• The Hillside High School Business and Finance Academy provides a model academic program, which focuses on a concentrated study of the financial services industry. This program is one of several established to promote educational excellence. Specialized courses in finance, on-the-job summer internships and numerous enrichment activities give students the opportunity for an in-depth study of financial services. This facilitates the transition from high school to advanced training programs and eventually to careers in banking and finance or related fields.


    • Banking and Credit, Computerized Accounting, Principles of Business…these are just some of the courses that Hillside High School Business and Finance Academy students take to start their journey toward financial careers. A new partnership with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is boosting the program toward strengthening relationships with the financial world.


    History and Future



    At the start of the 2007-08 school year, school leaders announced a new partnership that significantly enhances the Hillside Business and Finance Academy. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (www.aicpa.org) is the national, professional association of CPAs, with more than 350,000 members, including CPAs in business and industry, public practice, government, and education; student affiliates; and international associates. AICPA is providing volunteers and organizational resources to help invigorate the Hillside High School curriculum. AICPA is recruiting volunteers and mentors from the local area to assist students and teachers with classroom needs. One way in which volunteers will help teachers is by reviewing and updating the current curriculum with the latest finance and accounting course materials. Lastly, AICPA plans to stimulate the academy’s program and curriculum by working closely with the teachers and staff to encourage students to explore careers in accounting and improve their financial literacy.


    In 2012 the Business and Finance Academy rejoined the National Academy Foundation.


    Benefits of Partnership

    The AICPA is very excited for the opportunity to partner with Hillside High School to help build on the continued success of the Business and Finance Academy by providing professional lectures, classroom projects, teacher mentoring, job shadowing, and other projects. The goal of this partnership is to help build the Business and Finance Academy into a premier and self-sustaining program for Durham Public Schools, which will help students achieve academic excellence in accounting, finance and general business topics.


    A strong Business and Finance Academy will help promote Hillside High School and help the community by instilling a strong understanding of important business topics into students from Durham. Many of the current students in the program are excited about going to college and returning to the Durham business community upon graduation.


    The partnership also benefits the AICPA’s goal of elevating the understanding of accounting and personal finance among these students, as well as among their families and peers. The AICPA also hopes that this partnership will inspire students to pursue an accounting degree and become a CPA.


    BFA Chicago