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University of Akron dedicated to help accounting students succeed

Written on May 2, 2024

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

Combining real world experience with a strong curriculum is the key to having passionate accounting students, says one college educator.  

“When I talk with students, I ask them first what they’d like to do, and then I help them explore different paths,” said Jules Jones, JD, CPA, director and professor of practice at the University of Akron. “Because with accounting, you can do anything. And a lot of times, it's really about helping a student understand all their options.” 

The University of Akron offers an accounting bachelor’s degree, a master's in accountancy and a master’s in tax. The master’s in tax program is celebrating its 45th year this spring. They also have an accelerated program to help students earn the required 150 credits for licensure.  

The accounting program has partnered with the law school to offer a joint program to help students graduate in three years with their JD and master of tax. Jones herself is a graduate of that program.  

“We have such strong programs that aim to support students not only in the classroom, but also out of the classroom, and we want to always consider how can we help prepare them for their careers,” Jones said.  

She said having students connect with professionals is crucial so they can hear real world examples, and it’s beneficial for professionals and employers to see future accounting talent.  

In support of those efforts, they’ve partnered with the Ohio Auditor of State's office to bring projects into the classroom to work with live data and analytics. Tax students prepare real tax returns while being supervised by professors, and students can also take advantage of various professional development events throughout the year to help strengthen their interpersonal skills.  

The University of Akron has recently joined OSCPA’s University Sponsorship Program, a move Jones said is valuable to the school in continuing efforts to grow the accounting pipeline.  

“It's no secret that we need to be communicating with our upcoming and rising college students about what this career really is,” Jones said. “And I'm excited to be a part of that team and connecting with these future professionals about the opportunities this career path offers.” 

Participants in the University Sponsorship Program are offered free transformative CPA courses, are invited to attend networking events to find mentors and scholarships, participate in Instagram takeovers to connect with high school students and more. If your school is interested in joining the program, please contact Thera Gialluca ([email protected]) or Rebecca Hixen ([email protected]).   

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