Beyond ERIC: The Early Years: Part Three: Resources for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning

Article excerpt

This installment in our series of articles concerning education moves us from the realm of the child to the adult. As such, the emphasis of the resources shifts from education to learning, with greater responsibility placed on the student for Finding, Using, Sharing, and Expanding knowledge in a particular discipline. (If this sounds familiar, FUSE is the acronym Yahoo! uses for its mission.) As one moves from the traditional academic setting into full-fledged adulthood, training (i.e., the adoption of specific skills to complete a task) becomes increasingly important. This article begins within the academic arena and covers the use of the Web for professional and personal development, acquiring skills as (and when) needed, and exploring broader interests. Where we once had only one career, today's students will likely have several shifts and turns in their professional lives. The Web will be one place to which they will turn as they move forward.

Higher Education

Part I of this series ("Education Searches Beyond ERIC: Government Policies, Teaching, and Technology," Searcher, November/December 2005, p. 37+) began by looking at policy papers dealing with research and programs designed to improve teaching at the K-12 level. Similar research studies are issued addressing issues of what academic institutions can do to ensure that their students actually learn and benefit from their years of study. In the past, there was concern about athletes not having mastered anything off the field; today, we find President Bush's Commission on the Future of Higher Education considering "a nationwide system [of standardized testing] for comparative performance purposes." (1) A set of resources for policy research and select sources for news concerning the community of higher education appears in Table 1 on page 55.

Among the most daunting tasks facing a high school student is determining the ideal college or university to attend and crafting the application that would appeal to college admissions staff. At the same time, parents must figure out how they will pay for their child's education. Table 2 on page 56 identifies resources helpful to students, parents, and their advisors, including links to career colleges. (A career college is a for-profit, postsecondary institution that provides professional, career-specific educational programs.) The high cost of career colleges has come under particular scrutiny. Many students are only able to attend career colleges because of significant student loans. Government officials are evaluating the quality of education provided by these schools, given the high tuition costs.

For information concerning accreditation of institutions mentioned in Table 2, consult the appropriate regional accrediting organization:

* Middle States Commission on Higher Education [http://www.msache.org]

* New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education [http://www.neasc.org/cihe/cihe/htm]

* North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission [http://www.ncahigh erlearningcommission.org]

* Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges and Universities [http://www.nwccu.org]

* Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges [http://www.sacscoc.org]

* Westem Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College Commission [http://www.wascsenior.org/wasc/]

* Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges [http://www.accjc.org/].

Once in school, students, faculty, and administration must work in tandem to nurture the development of future academicians and researchers. Each discipline has its own set of resources to tap. For this article, we selected the field of education to illustrate the types of resources available from academic institutions (speakers and events), faculty (course work, publications, and working papers), students (research projects), and libraries (subject guides). …