April 1998 // Spotlight Site
ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education
Note: This article was originally published in The Technology Source (http://ts.mivu.org/) as: "ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education" The Technology Source, April 1998. Available online at http://ts.mivu.org/default.asp?show=article&id=1034. The article is reprinted here with permission of the publisher.

This site is the online home of the Educational Resources Information Center Clearinghouse on Higher Education (ERIC-HE). The ERIC-HE project was established in 1968 at George Washington University's Graduate School of Education and Human Development. It has since moved to the National Center for Higher Education in Washington, D.C., within close proximity to most of the major higher education associations, foundations, and federal offices. ERIC-HE, through its publications, its databases (hyperlinks to which are provided on this site), and this Web-based interface, provides higher education instructors, administrators, and students with a wealth of information in a number of areas.

ERIC sponsors fifteen clearinghouses in all (as well as co-sponsoring numerous other "adjunct clearinghouses"), with concentrations ranging among such areas as urban education, disabilities/gifted education, assessment/evaluation, or counseling and student services. According to the site's introduction, this particular project focuses on "education beyond the secondary level leading to a four-year, master's or professional degree" including information concerning "students, faculty, graduate and professional education, legal issues, financing, planning and evaluation, curriculum, teaching methods, and state-federal-institutional questions."

The site features Web-based access to many of ERIC's most useful services and publications, including the ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report Series, which is, according to this site's FAQ, "the most peer-reviewed and widely disseminated monograph series on higher education." Brief (1,000-1,500 word) summaries of these reports are also available through the ERIC Higher Education Digests, which are housed on this site. ERIC also produces Critical Issue Bibliography (CRIB) Sheets, which exhaustively collect citations on given topics of interest in higher education. When coupled with the archived book reviews and ERIC's "Primer on Higher Education Literature," the library section of this site alone makes it an invaluable reference tool.

Additionally, the site provides access to ERIC's listings of workshops, conferences, and individual contacts, as well as presenting the opportunity to participate in their National Study of Higher Education Literature project. This undertaking, now in its third year, aims to "determine whether a gap exists between researchers' and practitioners' ideas about what is considered useful literature in terms of content, methodology, and format." An online survey and a contact address to participate in focus groups are included on the page.

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