The American Institute of CPAs announced the first group of graduates from the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program, designed to address the national shortage of accounting faculty in supporting more than 110 audit and tax practitioners with recent public accounting experience in accounting PhD programs.

That first wave of ADS Program graduates are currently teaching their first college courses this semester.

“Having the first Accounting Doctoral Scholars begin teaching undergraduates this fall is a real milestone for both the program and the profession as a whole,” stated Steve Matzke, director of faculty and university initiatives at the AICPA, who has managed the program since its launch. “While there is still more work to be done, we are confident that the ADS Program will ultimately fulfill its mission of helping secure the future of the profession by incrementally increasing the current number of accounting faculty who hold PhDs.”     

Currently in the fifth year of its eight-year lifespan, the program selected this first group of students to fund in 2008, with a total of $17 million in funding provided by over 120 sponsors, including accounting firms, state CPA societies, the AICPA and more. Although it is no longer selecting new candidates, when the program was first created, more than 43 percent of current accounting faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities were 55 or over, according to the AICPA.

“The ADS Program has added a substantial number of experienced CPAs to the current PhD pool, which ultimately means more CPAs in the classroom preparing the CPAs of tomorrow to enter the profession,” Matzke stated. “These PhDs will help address the capacity issues of accounting enrollments at colleges and universities across the United States and strengthen an already robust pipeline of accounting talent at the undergraduate and graduate level.”

All twelve ADS Scholars who have completed the program to date have obtained jobs on college campuses.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity provided by the ADS Program,” said Matthew Erikson, University of Arizona PhD candidate and ADS Scholar in a statement. “During my career in public accounting, I thought about pursuing a PhD multiple times. However, it was the ADS Program that allowed me to put this desire into action while giving me access to valuable resources.”

More information about the program is available here.