Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Second Advisor

Annetta M. Gibson

Third Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher


Problem. The traditional accounting pedagogy that served the industrial era effectively is losing its relevance. Not only do accounting graduates lack the kind of skills called for in an information age but the profession is no longer successful in attracting sufficiently large numbers of quality students. During the 1980s, professional and academic accountants as well as employers of accounting graduates began to voice their complaints about an accounting education model that had not experienced significant change in about a half century. In 1989 the Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) was established to stimulate change and to act as a clearing house for innovative accounting pedagogy.

The focus of the present study was the first course in accounting. Its purpose was to analyze (1) the impressions of students and faculty regarding the extent to which the course they experienced was congruent with AECC-based guidelines and (2) the relationship that those implemented AECC guidelines had on course retention and favorable student perceptions toward the accounting profession.

Method. Student attitude was measured using Nelson's Accounting Attitude Scale. In addition, an instrument specifically designed for this study was used to obtain teacher and student observations regarding classroom activities that coincide with AECC-based guidelines. A total of 1,009 students and 22 teachers from both innovative and traditional accounting programs took part in the survey.

Results. Significant differences in responses regarding the presence of AECC innovation-based guidelines were found between innovative and traditional accounting programs for both students and teachers. Innovative accounting programs were more successful in getting senior faculty involved in teaching the introductory course and experienced lower student drop-out rates than did those in programs classified as traditional.

Conclusions. Changes are finally taking place in the accounting classroom but not to the extent that they produce favorable student attitudes toward either the course or the accounting profession. Academic accountants and administrators must be careful as change occurs that the curriculum does not move from one driven by the CPA exam to one driven entirely by the changing needs of the Big Six accounting firms.

Subject Area

Accounting--Study and teaching (Higher)

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