ERIC File Logo Fall 2003

Clearinghouse on Adult,
Career, and Vocational Education

1. Director's Forum
2. Spotlight on the ERIC/ACVE Website
3. Forthcoming Publications
4. From the ERIC Staff

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Director's Forum: ERIC Clearinghouses to Close

by Susan Imel

Because of changes being made in the ERIC system at the federal level, all ERIC Clearinghouses will cease operation after December 31, 2003. In the future, the federal resources for supporting ERIC will be focused on the development of the database. A request for proposals to operate the ERIC database was issued in June and proposals were submitted in mid-August. At this time, however, no announcement has been made about what group has been selected to operate the contract.

Regardless of who is selected, however, the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education (ERIC/ACVE) will not be in operation after the end of the year. The closing of the Clearinghouse brings to a close a long history of providing ERIC information services to the field of adult, career, and career and technical education by the Center on Education and Training for Employment at The Ohio State University (OSU). The Center has operated an ERIC Clearinghouse for 34 of the 37 years that ERIC has been in existence.

ERIC/ACVE actually represents a merger of two of the early ERIC Clearinghouses. In 1966, the very first of the original ERIC Clearinghouse contracts was negotiated with OSU to create the ERIC Clearinghouse on Vocational and Technical Education. In 1967, the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education was organized at Syracuse University (SU). OSU and SU operated their respective ERIC Clearinghouses until 1973, when the two were merged to form the ERIC Clearinghouse on Career Education (ERIC/CE). ERIC/CE was located at Northern Illinois University from 1973-1976, at which time it returned to OSU. In September 1978, at the urging of the Clearinghouse Advisory Committee, the name of the Clearinghouse was changed to the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education.

The closing of ERIC/ACVE means that we will be shutting down our very popular website. We are making arrangements, however, for many of the contents to be transferred to other locations (see related article below). The new contractor for ERIC will be developing a website that will allow users to search the database and retrieve materials in full text.

The Clearinghouse staff and I appreciate the many ways you have shown support for our work over the years. Our website now regularly receives over 30,000 unique visitors each month. We have loved the messages praising our products or responses to questions and inquiries but also valued—and tried to learn from—the feedback we got when we somehow “missed the mark.” In short, we have tried to be good stewards of your federal tax dollars. It has been a privilege to direct ERIC/ACVE for the past 16 years and to serve as the adult education specialist for nearly 23 years. Many of you have become important professional colleagues. As always, I welcome questions or comments. I can be reached via e-mail (, by telephone (800/848-4815, ext. 2-8606), or by regular mail sent to Susan Imel, ERIC/ACVE, 1900 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090.

Spotlight on the ERIC/ACVE Website

Many of the services (publications, links, question answering, information about the ERIC system and links to the ERIC database) of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career and Vocational Education (ERIC ACVE) have been provided through our website. When the Clearinghouse ceases to exist on January 1, 2004, what will happen to these services?

Fortunately our host organization, the Center for Education and Training for Employment at the Ohio State University, will archive much of the information through their website ( Additionally, the Texas Center for Adult Literacy and Learning directed by Ralf St.Clair at Texas A&M University has also offered to archive our site (

You will be able to find the following at these sites after 2003. Keep in mind that links to other sites may not be maintained.

All of the publications currently available on the ERIC/ACVE website:

• ERIC Digests
• Myths and Realities
• Practice Application Briefs
• Practitioner Files (P-Files)
• Trends and Issues Alerts
• Major Publications

All of our current links to related sites and full-text sites

Journals on the web (covering journals indexed in the ERIC database through 2003)

What you will not find:

• Question and answer form
• Information about ERIC or how to become an ERIC author
• Link to the ERIC database
• In-Process abstracts search
• Links to other ERIC Clearinghouses
• ERIC ACVE staff

We are planning to change the home page of our current site to direct users to the two archive sites at the end of the year and encourage you to update your links and bookmarks.

Forthcoming Publications

Don’t look for them now, but the following will be available on our website between now and the end of the year and on the alternate sites mentioned in the article on this page. Working titles:


The Role of CTE in Entrepreneurship #248
CTE Worksite Learning #249
Alternatives for At-Risk and Out-of-School Youth #250
Career Development of Older Adults #251
Effectiveness of Short-Term Training #252
Career Development for Diverse Populations #253

Myths and Realities

Everyone Goes to College
Whatever Happened to Workplace Literacy?
Does Adult Educator Professional Development Make a Difference?
Teaching Style vs. Learning Style
Effects of Globalization on Careers
The New Economy: Just a High-Tech Bubble?

Web Publication

Crosswalks: Linking Systems for Career and Technical Education


The Many Faces of Literacy
The Future of Work
History and Definitions of Vocational Education

Major Publications

Equity Issues in Career and Technical Education
Opportunities and Limits: An Update on Adult Literacy Education
Adult Learning Theory: An Exploration of Perspectives
From Chautauqua to the Virtual University: A Century of Distance Education

From the ERIC Staff


As an adult educator with a background in library science, working as the adult education specialist for ERIC was a “dream come true.” At the ERIC Clearinghouse, I have always felt like I was at the center of the information highway for the field of adult and continuing education and was so lucky to be able to see all the wonderful resources and literature that was being produced by my colleagues in the field. Even after nearly 23 years, I still get excited about seeing the new journal issues and other publications such as conference papers. My graduate training in adult and continuing education was only a prelude to the education I received through my work at the ERIC Clearinghouse, and I feel fortunate to have had such a neat job for so many years.

Susan Imel, Director

Next to meeting some wonderful people, working at the ERIC Clearinghouse for the past 24+ years has given me the opportunity to grow professionally. As a librarian, I have appreciated the opportunities to improve my skills and keep up with technology as ERIC has changed. Being a part of this wonderful system has given me a sense of satisfaction as I have helped people from all over the world find the information and materials they need. Finding an obscure document or helping a graduate student refine a dissertation topic is still fun after all these years. It has been the best job in the world!

Judy Wagner, Associate Director for Dissemination

As a librarian with many years of experience searching the ERIC database, I’ve really enjoyed being behind the scenes “making the sausages” (as one of my colleagues would describe it). I have found it both challenging and rewarding to help prepare the database information so that it can be accurately searched and then, to search the database to find just the right records to meet an information need. I’ll miss my colleagues in the ERIC system and all the folks in the field who ask all those (sometimes impossible) questions.

Cheryl Grossman, Processing Coordinator/ User Services Assistant

As acquisitions coordinator for the past 14 years, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed material to the ERIC database. ERIC was and is the finest repository of educational material in the world.

Steve Chambers, Acquisitions Coordinator

I’ve had the opportunity to do (almost) every job in an ERIC clearinghouse: acquisitions, processing, vocabulary development, and editing, writing, and developing our very popular information synthesis publications. I’ve even done some searches and answered some questions along the way. Through these unique and irreplaceable experiences, I’ve been able to forge connections with people around the world and truly experience lifelong learning while being of service. But I never did achieve my ambition to establish an ERIC clearinghouse just for the arts (somewhere with a warmer climate)!

Sandra Kerka, Associate Director/Editor

This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education under Contract No. ED-99-CO-0013. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.