SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is offering a new “fast-track” CPA Exam Diploma designed especially for students who have already earned a four-year degree and would like to complete the requirements to take the uniform exam to become a Certified Public Accountant.

“We see students with four-year degrees who want to go on and take the CPA exam, but they need certain courses and credits to be able to do so,” said Chad Nichols, accounting instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus. “This path will offer the perfect solution for them to reach their goals in a timely manner.”

The College already offered opportunities for students to complete additional courses beyond a bachelor’s degree, but the new fast-track program features eight-week “minimester” classes offered online and on Saturdays so that the 40-hour diploma can be completed in one year rather than two.

“We recognize the need for this option in our community. For years, we have had students with four-year degrees coming back to take these courses to prepare for the CPA exam, but they had to follow the traditional class schedule and it wasn’t always convenient for them when juggling jobs and other obligations,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “This program is created specifically to remove those barriers that can hinder their progress.”

To be eligible to sit for the CPA exam, a candidate must have  a bachelor’s degree (120 hours) from an accredited college or university in any subject that includes or is supplemented by a concentration in accounting.

“It’s quite common for someone to have a bachelor’s in business administration and decide they want to pursue their CPA,” Nichols explained. “To do that, they are going to have to complete accounting courses and other requirements. We’ve designed the program so that students can use the credits and knowledge from their four-year degree. Although this program is designed with some elements of test prep built in, it should not be confused with a CPA exam prep course.”

The College also has been able to help students clear financial hurdles that threatened to derail their aspirations to sit for the CPA exam, which costs around $1,000.

Letitia “Tish” Dennis-Boger had completed two degrees at Rowan-Cabarrus in May 2017 – an Associate in Science in Accounting and an Associate of Science in Business Administration – as well as a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Pfeiffer University. But without a scholarship she received from the NC CPA Board of Examiners to cover the cost of the exam, she would not have been able to achieve her career goals.

“I contemplated not even trying to take the exam,” said Dennis-Boger, who now works as a staff accountant for Gary D. Morgan, CPA. “The scholarship opportunity literally made it possible for me to pursue my dream of becoming a CPA and opening my own firm one day.”

For more information about the Rowan-Cabarrus accounting program, please visit