IAEP Status Upgrade for the Woody L. Hunt College of Business Creates New Funding Opportunities
“The Institute of Internal Auditors endorsement of UTEP as a Comprehensive Level University allows our Internal Auditing Education Partnership (IAEP) Program to compete internationally for new student opportunities,” said Courtney Rios, IAEP coordinator and lecturer in the AIS Department.
Only twenty-three universities worldwide hold the Comprehensive Level designation, with UTEP and UT Austin as the only two UT System schools recognized. Further, UTEP is one of three Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) to hold the designation.
This designation allows universities to apply for new grants from the Internal Audit Foundation, a global organization dedicated to advancing the profession of auditors.
AIS was awarded $10,000 to support integration of data analytics in the Internal Auditing (ACCT 5327) coursework. The grant money provides support to hire and train graduate students to create case studies using data analytics during the course.
The department can now apply for expanded scholarship and networking funding opportunities for students. Fourteen students qualified for CIA Exam scholarships last year, with more scholarships slated to be offered in July 2022.
Events include an annual networking event held at El Paso City Hall, holiday socials with the El Paso IIA and a recent IAEP Internal Audit Forum in Spring 2022.
Networking events are often the first step for students that culminates in the chance to earn an internship, full-time job offer or travel opportunities.
For Jannell Ballin, a UTEP Master of Accountancy student, expanded opportunities created by the change created a pathway that led her to an internship – and discovering her passion for auditing.
"I enrolled in the MAcc Program’s Internal Auditing course and the topic quickly caught my interest – I was drawn to the analytical nature of the profession," she said.
Rios, Ballin’s course instructor, noticed the interest in Ballin was developing and encouraged her to keep at it. Citing her analytical skills and intuitive skepticism, Rios saw a “natural auditor” in Ballin. Ballin was soon hired as an intern in UTEP Office of Auditing and Consulting Services.
There, she actively participated in audits and consulting engagements with staff auditors and began to “fall in love with internal auditing.”
“When you look at it, internal auditing goes beyond the financial aspects of accounting and cuts to the true core of an organization,” said Ballin. “That is an incredible way to think of the profession and a powerful way to realize my role in an organization.”