Haverhill High School to host first accounting-focused academy, promoting the profession to underrepresented populations
BOSTON—August 28, 2018 – The Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) is launching a new early college academy focused on accounting at Haverhill High School today that will allow high school students to earn up to 12 college credits through the University of Massachusetts—Lowell (UMass Lowell). The academy is the first accounting-focused, early college initiative in Massachusetts.
The MSCPA led a broad range of stakeholders, including Haverhill High School, NAF and UMass Lowell, to develop this academy geared towards careers in the accounting industry. The goal is to increase the number of first generation and diverse entrants into the accounting profession.
Data from the American Institute of CPAs shows that minorities represent only one in six professionals in accounting firms nationwide, a statistic the profession hopes to change.
Additionally, accounting is often a second-generation career—people with CPAs for parents frequently follow them into accounting. The new academy at Haverhill High School is the latest initiative executed by the MSCPA to address these issues and help build a pipeline of diverse young people interested in accounting. The MSCPA hopes to scale this program to high school across the state in the coming years.
“The MSCPA believes increasing diversity in the accounting industry will strengthen the profession as a whole,” said Amy Pitter, president and CEO of the MSCPA. “The new academy in Haverhill will open doors for local students and is a testament to the profession’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels.”
Lori Capra, a teacher at Haverhill High and the academy lead, is working with the MSCPA team to bring education, business and community leaders together to expose students to industry-specific curricula and work-based learning experiences. Part of that effort was the creation of an academy advisory board to help guide the development and structure of the program.
“We feel inspired by the possibilities this program has to offer our diverse student population at Haverhill High,” said Capra.
Participating students will gain exposure to the fundamentals of accounting, economics, statistics and information technology. They will also benefit from real-life experience that will augment their classroom studies through a mandatory internship program supported by area accounting firms and businesses. Community leaders will also provide mentorship opportunities and participate in work-based learning exercises. Upon completion of the academy, students will earn up to 12 college credits through UMass Lowell at no additional cost.
“We are excited to have an opportunity to collaborate with the MSCPA, NAF and Haverhill High School for this program. I have worked for many years with a variety of high schools in order to increase awareness of accounting as a career path and I believe the structure and support of this program will go a long way in terms of informing the students about the tremendous opportunities in the profession,” said Sandra Richtermeyer, Dean of the Manning School of Business at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has also been an accounting professor for many years.
The academy is part of NAF’s Academy of Finance. The Academy of Finance connects high school students with the world of financial services, offering a curriculum that covers banking and credit, financial planning, international finance, securities, insurance, accounting, and economics. The Academy of Finance is NAF’s founding industry theme. It started in 1982 with 30 students and today serves 26,000 nationwide in over 200 academies. According to NAF, 98 percent of participating seniors graduate from high school and 89 percent go on to a college or university.
“The NAF Academy of Finance has stood the test of time and continues to make a difference in the lives of students. I am confident it will create a world of opportunities for students at Haverhill,” said JD Hoye, President of NAF.
Ten students are currently enrolled in the new academy at Haverhill High School; it is fully funded by the MSCPA’s Educational Foundation, whose mission is to inspire and support the next generation of CPAs in Massachusetts. The Educational Foundation also runs two summer programs for diverse young people interested in careers in business and accounting and supports future CPAs through a scholarship program. For more information about the academy and Educational Foundation, visit mscpaonline.org/edfoundation.
About the Massachusetts Society of CPAs:
The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, Inc. is the state professional association of certified public accountants, representing over 11,000 members in public accounting practice, industry and business, government and education. The Society works to develop and maintain high professional standards and offers a wide array of legislative, technical and referral services to its members.