UA accounting program ranked 18th in countryBy Katherine Langner | 11/13/2012 11:00pm
The University of Alabama’s undergraduate accounting program is ranked 18th in the country, according to Public Accounting Report’s 2012 Annual Professors Survey.
The program jumped two spots from the 2011 survey.
Peter Johnson, an assistant professor in the Culverhouse School of Accountancy, said he expects the University to continue to move up the list.
“The School of Accountancy has been consistently ranked in the top 25, and, I believe, over the next 3 to 5 years, we will see our program reach the top 10,” Johnson said.
Johnson credits the success of the program to multiple attributes, such as the students in the program.
“Our students are motivated and excited to learn about the business community and the field of accountancy,” Johnson said. “We have students from across the U.S., and they are able to work together to achieve success. Our diversity fosters an inclusive learning environment, which prepares our students to deal with global issues and the ability to flourish in an ever-changing business climate.”
Accounting students are privy to leadership organizations like the National Association of Black Accountants and business fraternity Beta Alpha Psi, which has earned the Superior Chapter honor for several years.
The University of Alabama’s chapter of NABA is the third largest in the country, and Beta Alpha Psi regularly arranges career fairs to provide opportunities for students to work with professionals in the industry.
“We have some of the top business professionals visit our campus every semester, and these professionals interact with our students on a personal level,” Johnson said. “This interaction gives our students a strong sense of the challenges and opportunities they will face upon graduation and what key characteristics to develop to meet those challenges.”
Johnson said Culverhouse’s professors greatly contribute to the program’s success; many hold years of professional experience in addition to academic qualifications.
“The most important attribute of our faculty is their love for the students and sincere desire for their success,” Johnson said. “We want our students to not only excel in the classroom, but be ready to enter the workforce on day one with their unique skill set and preparation for leadership.”
One accounting student about to enter the workforce is senior Lauren Whitten, who is excited about the program’s recent accolades.
“I am so grateful and so excited to be a student of an accounting program that is ranked within the top 20 programs nationally,” Whitten said. “I am so proud to be a part of a program that has prepared me for success.”
Michelle Claiborne, a junior majoring in accounting, also spoke highly of the accounting program.
“It is a very challenging, yet rewarding program,” Claiborne said. “For that reason, I think it is incredibly worthy of its increase in ranking. All of the accounting professors and advisors really take care of [their] students.”
Claiborne said the increase in ranking means a lot to her because it draws more attention to the University’s accounting program and will be an asset to graduating students.
“This will attract more accounting professionals here looking for potential upper level accounting majors for internships and as possible employees,” Claiborne said. “It gives me an even greater chance of graduating with a job lined up.”