This fall, La Salle University will be offering a new master’s program in Economic Crime Forensics (ECF), the first of its kind in the region. The program, which will be offered primarily online and can be completed in two years, will prepare students to enter the field of economic crime and digital computer forensics in careers as internal and external fraud auditors, digital forensics specialists, and data and network security managers.
La Salle’s ECF program will continue to serve the regional needs addressed by the graduate certificate in Fraud and Forensics Accounting with the enhancement of including computer security and forensics issues related to economic crime. A report on 2010 fraud trends noted, “Fraud losses cost the financial and retail industries more than $200 billion annually. And these losses are only expected to grow, as cybercriminals and their crimes become more sophisticated.”
According to Margaret McCoey, an assistant professor of computer science at La Salle and director of the ECF, “The majority of occupations for this target audience are growing at above the projected national average projected growth rate of 10 percent,” said McCoey. “These statistics indicate the proposed program will provide additional workforce development in the region.”
The ECF is ideal for professionals who are working in the financial area of an organization and tasked to deal with economic crime,” said McCoey. “In some cases this involves workers in an auditing capacity,” said McCoey. “In others it involves planning procedures so that economic crime is discouraged.” This may involve students with backgrounds in Accounting, Criminal Justice, or Economics desiring additional skills to enhance their credentials or explore a new career path, said McCoey. It also provides graduates of La Salle’s certificate in Fraud and Forensic Accounting program the opportunity to complete a Master’s degree.
“Students will learn to devise and execute plans and processes for deterring economic crime, and will develop the specialized knowledge and skills for a professional career,” said McCoey. “They will be taught the standards and best practices of forensics and litigation support, and will be trained with the managerial and communication skills to become corporate leaders in fraud prevention.”
There will be two tracks: Corporate Fraud and Network Security. Corporate Fraud will be delivered 100 percent online and deals primarily with areas in accounting by focusing on the deterrence and prevention of economic crime through the review of business statements, practices and procedures. Network Security attempts to deter economic crime through practice and implementation of security measures on information networks. The Network Security program will merge the online format with established meetings at La Salle’s main campus in Northwest Philadelphia. Students will be required to develop competencies in fraud detection and analysis, legal and corporate compliance issues, risk analysis and mitigation, and investigation practices and principles. The program will teach students how to participate ethically and professionally in the global market by assessing corporate cultures and evaluating business standards.
The ECF will combine professional and technology standards with legal investigation processes and leadership skills. The curriculum blends theory with practice through evaluation of economic crime cases and is designed to address the need for professionals skilled in detection, prevention, and litigation support.
For more information about the Master of Science in Economic Crime Forensics program, please call 215.951.1136 or visit www.lasalle.edu/economiccrime.