Orlando’s NAF Next 2016 convention, the accounting industry’s flagship event, provided a backdrop for The American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) and NAF’s joint announcement of a brand-new high school program beginning nationwide this fall.
Over 200 Academies of Finance will officially open as the AICPA/NAF Recognition Program in 117 different school districts across 32 states plus the Virgin Islands, thanks to efforts by industry leaders to create a viable program attracting students to the field.
The curriculum will use multiple learning modalities to serve diverse student bodies, with instruction in technical accounting and finance as well as “soft skills” such as communication and time management to prepare students to become Certified Public Accountants.
“We’ve been extremely encouraged by the results thus far from the AICPA/NAF Recognition Program and are excited to expand our work with NAF to a nationwide model this school year,” AICPA’s Kim Drumgo, vice chair of the National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, stated at the event, which is scheduled to close today.
NAF is a national network of education, business, and civic leaders who collaborate to ensure high school students are college and career ready, with a special focus on high need communities. It strives to make high school curriculum choices relatable to work-based experience through internships in finance, hospitality and tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences.
“We’ve seen repeatedly that early exposure to accounting courses and information about the opportunities that being a CPA offers increases the likelihood that students decide to enter the accounting profession,” Drumgo said. “This program is a way to increase the diversity … by drawing from the widest pool of talented students as possible.”