ERIC Number: ED378365
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Whatever Happened to the RCU? The Changing Face of State-Level Vocational Education Research.
Miller, Michael T.
Research coordinating units (RCUs) were created by Congress in 1968 through passage of the Vocational Education Act Amendments. RCUs were state-level agencies for coordinating research and development projects for occupational and vocational education. After RCUs were disbanded in 1984 under the Perkins Act, many of their former research and coordination functions were distributed to other bodies. A study examined states' responses to dissolution of RCUs and subsequent redistribution of research projects at the state level. Letters requesting information about state responses to RCU dissolution were mailed to each state department of education. Responses describing current state-sponsored research on vocational education were received from officials in 25 states. Nearly all of the respondents reported using request-for-proposal announcements, contracts, and grants to conduct research. In many states, research efforts were internal and assigned to individuals with expertise or interest in areas in need of research. The lack of an external, grassroots-driven research base was evident in many states. Congress' disbanding of RCUs has meant the loss of an external body to monitor state departments of education and provide a framework for the methodology and foundations to be used in studying vocational education and its relevance to local needs. (MN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A