Preparing students for the CPA Exam and beyond

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A powerful redesign

In 2018, Baldwin Wallace University (BW) replaced its MBA in Accounting program with a new Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program. During the program’s development, Chair Dr. Linda Chase and her Department of Accounting colleagues made it a point to ensure students were fully prepared for a successful career upon graduation. “We are teaching students to work in a dynamic, technology driven, and evolving Accounting workplace,” said Dr. Chase.

“Passing and obtaining CPA licensure is a short-term goal. Ultimately, we want students to be ready to thrive in their careers within the accounting profession.” BW's Accounting department understood that CPA licensure positions their accounting graduates for a variety of job choices and future promotions. “Historically, once you graduate a student, they’re on their own to either show up at an in-person CPA study session or do the self-study option,” said Dr. Chase. “You just have to keep your fingers crossed that they’re putting the time in before they actually sit. We decided during the year of MAcc development that we would partner with Becker to assist in that preparation. The CPA exams provide an incredible resource for curriculum design and development due to its reflection of work within the Accounting workplace. Including Becker Capstone classes in our MAcc program, has allowed our graduates a gain deep understanding of technology, subject matter, and prepares them to sit for the CPA exams. Our partnership with Becker has been incredibly successful for our students.”

In 2021, Ohio lowered its requirements to sit for the CPA Exam from 150 to 120 credit hours. This put BW students in the perfect position because the structure of their program was already helping them get Exam Day ReadySM.

“We are teaching to the profession. Passing and obtaining CPA licenser is a short-term goal. Ultimately, we want students to be ready to thrive in their careers within the accounting profession because of how we prepared them academically.”

Dr. Linda Chase

Chair, Accounting and Business Law, and Professor, Carmel Boyer School of Business

“The MAcc non-capstone classes enable students to take deep dives into advanced accounting materials, cases, technology, and analysis of various scenarios. Our Accounting students are fully ready to take each Becker course,” said Dr. Chase. Students are tasked with completing all their assigned Becker modules before class each week, and then faculty work with them on the most challenging areas. All of this sets BW students up to seek NTS from NASBA, sit and pass all four CPA Exam sections before graduation, if they choose. “Our accounting profession has a fantastic model, in the CPA Exams, that reference the work being done out in the field, " Dr. Chase states.

Customized for every professor

While each class that enters BW’s MAcc program has learned the same material up until that point, that doesn’t mean all their needs are the same once they’re in the program. “In one class, we might need to cover more bonds or leases, instead of one particular audit report that everybody seems to be getting an understanding of right away,” said Dr. Chase. On top of that, each professor teaches in their unique way, which makes Becker’s adaptability a game changer. With a wide range of on-demand course offerings and tools, BW faculty can personally shape how Becker informs their courses on a classby-class basis.

Identifying curriculum gaps

BW’s MAcc program champions student success through its capstone courses. A chance to review all the knowledge having been taught along the way, these courses are embedded into the MAcc program at no cost to students. To provide the best review experience possible, BW uses Becker CPA Exam Review to guide students along the way, section by section. “I recommend that universities that partner with Becker dig into their curriculum to see where it could support CPA Exam Review material,” said Dr. Chase. “A capstone course that is placed strategically within the curriculum makes a big difference in student learning.” It is critical for advanced preparation though. Rigorous curriculum design for UG Accounting classes throughout the graduate Accounting classes provides students with confidence once they do reach taking these Becker Capstone classes."


With a strategically designed MAcc program and strong Becker partnership, BW is achieving its goal of fully preparing students for a successful career upon graduation. A recent BW MAcc graduate, Kelly, was thrilled to share her successful journey with Dr. Chase. She says, “And that’s a wrap. I am so happy to tell you, I officially passed all four CPA [Exam sections] on the first attempt.”

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.

Results are as reported by Baldwin Wallace University.

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