Professor, Business Administration
Norco College School of Business & Management
Patty Worsham never enjoyed studying accounting. That's ironic because now, she teaches it. So, to make sure her students don't have the same opinion on what it's like to study the subject, she employs humor and contemporary references, and works to find unique ways to engage them.
“I like to pick the brains of other teachers, regardless of what they teach or where,” says Patty. “I find out what works for them and I'm always up for trying something new. In class we learn by doing, it's not likely you'll ever catch me just talking at my students for hours.” Sometimes, it's as simple as using fun analogies for basic accounting principles, like different neighborhoods or far off places. We refer to Accounts Receivable as ‘Purgatory’”, she laughs. “The money doesn’t stay there forever; it’s always on its way somewhere.”
Though Patty received her Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from UC Santa Barbara, her MBA at Cal Poly Pomona, and has done coursework towards her PhD at Claremont Graduate University, much of what prepared her for teaching came from her experience as an entrepreneur. She worked for the Lockheed Corporation out of college, followed by a small parachute manufacturing company that did work for the Department of Defense. She and several partners later bought the company, and co-owned and operated it for more than ten years. Eventually, Patty realized that her journey might be in a different direction. She resigned as the Vice President of Finance and Administration for Paranetics Technology, Inc., sold her interest in the company, and soon after went into teaching full time. Almost twenty years later, 15 of those years at Norco College, she can’t imagine being anywhere else.
“What’s great about Norco College is that you have lots of different pockets of students,” Patty says. “You have kids who just graduated from high school and are still figuring out where they are going. I love helping them identify what their educational finish line is and how to reach it. You have returning adults who got started and sidetracked— they are very enthusiastic about their education. You have students who are here for the financial value, some who don’t want a four-year degree but have a goal, some who just need a couple of classes to advance their careers. Accounting appeals to all types of students, so my class is a wonderful mix of all these people on different journeys.”
Patty’s path to teaching began when she approached a professor, who let her shadow him for more than a year and a half. She attended every class, graded papers, and even taught some of his lectures. He suggested that she teach a class at Cal Poly Pomona in entrepreneurship, and in 1997 she began teaching at the university as an adjunct professor. “My favorite moments in the classroom are the ones when you can see the students begin to understand the concept under discussion,” Patty explains. “I love seeing them successful. I love my role in guiding them down this road and knowing what a difference it’s going to make in their life. I love making that connection with them. It’s one that we both remember long after they’ve left.”
When she is not working, Patty loves to spend time with her husband Tere, and immerse herself in the various activities of her two kids, Katherine and Liam. She also loves to do volunteer work, recently completing the National Charity League’s “Relay for Life” with her daughter, as well as donating her time to Ability First and the Foothill Family Shelter, a transitional housing facility for the homeless. From 2008-2010, Patty served as a San Bernardino County Commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Women. An avid fan of both traveling and the sport of competitive cycling, she and her family once traveled to Europe to watch a few stages of the prestigious Tour de France. In fact, Patty has completed a Half Ironman herself!
To view the Business Administration program page, click here.