The program, “Career Opportunities in the Accounting Profession,” is sponsored by the Moynihan Scholarship Fund and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, as well as nine leading New York universities, including five public universities. The course intends to introduce to the accounting profession 250 “promising underrepresented high school students.”
According to Campus Reform:
“In addition to virtual sessions about forensic accounting, interviewing skills, public speaking, networking, and an ‘accounting profession overview’ featuring a panel discussion with experts in the profession.
Nine institutions of higher education in New York — including Ithaca College, Medgar Evers College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John’s University, Siena College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, the University at Buffalo, and Westchester Community College — are listed as hosts for the program, which is free of charge for students. . .
Five of the nine schools participating in the program — including Medgar Evers College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego, the University at Buffalo, and Westchester Community College — are public universities funded by New York state.”
On the application form for the program, however, applicants are supposed to choose a “race” or ethnicity option with which they identify. Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Native American are among the options on the application form. “White,” however, is not even an option.
A father whose son, a high school junior, is interested in business anonymously expressed his “frustration” over the racial prejudice of the program to Campus Reform. The father was upset that his “child can’t apply because he’s white.”
Campus Reform reached out to the universities sponsoring the accounting program and received a response from SUNY Oswego’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Furlong that indicated Furlong agrees that the program may be unfair.
“SUNY Oswego participates in supporting the program and sees this as a beneficial service to the profession, but we strongly believe that all disadvantaged students would benefit from the COAP program,” Furlong stated. “While we do not participate in recruiting the student participants in COAP or in the setting of policy for student membership, SUNY Oswego would prefer a more inclusive perspective regarding membership in COAP and the NYSSCPA policy.”
While saying that the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants is responsible for setting the policies that only allow “students of color” to apply, Furlong added that the program’s exclusion of white students “merits much future discussion for the purposes of having SUNY Oswego reassess our involvement and reconsider our sponsorship.”