THE CHALLENGE: Decrease Attrition By Improving Student Engagement
The University of Winnipeg is a CPA accredited university, focusing its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Accounting Concentration curriculum on helping students prepare for the CPA Professional Education Program and Common Final Exam (CFE). As part of that journey, Introduction to Financial Accounting is the first accounting course, providing students a foundation for the entire degree curriculum.
In 2008, Rosalie Harms, then instructor and current department chair, witnessed a 55% attrition rate in Introduction to Financial Accounting. Such high attrition rates result in students repeating this course multiple times.
“High attrition rates result in numerous costs to the university and the CPA profession. Scarce resources are consumed in offering multiple sections of courses for students repeating their studies. Additionally, students who are intellectually capable are dropping out of the discipline because they lack the study skills required to be successful. This contributes to the national shortage of students entering and completing the CPA professional program,” stated Rosalie.
As Rosalie searched for answers, she reviewed open educational resources (OER), but found them poorly written, too general, and unsuitable for a university level accounting course. She continued her search for ways to engage her students.