N.C. A&T to Host Future CPA Career Exploration Summit

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 6, 2019) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is preparing to host as many as 50 students from 16 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the Southeast during the Future CPA Career Exploration Summit this week.

The summit, set for Nov. 8-9, is sponsored by N.C. A&T State University, along with the Center of Audit Quality and the American Institute of CPAs through its Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Kevin James, Ph.D., dean of the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics at N.C. A&T, said the event is intended to strengthen students’ professional skills and understanding of the possibilities and benefits that come from earning the CPA credential.

“As a primary producer of African American CPAs for more than three decades, North Carolina A&T has a long history of impact on efforts to diversify the accounting profession,” said James. “We are proud to continue that legacy by helping initiate this summit.”

Summit activities will include networking and sessions on the CPA exam, corporate life and leadership.

The goals of the event are: to encourage underrepresented students in undergraduate accounting programs to pursue Certified Public Accountant credential; provide professional development and a support network that will help ensure the success of these students as they pursue their CPA credential; and connect these students with potential employers that may not recruit at their home HBCUs.

Participating students will represent N.C. A&T, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University, St. Augustine's University and Winston-Salem State University – all in North Carolina – Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College – in South Carolina – and from Virginia, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Union University and Virginia State University.

Participating in the event also may prompt students to pursue graduate studies through programs such as N.C. A&T’s Master of Accountancy, which has its inaugural class this fall. Through this program, the university seeks to build a class of students who can engage collaboratively as a community of learner toward excellence in research, scholarship, creative expression and community engagement.

Data from the most recent U.S. Census show African Americans make up less than 9% of those classified as accountants and auditors, about 7% of all financial analysts and managers and only about 3% of all CPAs. Initiatives like the Future CPA Career Exploration Summit and the Master of Accountancy program aim to increase minority representation in these fields, James said.