ERIC Identifier: ED318915
Publication Date: 1990-00-00
Author: Wagner, Judith O.
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education Columbus OH.

Locating Vocational Education Curricula. ERIC Digest No. 97.

Locating vocational education curriculum materials can be a frustrating and time-consuming business. This ERIC Digest discusses various ways to find the materials that you need. They include contacting your State Liaison Representative (SLR) to the National Network for Curriculum Coordination in Vocational and Technical Education, your regional Curriculum Coordination Center (CCC), your state vocational education resource center, or one of the consortia that develop and sell vocational education materials, as well as searching the ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) and VECM (Vocational Education Curriculum Materials) databases. These sources can also provide access to materials for special needs groups, those who are disabled, at risk, or disadvantaged.


The National Network for Curriculum Coordination in Vocational and Technical Education (NNCCVTE) is made up of six regional Curriculum Coordination Centers and a network of State Liaison Representatives. The CCCs are funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, and the SLRs' liaison activities are supported by NNCCVTE. SLRs serve as a link between the education community of a particular state and the regional CCCs and are often on the staff of the state department of vocational education's curriculum materials center. In addition to serving educators in their state, SLRs are often curriculum developers. The materials that they produce and distribute in their state might be accessible through the CCCs, consortia members, and the ERIC and VECM databases. They may also be available through one of the consortia discussed here or the state learning resource center if separate from the curriculum development function. Often the two are closely related. The SLRs, one in each state and territory, provide educators with information about previewing or obtaining curriculum materials and can assist in the development of curriculum and instructional materials.

Although specific services vary from state to state, in most instances an educator can call the SLR to assist in locating vocational education curricula. Many states have extensive catalogs of instructional materials, both print and nonprint. If an appropriate curriculum is not available, the SLR will call the regional CCC to find one. The CCC will send a loan copy, if available, and/or will do a VECM or ERIC search to try to find the needed materials. One of the advantages of borrowing curriculum from your regional CCC is that it provides an opportunity for reviewing and evaluating materials before purchasing them. To identify the SLR in your state, contact your state department of education or your regional CCC.

Northeast Curriculum Coordination Center, New Jersey State Department of Education, Division of Vocational Education, Aberdeen, NJ 07747 (201/290-1900). (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PR, RI, VI, VT)

Southeast Curriculum Coordination Center, Mississippi State University, P.O. Drawer DX, Mississippi State, MS 39762 (601/325-2510). (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)

East Central Curriculum Coordination Center, Sangamon State University, F-2, Springfield, IL 62794-9243 (217/786-6375).

(DC, DE, IL, IN, MD, MI, MN, OH, PA, VA, WI, WV)

Midwest Curriculum Coordination Center, 1500 West 7th Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074 (405/377-2000). (AR, IA, KS, LA, MO, NE, NM, OK, TX)

Northwest Curriculum Coordination Center, St. Martin's College, Old Main, Room 478, Lacey, WA 98503 (206/438-4456).

(AK, CO, ID, MT, ND, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY)

Western Curriculum Coordination Center, University of Hawaii, Wist 216, 1776 University Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822 (808/948-7834). (AS, AZ, CA, GU, HI, NV, NO.MAR., TT)


The state vocational education resource center may or may not be the home of the SLR. Some resource centers are maintained as a library of vocational education materials. In addition to curricula, they may house collections of audiovisual materials and resource material valuable to vocational educators. They may also provide services such as curriculum development workshops, inservice workshops, program evaluation, publication sales, newsletters, or technical assistance. They often maintain an electronic bulletin board for their state and conduct computer searches of the ERIC and VECM databases. Centers are funded by the state departments of vocational education; call your state department, SLR, or regional CCC to identify centers in your state.


Two databases should be searched when looking for vocational education curricula--ERIC and VECM. ERIC, the Educational Resources Information Center, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It is a general education database that covers all types of publications including instructional materials. Although ERIC contains a vast quantity of vocational education curriculum, it has only print materials. In addition to curriculum materials, ERIC includes materials on curriculum development, the use of nonprint materials, teaching methods, program evaluation, and program implementation.

ERIC, the most comprehensive education database in the world, was begun in 1966. With over 700,000 references to journal articles and documents, ERIC is never "weeded." The material that was entered into the database in 1966 is still there for those doing research or needing historical data. In addition to curricula, ERIC contains research, position papers, program descriptions, and a myriad of other materials. ERIC provides full text of documents through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS) and is updated monthly.

