What Do StEPs Members Have to Say About the Program?

Since 2009, AASLH’s Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations has helped over 800 history organizations improve their practices and plan for a healthy, secure future. Here is what a few of these organizations had to say about their experiences with StEPs.

For more in-depth comments from organizations on their experiences with StEPs, click here

To see how StEPs organizations have gotten local press attention for their certificates, click here


“I LOVE the StEPs program! I’ve been devouring the workbook – it’s very helpful.”

“The StEPs program is an invaluable tool. It’s like an annual physical . . . you find out where you need to make improvements in the future, and it lets you pat yourself on the back for past accomplishments.”

“It truly is a very helpful and wonderful program. I was surprised to see how many things we were doing well according to StEPs.  It was and is helpful to see areas where we need improvement too!”

“Excellent program, comprehensive but easy to apply and implement. I am very pleased.”

“From rewriting our mission statement to reinvigorating our guides’ program to reevaluating the usage of each of our historic structures (among many other objectives), EHS continues to improve its organizational development and relevance in the community, thanks to StEPs.”


StEPs Helps Revitalize Older Museums

“The program has helped us restructure a failing organization with less than 5 months finances remaining into a successful, financially stable organization with a fully functioning board.”

“It turned us from a two person operation on the brink of financial collapse to a Board-driven growing concern with capital behind us.”

“StEPs has been a huge help for me personally as a new museum director in helping plot the contours of the job and, having inherited an organization which has put little thought into museum practice in the past (I’m the first museum professional in its 22-year history), it’s been a useful checklist for me in planning our work over the next couple years.”

“A complete change in staff took place 2 years ago. The old staff had become complacent and operations and programs were running on ‘auto-pilot.’ By using the StEPs program, we are hope to not only improve all operations and programs, but avoid falling back to the complacent mode.” 


StEPs is a Great Tool for Small & All Volunteer Organizations

“The self-study structure is perfect for organizations like mine with few staff and resources.”

“Very useful tool for reaching professional standards. It gives guidelines that are helpful for board discussion and action. Super for small museums without professional training in museum studies.”

“We are using steps as a tool to learn the standards and practices of the museum world since we are all volunteers with no formal training.”

“Thank you for developing the tool and keeping the cost low so that small museums can utilize it.”


StEPs Gets New and Young Museums Started on the Path to Success

“We’re a young museum and we’re using it as we lay the museum’s foundation. It’s a wonderful reference for us.”

“We are really very excited about this opportunity to develop the best systems possible, and as our institution is only in its 7th year, we are endeavoring to do this right from the get-go rather than many years down the line, when it would be much more difficult!”


StEPs Helps Get Your Board and Community Educated and Involved

“We have found StEPs to be very beneficial for our organization. It has given us a framwork for discussion with our Boards and community and has helped us focus on what is most important for us to accomplish.”

“StEPs has helped to make the case for budgeting and prioritizing the many needs of our museum to our board.”


StEPs Improves Internal Cohesion 

“When we work on it, it’s great to have staff and board together to talk about issues in our organization, and celebrate what we are doing well. Since it is a self-evaluation, it is interesting to get together as a group and see how we sometimes have differing opinions on how we are doing in different areas.”

“StEPs has really helped us to pull together as a team. It has let us look at our strengths and our weaknesses . We have grown stronger and our museum has gained a clearer vision of our goals and our mission statement.”


StEPs Communities of Practice are a Great Way to Make Progress with the Help of a Group 

“StEPs and especially StEPs Connecticut has helped our organization to achieve basic standards of practice in many areas. Without the organization of the program and the support of the other participants of our group and our mentor, I am not sure this would have been possible. We have come together in an amazing way and have a renewed enthusiasm in the future.”

“StEPs is so helpful! The workbook has so much valuable info. The meetings (StEPS-CT) in Middletown are informative, plus a great networking opportunity. For now, we’re just working on the Basic certificates. Then hopefully we can continue to improve to the next level. It’s so helpful to focus on one area at a time, to address the biggest shortfalls, to learn what other historical groups are doing.”


StEPs Can Help You Prepare for Other Assessment Programs 

“It was a great exercise for us and it will allow us to tighten up the organization where needs are before going any further with MAP.”

“Looking forward to starting the process. I see it as a first phase, CAP and MAP as seconds, and finally applying for accreditation.”

“The StEPs program has been a valuable tool for our organization. We used it conjunction with recommendations from the MAP program and found that the two program complemented each other very well.”


Don’t wait to enroll your organization in StEPs and begin working towards excellence. Learn how to get started today.