Adelphi's Department of Accounting and Law has developed a new and distinctive approach that enhances its curriculum and increases students' chances of completing the exam at about the time they receive their graduate degree.
The CPA exam is one of the most difficult professional tests in the United States. With a passing rate of less than 50 percent (and an even lower rate for people taking it for the first time), it’s a grueling four-part exam that must be successfully completed in order to receive a license as a certified public accountant.
Most people take the exam after starting work at an accounting firm, but there are good reasons to complete it while in school. One is that many companies offer financial bonuses to those who have already passed.
Adelphi’s Department of Accounting and Law has always helped students in its graduate program prepare for the CPA exam, but now it has developed a new and distinctive approach that enhances its curriculum and increases students’ chances of completing the exam at about the time they receive their graduate degree.
The only program of its kind on Long Island
Starting in March this year, Becker Professional Education—a nationally recognized leader in CPA exam review—will host its trademark review sessions on the Adelphi campus. This makes Adelphi the only university in the Long Island, Brooklyn and Queens area to offer this program.
The sessions will correspond to the four distinct parts of the exam, with all four parts covered over the course of an academic year. Once one portion is covered, students can review and sit for that part of the exam.
The goal of the program is to give Adelphi’s accounting students a real opportunity to pass the exam before starting their professional careers, which is something that can help them stand out when looking for a job.
“The program will supplement the education the students are getting from their accounting courses on campus,” said Art Leibowitz, accounting professor and former partner at PwC. “While the accounting courses are geared towards molding our students into professionals, the Becker program helps them focus on the exam while in school, rather than when they’re working long hours in their first job.”
An advanced curriculum for success
The Department of Accounting and Law is also developing an advanced curriculum for its students that will soon be sent to New York state for approval and registration.
“We’re very excited about it,” Leibowitz said, “because we do think it’s going to offer our students an edge in terms of pursuing their careers.”
This advanced track will enhance Adelphi’s current curriculum, which is strong in itself. For example, many courses already incorporate quizzes from Gleim Exam Prep, another recognized review provider.
“This helped us adapt to the nature of the exam questions as well as learn what to expect when sitting for the different sections of the exam,” said Arianna Georgiadis ’13, M.B.A. ’14, who is now a senior tax accountant at Mazars USA LLP.
Georgiadis also pointed to her accounting professors. “The professors at Adelphi are so intelligent, caring and insightful,” she said. “Many are CPAs and are able to provide personal experiences and insight into how we should prepare for the exam.”
Networking events with industry leaders
The Department of Accounting and Law hosts a networking event each October, to which roughly 15 firms send representatives to meet accounting students on campus.
“We’ve structured this event so that it is right at the beginning of the recruiting season,” Leibowitz said. “Our students come in business attire and meet with people they’ll ultimately be interviewing with for jobs.”
In fact, 30 to 40 percent of these professionals are Adelphi alumni.
“It gives them a chance to feel like they’re giving back to the university, and it gives our students an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, this university has produced some really top-notch business people!’ ” Leibowitz added.
The department also hosted a Women in Accounting event in February with a panel of four women, three of whom are alumnae. “These women had so much to share in regard to their careers in financial services, as well as current events and hot topics,” said Georgiadis, who moderated the event. “It is so important for the students to hear from people in the field and to listen to their career and life experiences.”
Empowering students to launch their careers
The Becker CPA review program, enhanced curriculum and networking events will do even more to prepare students for their careers and increase their chances of completing the CPA exam before they start their first job. Most importantly, these programs can empower students to become candidates that any firm would be lucky to have.
“People in the profession will look at Adelphi and say, ‘Wow, your students are truly ready to pursue their careers,'” Leibowitz said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
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