The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) and its Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE), sponsor the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession (COAP) program on 11 college campuses across the state. Approximately 250 students are accepted into the program each year. The program is free to students.
COAP is a unique learning experience developed to expose promising underrepresented minority high school juniors to accounting and business careers. The program features successful minority role models and an introduction to the college campus. Most important, the program is designed to teach students about the breadth and depth of accounting as a career choice.
Programs can residential (students stay overnight) or nonresidential (students commute each day) and varies in length from three to five days. Sessions typically include:
- an accounting profession overview (panel discussion with a representative from a CPA firm, industry, education, young CPA and a college student)
- cost accounting
- forensic accounting
- basic accounting concepts
- technology in business and accounting
- Internet research
- business etiquette
- interviewing skills
- dressing for success
- public speaking
- college prep/financial aid
- resume writing
But it’s not just about course work, students are taken on field trips and given an opportunity to visit corporations, accounting firms, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies in order to gain exposure to the business world. In addition, recreational activities are incorporated into the program. At the conclusion of each program, a formal banquet is held which features a keynote speaker, and students are presented with awards and certificates. Often a COAP alum is asked to serve as the keynote speaker. Each of the student participants is given a role in the event and parents/guardians are invited to attend.
The COAP program provides participants with a unique introduction to the accounting profession. By attending sessions on campus and interacting with students from other schools who share similar interests and career goals, COAP also provides an idea of what the college experience will be like. The tremendous majority of the participants leave with a sense of having been part of something special.
Click here for information about programs in your area.