Starting Out

Should you start an ACFE student chapter?

As a former student member of the ACFE, I can't think of a better way for budding fraud examiners to explore the profession than as members of university ACFE student chapters. They not only learn valuable anti-fraud skills, but they meet professionals and make contacts that can lead to internships and jobs. In this column, Robert Kusant — former student president of the Bloomsburg University ACFE chapter — plus professors Mike Shapeero and A. Blair Staley write about the benefits of student anti-fraud associations. If your college or university doesn't have a student ACFE chapter, consider starting one! This is your guide. — Colin May, CFE, “Starting Out” editor

During the past decade, a number of universities have added fraud examination classes to provide students with the specialized training needed to prepare for a career in the profession and sit for the CFE Exam.

While coursework helps students acquire valuable skills and tools, their education is enhanced when they have opportunities to interact with fraud examination professionals. An ACFE student chapter at your university can provide this bridge between academia and practice.

In this column, we discuss how an ACFE student chapter not only increased student involvement and alumni interactions but also created new scholarships and employment opportunities. For student Robert Kusant (one of the authors of this column), joining an ACFE student chapter not only expanded his career opportunities, it ultimately changed his career path.

In 2003, accounting professors, Michael Blue, Mike Shapeero and Blair Staley (Shapeero and Staley are the other two authors of this column), created Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's program in fraud examination — with classes in fraud examination and investigation, computer forensics, legal aspects and criminal justice. The following year, Bloomsburg University was one of two universities selected by the ACFE to pilot test a student chapter. Soon after, the Bloomsburg University Student Association for Fraud Examination (SAFE) was recognized as the ACFE's first student chapter.


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