The Accounting Program was first offered in 1968, originally known as the Bookkeeping and Accounting Program. A second program, Accounting Specialist, was later added. The Accounting Specialist program added a second year to the Bookkeeping and Accounting program, providing students with a broader background in accounting/business theory, economics, math, additional on-the-job-training and opportunities for students to choose elective classes and/or college transfer courses. The original program duration for the Bookkeeping and Accounting Program was four quarters; the Accounting Specialist program was seven quarters.
Ben Shlaes was the first Coordinator for the program and eventually became Chairperson. Don Huntoon was an instructor in the original program and Patty (Moore) Holmes was a work study student.
The first program catalogue description stated that Bookkeeping and Accounting students would be prepared for an entry level position as a bookkeeper. Courses included: Bookkeeping, Business Arithmetic, Business Letter Writing, Introduction to Business, Typing and On-the-Job-Training.
One of the program's first objectives was to get students ready for the world of office work. Many of the programs' first students were in school on a vocational rehabilitation basis, some typically by court order. The original program operated on an industrial approach whereby the instructor was a master of a trade and the students were apprentices. The students' goals were to absorb all they could in the time allotted to master the various trade skills.
The initial program enrollment had approximately 18 students, and students attended classes in the Methodist Church basement in Ankeny.
As the programs and institution matured, the Accounting Program was able to attract students from a much broader part of the community. As the accounting student population grew (to over 600), additional faculty were gradually added. Eventually the program was relocated to the Urban Campus, and Cindy McCall became program chair. Several instructors were then transferred to the Urban Campus, and the remaining Ankeny Accounting faculty primarily taught accounting and other related courses to general education students and students in other college programs.