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Coalition of Adult Education Organizations (CAEO) Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Finding aid created by: EEA
Date: Jun 1991

Biographical History

The Coalition of Adult Education Organizations (CAEO) had its beginnings in the early 1960s as adult educators recognized the need for greater interaction among adult education organizations. Its purposes from the beginning have been 1) to provide a forum for the discussion of issues, 2) to encourage cooperation within the field, and 3) to gain greater support from both the government and the general public. Originally known as the Ad Hoc Committee of Adult Education Organizations (later as the Committee of Adult Education Organizations), its first meetings resulted in the document, "Imperatives for Action," and the 1969 Galaxy Conference, at which the "Imperatives" were adopted as the charter document for membership in the newly created Coalition of Adult Education Organizations. Formal incorporation was realized in 1973. There was, in these formative years, an unsuccessful attempt to create a distinct political action arm known as the Adult Education Action Council (AEAC).

In 1976, another conference was held at the Wingspread Conference Center, from which emerged the revised "Imperatives for Policy and Action in Lifelong Learning." It was widely disseminated and helped to heighten the public's awareness of and interest in lifelong learning.

The CAEO has been recognized for its impact on federal legislative actions. Other accomplishments include the successful petition for an adult and continuing education section of the ERIC clearinghouse and an active international presence through both UNESCO and the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), of which the CAEO is a founding member.

The CAEO's primary value, however, has been in the improved cooperation among its members, enhancing the identification and clarification of issues in adult education, and promoting activities to support continuing education.

More details concerning the CAEO's history and activities are available in the following two documents found in the collection:

Glancy, Keith E., compiler. Coalition of Adult Education Organizations, 1964-1989: An Index of Actions and Materials. 1990. [Box 1]
Policicchio, Armand. The Coalition of Adult Education Organizations: An Historical and a Network Perspective. Ph.D. diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1984. [Box 15]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the CAEO have been divided into several series to reflect the organization's filing practices. A complete synopsis of these series can be found immediately following this introduction. Inclusive dates for the collection are 1964-1991, the bulk dates, 1969-1985.

The series on CAEO Business is the largest, encompassing several subseries whose contents are self-explanatory. A few comments need to be made concerning the Minutes and Board of Directors subseries.

Minutes: This series remains relatively intact as received. It is a succinct record of CAEO activities, and includes meeting minutes, resolutions, important documents and membership directories.
Board of Directors: Although it includes most of the same material as the Minutes series, the Board of Directors series also provides the supporting material, agendas, correspondence and handouts which pertain to the individual meetings. Most of the materials pertaining to the Galaxy and Wingspread Conferences have been removed to a separate Conference subseries.
Most materials, including the Committees subseries, are filed chronologically, however, some materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Within alphabetical arrangements, proper names are filed by last name although they appear in direct order, and folders on a single project or organization are kept together and presented chronologically.

Adult Education Action Council contains correspondence, minutes, articles of incorporation and other material related to the Council.

Organizations, councils and commissions contains material relating to a wide range of organizations relating to adult education. Organizations represented here include Adult Education Association, Adult Student Personnel Association (ASPA), American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, American Council on Education (ACE), American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) , Association of University Evening Colleges (AUEC), Council of Graduate Schools, Kellogg Foundation, National Advisory Council on Adult Education (NACAE), National Association of Black Adult Educators (NABAE), National Association for Public Continuing and Adult Education (NAPCAE), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Project Literacy U.S. (PLUS), Syracuse University Resources for Educators of Adults, and several U.S. government departments and offices.

International organizations contains general information from the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and UNESCO, and conference material from six international adult education conferences

Papers and reports contains various internal CAEO reports, most self-reflective in nature (e.g. "CAEO Retrospective: The First Ten Years" or "CAEO Through the Years").

Miscellaneous contains clippings, dissertation material, and other assorted items, from both individuals and organizations, while Pamphlets, newsletters and flyers consists of short printed material relating to adult education, including Adult and Continuing Education Today and Lifelong Learning.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged either alphabetically or chronologically as appropriate. The method of arrangement for each series is given with the series descriptions in the inventory below.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

A number of pamphlets were removed and transferred to the Adult Education Pamphlets Collection. Also removed were the following publications, which can be found in the general collection (refer to the Classic Catalog ):

Learning. Vol. 4, No.2. Toronto: Canadian Association for Adult Education, 1985.
Literacy Discussion. Vol.?, No.4. Tehran, Iran: International Institute for Adult Literacy Methods, 1976.
Liveright, A.A. and DeCrow, Roger. New Directions in Degree Programs Especially for Adults. Chicago: Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults, 1963.
National Advisory Council on Adult Education. A Target Population in Adult Education: Report of the National Advisory Council on Adult Education. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974.
National Advisory Council on Extension and Continuing Education. A Measure of Success: Federal Support for Continuing Education: 7th Annual Report and Recommendations of the National Advisory Council on Extension and Continuing Education. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1973.
National Education Association of the United States. Combating Discrimination in the Schools: Legal Remedies and Guidelines. Washington, D.C.: National Education Association, 1973.
Thompson, Thomas, ed. The Schooling of Native America. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, 1978.
Verner, Coolie, ed. Administration of Adult Education. Adult Education: Theory and Method, Vol. 7. Washington, D.C.: Adult Education Association of the Q.S.A., 1965.
White, Thurman James. The Promise and Pragmatism of Adult Education. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University, 1979.

The library holds a considerable number of collections related to adult and continuing education. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing of all adult education collections. In particular, see the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education Records, Galaxy Conference Records, Clarence H. Thompson Papers. and Willard Thompson Papers.

Subject Headings


Aries, Leonard P.
Ast, Ray J.
Charters, Alexander N.
Dorland, James R.
Kurland, Norman D. (Norman David), 1927-
Longacre, Charles J.
McQueen, Constance J.
Puddington, David.
Rappaport, Yvonne K.
Spinelli, Fran M.
Stillwell, Hamilton.
Thompson, Clarence H.
Thompson, Willard L.
Timmerman, Sandra.

Corporate Bodies

Adult Education Action Council.
Adult Education Association.
Adult Student Personnel Association.
American Association of Community and Junior Colleges.
American Society for Training and Development.
Association of University Evening Colleges (U.S.)
Coalition of Adult Education Organizations, Archives.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education.
Galaxy Conference on Adult Education (1969: Washington, D.C.)
International Council for Adult Education.
National Association of Public Continuing and Adult Education.
National University Extension Association.
United States Association of Evening Students.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Wingspread Conference on Adult Education (1976: Racine, Wis.)


Adult education -- Research.

Genres and Forms

Drafts (documents)
Programs (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Coalition of Adult Education Organizations (CAEO) Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

### (MARC 541 and/or 561)

Table of Contents

CAEO business

Adult Education Action Council

Organizations, councils, commissions (alphabetical)

International organizations

Papers and reports


Pamphlets, newsletters, flyers