10 Questions You Should Ask Before You Enroll in a Degree Program

College education requires a tremendous investment of time, energy, and money.  The Department of Accounting at North Carolina A&T State University offers an extraordinary return on that investment.  Before you select an undergraduate degree program, we encourage you to ask these 10 questions:

What types of career opportunities are available to graduates?

Accounting majors are among the most sought-after graduates every year, and their starting salaries are among the highest on campus.  Our graduates work in public accounting, industry, government, and not-for-profit agencies.  An accounting degree is also excellent preparation for law school and other graduate business programs.  This demand has persisted for decades through boom times and weak economies.  Check out any list of “hot” career choices and you will find accounting at or near the top.

How can I evaluate the quality of the program?

Accreditation is a key indicator of program quality.  The undergraduate business programs at A&T were accredited by AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - in May 1979.  The undergraduate accounting program was separately accredited in April 1986, making A&T the first undergraduate accounting program at a historically black university to be accredited and one of only four accredited accounting programs in North Carolina.  Students in the A&T accounting program have also been well represented in national scholarship competitions.

Will I work directly with highly-qualified full-time faculty?

Our faculty is top notch, and our students get the full benefit of working closely with them in all accounting courses.  The Department of Accounting has thirteen full-time faculty members, the majority of whom hold earned doctorates in accounting or the equivalent in their specialty area.  Ten are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and several hold other professional certifications.
Accounting courses at A&T are taught by professors, not graduate students.  Classes average between 20-30 students to insure that students receive individual attention.  Faculty also maintain extensive office hours and are happy to schedule appointments with students.  Serving student needs is our top priority.

Are scholarships available based on academic performance?

The Department of Accounting at North Carolina A&T State University is committed to attracting and retaining talented students.  We offer merit-based, academic scholarships to highly-qualified students on a competitive basis.  Academic performance in high school, SAT scores, class rank, and participation in extracurricular activities are all considered in scholarship decisions. Successful accounting majors have typically followed a strong college preparatory curriculum in high school focusing on language, mathematics, and analytical thinking skills.
Annually, as many as 20 entering freshmen accounting majors receive scholarship awards from the Department.  Please contact the department chair, to inquire about scholarships.

Do students have internships and other professional development opportunities?

The ALOBEAEM Accounting Society at A&T has sponsored a Private Industry Workshop (PIW) for over 25 years.  The “PIW” brings recruiters from America’s top employers to campus to recruit summer interns.  Public accounting firms also recruit interns through the Office of Career Services.
Many accounting students intern after both their sophomore and junior years.  Many accounting majors work as summer interns at some of the world’s largest accounting firms and industrial corporations each summer.  Internship salaries are highly competitive, and students have opportunities to work locally or in locations throughout the United States.  Occasionally, student internship experiences have incorporated overseas travel.

What student organizations are available to majors?

The Department of Accounting supports the ALOBEAEM Accounting Society, which is open to all accounting majors and is affiliated with the National Association of Black Accountants.  Students may also qualify for membership in Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting fraternity.  The Zeta Sigma chapter of Beta Alpha Psi at A&T has been recognized as “Superior” for 26 consecutive years.  Accounting majors are also eligible for membership in Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest academic recognition available to business students.  Students are also encouraged to participate in Aggie Toastmasters.
The programs of these and many other campus organizations are a part of our commitment to develop well-rounded business professionals.  In addition to acquiring technical skills, accounting majors are continuously encouraged to build confidence by developing their communication and leadership abilities.

What other types of support are available for students?

Students at A&T can take advantage of many forms of academic and personal support offered on campus.  Accounting honor students offer regular tutorial sessions for students in introductory accounting courses.  Faculty throughout the School of Business and Economics participate in volunteer tutoring.  The School of Business and Economics operates a Writing Center and a Learning Resource Laboratory.  The University’s Center for Student Success provides academic counseling to freshmen of all majors.
Accounting majors also enjoy the support provided by a “community” of faculty and fellow students.  Aggie Pride is not just for football games.

Are students exposed to leading edge technology?

Students in the School of Business and Economics are continuously exposed to computer technology during their education at A&T.  Computer laboratories provide access to state-of-the-art hardware, the Internet, a wide variety of business databases and many library resources.  Course materials are also available on websites, and communication via email is common.  Both students and faculty routinely employ database, spreadsheet, word processing, and presentation software in classes.

Will the program prepare me for professional certification?

Accounting graduates meet the requirements for many professional certifications simply by completing the degree program at A&T.  Those seeking the CPA certificate in states that require 150 hours of education may follow a variety of routes.  Many have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at some of the country’s most prestigious graduate schools of business.  Some have elected to seek practical experience and then return to graduate school.
Students enrolled in the accounting program who wish to pursue graduate study immediately upon the completion of their undergraduate degree are encouraged to enroll in the School’s Master of Science in Management program with a concentration in Information Systems.  This program provides students with the academic background required to meet the 150-hour requirement in most states and can be specifically tailored to meet the requirements of any state in which the student wishes to pursue employment and certification.

Is there strong demand for the program’s graduates?

Over 40 major employers visit the campus of North Carolina A&T State University to recruit accounting majors.  These employers represent all of the world’s largest accounting firms and many of the largest industrial and service corporations in the United States.  As a result, the Department of Accounting places an average of 90% of its honor graduates before graduation.  Our starting salaries are among the highest on campus, and top graduates typically have multiple job opportunities from which to choose.
At the end of each semester, the Department of Accounting surveys graduating seniors to get feedback on the program’s strengths and weaknesses.  To date, every survey respondent has indicated that they either “Agree” (a few) or “Strongly Agree” (most) with the following statement:

“If I could start over again, I would choose North Carolina A&T State University.”

If you think that accounting at A&T might be right for you, please contact:

Dr. Kevin James, Chairperson
Department of Accounting and Finance
School of Business and Economics
North Carolina A&T State University
224 Merrick Hall / 1601 E. Market Street
Greensboro, NC  27411
Telephone: 336- 334-7581
Fax:  336- 256-2274
Email:  kljames@ncat.edu