Implementing a service learning Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program: Recruiting college student participants and understanding the benefits to all stakeholders

Academic Article


  • Service learning for business students is an important activity for learning professionalism while adding volunteer and leadership experiences to their resume. The purposeful inclusion of in-field volunteerism in the accounting curriculum by participation in the USA’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program each spring offers a host of additional benefits for students, as well as their communities and educational institutions. To better understand and identify these stakeholder benefits, the authors surveyed participants and found that students gained both career building work skills and community and social awareness, while community participants increased their personal satisfaction. Given the overall student benefits from participation, the second phase of the exploratory research examined ways to increase student participation for future VITA programs, because the success of any VITA program depends on both the strength and the presence of sufficient student volunteers. Faculty suggestions for recruiting are presented along with areas for future research.
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    Author List

  • Byrd JD; Smith DL; Helms MM