SU grads rank high in 2013 CPA exam passage rate

Shippensburg University’s John L. Grove College of Business ranked in the top 40 nationally among mid-sized programs last year in the success rate of its graduates taking the certified public accountant exam, according to a recent report.

The report by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) showed that SU ranked 37th out of 261 schools whose graduates passed the national CPA exam on their first try.

NASBA includes Shippensburg in its medium-sized schools category, which encompasses programs that have between 21 and 60 graduates taking all or some of the four-part exam. Only one other Pennsylvania school had a higher percentage than the 66.7 percent of SU grads who passed the exam on their first attempt, and Shippensburg was the only university in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education with a nationally accredited business college that made last year’s rankings. Grove College is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

“We are very pleased by these results. It’s a real credit to our accounting faculty and our program,” said Dr. John Kooti, dean of the Grove College of Business. "Our curriculum is designed to prepare our students well for the exam. Our accreditation is why we have such a curriculum in place. Faculty work with the students to give them the experience necessary to do well, and we have a strong group of alumni who help each other; they provide additional support to the candidates who are taking the exam.”

According to Dr. Jay Mackie, department chair, “We are very pleased with the results of the NASBA rankings for the CPA exam. It reflects well on both the quality of our students and the quality of the faculty in the department. We have a very talented group of accounting majors who are pursuing careers in public accounting and are very motivated to succeed in their chosen profession. Their success, as shown by the rankings, is great evidence of the quality and character of our students. As faculty, we strive to educate our students and prepare all students for their future careers. For those entering public accounting, these results are very satisfying. These results reflect well on the quality of our faculty and their teaching abilities. Having taught these students, I am very well aware of their quality and motivation to succeed and seeing these results are a confirmation of that quality.”

Grove College has about 315 accounting majors, Kooti said.