S Se er rv vi ic ce e- -L Le ea ar rn ni in ng g: : T Th he e T Tr ri im m- -T Ta ab b o of f U Un nd de er rg gr ra ad du ua at te e A Ac cc co ou un nt ti in ng g E Ed du uc ca at ti io on n R Re ef fo or rm m

globestupendousSecurity

Dec 3, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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by

Curtis L. DeBerg

Professor of Accounting

College of Business

California State University

Chico, CA 95929
-
0011

Phone: (916) 898
-
6463

Fax: (916) 898
-
4970

E
-
mail: cdeberg@oavax
.csuchico.edu

Lynn M. Pringle

Director, Master of Accountancy Program

College of Business Administration

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Phone: (319) 335
-
0910

Fax: (319) 335
-
1956

E
-
mail: lynn
-
pringle@uiowa.edu

Edward Zlotkowski

Senior Associate

The Am
erican Association for Higher Education

One Dupont Circle

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 508 693 4262

Fax: (508) 693 4262

E
-
mail: ezlotkowski@bentley.edu



Curtis L. DeBerg

is a professor of accounting at California State University, Chico. He
has served as
Co
-
director of two FIPSE grants to reengineer introductory accounting.
Also, he was the Academic Fellow for the California Society of Certified Public
Accountants from 1993
-
95.

Lynn M. Pringle

is the director of the Master of Accountancy Program at the Uni
versity
of Iowa.

Edward Zlotkowski

is the founding director of the Bentley Service
-
Learning Center at
Bentley College. He currently serves as a senior associate at the American Association for
Higher Education (AAHE) and as series editor of AAHE’s 18
-
volu
me set on service
-
learning in the disciplines.



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The “ship of higher education” is in the midst of a storm. Instead of gusting
winds and shifting currents, universities are fa
ced with other unpredictable forces.
Examples include technological innovation, distance learning, workplace preparedness,
global competition, roles of faculty in faculty/
student interaction, collaborative learning,
multiculturalism, experiential learning

and service
-
learning, a relatively unknown within
business colleges. All of these elements are shifting the course of the mammoth ship,
which many believe to be out of control. While this article directly addresses service
-
learning from an accounting pers
pective, it has profound implications for many of the
other aforementioned issues currently faced by higher education.

Barr and Tagg (1995) described a shift from what they call an “Instruction
Paradigm” (traditional, passive lecture
-
discussion format) to

a “Learning Paradigm”
(interactive, experiential, and “holistic” format) as the trim
-
tab of the “huge ship” of
higher education. A trim
-
tab is a little rudder attached to the end of a larger rudder.
Applying a very small force to turn the trim
-
tab left mo
ves the larger rudder to the right.
The force applied to the larger rudder turns the ship left. Barr and Tagg envisioned a set
of structures and processes that are starkly different from today’s Instruction Paradigm,
and suggest that it will take decades t
o work out many of the Learning Paradigm’s
implications.


Unquestionably, technological advances are changing both
how

education is
delivered and, in many cases, the
content

of what is being taught. This is especially true
in professional disciplines such
as accounting, management information systems, and
computer science. The ship of business education, once firmly anchored to the traditional
Instruction Paradigm, is now beginning to move. Unlike Barr and Tagg, we believe that it
will take a much shorter t
ime to shift to a Learning Paradigm because the prevailing
winds, i.e., the market forces unleashed by technology, require change at a quicker pace.
This change of pace is related to Zemsky and Massy's (1995, 49) conclusion: “To survive
and prosper in an a
ge of enterprise, colleges and universities will have to be more

2

responsive to the changing market for research and learning, more willing to make
service
their mark of quality, and more successful in differentiating among separate
functions like teaching
and research.” [emphasis added]

1



Radical organizational change driven by market demands related to service is not,
of course, a new idea. Halal (1990) noted that:

"Even a casual scanning of current events during the past few years leaves one
gripped by

the troubling impression that business, government, and all other social

institutes are in a state of upheaval. This upheaval seems to constitute nothing
less than a managerial revolution."


Halal also identified two issues especially critical to this re
volution: (1) the need to
develop more flexible, entrepreneurial organizations and (2 ) the need to adopt a more
participative form of leadership. Translated into the language of Barr and Tagg’s
Learning Paradigm, these two needs speak to programs (1) ski
llfully structured around a
variety of pedagogical strategies and (2) deliberately inclusive of students as co
-
constructors of knowledge and meaning. Implementation of such programs is necessary
to prepare students for the changing demands of today’s busi
ness environment.


There have been numerous calls to right the ship. Porter and McKibbin (1988), in
their AACSB
-
sponsored study of the state of business education, noted graduates who are
narrowly focused and "often...unwittingly insensitive to...facto
rs other than the ‘bottom
line.’” The Bedford Committee Report (AAA 1986), the Big 8 White Paper (Andersen et
al. 1989), the AECC (1990), and the AAA (1995) second the findings of Brigham Young
University’s (?????) accounting faculty that “of the 27 expan
ded competencies needed by
future accounting professionals only four are related to direct knowledge of accounting
and only three are related to a study of the business environment.” These other
competencies include “[s]olving unstructured problems in unfa
miliar settings,”
“[u]nderstanding economic, social, and cultural forces,” “[w]orking effectively with
diverse groups of people,” and “[u]sing data, exercising judgment, evaluating risks, and
solving real
-
world problems.”

Clearly, then, many business educa
tion leaders do not regard “business
(education) as usual” as a prescription for future success. And yet, it is precisely such an
assumption that Porter and McKibbin (1985, 85) found evident in many business

3

education institutions. As they tactfully put i
t, “[we] were somewhat surprised that
[striking a balance between discipline
-
specific specialization and breadth of knowledge]
did not seem to be as salient an issue as we thought it should be.” Or, as Hogner (1996)
more bluntly stated: “Deep inside manag
ement and other departments in our respective
schools, we continue as if untouched by the extraordinary changes in understanding
taking place ‘outside.’”


