By Karen Latchana Kenney
They come from a wide range of industries. Many train for other roles and earn degrees in other fields—accounting, law, business, and finance. Yet they land in compliance—and many say they do so accidentally, making it hard to prepare for their roles. Even when aiming for a career in compliance, degree programs are hard to find. But as the profession matures, some educational institutions are catching up by offering degrees specific to this high-demand industry.
One new online master’s degree program is being offered by the Santa Clara University School of Law during the 2019 fall semester. It’s the Santa Clara Law Masters of Corporate Compliance, which Associate Dean Sandee Magliozzi says is “an innovative program designed to respond to the needs of global industry.”
A practice-based program
The program evolved through talks with chief compliance officers about their needs. The law school wanted “to ensure that the program was competency-based, contextualized, collaborative, innovative, practical, and relevant,” Magliozzi said. “It was important to us to make sure that the program added value for students at the companies they work for. Each of the courses was developed from the ground up specifically for this program in collaboration with industry experts, instructional designers, and law faculty.”
It’s taught through a contextualized curriculum using SiVCo (a fictitious multinational conglomerate) “that provides a case environment in which students can access compliance-related situations and practice in a risk-free simulation,” Magliozzi said, and “all courses and scenarios are taught by compliance industry experts.”
Two of those industry experts are SCCE members: Eric Feldman, senior VP and managing director at Affiliated Monitors, and Art Weiss, chief compliance and ethics officer at TAMKO Building Products and vice president of the SCCE & HCCA Board of Directors.
Weiss is on the faculty, building scenarios and Q&As on the elements of a compliance program and various risk areas facing SiVCo. Students will use them to move through SiVCo’s dashboard during the curriculum.
Feldman’s teaching the Compliance Processes course, which “details the challenges and priorities in various compliance-related processes, including hiring, monitoring, policy drafting, training, communications, auditing and investigations,” he said. “As part of the program, I intend to have students use a case study company and develop various plans, communications, policies, and proposals related to compliance processes.”
Students of the course will learn through instructional videos, online discussions, and a variety of content written by compliance and ethics professionals that address some of the real-life tough questions and challenges faced by compliance officers.
Teaching with SCCE books
Two of the required texts for Feldman’s course are SCCE publications. He’ll be using parts of SCCE’s The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual and The Accidental Compliance Professional (by former SCCE & HCCA CEO Roy J. Snell).
Much of the course focuses on the mechanics of setting up a program, but there’s much more to the job than that. Feldman’s using The Accidental Compliance Professional in his course because it “provides a perspective that none of the other texts or articles provide: the human dimension of being a compliance professional, and the characteristics, outlook, thought process, and mistakes involved in learning how to do this job. Moreover, this book helps to provide a window into the best part of the job: the passion that many of us have for doing this work.”
An accelerated compliance degree
Santa Clara Law School developed the program to help “working compliance professionals achieve accelerated credentialing by obtaining a master’s degree in one year,” Magliozzi said. It “can also help business managers working in units that intersect with compliance to understand the legal and regulatory framework in which they are operating and enhance the skills they bring to support the business.”
Find out more about Santa Clara University’s online compliance master’s program here. And preview the SCCE books used in Feldman’s course on our compliance content portal COSMOS: The Accidental Compliance Professional and The Complete Compliance and Ethics Manual.
The Accidental Compliance Professional is filled with entertaining and practical lessons learned by Roy J. Snell during his 23 years running a compliance program and working with other compliance professionals. Find more practical lessons about working in compliance in the book.