What is ACAP?
ACAP stands for Accounting Career Awareness Program. The primary objective of ACAP is to increase the understanding of accounting and business career opportunities among high school and junior high school students of color in the public and private school systems. ACAP is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing careers in accounting and related business areas. Since a particularly small percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are currently pursuing those career paths; the program emphasizes recruiting students from these and other minority backgrounds. Through ACAP’s efforts, participating students receive the educational enrichment experiences and practical help they need to prepare for university-level programs. Students are selected based on a variety of factors, including high school counselor recommendations, student applications, and personal interviews.
ACAP is a nonprofit organization. Development of the ACAP idea began in 1980, when the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) became concerned about the small proportion of minorities entering the accounting field from underrepresented minority groups. Recognizing that preparation for a business career should begin in the early years of junior and senior high school, the Seattle Chapter of NABA decided to design a pilot program that would encourage minority group students to take the college preparatory courses needed to major in accounting and other fields of business. In 1989, a group of Bay Area business executives, educators and NABA representatives formed ACAP locally to continue the pursuit of program objectives as described below:
While ACAP’s scope is ambitious, the program goals are realistic. They include:
- Encouraging students from the targeted ethnic groups to acquire the educational background they need to major in business at a college or university.
- Promoting career awareness and introducing entrepreneurship through the use of minority role models so that participating students learn of opportunities in business professions early enough to prepare themselves.
- Involving various professional organizations, career guidance counselors and parents through their contributions and volunteer time.
In additon to Seattle and San Francisco, there are ACAP chapters in Austin, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Fayetteville, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
ACAP Annual Reports