We are excited to announce that our Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations has enrolled its 800th member, the Hearts Veterans Museum in Huntsville, Texas.

StEPs was developed in 2009 with IMLS funding and countless hours of volunteer effort from history professionals all around the country. StEPs is a self-study standards program designed specifically for small-to mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions. Through a workbook, online resources, and an online community, organizations enrolled in StEPS assess their policies and practices and benchmark themselves against nationally recognized standards.

When asked what motivated the museum to enroll in StEPs, Executive Director Mark Robinson said this:

As a former army Command Sergeant Major, I believe the only way to improve is to have a specific set of goals as your target.  And I do not have a education in museum management, so I wanted an accepted external set of standards. We are a small museum and StEPs gave me exactly what I was looking for. I also like the self-paced nature of the StEPs program.

The HEARTS Museum plans to use StEPs to improve staff expertise in museum administration, improve artifact storage and preservation, demonstrate achievement of professional standards when applying for grants, and increase board involvement in the museum.