We are thrilled to announce the enrollment of our 1000th StEPs member, President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C.!
StEPs (Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations) is AASLH’s entry level assessment program for small- to mid-sized history organizations, including all-volunteer groups. The program offers a sound structure for assessing policies and practices, setting goals, and articulating achievements to your community, funders, and others. As a self-paced program, StEPs allows flexibility so participating organizations can move through the workbook and earn certificates at their own pace.
President Lincoln’s Cottage, which first opened to the public in 2008 and became an independent 501(c)3 in 2016, is a historic site and National Monument that seeks “to reveal the true Lincoln and continue the fight for freedom.” From the start, the Cottage followed a nontraditional, “Museum of Ideas” approach—a departure from traditional D.C. and presidential historic homes. Its mandate to serve as a “Home for Brave Ideas” is evident in everything from its daily public tours and social media presence to programs such as Students Opposing Slavery, which won a Presidential Award in 2016.
A staff of eleven full-time and seven part-time employees will all be involved in the StEPs process, contributing cross-disciplinary skills and perspectives as the museum first tackles a full inventory of their current policies. While many of the site’s policies, procedures and founding documents are relatively new and updated regularly, the StEPs process will be the first time everything will be reviewed as a comprehensive whole.
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