Amber Cushing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
If you ask a prospective archival student where to find information about archival education, they may be unsure where to start their search of North American programs or, further, how to compare all the information they might find online. With the revision earlier this year of SAA’s Directory of Archival Education, prospective students can now discover and compare information about archival education programs, all on the SAA website.
The most innovative improvement is a special feature that allows users to compare up to three archival education programs side-by-side according to several characteristics of each program.
The Education Committee along with a subcommittee to revise the directory, which consisted of education committee members, archival educators and an archives student, gathered input from members, students, and educators over the past few years to update the web directory. Each group voiced different concerns, and the subcommittee tried to address everyone’s needs in the redesign. While archival educators advocated that every program be listed at a free basic level with the option to have an extended listing for a fee, students desired the ability to compare programs based on issues such as number of faculty, the nature of programs available, and availability of internships. In addition, the Education Committee and subcommittee wanted to redesign the directory so that prospective students would have access to necessary information that would help them make an informed decision about where to pursue their education.
The new and improved directory addressed all of these concerns and more: education programs that have opted to place an extended listing can include information such as program philosophy, facilities, and research opportunities, as well as provide course information that maps back to the newly revised 2011 SAA Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies (GPAS). Programs have the ability to update their directory information on a regular basis.
Check out the redesign for yourself at http://www2.archivists.org/dae and recommend it to a future archivist today!