Preparing students for a rapidly-changing field

Lakeland University

A focus on Evolution

Brett Killion could read the tea leaves. The Associate Professor of Accounting at Lakeland University (and de facto head of the department) knew the CPA Exam was about to go live with CPA Evolution, and his students needed the necessary content to be properly prepared. Thankfully, there was an obvious solution: Supplemental Curriculum Content from Becker. Killion is a member of Becker’s University Advisory Board, and he was an integral part of developing the pilot program of that content.

“I researched textbook options for content related to the new exam topics of Emerging Technology and Data & Analytics, but they were too expensive and already outdated,” Killion said. “I also liked the efficiency of Becker CPE modules. They covered the content and continuously update it.”

Just like that, Killion’s classroom structure was born anew in the Fall of 2022. Lakeland University’s existing Accounting Capstone class underwent a redesign that eliminated textbooks in favor of case studies and Becker CPE modules. Two Becker offerings, the Emerging Technology Course Bundle and the Microsoft Excel Fundamentals and Data Analytics Certificate, made it happen.

“About 40% of our Accounting students wind up going the CPA route. For the 60% who go elsewhere, I know we’re helping them brush up their skills. If you have your Bachelor’s in Accounting or Finance, chances are the job ads you see need next- level proficiency in Excel. And Becker resources are significantly more relevant to where Accounting is headed.”

Brett Killion

Associate Professor of Accounting at Lakeland University

It’s important to note that many schools can’t simply add Supplemental Curriculum Content to their budgets. For Lakeland University, the curriculum is a student-paid resource accessed via a technology fee. For that reason, Killion found it crucial to communicate the benefit to his students, regardless of whether they pursued a CPA.


Killion’s students spent the first half of the semester with Becker’s Microsoft Excel Fundamentals and Data Analytics Certificate. They were required to complete 1-2 modules each week and submit their completion certificates. Upon full completion, Killion gave a strong tip to his students: update their résumés from “Proficient in Excel” to “Certified in Excel and Data & Analytics.”

The certificate does indeed grant that extra proficiency. Many critical Excel functions are now a significant part of an accountant’s job, and this Becker certificate provides a comprehensive guide that takes students from essential fundamentals all the way to in- depth applications for data and analytics.


In the second half of the semester, Killion’s students used any modules they wished from this bundle. The only caveat: it had to equate to 10 credits. Once each module was complete, students submitted their completion certificate alongside a 1-page summary on what they learned in each module. This reflection helped them think about how they could apply the recent education to their future careers.

Becker’s Emerging Technology Course Bundle packs coursework that gets students up to speed on trending topics like data analytics, cybersecurity, data privacy and blockchain. The bundle is one of many Becker offerings that work to prepare students for the rapidly-changing Accounting profession.


Lakeland University first partnered with Becker in 2011, then moved to a different provider a few years later. Then, about five years ago, Killion revived the relationship. “I knew Becker is the gold standard for getting students ready for the CPA Exam,” he said.

On top of the Supplemental Curriculum Content in the Capstone class, the graduate program at Lakeland uses Becker’s CPA Exam Review course as an embedded resource. As for undergrads, they benefit from AccountingMasterTM, which helps faculty create custom assignments and exams using CPA Exam questions. Becker conducted a student survey at the end of the Spring 2023 semester asking students if they would recommend Becker’s supplemental curriculum content courses to other students. One hundred percent of responses said “yes”.

Add it all up, and it’s clear that Lakeland University is taking a proactive Accounting education approach that will help students succeed during the CPA Exam, and for the many years after it.

To learn more about our partnership programs, contact Amy Johnson, Becker’s senior national university program manager at or visit

Download the full case study here.

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