Virtual Acquisition Career Guide (VACG)

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The Virtual Acquisition Career Guide provides a digital forum for quickly and accurately obtaining career advice and guidance. Designed for Army Acquisition Workforce members, the web-based system features an integrated, interactive ICT virtual character, known as ELLIE, to serve as a personalized career mentor and a virtual help desk.

VACG specializes in helping people monitor their individual progress in specific areas such as certification status, professional development courses and individual development plans. It can assist workforce members with applying for certification, editing their Acquisition Career Record Brief, and registering for Defense Acquisition University courses. ELLIE has the ability to answer 20,000 variations of commonly-asked questions. Users can either type into the free-text entry box, or click one of the common question buttons to retrieve an answer.

ELLIE can provide personal checks to all users by reading their data and identifying any delinquencies in their career records. Users will be able to access career models and guidelines that help them understand opportunities available for education, self-development, and experience.

The long-term objectives of the VACG are to:

  • Realize cost and time savings by reducing the load on U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center personnel
  • Supplement the face-to-face relationship of mentors and protégés with an online capability for workforce members to obtain answers to career-related questions and assistance in navigating various Army online resources
  • Provide users with immediate access to their personal career information and records.

VACG is built upon ICT’s SimCoach and RoundTable platforms, which include support for web-based virtual humans and comprehensive web-based tools for interaction design. It uses Ellie, an ICT virtual human who also serves an interviewer for ICT’s SimSensei health care support project.

This project is funded by the U.S Army Acquisition Support Center (ASC) and was developed in partnership with ASC and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Simulation & Training Technology Center.