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Washington CPA Foundation Awards $30,000 in Grants

April 19, 2023

by Monette Anderson, CAE

"Cultivating a culture that fosters diversity and inclusion is a business imperative all firms 
and employers need to consider. The Association has been working to increase the 
accounting profession's diversity, making sure we can capture the best minds and 
the top skills to meet the future needs of our members and their communities."

- Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA, President & CEO, American Institute of CPAs

The Washington CPA Foundation awarded $30,000 in grants to local organizations this year. These organizations all had programs or events designed to improve the diversity of the CPA and accounting pipeline in our state. Washington CPA Foundation awardees meet two important criteria:

  1. They serve students in high school and early college and aim to increase awareness of, and access to, the accounting profession, usually before a major is declared.
  2. Their goal is to increase underrepresented populations in the field of accounting through programs that encourage students to pursue a career in accounting. Programs are evaluated both on quality of the interaction and quantity of students reached.

Congratulations to this year’s grantees. You can learn more about their programs below.

Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP): ACAP is a youth development program serving students of color and those considered underrepresented in the accounting field. ACAP’s signature Residency Week summer program brings students to the University of Washington campus for a week to inspire them to pursue academic and career pathways in public accounting. Grant funds will sponsor several residency week participants, support counselor stipends and speaker fees, and increase outreach for the program. "ACAP is deeply grateful to the Foundation," says ACAP Executive Director Max Savishinsky, "not only for its generous financial support of ACAP, but for being a true partner in support of our mission to foster diversity in accounting."

Saint Martin’s University: Established by Professor Timothy Madeley, MBA, CPA, at South Puget Sound Community College, this embedded tutor program was duplicated at Saint Martin’s when Prof. Madeley transferred there. As part of his PhD thesis, he has added significant research into this program. Prof. Madeley noticed that students in accounting 200 level classes were experiencing higher no-pass rates, and this margin was even higher for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Since implementing an embedded tutor in those classes, Prof. Madeley has seen impressive improvements in successful outcomes for students of all backgrounds, but particularly students of color.

While the rate of underrepresented students earning a D, F, or W declined seven percent on average, the rate of students earning an A- or better also increased more than 10 percent. We look forward to continuing to work with Prof. Madeley and exploring his program outcomes as he continues his research.

Degrees of Change: Degrees of Change prepares diverse, homegrown leaders to succeed in college and career to create more vibrant, equitable communities. Their career-centered program, Seed Internships, invests in the vibrant future of Pierce and King County by identifying exceptional college students and recent graduates from underrepresented backgrounds, then matching them with top local employers. Internship demand is growing for summer accounting internships in Pierce County, and grant funds will support increased focus and outreach for accounting placements.

Tacoma Community College (TCC) has received a first-time grant award to support a task force that is working to reimagine how accounting and CPA career-bound students can find and stay on their pathway while studying at the college. The task force has identified a series of recommendations and areas for further development, including creating new marketing materials that provide concise information for students about TCC pathways to accounting and CPA careers. The funds will be used to promote information about the wide variety of careers in accounting and CPA career fields, as well as for more outreach to Tacoma high schools about accounting careers and TCC pathways. We are excited about the program's potential to increase awareness among first-generation and underrepresented college students.

This article appears in the spring 2023 issue of the Washington CPA magazine. Read more here.

Monette Anderson, CAE, is Executive Director of the Washington CPA Foundation and WSCPA Director of Member Services. You can contact Monette at