Jocelyn Lee ’19 (accounting) last year passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, enabling her to jumpstart her accounting career during the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. But Lee did more than merely pass. She far exceeded the national pass rate of 50%, earning an average score of 95.50% across all four sections of her exam, on the first try.
Lee is one of only 89 individuals among the 75,000 test takers in 2020 to receive the Elijah Watt Sells Award from the American Institute of CPAs in recognition of her accomplishment. She is the first CSUF Titan to receive the accolade.
The entryway to accounting careers, the CPA exam is a 16-hour, four-part test, which applicants must pass within an 18-month window. Considered one of the most challenging professional exams, the experience requires preparatory education, such as the program Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Accounting offers its students.
Vivek Mande, chair of the department, says Lee’s success is no surprise, given the alumna’s achievements while a student and the quality of CSUF accounting coursework.
“Jocelyn was an outstanding student and talented accountant from the start. During her years at Cal State Fullerton, she was an active member of the accounting honor society and carried a GPA of 4.0,” he says. “She was also awarded a prestigious $10,000 scholarship from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. This is yet another feather in her cap.”
Today, Lee is a tax accountant at Big Four accounting firm Deloitte and earned a master’s in business taxation at University of Southern California.
At CSUF, she graduated summa cum laude and was heavily involved as a student, serving in the Accounting Society, Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Delta Sigma Pi, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and as an instructional student assistant.
She sees campus involvement as integral to maximizing the college experience: “Get involved on campus. If you’re curious about something, try it. Utilize the resources the school has to offer,” she says. “It really makes a difference.”
For More Information
Read more about Lee’s achievement in this CSUF News article. Or learn more about Cal State Fullerton’s accounting program, which includes undergraduate and graduate career paths, and related faculty research and student success, in our articles on accounting.