Certified Retail Analyst Coursework | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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View the information below to learn more about the pre-requisites and core courses required to complete the Certified Retail Analyst (CRA) program., as well as required textbooks, software, course costs and more. 


Coursework listed below offers further insight of what will be learned throughout the CRA program.  

The following courses are required to be taken before registering for the CRA classes. Email retail@nwacc.edu for further details or more information.

- ENGL 1013 English Composition I (grade C or better)

- MATH 1203 College Algebra or MATH 1313 Quantitative Reasoning (grade C or better)

Acceptable proofs of completion:

  • Submit a copy of official transcripts or unofficial transcripts with your application
  • Take the Accuplacer Next Generation test, with the following minimum scores: College Algebra minimum score of +250, English Composition I minimum score of +250. See Accuplacer placement chart here.
  • Take the CLEP test for College Algebra and/or English Composition I. CLEP testing awards college credit if you pass the test.
  • Enroll in College Algebra or English Composition I (or higher) at NWACC or an accredited college.
  • Learn more about taking the Accuplacer test at our Testing Center.

- XCMP 9034 CRA Intro to Microsoft Office 2013 ($500)

Acceptable proofs of completion:

  • Take the CRA Intro to Microsoft Office 2013 with a grade C or better
  • Take the Computer Challenge Test (at NWACC).
    • Test is administered at the NWACC Testing Center and students MUST schedule a test date. You must tell them you are taking the Computer Challenge Test. If you miss your scheduled test date, you will pay an additional amount to reschedule.
    • All four sections must be taken (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access). A required overall score of 80%, no section score below 70%.
    • Challenge Exam uses testing software to emulate Windows and the Microsoft Office 2019 Suite. Do not use the right click as a shortcut.
  • Take CISQ 1103 Course (Intro to Computer Systems) within the past three years and have received a grade of C or higher. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Director of Retail and Supplier Education.
  • Microsoft Certification/MSO-Certiport - student must provide documentation for Microsoft Office 2013 or newer certification in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Access received within the last three years.
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you have an advanced degree and prior learning experience, you may be eligible to skip the Intro to Microsoft Office 2013 pre-requisite course, allowing you to finish the program in less than a year. Learn about eligibility by emailing retail@nwacc.edu

- XCMP 6001 Excel and Database Management for Retail

  • CRA Intro to MS Office is a pre-requisite for Excel and Database Management for Retail. Proof of completion of this pre-requisite must be met prior to a student taking the Excel and Database Management for Retail course.
  • Proof of completion for the Excel and Database Management for Retail course includes successful completion of the Excel and Database Management for Retail course with a grade of "C" or higher.

All classes meet one night a week for 15 weeks (summer - 12 weeks) from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
All classes are $575 per class.

  • XMRK 5019  Retail Industry Foundations *
  • XMRK 5013 Retail Link Data Management *

*May be taken concurrently

  • XMRK 5017 Retail Supply Chain & Replenishment **
  • XMRK 5015 Retail Strategic Analysis **

**May be taken concurrently

  • XMRK 5019 Retail Tools Integration ***
  • XMRK 5016 Retail Analytical Techniques ***

***May be taken concurrently

Semester 1

  • XCMP 9034 CRA Intro to MS Office 2013 (First seven weeks online class)
  • XCMP 6001 Excel and Database Management for Retail (Second eight weeks in the classroom, two nights a week)

Semester 2

  • XMRK 5019 Retail Industry Foundations (Retail Link ID is assigned to students)
  • XMRK 5013 Retail Link Data Management

Semester 3

  • XMRK 5017 Supply Chain & Retail Replenishment
  • XMRK 5015 Retail Strategic Analysis

Semester 4

  • XMRK 5014 Retail Tools Integration
  • XMRK 5016 Retail Analytical Techniques

The cost for each CRA pre-requisite course is $500. Each CRA course in the core program is $575. You will pay and enroll on a semester by semester basis. Visit Payments and Refunds for payment plan, financial aid, and scholarship information. 


Tools & Supplies

CRA courses can require textbooks, computer software and an online learning management system. Learn more below.

In the CRA program, the majority of course materials utilized are course guides written specifically for the CRA program. This material is located in the Canvas LMS system.

The following classes in the CRA program utilize textbooks:

  • XCMP 9034 Intro to MS Office 2013
  • XMRK 5019 Retail Industry Foundations (Class 1)
  • XMRK 5015 Retail Strategic Analysis (Class 4)
  • XMRK 5014 Retail Tools Integration (Class 5)

Visit the NWACC Bookstore to purchase/order your book. Visit the Coursework and Textbooks page for specific information on required textbooks.

Access to a laptop or computer: NWACC campus computer labs may also be utilized when campus is open

Computer software: At least Microsoft Windows 10; Microsoft Office 2013 Professional version (including Microsoft Excel, Access, Word and Power Point) Note:  Mac computers can be used – but are not recommended

For more information on computer and technology recommendations, visit Information Technology's support page.

Tableau student license: used in class 5 Retail Tools Integration

High speed internet access

Additional equipment beneficial/not required for Remote Synchronous courses (live virtual webinars):

  • Dual Monitors
  • Headset
  • Webcam/camera on computer

Canvas Learning Management System: Utilized in all CRA classes, houses course materials. Note: Course materials are published to students approximately five days prior to the first day of class.

Retail Link - Decision Support: Student access granted following completion of NDA one week prior to Class 1 Retail Industry Foundations start date; check NWACC email for notifications.



Technical Support

  • To activate NWACC email and get help with other technical support issues, call the IT Help Desk at 479-619-4357.
  • For help with Canvas, email dl@nwacc.edu.
  • To reset a Retail Link password, email NWACC Site Administrator and provide user ID from NWACC email address. Note: Refer to CRA announcements in Canvas for specific email address.
  • Visit Technical Support for more information.
  • For all other issues, contact crahelp@nwacc.edu.