Faculty Who Care
Assistant Professor, Accounting
Susan Snyder is an accounting professor in the school of professional studies. Professor Snyder has 15 years of experience teaching various accounting courses to college students in pursuit of business administration and accounting degrees. Additionally, Professor Snyder has 10 years of industry experience holding such positions as financial analyst, tax accountant and senior accountant.
As part of her graduate coursework at Strayer University, Professor Snyder conducted a research project under the direction of Dr. William Makkawi and authored a paper titled "The Integrated Approach to Teaching Ethics: Does It Support the AICPA's Code of Professional Conduct?"
Outside of the classroom, my partner Ed and I are carefully navigating the teenage years while raising our beautiful 16 year-old daughter, Kelli. The challenges of raising a teen can be overwhelming, exhausting and completely and utterly rewarding at the same time! In addition to attending my daughter's track meets and school activities, I enjoy reading, gardening, traveling and caring for a small brood of spoiled pets.
My mission as an educator is threefold: to promote active learning; to spark enthusiasm for learning; and to provide a strong foundation of skills that students can apply in the workplace.
I am drawn to the rewards and challenges of teaching. When I teach, I feel like I am not only contributing to the intellectual growth of my students, but also to their personal and professional growth as well. I like knowing that I am helping individuals to increase their opportunities in life through education.
My focus is on active student learning with a goal to engage all students while covering the objectives of the course. I want each student to leave my course feeling like they are confident in the material and that they are able to apply the concepts to real situations in the workplace. My responsibility as an educator is to facilitate learning (helping students to learn) and I believe that my teaching style achieves that goal. Learning is primarily the student's responsibility, whereas teaching is my responsibility. My emphasis is on helping students to learn, rather than just dispensing my knowledge to them.
In the classroom, I prefer leading interactive discussions rather than lecture. During classroom discussions, I cover a critical topic or objective, then assign either a group/team activity or an individual practice assignment where students can apply what we just covered. Upon completion of those activities, we then discuss the results. Online, I use a combination of videos, PowerPoints, discussion Boards, web links and collaboration tools to engage students in the learning process.
I believe that effective teaching is comprised of two necessary and related elements: knowledge of the content and ability to communicate it. Knowing the material is not enough to be effective in teaching it; likewise, communication skills won't work alone. Thus, I take care to fully understand the concepts I expect to cover and to make them understandable to the students. I keep my knowledge current and organize my presentations with the student's learning in mind. I also emphasize the importance of communication by using humor and a variety of teaching techniques to make learning enjoyable and to motivate students to learn.
I follow these basic principles in teaching: being enthusiastic for each class and letting it show; learning about each student in the course; organizing each class well; using a presentation style that maximizes student interest; and using a variety of teaching methods to present the material. I use humor in my presentations to spark student interest and to make my presentations engaging and I gauge my effectiveness based on the outcomes achieved by my students. In the classroom, I take visual cues from students based on their expressions and questions as to whether they comprehend the material or if I need to take an alternate approach with different materials/methods. With assignments and tests, I critically examine the results to see if there are any areas that appear as though student understanding was weak. If needed I will hit those content areas again and/or make changes to the assessment if it is determined that is necessary.
I truly believe education is a lifelong process. As an educator, my goal is to instill a passion for education and an understanding of the many opportunities that are created through education.