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Graduating students a step ahead of the rest

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A long-standing, successful partnership

Texas A&M University’s five-year Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) is highly structured and graduates 200 to 250 students each year with an undergraduate degree in accounting and a master’s degree in their choice of business school discipline. For more than 20 years, Becker has been helping these students prepare to take the CPA Exam before they even graduate. “We want to make sure that students are able to sit for the exam while they’re still in school mode,” said Casey Kyllonen, assistant director for the five-year PPA, and a graduate of the program. “They’re ready to study and are doing so alongside their peers, where they feel encouraged and everybody’s in the same boat that last semester of college.”

“Firms love hiring from our program because the CPA Exam is never going to be an issue for our students. Students from other programs are at firms filling out their applications of intent, while our students are filling out their bonus paperwork after sitting for all parts of the exam.”

Casey Kyllonen

Assistant Director Professional Program in Accounting (PPA)

A smart, condensed review program

CPA Exam prep starts with a mandatory informational session in the fall of the students’ final year. Becker lays out the path, and a panel of recent Texas A&M grads conduct a Q&A session to mentally prepare students for the months ahead. The review program begins after the New Year’s holiday, and the final section of the exam concludes in May. This results in a win for all parties involved. Students appreciate not having to worry about the CPA Exam before fall of their final year, firms love that the graduates are done with their exams, and students and faculty alike enjoy their summer off.

As champions of their students, the Texas A&M faculty use Becker course content and tools to prepare students for the exams, including unique and successful homework review sessions. Kyllonen said, “Those videos were so much shorter and very helpful, because they jogged my memory of all the things that I had learned months ago.”

Students watch Becker lectures on their own and submit questions on the topics they find most difficult via an online survey. Then, faculty host FAR homework review sessions to cover those topics. According to Tara Blasor, assistant department head of Mays Business School and a Becker instructor, “If you look at how students learn now, Becker’s the best review system out there. It’s formatted in small modules with instant feedback. I feel strongly that the current structure is just awesome.”

Long-standing (and evolving) success

For more than 20 years, Texas A&M has teamed up with Becker to prepare its students to pass their CPA Exams. Every fall, Becker and Texas A&M faculty meet to brainstorm program changes based on student feedback. The homework review sessions and a practice exam feature (where students can take a simulated exam in one of their computer labs on the Saturday before their scheduled exam) are a couple of things that came out of those brainstorm sessions. “It’s one way we’ve really met our students with the support that we all know they need,” Blasor said.

Results

Texas A&M ranked #3 nationwide in graduating students who pass the CPA Exam within 18 months – the highest among large university programs.* In fact, the university reports that the vast majority of students at Texas A&M pass the exam before graduation. “There’s no doubt that we would not be as successful as we are without Becker,” said Blasor.

To learn more about our partnership programs, contact Amy Johnson, Becker’s senior national university program manager at ajohnson@becker.com or visit becker.com/university-partnerships

 

Results are as reported by Texas A&M University.

*Texas A&M’s score on the CPA Success Index means that 94% of their students can expect to pass the exam within 18 months. They ranked in the #3 spot in Accounting Today’s report in February 2021. Davis, Charles, Lindquist, Timothy, & Ugrin, Joseph. “Truman State takes top spot among college accounting programs.” Accounting Today, 3 Feb. 2021. 

 

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