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UWFox Students Offer Tax Assistance to Local Citizens

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Students at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley have the opportunity to provide an important community service and earn college credits for their efforts and experience.

Professor HenkeA new course, “Independent Studies Service Learning Through Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA),” is being offered and coordinated this spring semester by UWFox Associate Professor of Business, Diana Henke. “This course centers on a service learning activity, and is being offered to students participating in the Fox Cities Community Income Tax Assistance program,” she explained.

“The program involves three aspects. First, each student receives six hours of training which involves instruction on preparing tax returns and the use of a computer as a tool to prepare and electronically file Federal and State of Wisconsin income tax returns,” Henke said.

“Second, students volunteer their time in two to three hour blocks to participate in scheduled hours for the VITA program within the community. This provides the basis for active learning through the application of tax return preparation conceptual knowledge through the electronic filing process,” according to Henke. “The experience that the students get serving the public provides first-hand knowledge and practical use of their communication and interpersonal skills.”

“And, finally, each student is required to write a paper summarizing their experience and explaining the educational value of their experience…basically, explaining the value of their experiential learning,” Henke summarized.

There are two credits assigned to the course and that’s based on the hours of involvement with the program, accounting for the six hours of training and the expected 24 hours of service.

Information about the course or the services provided can be directed to Henke, at 920-832-2619 or via e-mail, diana.henke@uwc.edu.

Posted 2/16/04