June 9, 2023

AICPA/NASBA Looking for Firms to Participate in Experience, Learn and Earn Program

AICPA/NASBA Looking for Firms to Participate in Experience, Learn and Earn Program

June 9, 2023

The AICPA and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) are working together to develop an integrated education and experience program for students who need a path to the 150 credit hours required for CPA licensure. The Experience, Learn and Earn program (ELE) will combine meaningful online study integrated with early work experience.

As a participant in the program, a student will:    

  1. Graduate with their bachelor’s degree and core accounting classes at fewer than 150 credit hours
  2. Join a firm right away as a paid first-year staff member (not an intern)
  3. Get up to 30 credit hours through online courses while working a flexible schedule and getting paid work experience
  4. Complete their credit hours and continue their journey to CPA

AICPA & NASBA are launching a small pilot this fall to test the program. All students in the pilot program will take cost effective courses from the pilot university partner (to be announced soon) and will have the opportunity to earn up to 30 credit hours in areas relevant to their career at a firm. As the program expands, it will involve more universities across the country and build out the course offerings to be tailorable to each firm’s needs. The anticipated cost of the 30 credit hours will be under $5,000, and less if a student needs fewer hours.

The pilot program is intended for students who will have their bachelor’s degrees and core accounting courses completed at the time they start the pilot and join the firm as a paid first-year associate. Student associates will likely take 1-2 years to complete their needed credit hours to a maximum of 30 credit hours, and the ELE program will work with the pilot university on different credit hour tracks so that students can tailor the program to just the credit hours they need.

The ELE program is looking for initial interest from firms that would be able to recruit and support at least one ELE participant to begin the program in the Fall. To best equip participants for success, firms should be willing to offer student associates a paid position with a flexible work schedule including dedicated time to complete their on-line academic coursework

To participate in the program, a firm will:

  1. Commit to recruiting and employing at least one ELE participant
  2. Commit to remaining in the ELE program for two years
  3. Employ the participant with a flexible schedule to allow for dedicated time to complete coursework
  4. Support the AICPA and NASBA by providing feedback as requested to improve the program

If your firm is interested in participating in the pilot or in receiving more information, please fill out the following form by June 30.


As the first class of the program launches, AICPA and NASBA are looking for diversity in firm size, geography and practice type, and will follow up with interested firms with more details on next steps.

If you have questions before submitting the form, please reach out to Julia Woislaw at Julia.Woislaw@aicpa-cima.com.