FOCUS on pipeline

 for future CPAs


                

After completing my first year in academia, I got some great advice from my mother, who happened to be retired from a 30-year career in education. She told me, “Begin and complete all the tasks you have planned for the summer as soon as your classwork ends. School will start before you know it!” Starting my third year of academia, this statement has never been more true. Every year, summer break seems to be shorter and shorter.

While the traditional peak enrollment remains to be during fall and spring semesters, I have seen an increase in summer enrollment over the past several years. At Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, I advise approximately 40 students, many of whom work full time and/ or have families at home. To offset taking a full load during the regular fall and spring semesters, students are taking between 3 to 9 hours over the summer. With an increase in students opting for summer classes, NWOSU offers several courses and workshops geared toward the next generation of accountants.

 One course specifically related to the accounting profession offered at NWOSU this summer was a 4000-level CPA exam review course. Te development of the course is in response to several students expressing difficulty in finding a starting point for their CPA aspirations. In one word, the recurring theme for many upper-division accounting students has been “overwhelmed.” Students are overwhelmed with the requirements, additional education and various CPA exam study providers. Students are so overwhelmed that they just cannot find a starting point. Sometimes the starting point proves to be the hardest part. Te CPA exam review course is built

6 CPAFOCUS July/August 2019

specifically for individuals wanting to sit for the CPA exam. Tis course offers three credit hours to students, which was helpful for students that are short the hours they need to meet the 150-hour rule. Te course is offered as an independent study course tailored to each student. Te students are required to develop and adhere to a strict study plan along with gaining an understanding of the licensure process in Oklahoma.

  Te NWOSU Division of Business partnered with local businesses and professional groups to host a summer scholars’ program for high- achieving 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students. Te summer program is a three-day camp held in June on the NWOSU campus. Te vision of the program is to be a significant presence in the local communities in the Northwest Oklahoma area. Te mission of the program is to ignite and engage the minds of high performing youth through the study of businesses and entrepreneurial principles so they may become change agents and contributors for economic development in their communities. Te selected students receive business training and exposure to various professions, including the accounting profession, during their tenure on the NWOSU campus. Te program includes lectures from business faculty and professionals in the community along with corporate visits, business simulations and competitions. One sample competition activity includes students landing a “job” by acing the interview. Te students prepare for a mock job interview with a panel of local business owners as the interviewers. Tey receive feedback and tips that can be carried forward with them in future real-world situations.

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