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McNair Scholars Program

Heber Garcia

he/him

Education: Bachelor of Science in finance (May 2011)

McNair Project: Exploring the Effects of Recruitment Efforts on Changing Perceptions about Accounting: The Effects of Web-based versus In Person Presentation Methods (2010)

Mentor: Joseph Ugrin, Ph.D.

Accounting has notoriety for being a dull and repetitive field that has been challenged to attract enough workers to meet global demand. The profession has also recognized that perceptions have limited its ability to lure creative thinkers with the aptitude to solve the complex business issues that modern accountants face. As such, the profession has invested millions of dollars into recruitment efforts, most recently, the “Start Here Go Places” web-based campaign. This study was conducted to test the effectiveness of this campaign at changing potential students’ perceptions about accounting and find out how it compares to a conventional face-to-face presentation about the field. An experiment was performed on 15 non-accounting students enrolled in the introductory accounting course at Kansas State University. Although the web-based message had a significant effect on students’ perceptions about accounting, the results suggest that a traditional face-to-face presentation results in a higher affective response from students, which results in their paying greater attention to the message and eventually a larger change in their perceptions about accounting.