TNCC Expands Accounting Curriculum with New Fraud Investigation Course

Published: February 11, 2010

Thomas Nelson Community College has expanded its Accounting curriculum to include ACC 240: Fraud Examination. New to Virginia’s Community Colleges (VCCS), the three-credit course introduces students to occupational fraud and abuse. Associate Professor of Accounting/Business Gwen Young created the course to enhance the Accounting curriculum at TNCC and statewide. “In the Accounting Department, we think that individuals in today’s world must have an understanding of the extent of occupational fraud and abuse that takes place in organizations. This aspect of business was missing from the VCCS curriculum, so we decided to go through the process of having this new course approved,” Young said.

The introductory level course gives students their first look at the wide range of occupational fraud and abuse techniques that are used to victimize organizations and the techniques available to organizations to protect them from becoming victims. The students use case analysis to explore the principles and methodology of fraud detection and deterrence in private industry, nonprofit organizations, schools and other organizations. “We want [the students] to be able to translate this awareness into the ability to help organizations protect themselves from potential fraud and abuse,”

The course was approved as ACC 240: Fraud Examination in May 2009 and offered to TNCC students as an online course in the fall. Spring semester 2010 marks the first face-to-face offering of the newly approved course. ACC 240 will be offered as an online course during the fall semesters and a face-to-face course during spring semesters. “We have received very positive feedback from students. They are always amazed at the ways that organizations can be victimized, and we often end up discussing situations that they encounter in their own lives,” Young said.

Young earned an undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University in 1978. She worked as a Certified Public Accountant for more than 20 years and earned an MBA from William & Mary in 2002. Before joining TNCC as a full-time faculty member in 2003, she taught as an adjunct professor for the College for three years. When she discovered a need for a course like ACC 240, she became a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). “Once I began teaching full-time, I realized there was a need for students to understand how occupational fraud and abuse reaches into all organizations,” Young said. “In anticipation of developing a course in fraud examination, I did the work and passed the exam to earn my designation as a CFE. I felt that earning the CFE designation, along with my years of experience in public accounting, would help make me a more effective and credible instructor for this new course.”

For more information about ACC 240: Fraud Examination and other TNCC course offerings, visit


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