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Accounting students rank best in the state on CPA exam

ISSUED: 3 November 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVShepherd University accounting students had the highest pass rate in the state of West Virginia on the 2014 certified public accountant exam administered by the American Institute of CPAs.
Seven students from Shepherd took the exam in 2014 and 75 percent passed. Their average score was 81.7 percent, which is the highest pass rate in the state. Of the Shepherd students who took the test for the first time, 66.7 percent passed, earning an average score of 81.1—the highest rate in the state for first-time test takers.
The exam is given in four sections: auditing, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. Shepherd students had a 75 percent pass rate in auditing, a 100 percent pass rate in business environment and concepts, a 66.7 percent pass rate in financial accounting and reporting, and a 50 percent pass rate in regulation.
Dr. Ann Legreid, dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences, credits “the strong and focused commitment to student learning by the accounting faculty at Shepherd” with helping students achieve such high scores.
“Students receive face-to-face instruction, strong advising, hands-on applications with real-world cases, and an ongoing commitment to connecting students to firms in the region,” Legreid said. “The accounting department has an extraordinarily strong reputation for turning out quality graduates; the graduates can be found in private and public practice throughout the region, and the ones I have met speak very highly of the preparation they received at Shepherd.”
Roger Hamood, associate professor of accounting and accounting department chair, said he’s seen a lot of changes in the department since he started teaching at Shepherd in 1978 that have translated to making students better prepared for the CPA exam.
“Since the early 1990s we have not employed full-time or adjunct faculty members who are not certified public accountants with some type of practical experience,” Hamood said. “I truly believe the added experience that is related in the classrooms has strengthened the accounting program at Shepherd. The success of our students, as can be seen in the statistical results of the CPA exam, is one of the main reasons I remain at the university. Shepherd students succeed.”
Cindy Vance, assistant professor of accounting, is one of the professionals teaching at Shepherd. Vance said the CPA credential is the gold standard of the accounting profession.
“I am proud not only to be a part of the full-time accounting faculty at Shepherd, but also to be an accounting alum of Shepherd,” Vance said. “Shepherd has a lot to be proud of—not only can we say that we produce excellent accounting students, but we can show that we produce excellent accountants.”

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