The AICPA announced on Monday that 98 students have graduated from this year's Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop program in Houston. The three-day event, held in May, helps minority students network with one another and better prepare for the CPA Exam.

Entering its 23rd year, the all-expenses-paid program (courtesy of the AICPA Foundation) invites minority accounting students to learn more about the various career paths within the CPA profession. This year's class represented colleges and universities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Workshop candidates represent minority sophomores, juniors, seniors, and grad students majoring in accounting, finance or tax, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Most workshop candidates plan on pursuing CPA licensure, are actively involved with activities on and off campus, and are Student Affiliate Members of the AICPA, though any interested student is encouraged to apply to the program.

“The Accounting Scholars Leadership Workshop is one of the many AICPA programs that aims to increase diversity in the profession and expand the pipeline of talented CPAs," stated Kim Drumgo, AICPA director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives and vice chair of the National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. "The workshop plays a crucial role in providing talented minority students with the tools and support they need to earn their CPA license.”

This year's speakers included Jina Etienne, president and CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants, Julie Ho, partner at Deloitte's Cyber Risk Services Practice, and Billy Williams, partner in audit at KPMG. Students participated in panel discussions with experts on a range of topics, including social media networking, personal branding, the day-to-day of a CPA, and unconscious bias.

Notably, this year's Workshop ran jointly with the Accounting Diversity Pipeline Symposium, which looks to see professionals, educators and state society members discuss methods on how to introduce more minority professionals to the accounting field. The Workshop and the Pipeline both utilized the theme of “Defying Gravity: The CPA Profession" this year.

AICPA building in Durham, N.C.
AICPA building in Durham, N.C. Photo: AICPA

The full list of 2017 ASLW graduates is available on ThisWayToCPA's site here. For more information on the workshop, head to the event's site here.

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