VECM, the Vocational Education Curriculum Materials database, is produced jointly by the National Center for Research in Vocational Education and the six regional Curriculum Coordination Centers. VECM contains descriptions of many print and nonprint materials including microcomputer courseware. It lists an availability source--often a CCC--for every item. Users can order or borrow the material from that source. VECM is updated quarterly.

Searches of the ERIC and VECM databases can be done through many SLRs, vocational education resource centers, at most university and state libraries, through other information services, or at the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education. Contact one of them directly to find out the details of their services.


In addition to the vocational curricula that are available through ERIC, VECM, a State Liaison Representative, a state vocational education resource center, and the regional CCCs, there are various consortia and commercial producers of instructional and research materials. These agencies offer a variety of types and formats--task lists, competency-based materials, videos, computer software, position papers--in all areas of vocational and technical education. Contact the agencies for their current product catalogs.

Vocational-Technical Education Consortium of States (V-TECS), 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 (404/329-6543).

The purpose of V-TECS is to promote the systematic development and implementation of competency-based vocational-technical education by securing the active participation of state departments, vocational-technical education agencies, and other organizations in the analysis of jobs and the organization of job-related information; the development of vehicles for assessing student achievement; and the design, development, or acquisition of instructional materials that provide a validated link between education and employment.

V-TECS offers catalogs that include worker tasks, tool and/or material lists, information on how to perform those tasks, and the standards of component task performance. All components are validated by workers in the specific occupation. V-TECS curriculum guides include units of instruction that complement the V-TECS catalogs with the support knowledge needed for task performance, learning activities, performance evaluation, and student information. Materials are developed by instructors and workers in the particular occupation.

The computer-based Occupational Data Analysis System (ODAS), also available through V-TECS, describes the skill requirements of jobs and the level of training required, the skills included in training programs, and transferable skills. It also identifies common skills, so that programs can be clustered for new and emerging occupations, and the special needs accommodation required of different jobs. ODAS can be used in curriculum development, assessment and training of displaced workers, placement and guidance, economic development, clustering, and short-term training.

V-TECS also has criterion-referenced test items, and it offers customized inservice programs, workshops, seminars, and technical assistance. They maintain a network of professionals who can meet the demands of a particular program.

Mid-America Vocational Curriculum Consortium (MAVCC), 1500 West Seventh Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074-4364 (405/377-2000).

MAVCC, an organization of 11 states, develops competency-based instructional materials mutually needed by those states. Member states are Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Publications are for sale to anyone. MAVCC develops competency-based curriculum guides that provide instructors with a valuable tool for better lesson planning, classroom instruction, evaluation of student progress, and testing for program accountability. The guides include lists of objectives, suggested activities, information sheets, transparency masters, assignment sheets, job sheets, unit tests, and answer sheets. MAVCC develops printed materials, audiovisual materials, and computer software.

American Association of Vocational Instructional Materials (AAVIM), 120 Driftmier Engineering Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (800/228-4689).

AAVIM products provide students, teachers, and administrators with up-to-date training practices and procedures. Modules, guides, and tests are designed for group and individual use. AAVIM produces an array of print and audiovisual materials and computer software in all areas of vocational-technical education. Two of their product groups are described here. Competency-based administrator education (CBAE) materials are an approach to the preparation and professional development of vocational-technical leadership personnel. Performance of the competencies provides the administrator with the knowledge required to perform the competencies essential to success program administration. Performance-based teacher education (PBTE) materials, developed by the Center on Education and Training for Employment, are an approach to instructor preparation that requires demonstration of essential teaching tasks in an actual teaching situation. They are designed for preservice and inservice training of secondary and postsecondary vocational-technical educators.

In summary, for information about locating or obtaining vocational education curriculum materials, contact your State Liaison Representative, the regional Curriculum Coordination Center that represents your state, your state vocational education resource center, or Judy Wagner, ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 1900 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090.

Disclaimer: This ERIC Digest is not intended to be a definitive list of sources for vocational education curricula. There are many other commercial and nonprofit agencies that produce and sell vocational education instructional materials. This Digest provides a starting point for those who have no ready sources.

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