Making the Difference

photo caption: Dr. Dan Edelman, Mr. Bob Brown, university vice president for business and administration and Mr. William Treacy, executive director of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.

by Kim Williams

The accounting department is one of many departments housed in the McDowell Administration Building, and it is leading the university in growth out of all departments according to Dr. Dan Edelman, accounting department head and associate professor.

Edelman has made strides in improving the accounting program since 2007.

“With the 20 to 25 students who have sat for the CPA exam, we've placed 5th, 8th and 13th in the state throughout the last two years for pass rate,” Edelman said. “Our scores have significantly improved during the last five years.”

Edelman has been creative in his approach to improving consistency in the pass rate by building a relationship with Becker CPA Review. The company will help students review for the CPA exam which should in turn help the pass rates.

“When students are ready to graduate, they will review everything they've already learned in school; all the information needed to pass the CPA exam and teach them how to pass the test,” Edelman said.

Prior to coming to A&M-Commerce, Edelman was a  business owner and worked in the department of justice during the 9-11 attack. Teaching is something he fell into and fell in love with at the same time and without meaning to.

“When I took my first master's class, my professor asked if I'd like to be a graduate assistant, and I didn't even know what that was,” Edelman said. “They ended up having me teach a class after that semester, and the next thing you know, I'm a teacher.”

Edelman continued his private accounting practice until it took up too much time into his teaching schedule. He let the business go to continue in education.

“We care at A&M-Commerce. We care about our students, not only in class, but in their jobs,” Edelman said. “A lot of our students are first-generation students, something I can relate to. You can be whatever you want to be here, and our faculty truly enjoys helping students achieve their goals.”

Edelman said there are a lot of opportunities in accounting which is very rewarding for students. What he really enjoys, however,  is working with the students.

“It's fun. There are no two days that are the same, and it's never mundane,” Edelman said. “It is very rewarding to work with and help the students.”

Edelman's helpful hand extends beyond the classroom.

“I saw a woman in our office a couple times. She was a member of our honor society, Beta Alpha Si, and one day she was talking to her professors saying ‘good bye' because she had to drop out of school,” Edelman said. “I asked her ‘What's going on?'”

Edelman discussed the situation with her only to find out she had a daughter with spina bifida, recently went through a bad divorce and was subsequently on welfare because she didn't have a job.

“She didn't know what else to do,” Edelman said. “We were able to find her a job here on campus as a student worker.”

Edelman is happy that she still works in the department, and believes that if he and other faculty and staff at the university didn't intercede, she wouldn't have been able to stay in school.

“She is a senior, starting on her master's degree in the fall,” Edelman said. “Now she's going to be able to finish her degree, get a job, provide for her daughter, and become a productive member of society.”

The Texas A&M University-Commerce accounting department hosted Mr. William Treacy, executive director of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy on March 27, 2012 at the A&M-Commerce campus in Dallas. Mr. Treacy shared his expertise and insights with the business ethics of accountants class.