In order to change the direction in which the ship of business education is headed,
we need to move

the rudder that is faculty acceptance of a broader range of competencies
for business students. And in order to affect this rudder, we need to identify as its trim
-
tab
a concrete strategy that will allow business faculty to introduce this broader range of

competencies into their actual pedagogical practice. Here, Guskin (1994) calls on faculty
to move away from traditional, in
-
class information transfer and to serve instead as the
skilled designers of student learning environments

environments that maximiz
e
essential faculty
-
student interaction, integrate new technologies fully into the student
learning process, and enhance student learning through peer interaction.
2

As for the actual
design strategies that can create such environments, Guskin is silent. H
owever, we
believe

on the basis both of our own experience and of that of an increasing number of
our colleagues

that the answer lies in
faculty and student involvement in

academically
-
based service.


Academically based service for students, i.e., service
-
learning, and a closely
related concept, professional service for faculty, are topics whose time has come.
Zlotkowski (1996a) argues that service
-
learning, as a potentially transformative
component of business education, not only enhances many of the “soft
” skills needed by
contemporary business professionals but also provides invaluable opportunities for
hands
-
on technical learning. As for faculty professional service, Gamson (1995) and
Hirsch (1996) have called on faculty to expand their service horizons
by going beyond
internal university service to develop external forms of service that draw upon their
disciplinary and professional expertise. Gamson calls on academic leaders to promote
greater interest in such external service because it addresses three
key issues: the social
role of higher education, rethinking faculty work, and institutional restructuring. Hirsch

4

(1996, 9) concurs, and like Zlotkowski (1996b), emphasizes that efforts must be made to
link both faculty and student outreach to the
internal

change process of the academy:
“The aim of service proponents must be to relate [service], whether in curricula or
through field projects, to what drives the university: teaching and learning, research, and
the dissemination of knowledge. The challenge is

to weave service into the fabric of how
faculty organize their work.”


The remainder of this article focuses on service
-
learning as a concrete pedagogical
change strategy. It begins by reviewing a useful definition of the concept; links service
-
learning
to the accounting education reform movement; details constraints and barriers
faculty must overcome in order to implement effective service
-
learning programs; and
presents five case studies of successful service
-
learning projects currently in effect at two

(STATE) universities. Each case “fits” into a new, seamless fabric that gives service a
more prominent place in faculty work. The article concludes by offering
recommendations to help make service
-
learning a more valued part of faculty scholarship
in a re
structured approach to business education.

SERVICE
-
LEARNING DEFINED

Bringle and Hatcher (1996, 222) offer a useful general definition of service
-
learning. They describe it as:

a credit
-
bearing educational experience in which students participate in an
orga
nized service activity that meets identified community needs and
reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain a further
understanding of course content, and an enhanced sense of civic
responsibility. Unlike extracurricular voluntary service, se
rvice learning is
a course
-
based service experience that produces the best outcomes when
meaningful service activities are related to course material through
reflection activities as directed writings, small group discussions, and class
presentations. Unli
ke practica and internships, the experiential activity in a
service
-
learning course is not necessarily skill
-
based within the context of
professional education.


Bringle and Hatcher come very close to our own understanding of service
-
learning.
However, t
heir definition should be supplemented and/or clarified in three areas. First, we
need to specify further what we mean by “community.” Does it include on
-
campus as
well as off
-
campus service? Does it include work with for
-
profit as well as non
-
profit

5

org
anizations? Our answer to both of these questions is “yes.” While, on the one hand,
the “service” in service
-
learning is provided primarily to segments of the population
underserved by our market economy, such a focus does not exclude the needs of
disadv
antaged populations
on

campus nor does it exclude collaborations with the for
-
profit sector that result in more than proprietary advantage.


Second, the qualification “credit
-
bearing” must be understood to apply both to
courses where service is in fact the

main objective and to existing courses whose primary
purpose is the furthering discipline
-
based knowledge and skills. In the latter case, for
example, service activities may be recognized in the form of bonus points or as one of
several possible project t
racks. Indeed, we can even envision less
-
structured situations
student organizations and club
-
based activities engage in service
-
learning.

Third, the faculty role in service
-
learning projects needs to be more fully
addressed. In most cases, faculty shou
ld be rewarded extrinsically as well as intrinsically
for their service involvement. In other words, the design and implementation of service
projects represents a valid

and increasingly important

form of what Boyer (1992) has
called the “scholarship of t
eaching.” As such, it needs to be documented, evaluated, and
recognized in the same way in which other forms of scholarship and innovative teaching
are recognized. Indeed, projects where students and faculty actually serve together are to
be encouraged.

Such joint ventures not only make possible projects of greater complexity
and higher quality; they also open the door to what was referred to earlier as faculty
professional service, a concept Boyer identified as the scholarship of application.
3



SERVICE
-
LEARNING AND ACCOUNTING

EDUCATION REFORM



At the most fundamental level, criticism centers on the excessive attention
presently given by accounting curricula to rule
-
based and procedural
-
oriented knowledge.
As a result of this narrow focus, capabilities
that are deemed to be highly significant in
achieving success in the profession have been inadequately developed or ignored
altogether. These deficiencies include the inability to solve unstructured problems and to
make reasoned, value
-
based judgments, the

lack of interpersonal skills required to work

6

effectively in groups, the lack of writing and oral skills required to communicate
effectively with others, and inadequate computer skills.


Leading accounting practitioners and educators have been making the

case for
reform in accounting education for over a decade now, starting with the Bedford
Committee (1986, 178). This led to the White Paper issued by the (then) Big 8 public
accounting firms (Andersen et al. 1989), followed by the creation of the Accounti
ng
Education Change Commission (1990). All have called for major reforms in course
content and pedagogy in order to produce graduates capable of success in the 21
st


century.

For example, the White Paper stated that the successful practitioner requires
ge
neral knowledge that covers a number of factors:




An understanding of the flow of events in history and the different cultures in



today's world.




The ability to interact with diverse groups of people and at the highest levels



of intellectual exc
hange.




A sense of the breadth of ideas, issues and contrasting economic, political and



social forces in the world.




Experience in making value judgments.

Similarly, the AECC called for coursework that enhances communication skills,
intellectual sk
ills, and interpersonal skills. This includes the ability to work effectively in
groups and to provide leadership when appropriate.


