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Accounting Quality Improvement Plan

Department/Program: Accounting
Review Date: December 14, 2017
Last Updated: December 18, 2017

*Visiting Team Recommendations **Update on Actions Taken/ Current Status Completed Date
1.Coordinate with the internship coordinator in the Willes Center to develop an internship program specifically for accounting majors. The internship coordinator can work with alumni, and develop relationships in the US and target areas for summer internships. Students are not exposed to experiential learning opportunities. The Accounting Cycle Project and the SAP training are great projects. However, more experiential learning opportunities are needed to prepare students as business professionals.
2.The accounting program may develop a community-based learning opportunity where students provide financial literacy skills. For example, the University of Alabama developed the Learning Initiative and Financial Training (LIFT) program. This program is designed to reach out to the local communities and use university resources, both financial and human capital, to improve the job skills of the adult and teen populations. (For additional information, please see the report.)
3.The committee believes the Accounting Department should consider 5-7 learning outcomes and then specifically identify courses that are best suited to achieve certain core competencies. The Accounting Department can use their capstone course, ACCT 440, to assess whether all 5-7 learning outcomes are being achieved.
4.We recommend that the Accounting Department exercise extreme caution in developing additional classes or electives. With the limited number of faculty, having more courses may create an unintended consequence that will further exhaust faculty resources and lead to competing course offerings. A suggested approach is to integrate cases within the existing courses that provide some background in these other subjects. The case method, if properly developed, will expose students to a variety of topics and business issues within the context of the existing course.
5.We recommend that the faculty develop these cases based on interviews with corporations and government agencies within the target areas of the university. Faculty should visit the target areas to become more familiar with the culture and the needs of community leaders and potential employers. The cases could be written to identify specific challenges faced by potential employers, and let students learn how to develop solutions to problems in these target areas.(For additional information, please see the report.)
6.BYU-Hawaii should structure a ‘develop your own’ initiative to meet the ongoing needs of hiring academically, qualified faculty. For example, the accounting program at BYU-Provo faced a similar challenge about 20 years ago. BYU-Provo developed a PhD Track option for students enrolled in their masters’ program. This option exposed students to academic research and to the process of receiving a PhD in Accounting. Students interested enrolled in various PhD programs across the country and now there are more LDS faculty with PhDs in Accounting than could ever be hired at BYU-Provo.(For additional information, please see the report.)