Once a student always a student?

Call me crazy, shake your head – I’m going back to school.  Over the past few years as I’ve realized that I love teaching and how little I really know about teaching and learning, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about doing some formal education on, well, education.  Since I can’t just quit my job and go back to being a grad student (Tessa would kill me), in 2006/07 I enrolled in UBC Vancouver’s Faculty Certificate Program.  Its an 8 month program where I went out to Vancouver once a month to learn some education fundamentals.  While doing that program I met Harry, an education faculty member who specializes in post-secondary curriculum issues – exactly what I was looking for.  With the move to UBCO, the possibility of doing some grad work with Harry has become a reality.  I am officially enrolled as a part-time masters student in the faculty of education at UBCV starting next spring.  I’m going to complete it over the next couple summers so that I can still work full time and pay the bills.  My expectations for the program are high although I suspect that I’ll be left with more questions than when I started – that is generally the sign of successful education.  As Christmas nears I hope you have taken the time to shovel some snow, drink some eggnog, eat some Christmas oranges, and kiss a loved one.  Happy holidays!

Congratulations UFE grads!

A week ago thousands of accounting students across Canada held their breath as they got the call or opened the envelope with their UFE result.  Many of them received the good news – a pass.  The UFE is a the main hurdle for getting your professional accounting designation (CA) in Canada.  It was 10 years ago that I got my good news and I remember it very well.The CA School of Business (CASB) is responsible for  the post-graduate training of all CA students in Western Canada.  I’ve been involved with CASB for the past five years helping students prepare for their careers as accountants.  I really believe that CASB’s system of education has a lot of positives.  Sure students complain vigorously while they are in the program and there are areas for improvement, but all in all, its very well done.  This year, CASB’s first-time pass rate was over 88%, an astounding accomplishment!  A result like this is not possible without motivated students, great mentors, excellent facilitators, and strong leadership.  To everyone that was involved this year, well done!Now, from my little twisted brain, here is my thought –  having students pass the UFE is not really the goal for CASB.  Sure it is one measurement of a successful program, but I think CASB’s goals are longer term and broader.  Question.  How successful is CASB at developing ethical, knowledgeable, social aware, excellent accounting advisors?   If the answer is 88% then I think the business world should be disappointed with CASB.  If it’s not damn close to 100% then we’d all better continue to work harder and smarter to reach that goal.