To address the hurdles students face in earning 150 hours and licensure, the AICPA and NASBA have developed the Experience, Earn and Learn Program (ELE). The goal is to provide a route for students without the means or plan to earn their 150 through a program combining meaningful online study integrated with early work experience.
There are several obstacles students may have when it comes to earning 150 hours. Some lack the resources to complete the requirement because of the cost of education and opportunity. There is also a lack of awareness of options available to secure the 150 and a lack of attraction to the profession. The ELE program model aims to address all these hurdles with a palpable route.
Providing flexibility in scheduling, increasing accessibility to earn 150 hours, and producing qualifying academic credits are important goals the program intends to achieve. The program model will have students join a firm after the completion of their undergraduate studies and work flexible hours while taking online courses to accomplish those goals.
The structured experience following a bachelor’s degree will offer an alternative route to 150 hours through meaningful academic opportunities with early paid work. Students will graduate, join the program, earn 30 credit hours online while working a flexible schedule, and then continue their journey to becoming a CPA.
The ELE program pilot will kick off with one university partner. Tulane University was recently announced as the pilot partner for the program and will assist NASBA and the AICPA in engaging students in the alternative route to 150 hours. After working with Tulane to establish the program, NASBA and the AICPA will progressively involve other universities and expand ELE’s reach as it continues to grow and evolve.
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