West Chester U. Broadens Fraud Examination Education

By William J. Kresse, J.D., M.S., CFE, CPA

Fraud EDge 

Fraud EDge has regularly showcased various methods that educators have developed to deliver the fraud examination knowledge base to students. We've highlighted an undergraduate concentration in fraud examination at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (Nov./Dec. 2005), a Master's of Forensic Accounting degree at Australia's University of Wollongong (March/April 2006), and an MBA concentration in fraud examination at Saint Xavier University in Chicago (July/Aug. 2006). But West Chester University of Pennsylvania has taken a different tack; it offers fraud examination as a general education course for all students -- not just in accounting, business, or criminal justice -- to emphasize the importance of the subject.

The general education courses -- the core of an undergraduate program -- set the tone of an institution's educational experience. Introducing an anti-fraud course into the core is a major step for a public university.

"While it is good for universities to develop graduate degrees, graduate certificates, and undergraduate degrees in fraud," says Randall LaSalle, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting at West Chester, "it may also be useful to simultaneously bring anti-fraud education to a broader audience. After all, it is probably employees, not auditors, who are in the best position to observe fraud symptoms and also be responsible for reporting suspected incidences of fraud."

LaSalle here details the rationale, strategies, and accomplishments in offering fraud examination as a general education course at West Chester University.

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