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AASLH Begins Project to Update and Enhance Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs)

by Cherie Cook, Senior Programs Manager, AASLH on

Seven years ago, AASLH introduced the Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs) to its members and to history organizations nationwide. We are proud to currently have 885 organizations across the country using the self-study StEPs program to assess their policies and practices and make improvements.

AASLH is now embarking on a project to review and update the program. The StEPs Enhancement Project will begin by taking a look at the current workbook content. In a few weeks, AASLH staff will contact current program participants, members of the Field Services Alliance, and others to request their recommendations for topics that deserve more attention in the workbook.

Map of AASLH member organizations enrolled in StEPs as of 2016.

Undoubtedly, organizations enrolled in StEPs will want to know how an updated version of the workbook will affect their work in the program. The current plan is to allow those already enrolled in StEPs to continue using the original version of the workbook for twelve to eighteen months after the new version is published in early 2019 (anticipated publication date). This means two workbook versions would be in use until at least early 2020. Of course, we will welcome input from members on this plan as we move further into the Enhancement Project.

AASLH looks forward to involving as many people as possible in the Enhancement Project, just as we did with the initial grassroots effort to create StEPs in 2005-09. For more information contact Cherie Cook at cook@aaslh.org.

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