Goshen College accounting program ranked 10th best in the nation and 2nd best in Indiana

Professor of Accounting Michelle Horning teaches a class. Photo by Jodi H. Beyeler

The Goshen College accounting program has received some very good and well-deserved news. Based on the results of the Certified Public Accountant exam that all accounting graduates take, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) recently ranked the Goshen College accounting program as the 10th best program in the nation in the small program category and the 2ndbest program in Indiana overall (just behind Notre Dame).

The ranking is based on exam passing rates according to program size, which is determined by the number of individuals taking the exam, not the size of the school. There are 265 schools in the small program category, including: Duke University, Columbia University, Grace College and Taylor University. Interestingly, the Goshen College program missed being categorized as medium size by one student. Had it been ranked in that category, it would have ranked 11th nationally.

The national average pass rate for 2011 was 45.5 percent, but Goshen College’s pass rate for first-time exam candidates was 68.8 percent. Professor of Accounting Michelle Horning said, “We have always believed that our pass rates were above the national average, although this was based on anecdotal evidence only when students told us they passed and how many attempts it took them.”

Nearly 100 percent of graduates in the Goshen College program get jobs in accounting, with many students having offers prior to graduation and the rest finding jobs within a few months after graduating, according to Horning. Currently, 100 percent of senior accounting majors have accounting internships for next semester. “It is unusual for a school our size to have as many accounting firms and companies come to campus to interview and recruit students,” she said. “Three of the top ten accounting firms in the nation actively recruit students from Goshen College by coming to campus. Additionally, a handful of local and regional firms of various sizes recruit on campus.”

Goshen’s program has a unique element that gives graduates some of the best preparation: a required, full-time, paid internship built into our accounting curriculum, according to Horning. “This hands-on experience prepares students for a full-time position, often with the firm they interned with,” she said. “The interdisciplinary general education curriculum, especially the international experience, coupled with a strong accounting curriculum gives students an edge when they are looking for employment. Many firms tell us that there is ‘something different’ about Goshen College students, that they are ‘mature, confident and competent.’”