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Accounting Doctoral Scholars Making an Impact in the Classroom

Ads2The first graduates from the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program taught their first semester of college accounting courses this fall. The ADS Program, which was designed to address the nationwide shortage of accounting faculty, has supported more than 110 audit and tax professionals in their pursuit of PhDs in accounting. The first 12 graduates of the program have obtained jobs on college campuses.

“Having the first Accounting Doctoral Scholars begin teaching undergraduates is a real milestone for both the program and the profession as a whole,” said Steve Matzke, Director of Faculty and University Initiatives at the AICPA, who has managed the ADS Program since its launch. “While there is still more work to be done, we are confident that the ADS Program will ultimately fulfill its mission of helping secure the future of the profession by incrementally increasing the current number of accounting faculty who hold PhDs.” 

The ADS Program, which is currently in the fifth year of its eight year lifespan, funded its first group of students in 2008. While no longer selecting new candidates, the program represents the most significant commitment ever made to accounting education by the accounting profession. A total of $17 million in funding was provided by more than 120 sponsors, including accounting firms, state CPA societies, the AICPA and others. When the program was created, more than 43 percent of current accounting faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities were 55 or older, underscoring the need to act quickly.

“The ADS Program has added a substantial number of experienced CPAs to the current PhD pool, which ultimately means more CPAs in the classroom preparing the CPAs of tomorrow to enter the profession. These PhD’s will help address the capacity issues of accounting enrollments at colleges and universities across the United States and strengthen an already robust pipeline of accounting talent at the undergraduate and graduate level.” added Matzke.

Tammie Schaefer, a former CPA, is one of the initial 12 graduates of the ADS program. When Schaefer learned about the ADS Program, she knew it was time to make reality of her long-term goal of earning her PhD in accounting and becoming a college professor.

Shaefer, who told AccountingWEB she "loved everything about her job as a CPA,”  is now an assistant professor at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

"Teaching had always been a long-term goal of mine that I planned to pursue much later in my career," said Schaefer. “But when I learned about the ADS Program and its goal of addressing the upcoming shortage of accounting faculty, I decided there's no better time than the present to [pursue that dream]."

Denise Hanes, CPA, PhD, said the program provided her the support network she needed to transition into a teaching career.

“I cannot say enough about the opportunities the ADS Program has afforded me. In my first year of teaching I have relied extensively on the relationships I formed during my time as an ADS student to assist me in transitioning into my new role as an assistant accounting professor,” said Hanes, who is currently an Assistant Accounting Professor at Villanova University. “In particular, my fellow ADS scholars have been invaluable resource on a daily basis, discussing new questions and challenges that arise. Beyond my peers, numerous professionals I encountered during the ADS Program have generously donated their time over these first few months to the benefit of both me and my students.” 

For Schaefer, working as a professor offers the opportunity to watch students grow and help secure the future of the profession.

"I find it very rewarding to hear from students when they pass the CPA exam, land the job they've been hoping for, or check in with me and tell me how much they're loving their new job," Schaefer said. "That's when I know I'm making a difference in the lives of the people I get the opportunity to teach." 

More information about the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program is available online at adsphd.org

, Media Relations Manager, American Institute of CPAs. 

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