As part of a revision to the undergraduate business core curriculum, the typical two-course introductory series was condensed into one class, and an additional “bridge” course was created for students continuing to intermediate accounting. The transition period created a natural experiment to examine student success and retention in intermediate accounting and beyond. Compared with students who had completed six hours of principles courses and a gateway exam, students who completed this new course sequence scored higher on an incoming assessment in the new and more advanced first intermediate course. Further, the performance advantage is evident in higher exam grades in the first intermediate course, higher GPA in future accounting courses, greater retention of accounting majors, and gains in conversion to accounting. Although this curriculum change is somewhat unique, the results lend insights to accounting educators on how to address success and retention/gains of accounting students throughout intermediate accounting and beyond.

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