Texas A&M University-Commerce, the third-largest institution in the massive Texas A&M University System, recently earned recognition under the IMA Higher Education Endorsement Program.

The IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) program recognizes college and university programs that provide the rigorous curriculum needed for students to prepare for the CMA exam and successful careers in management accounting. To qualify for endorsement, schools must meet the following criteria: (1) the program must substantially cover the CMA exam content; (2) the program must have adequate faculty resources to deliver this content; and (3) the program must be accredited by a recognized accreditation organization.

To date, nearly 100 colleges and universities have been endorsed under the IMA program, spanning the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania.

Texas A&M-Commerce, located about 60 miles outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area, has an enrollment of approximately 8,000 and a thriving business program. It is part of the 11-university Texas A&M University System, one of the largest systems of higher education in the U.S. According to James Hamill, Ph.D., CPA, head of the accounting department, the decision to pursue endorsement came from several faculty members, who recognized how earning the endorsement could benefit students.

“Many of our students aren’t interested in pursuing a ‘big city’ job with a Big Four firm,” Hamill explains. He noted, too, that for many students, a career in management accounting provides an appealing alternative path to public accounting.

According to Hamill, many faculty members in the 16-person department have worked in management accounting in their careers and a few are even CMAs.

“We have a big focus on practical experience at our university, and the CMA fits in perfectly with that,” he says. “This is especially valuable to our students, most of whom have a very clear idea of what they want to accomplish with their education: to help them secure a good job and perhaps work in manufacturing or one of the industrial companies in the nearby area.”

Hamill noted that the school is also in the process of setting up an IMA student chapter on campus, which should help to spread word about the CMA certification among the student population. He also recognizes how endorsement will help the school in its efforts to attract more students in what is a highly competitive educational system in Texas.

“IMA is pleased to welcome Texas A&M-Commerce to the growing list of schools that support the CMA exam program,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, CFP, CFA, IMA vice president of research and professor-in-residence. “High-quality educational programs that support the current needs of businesses will help future professional management accountants accomplish their career objectives and meet the competency expectations of employers.”

A recent Faculty Friday webinar was held about how to navigate the endorsement process: Differentiate Your Accounting Curriculum Through the IMA Higher Education Endorsement Program. For more information on the program, please visit IMA Higher Education Endorsement Program.