Not only has course content been challenged; so, too, has course delivery. The
Bedford Committee, for example, questioned t
he effectiveness of traditional teaching and
learning methods. It also suggested that more emphasis should be given to student
development:

The ability to apply accounting knowledge requires that students develop
pertinent skills and attitudes regarding,
for example, how to become aware
or sensitive to the needs of others, how to listen, how to understand
management requirements, how to negotiate, and how to relate to the
information requirement of the general public. At a minimum, current
teaching methods

need to be supplemented with discussion of concepts.


The White Paper concurred, and encouraged faculty to deliver courses in an integrated,

7

"learning by doing" manner rather than experiencing isolated courses. Teamwork is
encouraged across course and de
partmental lines.

Service
-
Learning and Accounting Reform


How does service
-
learning "fit" into the calls for reform described above? We
believe that well
-
designed service
-
learning projects, with a component for student
reflection, can help overcome many of

skill deficiencies described above. Service
-
learning can provide students with valuable opportunities to serve on real projects outside
the classroom and, together with faculty, students can have a direct hand in planning,
implementing, and assessing the
projects.


Given that service
-
learning activities are encouraged in the missions of most
universities, the time is right to make service
-
learning an important part of the
undergraduate accounting curriculum. This was articulated by E. Eugene Rice, Directo
r
of the Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards for the American Association for Higher
Education: “Service
-
learning is gathering steam around the country because it is
congruent with a key mission of our institutions; whets the imaginations of students,
facu
lty, and community participants; is pedagogically effective; and meets important
community needs” (Zlotkowski 1998, xiii).

CONSTRAINTS AND BARRIERS


Faculty members who are committed to service
-
learning must overcome several
obstacles if their goal is to m
ake service
-
learning an integral part of their scholarly
activities. Zlotkowski (1996a, 1996b), Gamson (1995), Hirsch (1996), and Ehrlich (
1995)
are among those who

have discussed the barriers to implementing service
-
learning on a
larger scale. Perhaps the

primary barrier can be summarized as a failure to see how
service
-
learning can be linked with discipline
-
based course objectives.

Because of their
own education, many faculty believe that service
-
learning is intrinsically
extrinsic

to their
own disciplin
e’s concerns


concerns they can only frame in terms of traditional research
and in
-
class teaching. Or, as Zlotkowski (1996b) noted, “…many faculty express an
attitude of general approval...but personal disinterest (that’s just not what I teach).”
4


Among

the other reasons given by faculty for their reluctance to explore service
-
learning, the following are especially common:


8



courses already contain too much content; hence, there’s no room for anything
new;



faculty themselves don’t have the expertise to lea
d such projects;



it is difficult to match undergraduate skill levels with project requirements;



service
-
learning is difficult to assess;



service
-
learning seems to be still another pedagogical/social demand to be
placed in a long queue with other such deman
ds (e.g., diversity, ethics);



service projects naturally raise cross disciplinary considerations and cross
-
disciplinary collaboration is extremely difficult.




Without in any way wishing to minimize the importance of such concerns

or
their po
wer to nip interest in the bud

we nonetheless maintain that such concerns are not

nearly so daunting. There is, to be sure, a genuine learning curve attached to service
-
learning projects. However, the early efforts required are no more challenging than th
ose
required by many new technologies

and unlike most technologies, servive
-
learning does
not require major updating on a regular basis.

Furthermore, the service
-
learning movement has advanced enough whereby
excellent course and program models can be easi
ly obtained and used to lay the
foundations for new ventures. As Hirsch (1996, 9) noted, “One of the best ways [to
promote faculty development in this area] is to collect lively
cases

of faculty professional
‘public work,’ or service, especially that whic
h is connected to teaching through service
-
learning applications and to research through publication.” Many such cases in business
programs are featured in Zlotkowski (1996a). Indeed, Zlotkowski echoes

specifically in
a business education context

Hirsch’s

call for a central repository of successful projects:

By linking technical skills and community needs, by bringing together
concrete action and guided reflection, individual initiatives such as these
begin to constitute an invaluable resource for busines
s education as a
whole. When, moreover, one adds to these models a number of other,
more consulting
-
type efforts focused on inner
-
city needs, it becomes clear
that the time has come to begin developing a national network of business
-
school educators able a
nd willing to share both methods and results. We
need to create a resource database capable of developing ever more
effective business school
-
community agency partnerships.



The next two sections of this essay seek to add to such a “resource database” in
the accounting arena by describing service
-
learning projects implemented at ABC
University and at XYZ University. These projects have been made possible because

9

“intrapreneurial” faculty members have had the support of institutional leaders. Many of
the co
ncerns identified above will be implicitly addressed in the framework of these
concrete projects. Those that are not will be addressed at the essay’s conclusion.

ABC UNIVERSITY

The first of three interrelated service
-
learning projects at ABC University con
sists
of a program that emanated from a three
-
year grant starting Fall 1992 from the Fund for
the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The project was entitled
“Reengineering Elementary Accounting.” While the FIPSE grant did not originally
incl
ude a service
-
learning component, one service
-
learning project was a natural outcome
because of the new approach taken with introductory students. To see this, it is helpful to
understand that the overall goal of
the project was for the Department of Acco
unting
faculty to reengineer its two introductory accounting courses by introducing students to
decision
-
making

processes involving financial data, helping students to become
business
and

computer literate
, and developing students'
problem
-
solving

skills.
The new courses
focused on developing students’ knowl
edge, skills, and values that form the foundation
for a lifetime of professional success.


The strategy of the new courses was to move away from the traditional rule
-
based,
procedure
-
oriented mode to a

more dynamic, interactive learning mode. The new mode
views the learner as an active information proc
essor who uses data, exercises judgments,
evaluates risk, and solves real
-
world problems. In moving to the new mode, much more
pressure was put on facult
y, many of whom were not adept at teaching many of the new
concepts and skills. Also, with a new emphasis on collaborative learning, the course
became much more labor
-
intensive with respect to grading in
-
class and outside
-
of
-
class
assignments. As a result,

the faculty looked to its outstanding senior accounting students
for help.

Service
-
Learning Project 1: The Senior Leadership/Mentorship Class




As a result of the FIPSE grant, a senior
-
level service
-
learning course was created.
Since Spring 1993, accou
nting “mentors” have been selected from a pool of all senior
accounting majors with outstanding academic credentials. The objectives of the mentor
program are to:


10



Build teamwork, communication, and leadership skills;



Provide introductory accounting student
s with peer assistance; and



Provide introductory accounting students with role models that exhibit
qualities desired of individuals who are about to enter a profession.

