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College to offer new accounting program

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College to offer new accounting program

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In response to changes in the Vermont certified public accountant (CPA) exam requirements, Henrique Cezar, professor of business and economics at JSC, created the new certificate of proficiency in Accounting Program, which will begin in the fall 2014 semester.

The changes that Vermont has made for all candidates for CPA licensure will be effective July 1, 2014. Previously, the requirement was to complete 120 credit hours in a college or university, 30 of which had to be in accounting. The new program will require students to earn 150 credits with 42 being in accounting-related classes.

Whereas Castleton State responded to this change by establishing a master’s degree program in accounting, Cezar took another route. He established a certificate program separate from the undergraduate program.

“We were debating here and saying, ‘so, how can you make this possible for a student.’ 150 credits is 30 credits more than you earn when you leave Johnson State with a business management degree,” Cezar said. “One option would be to go to a master’s degree program. The reason we decided not to do the master’s program is that the Vermont CPA Board of Accountancy doesn’t require a master’s degree.”

Cezar also said that a master’s degree program is more expensive and rigorous for students, with a much different format than a bachelor’s degree, and most students pursuing accounting do not want a master’s. They just want to get their license.

He also wanted the option of pursuing a license in accounting to be available to a wider range of students. With a certificate you could have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, for example, and be able to come back to college to earn the 42 credits in accounting that are required to take the CPA exam. Then the student would earn a certificate in accounting rather than take another four years to complete a bachelor’s degree in business management, and continue on another few years to get a master’s.

“This program is marketed to not only business management students, but it is marketed to anyone. They are able to fulfill that need if the wish to,” said Cezar, who believes this model is much better from a professional point of view.

At the moment, no other Vermont college offers the certificate in accounting opportunity that Johnson State College will be offering come fall.

Other state colleges such as Lyndon State College, Norwich University, and UVM have yet to announce the changes they will make in their accounting programs to comply with the new requirements.

 

 

 

 

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Kayla Friedrich, Editor in Chief

Kayla served as a general assignment reporter and photographer for the spring 2013 semester.  She returned for the Fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters...

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College to offer new accounting program