Seton Hall University and accounting firm Withum have partnered to launch a pilot program designed for accounting students that eases the 150 credit hours requirement.
Withum is an accounting firm based in New Jersey. According to the firm's website, the program is designed to offer students “first-hand public accounting work experience” while also receiving “compensation during their final year of school.”
Danielle DiMeglio, director of Graduate Accounting Programs, worked with the University Chair of the Accounting Department, Mark Holtzman, to develop the program. She said she hopes to report the feedback received as the semester progresses.
Erin Murphy, a senior accounting and IT major, said she believes the program is a “great idea.” She mentioned that in her experience, students struggle to reach the required 150 credit hours while also preparing for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.
“It’s going to give you the skills you can’t get in the classroom,” Murphy said. “You’re getting credit for something that is worthwhile to help you study for the CPA.”
In a statement released by the university, Mary Kate Naatus, the assistant provost and dean of continuing education and professional studies, said the program “is an exemplary model that mutually benefits the students, industry partners and the broader accounting field.”
Daniel Mahon, a senior accounting major, interned at Withum during the summer and said the firm has “been very involved on campus.” He said he believes the University chose to partner with Withum due to the firm’s sponsorship of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society.
The current CEO of Withum, Pat Walsh, graduated from Seton Hall in 1990 and said in a statement that the firm “has a longstanding relationship” with the University.
“Our goal is to use this experiential learning program to help break accounting stereotypes, enable students to get a taste of what the profession truly is about and highlight the value of this profession as an exciting career,” Walsh said.
Mahon said that he hopes this partnership will inspire more firms to develop similar programs for incoming students majoring in accounting.
“Less and less kids are taking accounting,” Mahon said. “I think if more opportunities open up, then maybe you’d see more accounting students because you need the 150 credits to get that CPA.”
According to the University’s 2021-2022 Data Trends, there was a decline of 66 accounting students in a five-year period. The 2022-2023 data trends have not been uploaded as of Sept. 2023.
Dareen Abukwaik can be reached at email@example.com.