Early Experiences of Accountants Transitioning to Virginia Community College Faculty

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Virginia Tech

Accounting faculty members in community colleges educate a large portion of accounting students each year. Accountants who become accounting faculty are the most common type of accounting instructor in community colleges and they have much to offer because of their prior work experience. Accounting faculty members who have transitioned from industry generally have the knowledge and expertise to be successful in practice but their work experience may not have prepared them for teaching roles in community colleges. The purpose of this research was to obtain information about the experiences and knowledge necessary for the successful transition from industry to teaching. Particular attention was focused on content knowledge, accounting skills, pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills.

A basic qualitative research design was used to collect and analyze data for this study. Interviews were used to collect narrative data related to the experiences of accountants as they transitioned to teaching. Data analysis revealed that college academic experiences and on-the-job teaching experiences were influential transition experiences and knowledge of pedagogy was gained through teaching and professional development activities. Pedagogical skills and soft skills are essential skills needed to teach accounting to a diverse group of students. Pre-service teacher preparation and on-going membership was perceived as beneficial for new accounting faculty members. The findings in this study could provide a better understanding of the best ways of supporting entry into the teaching profession in community colleges and could influence recruitment and professional development of accounting educators in community colleges.

Accounting education, accounting faculty, community colleges, industry experience