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High Schoolers Explore Accounting at Duquesne, Find if They Have What it Takes

A group of high school students have been given the opportunity to learn about accounting and whether they have what the profession demands.

Through Duquesne University's Palumbo-Donahue School of Business Accounting Honors Institute (AHI), the students will participate in six sessions held on Saturday mornings in January, February and March. Each month will be devoted to a key topic in the accounting profession:

  • Software used for enterprises resource planning (ERP)
  • Fraud and forensics
  • Financial statement analysis.

For the past 10 years, the AHI has provided this experience for one or two students from 10 to 15 area high schools. Enrollment is capped at 25, a number that corresponds to the headcount in an undergraduate accounting class at Duquesne.

The relatively small class size helps to guarantee a rewarding educational experience for the students, said Dr. Valerie Trott Williams, assistant professor of accounting and AHI director. Because the business school uses state-of-the-art ERP software and has a computer system that other colleges and universities would envy, Duquesne is capable of providing AHI participants an invaluable encounter with accounting.

Among those AHI participants who do decide to pursue accounting as a profession, either as a licensed CPA or in some other capacity, a significant number-approximately 30 percent-have chosen to enroll at Duquesne.  For instance, Butler High senior and current AHI participant Caitlyn Shaw has already decided to become a Duquesne freshman next fall because she fell in love with the campus, loves the city and "the accounting program is supposed to be fantastic."

AHI participation is open to all high school students who have an interest in business as a career, but a teacher or guidance counselor must nominate students for the program.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.