Teaching the Teacher

The teacher internship program (TIP) educates high school teachers about the accounting profession. Through TIP, state CPA societies connect teachers with firms and businesses in summer internships to provide them with “real world” business and accounting experience. Providing educators with professional business experience that can be incorporated into their classroom curriculum and learning activities results in well-educated students, which benefits business and the workforce as a whole.

The AICPA Foundation provided seed money to help develop a training program for state societies and to assist firms in paying for internships. In the summer of 2001 the Indiana state society piloted the TIP with great success. Heather Bunning, the society’s communications and public relations manager, worked with the IRS and Ernst & Young to provide internships respectively to Paulette Lewis, a high school business-education teacher, and Charlene King, a high school mathematics teacher.

Lewis saw many facets of the IRS at the Indianapolis office, including exams, appeals, advocate services, and taxpayer and practitioner education and communication. She learned about resources available to the public and to educators she could use in her classroom. She plans to open a volunteer income tax assistance site at her school to assist taxpayers during filing season. And conversely, Lewis provided the IRS with a fresh perspective on the materials needed by educators. According to IRS manager Ken Williams, the experience was invaluable: “Through Ms. Lewis’ experience, we hope to reach high school students so they view the IRS as a source of information and are better prepared when it comes time for filing returns.”

King’s internship was with the tax compliance group at E&Y. She attended both E&Y’s tax analyst training and firmwide orientation programs. In the tax compliance group, King worked on tax returns for individuals, non-U.S. residents, not-for-profit agencies and trusts. She expanded her technical skills and her knowledge of databases and computer software. She also learned of the many job opportunities available in the accounting and tax field. King said she had had a great experience at E&Y and was especially excited to be able to apply math topics using real-world examples for her students.

A resource guide was published to assist states or firms interested in implementing the program. To receive it, download a copy from www.aicpa.org/members/div/career/edu/index.htm .



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