Syllabus for FIN-301

PRINCIPLES OF FINANCE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Principles of Finance serves as an introduction to financial management. Financial management is concerned with value and, when applied to firms, studies financial decision making and its impact on the value of the firm. Virtually all management decisions have financial implications, and the impact of these decisions on the value of the firm is the basis by which management is judged. Superior management produces superior financial decisions that lead to growth and increased valuation of the firm.

This course considers specific financial decisions such as selecting among alternative investments (i.e., capital budgeting), the sources of the firm's finances (i.e., the optimal capital structure), the management of current assets and liabilities (i.e., working capital), and the tools of financial analysis. The course emphasizes analytical tools and their use in solving financial problems.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By successfully completing the learning activities of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify short and long term financial management problems.
  2. Utilize optimal capital structure to manage financial performance.
  3. Analyze financial statements in order to make financial decisions.
  4. Articulate how the cost of capital is defined and measured.
  5. Calculate present value using applicable present value tables.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following textbook to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

  • Basic Finance: An Introduction to Financial Institutions, Investments, and Management, 10th ed., by Herbert B. Mayo (Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2012)

ISBN-13: 978-1-111-82063-3

COURSE STRUCTURE

Principles of Finance is a three-credit online course, consisting of seven (7) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You will be required to participate in five (5) graded online discussion assignments, in addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum in Module 1. Two of the discussion assignments (in Modules 5 and 7) are devoted to a short research project.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted assignment and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful. You can find the Online Discussion Grading Rubric in the Evaluation Rubrics Folder in the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete seven (7) written assignments. The written assignments consist of problem sets from the textbook that you are to complete and submit to your mentor for correction and grading. When preparing the assignments, please identify each problem clearly by textbook chapter and problem number. To receive full credit for your answers, you must show all work and include complete solutions.

Midterm Examination

Principles of Finance requires you to take a closed-book, proctored midterm examination. Consult the course Calendar for the scheduling of this exam.

The midterm is two hours long and covers material from Modules 1–4 of the course (Chapters 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14). The exam consists of objective questions (true or false questions and multiple-choice) and numerical problems. Bring a calculator.

Note: While you are permitted to use a calculator (scientific, graphing, or financial), you may not use a calculator on a phone, PDA, or any similar device.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Paper

You are required at the end of the semester to submit a Final Paper, in which you will perform a financial analysis of a publicly traded company. You will examine the company on several financial factors and provide an evidence-based opinion regarding its financial soundness.

This Final Paper will be worth 20 percent of your final grade for the course. For details of this activity, see the Final Paper section of the course Web site. For details regarding the due date, see the Course Calendar.

To conduct research for the Final Paper, you will need a library card to access the NJ State Library, which is free for TESC students. Be sure to apply early in the semester, as it may take several weeks to receive your card. https://www.njstatelib.org/research_library/get_a_library_card/state_employee_and_tesc_students/

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Plagiarism

Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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