American Taxation Association

AICPA Model Tax Curriculum Review

Request from Beth Kern for feedback

A joint task force comprised of ATA and AICPA members (Shelley Rhoades-Catanach, Shirley Dennis- Escoffier, Ed Maydew, Tom Purcell, Jane Rubin, Jeff Totten, Jim Young and Beth Kern) were asked to review the AICPA’s Model Tax Curriculum.  After a “town meeting” with the ATA membership at a Midyear Meeting and some feedback from the AICPA’s PreCertification Executive Education Committee, we’re finally at the point that we need feedback on a draft of a revision for the Model Tax Curriculum (MTC). 

Draft of revision for Model Tax Curriculum (pdf file)

We want as much feedback as possible.  Feel free to either email Beth Kern ( or speak to any members of the task force in San Diego at the ATA meeting.  We will take your feedback and make further revisions to the document.  Please give us your feedback by Monday, March 6.

Although we want feedback on all parts of the document, feedback would be most helpful on two portions:

  1. The learning outcomes on page 3
  2. The multi-page matrix which starts on page 7

Learning Outcomes

The revised MTC has become more learning outcomes-based rather that input-based.  The idea behind this revision to the MTC is that the specific technical tax topics, depth of coverage of a particular tax topic, choice of pedagogy and framework are all inputs that a faculty member chooses to best fit the student needs, curriculum and mission of the school at which he or she is teaching.  The learning outcomes are a list of the key capabilities and content that any accounting student in any accounting program should attain regardless the school that he or she attends.  As such, the learning outcomes listed on page three of the document are critical.  Is anything missing?  Should anything not be there?  What needs revision?

The Matrix

Beginning on page 7, there is a matrix that lists the learning outcomes along with potential technical tax topics that could be used to achieve those outcomes.  Some preliminary feedback indicated a desire to retain some the guidance the prior version of the MTC gave in terms of potential technical tax topics.  The technical tax component, while quite important, is only one input of a set of inputs (including pedagogy and framework) that faculty use to achieve the learning outcomes.   In an effort to make the MTC more outcomes learning-based which has been a position of the AAA and AICPA for curricular issues, the committee developed a matrix.  One of the benefits is that it shows some of the technical tax topics that may be used to achieve some of the learning outcomes.  Another benefit of the matrix is that it shows which learning outcomes are not achievable with a purely technical tax focused and primarily lecture based course.  One of its shortcomings is that it is rather lengthy.  One potential solution is to provide it as a supplement.  Another is to keep as part of the overall document so that it is not overlooked.  We’d like to know what you think.  Or, you may have a good idea for streamlining it. 

We are looking forward to feedback on all parts of the document.  See you in San Diego!

Beth Kern

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