INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University East in Richmond, Ind., has partnered with the CPA Center of Excellence® to add its online competency-based ethics course to its current accounting curriculum. This is the first time the course, developed by the CPA Center of Excellence® in 2016, has been utilized in higher education. CPAs in Indiana have been taking the course since last fall following a rule change signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence that enables a competency-based course to meet the ethics requirement for CPA license renewal.
Roger Crane, CPA, director for IU East’s accounting program, championed the decision to include it as part of the program’s curriculum. “We wanted to incorporate an ethics course already used by CPAs so our accounting ethics course is the best it could be,” said Crane. “Anything we can do to get students more real-world exposure to accounting ethics will help them understand and be prepared for ethical situations once they graduate and begin a career.”
“It is my hope that the addition of the CPA Center of Excellence®’s ethics course will provide a dynamic learning experience for students where they will see how the concepts that we learned from the text are applied in the accounting profession,” said Fowler.
She believes that including the ethics course into IU East’s existing accounting program will serve as a great tool to get students excited about their post-graduation continuing education needs and opportunities.
“I have found that students are always enthusiastic when they are presented with new learning activities in their classes,” Fowler said. “The ethics course is in a format and structure that they have not worked with before, so I anticipate they will be intrigued by this new addition.”
The course is currently being implemented this semester and will be taken by all accounting students during their spring semester before graduation as part of IU East’s accounting program’s capstone Accounting Ethics and Professional Development course.
The CPA Center of Excellence® hopes to use the IU East partnership as a model to encourage other colleges and regional campuses in Indiana to incorporate the ethics course or other competency-based courses into their curriculums. The additional six courses currently offered by the CPA Center of Excellence® cover vital business or “soft” skills needed by current and future professionals.
The course is the first of its kind, based on the profession’s Code of Professional Conduct, with its launch in October 2016 coinciding with the new rule that added two new options for ethics education. Its interactive, online format includes links to online articles, case studies, video components, real-time discussion with other course participants, and other participatory features within each of its various modules.