SMITH-HUGHES ACT. The Smith-Hughes Act (1917), a landmark in the advance of federal centralization as well as in vocational education, created the Federal Board for Vocational Education for the promotion of training in agriculture, trades and industries, commerce, and home economics in the secondary schools. Funded by federal grants-in-aid to be matched by state or local contributions, the act required that state boards submit their plans for vocational education to the board for approval, thus providing for greater federal control than previous education grants. Supplementary acts have extended the original activities to vocational counseling and rehabilitation.
Kantor, Harvey, and David B. Tyack, eds. Work, Youth, and Schooling: Historical Perspectives on Vocationalism in American Education. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1982.
Kett, Joseph F. The Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties: From Self-improvement to Adult Education in America, 1750–1990. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1994.