Grant to Fund Aspiring Accounting Professional Program

The new program will use an externship to complement the in-class learning experience of intermediate accounting lectures.
Friday, January 14, 2011

Rider University recently received a $10,000 grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to implement a program designed to help minority Accounting students succeed in the classroom and ultimately their careers.

Dr. Evelyn McDowell, assistant professor of Accounting, applied for the grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, backed by the Bill Gates Foundation, and sponsored by Allen Boston, a member of the College of Business Administration’s Executive Advisory Council at Rider.

“African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics are clearly underrepresented in the profession,” said McDowell, citing recent research and data from the American Institute of Public Accountants. “At Rider University, we are attempting to correct this problem through education and mentoring. Our approach is to focus on helping students obtain a firm understanding of accounting concepts, thereby increasing their ability to achieve academic and professional success.”

The Aspiring Accounting Professional Program at Rider University, which will be offered in the 2011 fall semester, will leverage traditional classroom concepts with focused tutoring and learning from exposure and practical experience. In particular, the program will use an externship to complement the in-class learning experience of intermediate accounting lectures. As students complete a topic(s) or chapter(s), the host company or firm will provide field experience to reinforce the related topic(s). Tutoring will be made available and informal mentorship between the host company employees and the students will be encouraged.

“The main objective of this program is to encourage African-American, Hispanic-American or Native American accounting students to more actively engage the material, resulting in a better understanding of the course work, while simultaneously gaining valuable work experience,” McDowell said. 

To learn more about the Aspiring Accounting Professional Program at Rider University and the requirements to qualify, please contact Dr. Evelyn McDowell at emcdowell@rider.edu.

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Dr. Evelyn McDowell, assistant professor of Accounting