Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Employing the Citizen Centric Report Initiative in the Classroom

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Employing the Citizen Centric Report Initiative in the Classroom

Article excerpt

BACKGROUND

The learning objectives of this project are for students to demonstrate critical thinking, the ability to gather and synthesize information for management problems, the ability to communicate and associate relevant financial and non-financial information effectively, and to demonstrate competency in the use of information technology in accounting or business environments.

To enhance student learning in the government accounting environment, the instructor used this initiative to provide students with real-world experience by using the actual data of the research organization. The instructor found this assignment to be a particularly useful tool in helping students to better understand the concepts taught, especially if students have a difficult time comprehending the textbook contents. The "Citizen-Centric Report" project is appropriate for upper-division undergraduate or graduate level courses.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The "Citizen-Centric Report" (CCR) initiative originated with the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). The AGA started the Government Finance Case Challenge in 2008, in which students were to prepare a 4-page citizen-centric report that summarizes the organization's background, performance measurements, financials, and challenges and outlook. The national competition will begin in the fall semester with results announced during the spring semester. The completed report was judged based on the AGA's CCR content and design guidelines (AGA, 2013).

Miller (2013) affirmed that the CCR competition was "a way to introduce college students to the government - no matter what level." He further stated that the competition "promises to challenge students' moral reasoning, raise their awareness of the importance of accountability and open doors to a career in government."

Stocker (2012) mentioned in her paper that the competition served as a learning opportunity for students. Students shared that they had little knowledge about the financial operations of a city government and were able to gain knowledge during the CCR competition. Furthermore, the competition gives students the opportunity to learn the operations of a government and about citizen participation (AGA, 2012).

The instructor for this course used this project to expand students' knowledge about government accounting while raising awareness about their government's operations and services. The project exposed students to their government and also addressed several core competency frameworks identified by the American Institute of CPAs.

Detailed Project Description

Student teams were required to select an agency or other entity from within the Government of Guam. Each team was required to prepare a "Citizen-Centric Report." The CCR is designed to serve as a snapshot of an organization and is prepared in such a way that any average citizen would be able to understand all of the information provided.

The general process the teams followed to develop the CCRs is as follows:

1. Select an agency or entity of the local government;

2. Research the selected organization, including the mission and structure of the organization;

3. Review the selected organization's audited financial statements;

4. Prepare and present the CCR.

Team Selection and Evaluation

Students were allowed to form their teams voluntarily. Once teams were formed, those groups of students were to work with each other throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, each team was required to present their report to the class. Each student was required to rate each team member (including themselves) in the areas of preparation, participation, interpersonal relations, and communications. A student's self-evaluation serves as his or her individual reflection of how he or she fared as a member of the team.

Citizen-Centric Report Contents

Suggested content for a CCR is provided by the AGA (AGA, n. …

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