Starting in Fall 2013, business students who want to specialize in accounting will no longer have to go “over the hill” to complete their degrees. Oregon State University-Cascades will be adding the accounting major to their list of programs.
This program is coming in conjunction with the projected OSU-Cascades expansion, according to Marla Hacker, Dean of Academics at OSU Cascades.
“With the new university coming, this is just one of the new programs we will be adding to our list,” said Hacker.
There has been a growing need for an accounting program in Central Oregon for about five years, and there are students already interested in attaining this degree here at Central Oregon Community College, according to Hacker.
“We have forecasted that within the first couple of years we would have 20-25 students,” said Hacker. “These numbers are based on how many in the existing student population were planning on transferring to get an accounting degree.”
For COCC business students this will open an opportunity to stay in Central Oregon instead of transferring to another college to get an accounting degree, according to Jim Ellis, Department Chair of Business and Aviation at COCC.
“A lot of students want to transfer to get their accounting degree, but have to either go ‘over the hill’ to Corvallis or Eugene or take upper level classes online,” said Ellis. “This program is a really big deal as it will give those students the option of staying here in Central Oregon.”
OSU-Cascades is working closely with the COCC business department to ensure that this program will accomplish its goal of keeping business students in the community, said Ellis.
“By having the business department involved in this process,” said Ellis, “we are sure to hire the type of person who will be qualified for teaching our unique students.”
Upon successful completion of this new program, students will only have to attain about 45 more credit hours to be eligible for the Certified Public Accountant exam.
“Students need 225 credits to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam and the bachelors in accounting program will only give them 180 of those hours,” explained Hacker. “Our advisors will help students choose the classes that would make them most successful when taking the CPA exam as well as those that would fulfill the credit hour requirement.”
This is a crucial time for OSU-Cascades to bring this accounting program to the community, according to Hacker. Not only has the potential for employment risen in this field, many students are becoming more interested in this subspecialty.
“This field has a great outlook in terms of employment,” said Hacker. “With organizations needing more regulation, there will be a greater need for those with accounting experience who will help them to make decisions about future initiatives.”