Mentors receive three units of graded credit and are required to fulfill a specific set

of
responsibilities during the semester. Each mentor is assigned to one faculty member’s
class, and must:



Become familiar with computer spreadsheet software and provide assistance
to students learning to use spreadsheets during the first three weeks of cl
ass



Read and understand student handout and group assignments, prepare
solutions for handouts and group assignments, attend class sessions, and
prepare and deliver one or two interactive lectures



Meet with other mentors and the faculty coordinator weekly



M
eet with students on a regular "office hours" schedule to discuss handouts
and small group assignments



Conduct review sessions prior to the midterm and final exams



Conduct exit interviews of a random sample of introductory students



Summarize mentor experie
nce in an essay submitted to the faculty at the end
of the semester.


The mentor program breaks from the traditional teaching model, where upper
division students have little or no contact with lower division students. Moreover, it
provides a much richer e
nvironment for faculty/student interaction. To date, the program
has received very positive response ratings from introductory students and senior
mentors.


This is the type of environment that Astin (1993)

believes universities should be
working harder t
o create. Astin found that it is the environment created by faculty and
students that really seems to matter; and that the single most important environmental
influence on student development is the peer group. By judicious and imaginative use of
peer grou
ps, any college or university can substantially strengthen its impact on student
learning and personal development.


11


In order for service
-
learning to have a more valued voice at the academic table,
projects need to be linked to the discipline so as to enh
ance academic learning.
Furthermore, they must include time for students to reflect on the service experience. The
mentor program accomplishes both goals. The end
-
of
-
semester essay ensures that
students spend time reflecting on their experiences. Moreover
, these essays provide
faculty with valuable insights about the overall effectiveness of the FIPSE project and the
mentor program itself. For example, consider the opening comments in a typical essay
turned in at the end of Spring 1996:


Many students ask
why I chose to take the accounting mentor class
when I could have taken a more “beneficial” class like corporate tax
accounting? The answer seems obvious when looking back on it all
--

the
mentor class helped me to discover a passion for teaching I never
knew I
had. In addition, by being forced to explain accounting theories to
students, I understand the material much better. Before the mentor
program, I wasn’t even comfortable doing an indirect cash flow statement,
but now it is second nature. The mento
r program gave me an opportunity
to help others, and most important, an opportunity to teach.


Helping other students with accounting is very rewarding. One of
the biggest challenges the mentor program presented was the need to
change student opinions wit
h regard to accounting. A profession in
accounting is often viewed as boring, monotonous, and very difficult, but
all of these preconceived ideas are false. Accounting provides individuals
with a very in depth understanding of business, and after all, acc
ounting is
the central aspect of any business
.



In summary, the senior mentor program is an example of an internal service
-
learning project linked directly to an academic discipline. This view of service
-
learning is
unique, because almost most of the serv
ice
-
learning literature describes service
-
learning
in
external

terms That is, the service
-
learning projects are completed off campus to
benefit a community organization.

Students are compensated for the service via graded credit hours. Faculty
compensatio
n has been in the form of satisfaction created by designing and implementing
a service
-
learning project that is a win
-
win situation for the mentors, mentees, and
faculty. In addition, ABC University's mentor program has been implemented at five
other as a
result of a second grant under FIPSE’s Disseminating Proven Reforms
program.


12


Before describing the next project, it is important to note that not all service
-
learning activities must be
pro bono
. Economic reality is such that many students who
would other
wise like to serve simply do not have the time because it would jeopardize
their planned graduation date. The senior mentor program is an example where students
can serve, but the compensation is in the form of academic “currency”

graded units.

Service
-
Lea
rning Project 2: Optional Bonus Points




While the above project is internal to the university, a second, external service
-
learning project has spawned from the FIPSE grant. This project gives participating
students an opportunity to participate in one of

two tracks: a non
-
business “civics/values”
track, or a business
-
related track directed by an entrepreneurial student group called
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) under the supervision of a faculty adviser. To earn 10
percent bonus points in the profess
or’s course, students must document at least 30 hours
of community service with one or more of the programs directed by a campus volunteer
organization called Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), or actively
participate in SIFE’s primary
commun
ity service project. Examples of CAVE projects
include literacy programs, programs for the elderly, and programs for the handicapped.


SIFE’s main project has been modeled, in large part, after the senior accounting
mentor program. Here, the faculty advis
er trains teams of university students to deliver a
series of business and computer literacy lessons to students enrolled in “alternative” high
schools. Most of these students are at
-
risk of not graduating.


Under both tracks, students who complete the ser
vice are required to write a
summary paper describing what they did and what they learned from the experience. The
summary paper provides input in awarding the bonus points. This type of service
-
learning
program differs from most others in that students wh
o wish to serve are identified early in
the semester. Students who do not serve are not forced to do so.


Has the program been effective? From the participating student and faculty
perspective, yes. For example, in Spring 1996, 115 students were enrolled
in three
courses where the service
-
learning option was available. Of these, 27 students (23%)
chose to complete a CAVE project, while 6 students (5%) chose the SIFE track. Again, to

13

get an idea of how students have reflected on their experience, consider t
he comments of
one of the SIFE students in her end
-
of
-
semester essay:


My original motive for volunteering for the SIFE mentor program
was not noble and altruistic. I wanted extra credit and it seemed like it
would be simple since I had a lot of experience

counseling junior high
kids. In retrospect, the program has been challenging, frustrating,
humiliating, and a lot of other things but it was anything but easy. Would I
do it again? In a heart beat.



I would do it because all my life I have wanted to make

a
difference, to be a leader. This program has made that possible. I have
been able to experience real numbers, real school, real students, real
satisfaction, and real frustration. Mentoring has taught me patience, the
importance of measuring what you say

before you say it, and most
importantly, how to listen. I look for the faces where the eyes tell me this
young person wants to know what I have to say in spite of the lack of
respect my fellow mentors and I occasionally get from many of her peers.
And I
mentor to her, just her. When I do that others in the class know I am
serious and they begin to pay attention. I feel as though I can only reach a
few of them in this short time, but maybe one or more of them will be
stimulated by math and accounting and e
nd up wanting to go on to college,
and perhaps even to major in business.


