DAS Curriculum Structure

Core Competencies

The DAS Program is structured to ensure that a DAS Certificate holder is able to:

  1. Understand the nature of records in electronic form, including the functions of various storage media, the nature of system dependence, and the effect on integrity of records over time.
  2. Communicate and define requirements, roles, and responsibilities related to digital archives to a variety of partners and audiences.
  3. Formulate strategies and tactics for appraising, describing, managing, organizing, and preserving digital archives.
  4. Integrate technologies, tools, software, and media within existing functions for appraising, capturing, preserving, and providing access to digital collections.
  5. Plan for the integration of new tools or successive generations of emerging technologies, software, and media.
  6. Curate, store, and retrieve original masters and access copies of digital archives.
  7. Provide dependable organization and service to designated communities across networks.

Tiers of Study

The DAS Curriculum is broken into four tiers of study:

  • Foundational Courses focus on the essential skills that archivists need to manage digital archives. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of practitioners—archivists who are or will be working directly with electronic records. These courses present information that an archivist might implement in the next year.
  • Tactical and Strategic Courses focus on the skills that archivists need to make significant changes in their organizations so that they can develop a digital archives and work seriously on managing electronic records. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of managers—those archivists who manage other professionals and who oversee programmatic operations. These courses present information that an archivist might implement in the next five years.
  • Tools and Services Courses focus on specific tools and services that archivists need to use for their work with digital archives. They are practical courses focused on specific software products and other tools and they focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of practitioner archivists. These courses present information that an archivist could implement immediately.
  • Transformational Courses focus on the skills that archivists need to change their working lives dramatically and transform their institutions into full-fledged digital archives. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on the needs of administrators—those archivists with oversight over the entire archival enterprise of an institution. These courses present information that an archivist might implement over the course of the next ten years.

Earning the DAS Certificate

A certificate participant has successfully completed (i.e., attended and/or passed examinations for) nine required courses from the four tiers listed below and additionally has passed a comprehensive examination. You have 24 months to complete coursework and up to an additional 5 months to complete the comprehensive examination following completion of coursework. More knowledgeable participants may elect to test out of Foundational courses.

  • Four Foundational courses
  • Three Tactical and Strategic courses
  • One Tools and Services course
  • One Transformational course

Please note that SAA does not provide transcripts for the DAS program. Participants must track their own progress through the curriculum using the tracking sheet attached below.

Maintaining Your DAS Certificate

The DAS Certificate is valid for five years. DAS certificate holders who wish to renew their certificates will need to complete four courses from the DAS course list, provided the following:

  • Renewal classes may be a combination of courses from all tiers; however, only one foundational course may be taken as part of the renewal
  • No more than one course may be completed for credit in the first year after the certificate has been awarded
  • All classes must be new (no retakes) to the attendee