Devon Baranek, Nandini Chandar & Margaret O’Reilly-Allen, Rider University

This paper analyzes the impact of creating a mandatory accounting lab intended to provide support and structure to freshmen accounting majors following a key departmental initiative to move the “Introduction to Accounting” course from the sophomore to the freshmen year.

The goals of the accounting lab, facilitated by an outstanding upper-class accounting major are: (1) to increase understanding of classroom material through added explanations, reinforcement of key concepts, and additional practice and testing; (2) to help students transition from high school into college by providing added structure and support; (3) to provide students with a connection to strong upper-class accounting majors who potentially serve as mentors and role models and (4) to help students develop efficient study skills and improve test taking strategies.

This research project uses data from multiple sources – student questionnaire data, independent data on these labs collected by the Student Success Center and data provided by the registrar’s office – to examine the effectiveness of these accounting labs.

We compare key metrics like student grades in the course, level of engagement, retention rates, etc. for the group of students who had the accounting lab with the same metrics for the group that did not have the accounting lab (the first year of the curriculum change).

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