The Redlands Accounting program differs from programs in many business schools because we believe that a rigorous, liberal arts education is the most effective foundation for a career in professional accounting. While our students do acquire the specific business and accounting knowledge necessary to pass professional examinations and join the accounting profession, we are most proud of the development of their intellectual and analytical capabilities, interpersonal and communication skills and their commitments to integrity, self-motivation and lifelong learning.
Students work very closely with the faculty, all of whom have extensive professional experience in large and small CPA firms and corporations to add to their academic backgrounds. Small classes, many with less than 20, mean that all students are active participants at every class meeting. Students frequently meet with professors outside of class to discuss concepts, for help with resumes or interview skills, to identify and apply for internships and to plan their careers. Each student will have one-on-one study experiences as they complete at least one independent study, capstone or honors project.
Most accounting majors are involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs or part-time internships during the school year. Some of these will likely have a strongly topical focus. The Redlands Accounting Society, to which all majors belong, brings in a dozen or more speakers each year. The Redlands Student Investment Fund, open to all students, manages a portion of the University's endowment, presenting and making decisions about potential investments. Some students prepare tax returns for local residents through our VITA program; others advance financial literacy in the community. Students are encouraged to plan ahead so they can study abroad for a semester.
Accounting is a demanding major. Many of our graduates complete 150 college units and pass the CPA exam, a challenging, multi-part nationwide exam, shortly after graduation, and go on to obtain the professional experience necessary to become certified public accountants. Others acquire professional certifications such as the CIA or CMA. To meet these goals, students must be dedicated to mastering a vast and ever-changing set of professional standards, at the same time as they develop core intellectual, interpersonal and moral capabilities.