A dormant accounting program at SF State is currently under review for possible termination.
The Educational Policies Council, a committee dedicated to discussing curriculum and academic policy issues, unanimously voted at their Sept. 12 meeting in favor of discontinuing The Certificate in the Study of Public Accountancy program.
The proposal to end the program was a request made by faculty in the Department of Accounting, according to Jackson Wilson, chair of the Educational Policies Council.
“The Certificate has not been active for several years but remains in the Academic Bulletin. The certificate has never had a program review,” said the application, according to Wilson.
The inactive program, which began in 2003, does not offer students certification to become public accountants but rather affords students the knowledge needed to pass the Certified Public Accountant exam through multiple accounting classes.
“This is a non-controversial proposal, there are no students [enrolled] there’s no conflict in the college about putting it down, they requested it themselves,” said Genie Stowers, chair of the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee, at the meeting.
The lack of enrollment may be accredited to requirement changes made by the California Board of Accountancy in order to take the exam.
“After the program was enacted, [the state] started to require 150 units of education to become a CPA,” said John O’Shaughnessy, SF State accounting professor from 1982 to 2016, via email. Previously to become a CPA, fewer credits were required, but the California Board of Accountancy upped the requirements.
“The additional 30 units made the certificate obsolete. So we put our energy into into an MSA program,” said O’Shaughnessy
Similarly, University Curriculum Coordinator, Claude Bartholomew, said that “this certificate was actually originally proposed to help students meet the minimum numbers of [credit] hours required to sit for [the CPA] exam, this mechanism is no longer needed for that.”
Accounting students and majors will not be impacted if the program is discontinued, according to Jiunn Huang, chair of the accounting department.
“All courses in this certificate program were normal Accounting course offerings,” he said via email. “Cancellation of the inactive program has no impact on students or faculty.”
Additionally, the department is hoping to replace the program with something more beneficial to students.
“The Accounting Department is currently working on a proposal for a…program to allow eligible students to earn master and bachelor degrees simultaneously,” said Huang.
The discontinuance proposal still needs to be approved by the full Academic Senate.