The initiative of an alumni member, plus the commitment of an accounting dean and the dedication of a faculty advisor, helped the University of Scranton, a Jesuit research institution in Pennsylvania, gain endorsement under the IMA? (Institute of Management Accountants) Higher Education Endorsement Program.

Harry W. Zike, CMA, CPA, a member of the IMA Global Board of Directors and a Scranton alum, got the ball rolling.

?About a year ago, I heard about the Campus Influencer program, started by Jimmie [Smith] and Lisa [Beaudoin], and it inspired me to get my alma mater, Scranton, to apply for endorsement.?

With the support of Jodi Ryan, IMA director of student and academic relations, Zike set up meetings with the dean of Scranton?s business school and the accounting program chair, who both were receptive to the idea of endorsement. Zike learned that the school was already actively supporting the CMA? (Certified Management Accountant) certification among students and had a solid management accounting curriculum.

The endorsement process took about four months, and according to Douglas Boyle, CMA, CPA, DBA, Accounting department chair and doctorate program director, the rigorous effort was well worth it: ?It took a lot of work, but it motivated us to examine our program and engage in some important self-reflection. We?re pleased that IMA has a program in place to provide an independent review and confirmation of our management accounting curriculum. And IMA was very helpful in guiding us through this process.?

Realizing the Benefits
Scranton has already begun reaping the benefits of being an IMA-endorsed school. One student, Nick Varriano, was selected to participate in this year?s IMA Student Leadership Experience. This exclusive program selects, through an application process, outstanding students from IMA-endorsed schools to attend a meeting of the IMA Global Board, providing them with a unique opportunity to engage with IMA volunteer and staff leaders.

Part of the endorsement process includes assigning a Campus Advocate and that role, willingly, went to Ashley Stampone, CPA, accounting instructor specialist and IMA student chapter faculty advisor.

She agreed to serve as the Campus Advocate and decided to take it one step further: form an IMA student chapter on campus. ?Doug told me, ?Let?s not stop at endorsement.? Let?s have a student chapter ? do what you can to make that happen.?

Stampone sent out surveys to accounting students, to determine their level of interest in forming a chapter. She received dozens of responses, including from several students who agreed to assume leadership roles.

?We had plenty of interest on campus, not just juniors and seniors, but sophomores too,? Stampone reported. Currently, the chapter has about 26 members and it?s growing rapidly.

The chapter has gotten off to a great start. They?ve already hosted several events, including a talk by the president of the local IMA professional chapter, an alumni panel, and a faculty panel.

Said Stampone, ?It?s important that we give our students the best knowledge to make decisions after graduation. Being an IMA-endorsed program helps us highlight the opportunities students may not have realized were available to them.?

For more information, please visit the Higher Education Endorsement Program section of IMA?s website.