One last indicator of success is that about 50% of the students who receive the bonus
points continue to serve the following semester, even though they receive no bonus points
or co
urse credit.

Service
-
Learning Project 3: Business and Computer Literacy in the Community



Students from any discipline, at all levels, can earn three units of credit/no credit by
signing up for an independent study entitled “Internship and Cooperative Ed
ucation.”
While this course historically has been used to accommodate internships, it also permits
credit for students who wish to gain practical experience with organizations that give
students a chance to study policy, control, and decision
-
making in a s
pecialized work
environment. The supervising faculty member determines a student’s performance
requirements, assignments, and methods of evaluation prior to undertaking the project.
This course provides the avenue for a faculty member to further a service
-
learning agenda
in his or her discipline.



Students completing this project are required to complete at least 50 hours by
participating in SIFE over the course of two semesters.
Founded in 1975, SIFE is a non
-

14

profit educational organization that works in
partnership with business and higher
education, providing college students the leadership experience of establishing free
enterprise community outreach programs that teach others how market economies and
business operate.
Currently, the SIFE organization c
onsists of about 30,000 students at
over 350 colleges and universities.


One of the most unique aspects of the organization is the annual regional and
national contests to recognize the best commu
nity service and business development
projects organized by

colleges and universities.
Competition

against other teams has lead
to dramatic increases in overall quality of projects during the past three to four years.
Another beneficial aspect is the added exposure to potential recruiters, given that many of
the j
udges for the competitions are leaders from industry. For example, judges at the 1998
national competition
included the CEOs of Radio Shack, Kinko’s, Hallmark, American
Greetings, and Wal
-
Mart. Also judging was the Executive Director of the KPMG
Foundation
. Criteria used in judging, and competencies addressed, include:


Judging Criterion

Main Competencies
Addressed

1.

How effectively did the students document their
activities in their presentation to the judges?


Oral Presentation Skills;
Teamwork Skills

2.

How

effectively did the students document their
activities in their written annual report?

Writing Skills; Desktop
Publishing Skills

3.

How creative, innovative, and effective were the
students in teaching others an understanding of how
market economies work?


Oral Presentation Skills;
Teamwork; Community
Relations; Time Management

4.

How well did the students teach others how
businesses operate, how to identify market need for a
product or service and how to meet that need; how to
produce that product or service;

how to make a profit,
what to do with that profit; and the ethical obligations
businesses have to their customers and community?

Oral Presentation Skills;
Teamwork; Community
Relations; Time Management

5.

How successful were the students in teaching others
the skills and motivation needed to survive in the
global market? These skills might include teaching:
technology, communication, social, attitude, personal
responsibility, business ethics and moral conduct,
and entrepreneurial spirit.

Computer Skills; O
ral
Presentation Skills;
Teamwork; Community
Relations; Time Management


15

6.

Did the students quantify the results of their
educational programs, and did they ensure the
continuation of their successful SIFE programs in the
future?

Accountability; Leadership

7.

How successful were the students in utilizing their
resources, which included but were not limited to
their Business Advisory Board, (2) college students
and faculty from non
-
business disciplines, and (3) the
mass media available (taking into consideratio
n the
size and location of their community)?

Interpersonal Skills; Public
Relations Skills



The students on the ABC University team have created five major project areas
where members may serve: teaching at
-
risk K
-
12 students; tutoring ‘at
-
risk’ students

from economically disadvantaged homes, technology infusion (on
-

and off
-
campus),
public relations, and fund raising. As noted above, one of the team’s main projects has
been the high school project.
A key feature of the program is that high school student
s,
under the mentorship and consultation of the SIFE team, start real
-
life “mini
-
businesses.”
The lessons emphasize the application of math in problem
-
based approaches, using
technology available at the schools and at the university.


To get a better idea
of this project, consider the technology infusion program.
Here, students have acquired state
-
of
-
the
-
art laptop computers and video display
projection systems by authoring grants within and external to the university. Starting Fall
1996, the lessons at the

high schools were delivered using PowerPoint presentations and
motion graphics. Another program involves the SIFE team’s emphasis on public relations
and dissemination. In addition to producing a documentary that aired on the local PBS
television station,

members of the team have traveled to Washington, D.C. the past three
years to participate in the American Association for Higher Education’s national
conference on school/college collaboration.


In summary, this project is unique in several respects. Firs
t, it has elements of
both external service
-
learning and internal service
-
learning for students. Second, the team
is multidisciplinary. Third, the team’s evaluation is externally
-
based, according to
specific and measurable criteria. Fourth, it is very easy

to create a SIFE team on any
campus, and veteran teams are encouraged to adopt rookie teams. Fifth, the faculty
adviser’s work can be compared to that of a baseball manager. The adviser oversees all

16

aspects of the organization, with student leaders direct
ing specific project areas. And
while most of the students specialize in one or two areas, they all depend on one another
to maximize team performance at the competitions. Sixth, the project provides ample
ideas and data to improve a faculty member’s teach
ing and research.


One of the most beneficial aspects of this project lies in its potential to contribute
to a seamless education. Taking the baseball analogy one step further, university and
community college students can be viewed as the major league pla
yers, high school
students as AAA players, middle school students in the instructional league, and so on. In
fact, the SIFE team’s motto is “Students Helping Students.” All players have a common
goal: to serve and to succeed. How each team performs togeth
er, in a competitive setting,
provides an independent measure of success. As Barr and Tagg (1995, 20) indicate, "The
Learning Paradigm prescribes no one 'answer' to the question of how to organize learning
environments and experiences. It supports any lear
ning method that works, where 'works'
is defined in terms of learning outcomes, not the degree of conformity to an ideal
classroom archetype."

XYZ UNIVERSITY


Two service
-
learning programs at XYZ will be described. Both are external
projects (i.e., they a
ddress community needs) involving both students and a faculty
member. The projects link course content (e.g., cash flow analysis) with practical, “real
world” settings. As the students develop one
-
to
-
one relationships with the poor and
disenfranchised, th
ey become more aware of and sensitive to issues of social justice and
inequity.

