Helping students re-enter the workforce, stronger than ever
Leveraging the Becker advantage
The Utah Valley University (UVU) team had one thing in mind while creating their Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program: give students a competitive edge over more traditional and established universities. “Our program has only been around for four or five years,” said Joshua Cieslewicz, accounting faculty and MAcc director, “and we’re competing with schools that have been around for a very long time.” Their solution: partner with Becker to help students complete a portion of the CPA Exam prior to graduation.
For UVU’s nontraditional students, the program is the perfect fit. “We typically have some single parents and nontraditional students who are studying accounting to reposition themselves in the workforce. And it’s been amazing to see them latch on to Becker,” said Cieslewicz. With Becker’s curriculum assistance in place, UVU students can access the AUD section of the Becker review course throughout Cieslewicz’s Audit class. Once the semester ends, they can go on to purchase Becker either through their firm or company’s direct bill agreement with Becker or discounted university partnership pricing. Cieslewicz sees the partnership as a win across the board: “It’s a win for the professor. It’s a win for the students. And it’s a win for Becker. Because when the students get into Becker, they realize how good it is.”
“Becker is changing lives. Our nontraditional students see it as their ticket to success.”
Accounting Faculty and MAcc Director
A class focused on future success
Having worked in the profession as a CPA, Cieslewicz understands the importance of preparing students not only for the CPA Exam, but also for the profession itself. To do both, he designed his Audit class in a unique way. Cieslewicz covers Becker-related material in the classroom and then assigns Becker-specific material for homework. “In class, it’s more case studies, group projects, professional presentations and discussions to help students really understand auditing,” he said. “All of that combined with Becker helps students get ready for both the CPA Exam and the profession.”
Empowering students with confidence
With all the added responsibilities nontraditional students have to focus on outside of school, the CPA Exam can be daunting. Cieslewicz aims to change that, saying, “Students are very nervous about the CPA Exam. So the sooner they can get into CPA Exam Review material, [the sooner] they realize ‘Oh, this isn’t so bad. I can do this.’ Becker gives them confidence.”
Cieslewicz also assigns his students a structured, strategic study plan. “It’s a detailed plan that outlines how and when to study.”
With Becker’s help, UVU’s MAcc program is putting students in the best position to succeed, again and again. “It’s been a very strong selling point for them to go to a company and say, ‘Look, I’ve passed one section of the CPA Exam already,’” said Cieslewicz. “Recruiters tell me that they’re happy with it, that it shows commitment and is an indicator of likely success.”
The before-and-after speaks for itself. In student surveys given at the course’s start and finish, more students expressed interest in pursuing the CPA designation after going through the class.
Results are as reported by Utah Valley University.