Teaming up to drive student success
An empowering partnership
For Master of Accountancy (MAcc) students at the West Virginia University (WVU) John Chambers College of Business and Economics, part of the requirements for graduation includes sitting for two parts of the CPA Exam. But this was more than just another box to check off. “We didn’t just want them to have to take parts of the exam,” said Gary LeDonne, faculty at WVU. “We wanted them to be sufficiently prepared as well.” To accomplish that goal, they partnered with the leader in exam prep — Becker.
Becker worked closely with the faculty to integrate Becker’s CPA Exam Review materials into the MAcc curriculum. “Knowing that Becker was widely used by so many accounting firms, they were the natural choice,” said WVU Accounting Department Chair, Richard Riley. Riley examined his existing coursework and saw quite a bit of overlap with what Becker’s materials were covering. Instead of creating duplicate lessons and videos, he chose to assign Becker coursework for over half of the course grade. He leaned on Becker for the basics and supplemented with his own materials to create a customized curriculum.
“We don’t want our students to just graduate, we want them to launch a career and be well on their way to the CPA Exam. Becker is widely used and reimbursed by so many accounting firms and has the resources available to integrate CPA review into our courses, so Becker was the natural choice for WVU.”
Executive in Residence, Director of Master of Accountancy Program
Trusted evaluation tools
As the director of the MAcc program, Gary LeDonne provides coaching and accountability for his students. Each mid-term, he would meet with each MAcc student personally to discuss their progress in the program. Becker’s Navigator tool was essential in this process, helping easily track students’ progression through the coursework and evaluate their comprehension of the coursework.
Becker’s partnership extends well beyond providing coursework to help students prep for the CPA Exam. Every university is assigned a local account manager to make the process as seamless as possible. For WVU, Maria Simon was an essential resource for students and faculty alike. For the instructors, Simon helped WVU incorporate the Becker materials into their existing program. For students, Simon helped ensure they were each getting the most out of their Becker materials.
“Maria [Simon] was integral to making the classroom run effectively, said Riley. “Knowing that she had my back and had the students’ backs was vital.”
WVU student pass rate for the CPA Exam increased by 56% since working with Becker.* Before WVU partnered with Becker, the pass rate for the CPA Exam among MAcc students was 48%. In 2019, with Becker by their side, students had a 75% pass rate — that’s a 56% increase. To date, WVU has incorporated Becker materials into their financial accounting and auditing courses, and it will soon add them to their governmental accounting course.
Results are as reported by West Virginia University.
*National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. “The Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination – 2019 Edition.” New York: The NASBA Report on the CPA Exam, 2019.