Service
-
Learning Project 4: Money Management Workshop at the Julian Street Inn


The Julian Street Inn is the only shelter for the homeless mentally ill in City,
State’s third

largest metropolitan area. It houses 49 men and 20 women who have been
diagnosed with diseases such as paranoid schizophrenia, manic depression and post
traumatic stress disorder. In addition to meals and lodging, the shelter provides linkages
with mental

health facilities, crisis intervention, case management, and other vital
community services. Typically, the maximum length of stay at the shelter is 90 days. The
goal of the money management workshop (from the students’ perspective) is to encourage

17

the re
sidents to save by working with them on banking and budgeting skills. Without
savings, most homeless have little hope of finding some form of permanent housing.


During the first week of the quarter, Intermediate Accounting I students meet
agency staff a
nd tour the facility. A staff person who will help coordinate the workshop is
determined and importantly, a regular weekly two
-
hour meeting time that will foster
attendance is scheduled. Students also draft a confidentiality agreement to be signed by
the s
taff coordinator, a student, and the resident being served. The remaining weeks are
devoted to basic remedial math (e.g., fractions and percentages are explained in the
context of purchasing merchandise on sale), basic banking skills (e.g., how to use an
A
TM card), and personal budget development (e.g., buying in bulk results in a lower cost
per unit). In addition, residents of the shelter are asked what supplemental topics they
would like to cover. For example, in past workshops we have talked about the ex
penses
associated with automobile ownership and the dangers associated with credit card usage.


Student participation in the project was mandatory and comprised 10 percent of a
student’s grade. The assignment also required students to keep a personal

journal
recording their experiences at the shelter and to submit a two
-
page summary reflection
paper at the end of the quarter. Guskin (1994, 24) noted that “linking experiential learning
in real
-
life settings with student reflection through written repor
ts and presentations,
while faculty act as mentors/advisors, is learning in its broadest sense.” In other words,
experience without critical reflection becomes doing or acting without learning.


In addition to critical reflection, the notion of reciprocit
y is another essential
concept of service
-
learning. Hogner (1996) noted that “many students do, indeed, get ‘it’,
i.e., that the service activity has its greatest impact on students and not on the
community.” Writing in his journal, one student reflected t
hat “the people there have
honestly taught me more than I ever imagined possible. The realities I have been exposed
to over the last few weeks have affected my emotions like few things around the
university can.” This student had experienced a reversal of
roles. He had initially
expected to teach the homeless; instead, it was the wisdom, experience, and values of the
homeless that guided this student to a broader, deeper, and more accurate understanding
of human experience.


18


In addition to providing a veh
icle for guided reflection, the journal and summary
paper requirement enhances students’ writing skills. Structuring the money management
workshop and developing personal, one
-
to
-
one relationships with the residents also hones
students’ critical thinking,
teamwork, speaking and listening, and problem
-
solving skills.
Students become active rather than passive learners as they take initiatives and become
more productive, authoritative, and independent.


The service
-
learning project also benefits shelter res
idents. Representatives from
Great Western Bank attended one of the workshop sessions and opened several bank
accounts, requiring an initial deposit of only $1. Prior to having an account, many
residents would cash their Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
checks at a liquor store or
convenience market which often charged a service fee ranging from five to ten percent.
Direct deposit of SSI checks was set up for some of the residents. They were also taught
how to use ATM cards. Both of these measures kept ca
sh out of their pockets, making it
more possible to adhere to budgeted expenditures and to save

the mechanism needed to
get off the streets and into some form of permanent housing.


A problem with the money management workshop is that it terminates with
the
end of the ten
-
week quarter. Many of the homeless require reinforcement of the concepts
that have been covered and new residents are constantly moving into the shelter. The
desire to provide greater continuity of services was the impetus for the servic
e
-
learning
project described next.

Service
-
Learning Project 5: Accounting Assistance Program Pilot Project



During fall 1994, one of the authors was contacted by a supervising attorney for
the City Community Law Center. The center, founded by a group
of XYZ law students,
provides free services to low
-
income people in the areas of employment and immigration
law. The Community Law Center was representing Rafael Vasquez, an immigrant from
Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico, who had been unjustly fired after nearly

ten years of service
as a head baker. The supervising attorney wanted to know if XYZ University could help
Mr. Vasquez open his own bakery. This project became the pilot for an accounting
assistance program at XYZ.


19


In addition to conducting money manag
ement workshops at various community
agencies, the purpose of an accounting assistance program would be to assist low
-
income
people with small business development. XYZ alumni and other professionals working
for area CPA firms would supervise XYZ accountin
g students. The program would also
be an interdisciplinary effort, with XYZ law students negotiating contracts and Spanish
students from the College of Arts and Sciences serving as interpreters.


In the Fall 1994 quarter, a sign
-
up sheet for the bakery pr
oject was circulated in
two senior auditing classes. Twenty
-
seven of the sixty
-
two enrolled students expressed an
interest in participating. Four students, two male and two female, were selected using
subjective criteria and on the basis of information pro
vided in their Student Profile
Forms. A manager at Frank Rimerman & Co., a CPA firm with two offices in the City
Area was then contacted (he was an XYZ accounting advisory board member). This
manager, along with another manager of the firm who was an XYZ a
lumnus, agreed to
supervise the students.


Several meetings were held to gather information for a business plan and a small
business administration (SBA) loan application was obtained. A potential site for the
bakery was visited and discussions were held
with the property manager. One XYZ law
student asked many questions regarding the lease and a Spanish student interpreted for
Mr. Vasquez. Using software at the City office of Frank Rimerman & Co., students
completed the business plan for the bakery to be

named.


The business plan and completed SBA application were presented to MNO
National Bank. Although the assistant vice president of the SBA department was very
impressed with the business plan, the loan was turned down due to “derogatory credit”
and “in
sufficient collateral for level of debt requested.” The City Community Law Center
continues to assist Mr. Vasquez in efforts to clear up his credit record.

Because financing was not obtained and the bakery has not yet opened its doors
for business, one mig
ht assume that this pilot project was not successful. Zlotkowski
(1996a), however stated

that “when one thinks of an integrated approach to business
education, it is hard to imagine a more effective combination than business students
working with business
professionals on technically relevant community
-
based projects!”

