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UAlbany, State Society of CPAs Offer Accounting Program to Give Minority Students an Edge

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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High school student with books

Thirty-four area minority high school students are on the University at Albany campus to explore career opportunities in accounting.  (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 25, 2010) -- Thirty-four area minority high school students will head to the University at Albany campus to explore career opportunities in accounting. The four-day Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program is being offered by the Foundation for Accounting Education of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) and the UAlbany School of Business to high school juniors from Catholic Central, Albany, Ballston Spa, Bethlehem Central, Bishop Maginn, Colonie, Lansingburgh, Schenectady, Shaker, Shenendehowa and Troy high schools from June 28 to July 1.

Minorities comprise just 8 percent of the number of certified accountants in the U.S. The reasons for the dearth lie in popular perceptions of the profession as unglamorous, lack of consistent public interaction with CPAs, and the time commitment needed for CPA certification.

The COAP program aims to reverse the trend of minorities avoiding the accounting professions. It offers students opportunities to interact with successful minority role models and gain exposure to the corporate environment. Highlights of the program include site visits to the University’s Accounting Office and to PricewaterhouseCoopers in downtown Albany, and sessions on interviewing, public speaking, accounting fraud, and Microsoft Office basics. A Diversity Panel, NYSSCPA Young Professionals Panel, and Dining Etiquette sessions are also included in the program.

COAP programs will be held at 11 different colleges and universities across the state this year. More than 1,900 students have taken part in COAP programs since it began in 1987. Recent surveys have shown that on average 90 percent of COAP graduates go on to college and 53 percent study business or accounting.

The University at Albany's COAP program has seen tremendous growth over the last couple of years. Due to an aggressive recruiting plan in the early spring, participation has doubled since 2008.

"We’re very excited about this year," said event organizer Tyrone Reid, the UAlbany School of Business finance and administration director. "We have a very dynamic group of students coming from a diverse selection of area schools with various backgrounds."

About NYSSCPA
The NYSSCPA, representing 28,000 CPAs, is the oldest state accounting organization in the nation. Incorporated in 1897, the Society is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to establish and maintain high standards of integrity, honor, and character among certified public accountants.

The New York State Society of CPAs is located at 3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016.To learn more about the Society call 800-633-6320.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

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