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Headlines Accounting for the Future The American Accounting Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have formed the Pathways Commission to study possible higher education paths that might be taken by people seeking to enter the accounting profession. The commission was formed in response to a series of educational challenges facing the accounting profession: a shortage of qualified instructors with accounting doctor- ates, the need to revise account- ing curricula regularly in light of fast-paced business changes, budget constraints at universities that threaten to make the cost of education prohibitive, and the need for specialized training to meet the profession's demands. Applications Up—and Down The economy continues to send mixed signals about recovery, as measured by the results of the 2010 Application Trends Survey report recently issued by the Graduate Management Admis- sion Council. While several types of MBA programs experienced growth in the number of applications for the incoming 2010–2011 class, almost as many programs experienced declines. Nontraditional programs—EMBA, online, and flexible programs—overall fared better than traditional full-time two-year programs. The report found that, across all graduate management programs, approximately half reported an increase in application volume for the incoming class, and about 40 percent reported a decline compared with 2009. Among traditional MBA 8 BizEd NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010 programs, significantly more (49 percent) saw a decline in applications than saw an increase (41 percent). On the other hand, 59 percent of EMBA programs reported a bump in the number of applica- tions, and more than 60 percent of master-level programs in finance, accounting, and management did as well. Sixty percent of online MBA programs also reported a surge in application volume. More full-time one-year MBA programs (49 per- cent) saw increases than decreases (43 percent), while flexible MBA and part-time MBAs held steady with virtually no difference between the number of programs reporting increases and decreases in applica- tions. The full report can be found online at researchandtrends/surveyreports/ applicationtrendssurvey/. The chair of the committee, Bruce Behn of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, points out that the accounting profession is involved in all aspects of busi- ness, from produc- ing and inter- preting reports to verifying financial and operational information. "Hav- ing accurate data is essential for our free enterprise capital market system," he says. "We need to ensure that accounting professionals are prepared to meet the information needs of the public, organizations, lenders, and the capital markets." In addition to Behn, the other academics on the six-person commis- sion are Judy Rayburn of the Uni- versity of Minnesota in Minneapolis;

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