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Oklahoma State University

Spears Business program receives top honor from national continuing education group

Friday, January 24, 2020

Participants in the 2019 OSU Introductory Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate program, which was recently recognized with the 2020 Outstanding Noncredit Program Award.

The Center for Executive and Professional Development (CEPD) in the Spears School of Business is being recognized with the 2020 Outstanding Noncredit Program Award, given annually to noncredit professional, continuing or online education programs for excellence in achieving their educational objectives.

The OSU Introductory Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate program was recognized as the nation’s best by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), the nation’s leading organization for professional, continuing and online education representing 377 institutions and more than 6,000 members. 

The OSU Introductory Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate program was developed by CEPD, the outreach arm of Spears Business, in cooperation with the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium (OKTFC) and the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA). Last fall, the finance and accounting program received the 2019 Central Regional Outstanding Noncredit Program Award from UPCEA, qualifying it for the national honor.

“Winning the award at the regional level was impressive but winning now at the national level is amazing,” said Ken Eastman, dean of Spears Business. “The credit for developing such a great program goes to Lindsey Ray and her colleagues in our Center for Executive and Professional Development.

“The CEPD staff works diligently to connect Spears Business with business professionals and we appreciate their willingness to track trends and deliver programs that meet evolving business needs. Winning the national award several times is evidence of their expertise and professionalism.”

More than 25 tribes and tribal organizations sent participants to the conference for entry-level employees and professionals needing increased knowledge about tribal finance and accounting and elected tribal officials and leaders who wished to better understand the financial side of tribal programs. Spears Business accounting faculty Rachel Cox and Rachel Domnick were among the 11 instructors and facilitators during the conference.

The CEPD staff will be presented with the award at the 2020 UPCEA Annual Conference March 18-20 in Boston.

“We appreciate the representatives from the tribes and accounting and law firms in Oklahoma and throughout the nation who generously give their time and volunteer to give us advice and counsel on the program and serve on the OSU Tribal Finance and Accounting Advisory Board,” said Julie Weathers, CEPD director. “The program consists of 11 instructors during the three-and-a-half day program who are willing to share their expertise regarding tribal finance and accounting which makes this program so unique in that it meets the educational needs for the tribes.”

It’s not the first time that the Spears Business outreach group has been recognized with the national outreach award by UPCEA. The Tulsa Business Forums (1988), Europe ’92: The New American Challenge Teleconference (1991) and the Oklahoma Partnership Program, now known as the Executive Education Partnership Program (1997), also have been OSU programs to receive noncredit programming awards by the national group. 

Visit the website to learn about this year’s Introductory Tribal Finance and Accounting Certificate program, scheduled May 19-22 on the Stillwater campus of Oklahoma State University.

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

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