Accounting Boot Camp
Journal of Accounting Education, 32(1): 88-97, 2014
18 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2011 Last revised: 26 Aug 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2014
I explore the effectiveness of a program designed to improve student effort and performance in intermediate accounting and other upper division accounting courses. At a mid-sized public university in the Western US, many students enrolled in Intermediate Accounting I (their first upper division course) struggled with the rigor and academic demands of this course, resulting in failure rates of 30%-45%. Most retake the course and ultimately contribute to nationally competitive CPA pass rates. Additionally, in other upper division accounting courses, students new to the upper division underperformed their more experienced peers. In both cases, students new to upper division courses appeared to lack a commitment to, or awareness of, the effort needed for success in the accounting program. An accounting “Boot Camp” was implemented to prepare new accounting majors for the expectations of the program. I detail the implementation of the boot camp and review its effectiveness by comparing the performance of attendees with non-attendees. Controlling for other contributing factors, I find evidence that attendees took their studies more seriously and outperformed their non-attending peers in Intermediate Accounting I. Attendees in other upper division accounting courses no longer underperformed their more experienced peers. As an alternative to entrance exams or extensive review sessions, this expectations-oriented boot camp solution may help students transition from lower-division to upper-division courses in a variety of majors.
Keywords: Intermediate Accounting, Boot Camp, Student Expectations, Student Performance, Accounting Education, Performance Outcomes, Student Success
JEL Classification: A22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation