monopoly.) Students should understand the objective of the firm (and its managers.) Microeconomics develops the operations of a firm and its managers in a simple, one-period model. Managerial Finance I builds on this initial framework by extending the analysis to a more realistic multi-period framework. Usually, this knowledge will be obtained through the pre-core Microeconomics ECON-102 course.
Statement of Academic Integrity
(This section is based in part on the “Academic Integrity” section of the Siena College Catalog.)
Academic dishonesty of any sort will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to: cheating on an exam, working with other students in violation of the instructor’s policy, plagiarism, and computer abuse. Unless specifically stated by the instructor, all course work is to be completed independently. If a student is unsure of what specific activities may constitute academic dishonesty, the student must clarify this with the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the student guidelines on academic integrity, “Academic Integrity and the Siena Student”, in the Siena Life handbook.
The penalties for academic dishonesty are severe, and can range up to expulsion from the College. If a case is referred to the Siena Committee on Academic Integrity, the Committee will determine the appropriate penalty, and a statement of the incident will be placed in the student’s academic file.
Institutional Mechanism for Providing Feedback for Continuous Quality Improvement
At the end of each semester, the Finance Department will review the responses to the assessment questions to determine if the students are achieving the specified learning outcomes. The department, and/or individual professors, may also review other exam questions, case analyses, or other assignments to determine if the learning objectives are being met. If they are not being met, the department will take actions to help ensure that the objectives are met in the future.
Concepts and principles to be stressed throughout the course