20

Students gained valuable experience in this collaborative effort and developed a better
appreciation of their professional responsibilities, which include reinforcement of moral
and civic val
ues inherent in serving others.


The original four students who worked on the bakery project have since graduated
(one now works for Frank Rimerman & Co.). New students have not taken over the
project. For an accounting assistance program to succeed in

the long run, it must operate
within an organizational framework similar to the Bentley Service
-
Learning Project
(BSLP) (described in Kenworthy (1996). The BSLP has collaborated with the Accounting
Assistance Program of the Support Center of Massachusetts

to offer accounting majors
the opportunity to work with accounting professionals in providing services to nonprofit
organizations. As described in the next section, such endeavors face many obstacles
without institutional support.

CONCLUSION: OVERCOMIN
G OBSTACLES


Of course, without the support of institutional leaders, faculty who wish to lead
the way in making service
-
learning an important part of their campus culture will likely
become frustrated. They will either continue to support service
-
learning

because of their
commitment to this teaching pedagogy or, as Zlotkowski (1996b, 22) said, their waves of
interest will “recede with the tide to the next idea wave that comes along.” Institutional
support can come in many forms, but there are three necessa
ry conditions that are
essential. First, upper administration must directly link service
-
learning to the mission
and goals of the institution. Second, in order for faculty to see how and where they can
implement service
-
learning into their courses, adminis
tration must provide an
infrastructure to help them change from the Instruction Paradigm to the Learning
Paradigm. This includes finding a central location where service
-
learning advocates can
meet regularly to exchange ideas, receive training, and foster
a sense of community across
disciplines. Also, this includes providing seed money to fund promising projects. Third, if
administrators really believe service
-
learning can help them move to the new paradigm,
they must actively seek out change agents and sup
port them politically. Political
protection is important, as evidenced by a recent departmental review of one of our

21

colleagues: “The Committee believes it is an inappropriate grading policy to raise
students' grades in accounting classes for volunteering
in community affairs.



For the most part, the authors have had support from the president down to the
department chairs. While the support has been strong enough to make our service
programs successful, much more must be done if service
-
learning is to bec
ome an
integral part of campus culture, especially within the schools of business. At ABC
University, for example, the president and provost have linked service
-
learning to the
mission and strategies for the future, and they are putting their money where
there mouths
are. Under their leadership, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)
was created in Fall 1994. CELT is committed to rewarding and promoting the ability of
faculty to teach well, to finding way to improve the learning process,

and to providing
support, training, and mentoring. Part of the CELT structure is to make monetary awards
to support curriculum development and innovative teaching, including the development
of interdisciplinary courses and the creation of courses that sup
port the general education
program. The SIFE team was fortunate to receive funding to acquire the video display
projector for its technology program. Also, starting in 1995, CELT began sponsoring a
two
-
day fall conference for faculty, students, and staff.
Service
-
learning projects have
been a prominent part of the program all three years. The conference provides a forum
where liberal arts faculty, professional program faculty, and staff from CAVE can come
together with the common goal of improving student l
earning.


At XYZ University, a Jesuit institution, the school philosophy supports
community service. Integration of service
-
learning projects into the curriculum is
facilitated by the Eastside Project which was founded in 1985. The Project’s
Handbook of
In
formation

states that the major goals “set for the project envision the establishment of a
mutually beneficial partnership between the university and the community that will
ultimately fix the concern for justice firmly within the university’s curriculum.”

The
Project coordinates placement of students at community agencies where they generally
spend two hours per week for eight weeks. During an academic year, over 100 classes
send more than 1300 students to approximately 30 community agencies. In addition t
o its

22

student placement program, the Eastside Project offers faculty development workshops,
brings in lecturers, organizes conferences, etc.


It is our opinion that undergraduate institutions that survive and prosper will boast
a collegial group of faculty

dedicated to student
-
centered learning, not instructor
-
centered
convenience. If administration provides the rationale, structure, and incentive for faculty
to implement service
-
learning projects, then the constraints and barriers that faculty must
overcom
e will become less foreboding. Faculty will see that it is in their own best interest
to link service
-
learning to disciplinary course objectives and to create service
-
learning
opportunities across disciplines.


Our extended definition of service
-
learning p
ertains equally to students and
faculty, internally as well as externally. The Wingspread Group (1993) ’s described why
service
-
learning should be an integral part of one’s education: “
There is no substitute for
experience. Academic work should be compleme
nted by the kinds of knowledge derived
from first
-
hand experience, such as contributing to the well
-
being of others, participating
in political campaigns, and work
ing with the enterprises that create wealth in our
society.” We believe this is true for eve
ryone’s life
-
long education, including faculty.


In conclusion, the current ship of higher education can continue its slow
-
drift
approach. But the danger here is that the ship will lose control, succumbing to the tug
-
boat approach of government interventio
n or the sinking
-
ship alternative brought about
by outside threats. To maintain control, a proper force must be applied
now

to the trim
-
tab of higher education. If such a force can be applied, the shift to the Learning Paradigm
described by Barr and Tagg w
ill occur much more quickly than they imagined. Without
these changes, the ship might very well sink shortly after the dawn of the next
millennium.


23

References


Accounting Education Change Commission. 1990. Objectives of education for
accountants: Position

state
ment number one.
Issues in Accounting Education
, (Fall):
307
-
312.


American Accounting Association. 1986. Committee on the Future Structure, Content,
and Scope of Account
ing Education (The Bedford Committee). 1986. Future accounting
education: Pre
paring for the expanded profession.
Issues in Accounting Education

(Spring): 168
-
195.


American Accounting Association. 1995.

Intentional learning: A process for learning to
learn in the accounting curriculum.


Astin, A. W. 1993.
What Matters in College? F
our Critical Years Revisited
, San
Francisco: Jossey
-
Bass.


Barr, R. and J. Tagg. 1995. From teaching to learning: A new paradigm for undergraduate
education.
Change

(November/December 1995): 12
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25.


Boyer, E.L. 1992. Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of

the professoriate.
Issues in
Accounting Education

(Spring): 87
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92.


Brigham Young University study.


