Accounting Students Learn By Doing…Taxes

Accounting Students Learn By Doing…Taxes

Advanced accounting students at Empire College are gearing up for an Income Tax Clinic that will assist area high school students with filing their income tax returns. The concept for the clinic was created by members of Empire’s student chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The mission of IMA is to provide a dynamic forum for management accounting and finance professionals to develop and advance their careers through certification, research and practice development, education, networking, and the advocacy of the highest ethical and professional practices.

"I am very proud that members of our student chapter have sought ways to accomplish that mission through community outreach," says Carol Reinke, Empire’s Accounting Department Head. "Service-based learning provides them the opportunity to give back to the community and to hone their accounting, customer service, and communication skills at the same time. It is an invaluable experience and will make them better accountants."

Addressing the hard and soft skills required for employment is the hallmark of training at Empire College. Career-oriented education incorporates students’ life skills through project-based learning. The 8 to 15-month certificate and associate degree programs prepare accounting graduates for positions ranging from accounts payable clerks to full-charge bookkeepers at companies in virtually any industry.

An example is Acela Martinez who entered into a short-term accounting program at Empire College after working in manufacturing for 14 years. "My Job Link counselor encouraged me to investigate each of the career fields and colleges that I was interested in," explains Acela. "I researched job opportunities and decided to go with accounting."

Acela completed her program, landed a job in accounting with Transworld Systems, Inc., and immediately re-enrolled at Empire to earn her associate degree at night. "My instructors have encouraged me to go for the degree and also to apply for an IMA scholarship, which I received in March 2008," adds Acela.

On a daily basis, Empire’s Career Placement Department hears comments from employers about the need for candidates with both hard and soft skills. "I have worked with the Career Placement Department at Empire College for more than fifteen years," says Bruce R. McKee, CPA. "I have learned to rely upon Empire to save me time and effort by referring exceptional graduates who are well trained in the skills required by my office."

Emie Chan, Office Manager of Jordan & Associates Retirement Services, echoes the same message. "Empire’s no-fee Career Placement Department provides quick response and prompt service when we have an opening. The students we have hired possess good computer and communication skills, and they have the cooperative spirit necessary to get along well with co-workers."

Empire College is proud of its 48-year legacy of training students with the skills needed to be competitive in the job market and of matching those students as qualified candidates to meet the needs of local employers.