What’s the COAP program you ask? It’s the Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession program sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and its Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE). It’s not new – the program, which was developed to expose promising minority high school students to accounting and business careers, has been in effect since 1987.

This year’s program starts this Sunday, June 27 and goes through July 1. Thirty-seven high school juniors are attending this year’s residency program at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus. COAP programs are being held at 10 different colleges and universities across the state this year.

More than 2,460 students have taken part in COAP programs since it began 24 years ago with the first summer residency at Pace University. Recent surveys show that on average, 90 percent of COAP graduates have gone on to college and 53 percent have studied business or accounting.

All the sessions are conducted by CPAs as well as other professionals in business and academia. The COAP students live on the Pace University – Pleasantville campus and have the opportunity to tour the New York City and Westchester campuses, getting a taste of college life.

The program, which is free-of-charge for students, includes classes with NYSSCPA members, as well as, field trips to Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ken Bouyer, Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting at Ernst & Young, is slated to be the keynote speaker at the graduation banquet.

“We hope that this experience helps the students see themselves in this type of a setting and endeavor to continue their academic careers,” said Elizabeth Diep, senior manager at PwC and co-chair of the Society’s Pace COAP program.