Last summer, APSCUF went behind the scenes to show how faculty members and coaches continue to devote themselves to affordable, quality education even when class is not in session. This post is a continuation of that series.
After working as a certified public accountant, I got into teaching 17 years ago. In nearly two decades, I’ve learned that education doesn’t begin at the start of class — nor does it end when students leave the room. I continue to facilitate learning during my office hours, extracurricular activities, and whenever I advise students.
I use my experiences as an accountant to help students understand how things really work in business. Passing the CPA exam was one of my greatest professional accomplishments to date, and I share both insights about the professional work of CPAs and what it takes to pass the CPA exam with my students.
One way our students at Lock Haven University are gaining awareness about the work of CPAs and CPA candidates (individuals working toward passing the exam) is through our student-run CPA Prep Club. During our meetings, local CPAs discuss their work, and we conduct mini mock CPA exams. As the faculty mentor for this club, I have seen how this time spent with students outside of class has allowed students to connect with each other more, with other CPAs, and with me.
We live in a global economy, so it is rewarding to see that a number of students at Lock Haven University take advantage of study-abroad programs. To encourage more interactions with students in other countries, I partnered one of my upper-level accounting students with former students from my term as a guest lecturer in Germany. These interactions and insights proved to be valuable for all students involved in this pilot assignment.
Students today expect more from faculty than ever before, in part, due to use of technology. I welcome students to reach out to me over the weekend with questions or concerns that cannot wait to be addressed until the regular workweek. In addition, on some Sunday afternoons, I offer help sessions for the introductory-level classes, and many students take advantage of this informal way to interact with me and to learn the material more thoroughly.
I also feel compelled to accept some students’ requests to redo exams under certain circumstances and/or take an incomplete over the summer so that they can successfully complete some missed assignments. Their success in learning and applying the course material is important.
Regan Garey is an associate professor at Lock Haven University.