Bringle, R. G. and J. A. Hatcher. 1996. Implementing service learning in higher
education.
Journal of Higher Education

(March/April): 221
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239.


Ehrlich, T
. 1995. Taking service seriously.
AAHE Bulletin

(1995): 8
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10.


Gamson, Z. 1995. Faculty and service: Editorial.
Change

(January/February): 4.


Guskin, A. E. 1994. Restructuring the role of faculty: Reducing student costs &
enhancing student learning.
Chang
e

(September/October): 16
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25.


Halal, W. E. 1990. The new management: Business and social institutions for the
information age.
Business in the Contemporary World

(Winter): 41
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54.


Hirsch, D. 1996. An agenda for involving faculty in service.
AAHE Bulletin

(May): 7
-
9.


Hogner, R. H. 1996. Speaking in poetry: community service
-
based business education.
Journal of Business Ethics

(January): 33
-
43.


Kenworthy, A. L. 1996. Linking business education, campus culture and community: The
bentley service
-
learning pr
oject,”
Journal of Business Ethics

(January): 121
-
131.


24


Learning by Doing: Service
-
Learning and Accounting Education
. Forthcoming, 1998.
American Association for Higher Education. 1998. Accounting Monograph Editor: D.V.
Rama. Washington, D.C.: Heldref Pu
blications.


Perspectives on Education: Capabilities for Success in the Accounting Profession

(the
'White Paper'). 1989. Arthur Andersen & Co., Arthur Young, Coopers & Lybrand,
Deloitte Haskins & Sells, Ernst & Whinney, Peat Marwick Main & Co., Price
Wate
rhouse, and Touche Ross. New York, NY.


Porter, L. W. and L. E. McKibbin. 1988.
Management Education and Development: Drift
or Thrust into the 21
st

Century?

New York, NY: McGraw
-
Hill.


Senge, P. 1990.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learn
ing Organization
.
New York, NY: Doubleday.


Wingspread Group on Higher Education. 1993.
An American Imperative: Higher
Expectations for Higher Education
. The Johnson Foundation: Racine, WI.


Zemsky, R, and W. F. Massy. 1995. Toward an understanding of our
current
predicaments: Expanding perimeters, melting cores, and sticky functions.
Change

(November/December): 41
-

49.


Zlotkowski, E. 1996a. Opportunity for all: Linking service
-
learning and business
education.
Journal of Business Ethics

(January): 5
-
19.


-----------------
, 1996b. Linking service
-
learning and the academy: A new voice at the
table?.
Change

(January/February): 20
-
27.





------------------
, 1998
. Successful Service
-
Learning Programs: New Models for
Excellence in Higher Education,
Boston, MA: Anker.






1

Zemsky and Massy (1995) dichotomize the university into two broad categories: the cor
e group
advocating constancy and the perimeter group which is more entrepreneurial and committed to reform.
During the 90s, the perimeter has grown with the advent of new degree programs, etc. while the core
(liberal arts, student government, intercollegia
te athletics, central administration) has contracted due to
declining federal support, diminished state appropriations, and reduced tuition revenue. As competition
increases for students and research money, colleges and universities must address how to pr
eserve the
traditional core.

Preservation of the core must involve change. Zemsky and Massy offer three change perspectives
which we correlate with the ship/anchor/trim
-
tab analogy. First is the
laissez
-
faire

perspective, whereby
colleges and universiti
es let the market for higher education wave its invisible hand to extract the necessary
changes from and for the core. Consumers (employers, parents, students, policy makers) will vote with their
actions in pursuing their own self
-
interests in a free ente
rprise economy. This perspective currently
pervades, one that we call the
slow
-
drift
approach.


25








A second perspective is for government to intervene in the name of consumer protection. Here,
colleges and universities would no longer be responsible for their

own self
-
assessment; rather, they would
be subject to the rules and regulations mandated by the state. We call this the
tug
-
boat

approach.


The third and most radical perspective is an accelerated version of the slow
-
drift approach. Here,
higher education

will sit passively while a few entrepreneurs, mostly from outside the university, “bet that
the new technologies will allow them to compete for higher education’s core business.” These change
agents believe that there are other, more effective ways to del
iver the services and goods of higher
education given today’s technology. Large lecture, seat
-
based modes of delivery will be replaced by
asynchronous, individualized, high
-
speed modes of learning. In effect, these change agents will successfully
“pirate”
the current ship of higher education using new “weaponry.” Therefore, we call this approach the
sinking
-
ship

approach.


One resolution to the current dilemma, as offered by Zemsky and Massy, is for colleges and
universities to choose their own alternative
to the three perspectives described above. Under this alternative,
colleges and universities would remain both institutions and enterprises, but with a much stronger form of
partnership between the core and the perimeter. The partnership must recognize tha
t a better cost
-
accounting system is needed so that costs can be better associated with functions (i.e., accountants call this
activity
-
based costing). Furthermore, the entrepreneurial perimeter group must be willing to share their
financial successes with

the core group which, in turn, must recognize the necessity of reducing the costs of
its core functions.

2

In a chapter of his highly influential book
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the
Learning Organization
(1992), Peter Senge makes precis
ely this point in a broader business context. The
new leader, Senge maintains, serves neither as captain nor as navigator nor as chief engineer of his/her
company’s ship. Instead, he/she must function as its designer.



3

What are the rewards for faculty

who champion the service
-
learning agenda? Intrinsically,
service
-
learning can bring excitement and vitality into the classroom; and it can also contribute to increased
student interest in the subject. Extrinsically, it can mean in the short
-
run release ti
me, summer stipends, or
travel money. In the long
-
run, it may mean survival if, indeed, service
-
learning becomes a key component,
the trim
-
tab, of a restructured university.

4

This attitude is slowly beginning to change. Programming at conferences such as

those of the
Academy of Management and publications such as
Learning By Doing: Service
-
Learning Concepts and
Models in Accounting

(1998) help traditionally educated faculty begin to make the connection between their

discipline’s intrinsic concerns and the

learning opportunities latent in service
-
learning. The
Learning by
Doing
monograph provides theoretical essays and implementation approaches. These approaches include
service
-
learning cases in a wide range of accounting courses, including principles of ac
counting,
intermediate accounting, tax accounting, accounting information systems, and capstone business courses.