A new laboratory space at Cazenovia College provides a higher level of academic rigor and an added sense of career realism for students taking finance and accounting courses. It features the same kinds of industry-utilized data technology, business-day amenities, and precise working environment students are likely to experience when they begin work in finance and accounting careers.

With recent remodeling and installations, Room 103 in Eddy Hall has been transformed into the College’s new Finance and Accounting Program Lab. The space is now equipped with digitized informational displays, five 60-inch monitors, a 75-inch-display TV, and about 75 feet of LED tickers. The tickers display stock prices and market indices from around the world, streaming continually updating data on screens around the room’s perimeter. The fully outfitted Lab has computers, software, and workstations for an instructor and up to 24 students.

The creation of the Finance and Accounting Program Lab on campus is part of the College’s larger goal to recruit students who want to pursue Finance and Accounting majors or minors. Moreover, the effort to equip the Lab as a realistic financial trading space is core to the College’s ongoing mission of providing “Real Life Learning for Real Life Success,” offering sophisticated, state-of-the-art facilities and technologies usually found primarily at larger universities but while providing a personalized, small-school campus experience.

Cazenovia’s Finance Program was implemented to prepare students for a variety of business careers, such as financial analyst, financing activities of commercial or investment banker, treasurer, controller, budget director, financial consultant, financial planner, portfolio manager, investment advisor, and broker. Louis Marcoccia, Ed.D., Finance Program Director and Jill Hebl St. Clair '62 Endowed Chair for Accounting and Finance, adds that finance is also a great area of study to combine with other Cazenovia College degree programs, such as accounting, hospitality, equine management, or fashion design/fashion merchandising, for students who may want to own and operate a business.

The program’s strength is that it exposes students to personal and business finance areas and provides the opportunity for them to pursue specific interest areas after gaining an initial awareness of finance fundamentals, Dr. Marcoccia says. Further, he notes that the finance curriculum looks at “the whole gamut of what’s involved in finance and what someone should need to know.” That includes sources and the flow of funds, markets and financial institutions, investments, commercial and investment banking, credit unions, and insurance companies, personal financial planning, cash flow and project budgeting, sources and movement of funds in markets, entrepreneurship, portfolio management, international markets and investing, derivatives, and investment and project valuation.  

“The Program establishes a wonderful foundation for anyone interested in a major, a dual major, or a minor in finance,” Dr. Marcoccia adds. “Finance is on the front burner of personal and business decisions, and it needs to be understood and properly applied by decision makers to achieve immediate and long-term aspirations and targets.”

The Finance Program allows students to pursue either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree either in four years of study or in an accelerated, three-year degree completion option.

Funds for establishing the space and outfitting the lab were contributed by Community Bank, N.A. and the J.M. McDonald Foundation, Inc., along with a grant from Empire State Development.

The investment in the Finance and Accounting Program was initiated based on statistics showing that the finance field has one of the fastest growing group of occupations, according to Dr. Marcoccia. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the industry is expected to expand at a rate of 30 percent before 2024. As a further bonus, New York State has the top level of employment for personal financial analysts and the highest average mean wage, which Dr. Marcoccia cites as enticements for students to study in the state and to perhaps remain in New York for employment after graduation.