By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
Students at Kent State University have the opportunity to earn a professional designation before they’ve even earned their undergraduate degree.“The CGMA will help students stand out,” said Wendy Tietz, professor in the accounting department at Kent State. “It gives you a competitive advantage. But I'm also hearing from my students, that the information is very much real-life based, and they understand how they can use it.”
The AICPA is running a pilot program offering students a chance to earn the CGMA in one of their college courses. Tietz heard about the opportunity through her involvement on the CPA Evolution Core Curriculum Committee and advocated for Kent State to be one of the five schools involved.
“I was so excited when I heard about the pilot schools,” Tietz said. “I knew we definitely wanted to be one.”
The 37 students enrolled in her Advanced Management Accounting course have each been given a scholarship for 14 months from the AICPA. They must complete six different certificates, along with the business simulations and two exams. That coupled with their work experience requirement would give them the CGMA certificate.
“If they finish within the 14 months, there's no cost to them,” she said. “It includes the exam fee, application, review, everything is built into it.”
All students in the class are either seniors majoring in accounting or graduates seeking their master of science degree in accounting, so Tietz said they have the necessary base.
“This knowledge is pulling together a lot of things they've gotten into the curriculum at this point and pulling it together in a practical manner,” she said.
So far Tietz has said the student response has been positive, and about a third of students now are slated to finish the designation with the 14-month timeframe, while more than half are on track with their certificates.
Tietz said the AICPA aims to continue the program at Kent State after this pilot program ends.
“We think it's a really great opportunity,” she said. “And we plan to continue into the foreseeable future.”