What is the Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (STEPS)?

STEPS is AASLH’s self-study, self-paced assessment program designed specifically for small- to mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions. Through a workbook, online resources, and an online community, the 1,000+ organizations enrolled in StEPS review their policies and practices and benchmark themselves against national museum standards.

As your history organization makes progress in the program, you will earn certificates from AASLH that communicate those achievements to your community and stakeholders.

AASLH Institutional and Academic Program members can join STEPS for only $195, which includes the newly-updated workbook and access to an online community for support. 

Click here for more information about the program.

  • Enrollment in STEPS is open to AASLH Institutional and Academic Program members only. Nonmember organizations are required to first purchase an AASLH Institutional or Academic Program membership. New STEPS enrollees receive one copy of the spiral bound workbook, access to the STEPS Community and other benefits. COST: $195 AASLH Institutional/Academic Program Members

    • Register
      • Academic Program - $195
      • Partner Institution - $195
      • Premier Partner Institution - $195
      • Platinum Partner Institution - $195
      • Institutional Budget - $195
      • Institutional Member - $195
    • More Information
  • The STEPS workbook is a spiral bound publication that offers self-assessment questions, performance indicators (Basic, Good, and Better), project lists, and more related to national museum standards. Purchase of the workbook alone does not enroll you in STEPS. COST: $65 AASLH Members

History of STEPS

In 2009, after four years of grassroots research and testing and the efforts of over 130 volunteers, AASLH created the Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations with IMLS funding to fill a specific need within the field of state and local history. STEPS was designed to be an important part of helping history organizations, not matter how small, move along the Continuum of Excellence.

After ten years of helping more than 1,100 institutions move forward through self-assessment, AASLH relaunched STEPS with an updated workbook and online STEPS Community.

Read more on the history of STEPS and updates to the program in a blog post by AASLH President and CEO, John Dichtl.