Indiana Wesleyan University and CPA Center of Excellence launch international partnership to boost soft skills

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The CPA Center of Excellence announced this week that they have launched an academic partnership between Indiana Wesleyan University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), in which students on both sides of the Atlantic will get to further their "employability skills" using the Center's resources.

The CPA Center of Excellence is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indiana CPA Society and contains five components: the Insight HR & Career Development Toolkit, the Quick Start Guide, online courses based on business skills, a multi-featured online community, and member networks allowing CPAs to interact in-person and online.

Approximately 250 students between the two schools majoring in accounting and finance, business, marketing, and management will utilize the Center - mostly the Insight Toolkit - to assess their competency in soft skills (critical thinking, communication skills, leadership, etc.) and receive specific feedback on how to better themselves in those fields. 

“This is the culmination of years of hard work and demonstrates why this award-winning toolkit has an impact that extends beyond the CPA profession to a larger audience,” said researcher David Griffiths, advisor for the CPA Center of Excellence and learning design advisor for the Swansea Business School at UWTSD, per a statement. “This project has the potential to help Indiana business students and their counterparts in Wales to be among the most prepared students entering the workforce in terms of their proficiency in these vital business skills.”

“Insight is a way to objectively measure skills that are typically subjective,” stated Jess Halverson Bowyer, strategist at the Center. “It uniformly defines and identifies areas for improvement by asking hard questions and getting honest answers. ‘Do you effectively communicate complex information with the audience in mind?’ Or maybe to previous employers - ‘Did I model leadership?’”

Students and their faculty advisors will be able to view the assessment feedback and discuss action to take before graduation. Following the completed assessments in November, data from both schools will be evaluated in a new project via Griffiths and Harriet Rojas, chair of the DeVoe Division of Business and professor of business statistics at IWU. Results from the project will be released sometime next year.

Notably, the CPA Center of Excellence is set to receive the “Power of A” Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives on October 5. The award seeks to recognize “ingenuity, collaboration and focus on the future.” The Indiana CPA Society, which sponsors the Center of Excellence, is to be the first state society to be honored with the Summit Award in its 17-year history. 

For more on the CPA Center of Excellence, head to its site here.

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