Date of Award

Fall 10-2-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger Mitch Nasser

Third Advisor

Dr. Karolina Schneider


Businesses around the world voluntarily utilize corporate sustainability reporting to display non-financial information along with their financial results to satisfy the curiosity of their stakeholders. The United Nations played a key role in the evolution of sustainability over time and development of reporting standards. Eventually governments may require thorough coverage of financial and non-financial information in one comprehensive integrated report. To meet this demand, the accounting curriculum must include sustainability reporting topics for accounting students. Leading research and this dissertation demonstrated a holistic approach was best. The most successful higher education institutions incorporated sustainability practices throughout their institutions in addition to covering the appropriate topics in the curriculum. Faculty in the study felt sustainability topics were of importance to students but did not feel they possessed the skills necessary to cover the topics thoroughly in their classes. Students expressed an interest and desire for their institutions of higher education to focus more attention and resources on sustainability related topics. Several institutions in the study already demonstrated a commitment to sustainability development in the form of campus activities, majors or minors devoted to the topic, or completion of a sustainability report. However, none of the institutions found it a priority for the accounting curriculum. For many of the colleges and universities, a culture shift would precede the institution providing resources and training necessary to increase student competencies. The researcher recommended a five-step process to make the change. First, sign a declaration, charter, or initiative showing support for sustainability development. Second, incorporate sustainability language into the mission, vision, and/or strategic plan of the institution. iii Third, allocate resources in accordance with the plan. Fourth, train faculty as well as others throughout the organization. Fifth, incorporate sustainability topics into the curriculum. Once in place the institutions would be able to assess their progress in certain areas and be in a position to make future improvements. Ultimately, students may act as agents of changes in the growth of sustainability initiatives and reporting in the future.


Copyright 2020