ST. GEORGE – Nine universities in the United States have earned the Institute of Management Accountants’ Higher Education Endorsement and among them was Dixie State University’s accounting department.
The endorsement, which Dixie State was awarded March 19, is granted to universities with business curriculums that prepare students to earn the certified management accountant designation, which is usually attained by accountants looking to work internally for companies rather than for private individuals as certified public accountants.
“It’s a great resource to tell students we’re 1 of 9 universities in the nation,” DSU accounting instructor Derrick Esplin said.
DSU stands out on the list of endorsement recipients because it is a newer and smaller university than its peers, which include Brigham Young, Penn State and Michigan State universities. Additionally, Dixie State’s accounting department has been in existence for less than a year, and is growing with five full-time faculty members and a sixth position in the works.
The endorsement, which Esplin said he hopes encourages students interested in accounting to consider DSU, serves as a source of external validation.
“Others and IMA see that we are providing an adequate education for what they’re looking for,” Esplin said.
Esplin, who served as Dixie State’s IMA Campus Advocate, said he looked into the program after a student sent him information about it. Earning the designation was a pretty rigorous process, he said, but a worthwhile venture.
“Now that we’ve become an endorsed provider, five of our top performing students are eligible for a scholarship for the CMA exam,” he said, adding that the scholarship’s value is about $1,000 per student.
The endorsement process involved showing IMA that the university was teaching students core accounting principles. To do so, Esplin submitted samples of syllabi, test questions, resumes of professors and examples of Dixie State’s learning environment — in all, Esplin turned in approximately 50 documents.
“IMA has about 20 different areas of concentration they feel is important for accountants to know when they leave the university,” he said. “We had to show in which classes students were getting that type of learning.”
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