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UVA Must-Knows

University of Virginia

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Jul 1, 2023

Regarding COMM2010, Introduction to Financial Accounting, all prospective students and their parents should know the following: 1. This course is entirely self-taught and on-line 2. There are no in-person lectures and no organized study groups amongst enrolled students Accounting is, in many ways, a new language for students who have not encountered it before. As a result, the concepts can be difficult to grasp initially and the material, as with most technical subjects, lends itself well to a lecture experience where a professor can provide context, illustrations and clarifications for students. UVA’s approach of leaving students to independently make their way through an online textbook is, without a doubt, the least efficient, least effective and least enjoyable way to learn about accounting. With busy academic lives, this course can easily become a drain on valuable study time, a needless source of anxiety and stress, and a detraction from the overall academic experience. My comments are based on my 35 years of global experience as a CPA, including as a teacher for colleagues in the application of complex US accounting standards. My knowledge about UVA’s approach to this course was provided to me by my daughter who just completed it as a first year at UVA. As a parent paying full tuition fees, I am personally surprised and quite disappointed in UVA’s approach. Frankly, I expected a more thoughtful learning offering from UVA.