Committee on Education Spring Meeting Report
Lauren Goodley, Committee on Education Vice-Chair/Incoming Chair
This March 9 and 10, the Committee on Education (CoE) met for our yearly work meeting. We met from 8-5 on day one, and 8-1 on day two (so everyone can fly out that day), including working breakfasts and lunches. By the end of the meeting, we got to know each other and our work, had a few heated discussions and found places of agreement, and we forged a clear path ahead for the coming year.
The Committee on Education also holds a business meeting at the SAA annual meeting, we have conference calls monthly, and members and SAA Education Coordinators work on duties throughout the year. But the spring meeting is the time when we sit down at the table and hammer out our plans and direction, and work on current courses in a holistic way.
We also took some time to say goodbye to Solveig DeSutter and welcome new Director of Education Kara Adams. Solveig retired last year, so we enjoyed a last chance to visit and pick her brain for institutional knowledge. Kara has quickly stepped into her new position, and is interested and devoted to developing more online courses, which are more accessible to the membership. (Update: the Education Office has acquired a new Learning Management System to facilitate online learning and management of courses.)
An archives course was developed by the Simmons College Archives Faculty, three Massachusetts Municipal Clerks, the Massachusetts State Archives, and Gregor Trinkaus-Randall for the Massachusetts Municipal Clerks through an NHPRC grant. SAA Education Department will be taking over this course starting this fall. The Cultural Diversity Competency course will be an in-person workshop at Midwest Archives Conference in April 5, and to be developed into an online course. Teaching with Primary Sources is being developed and considering a “train the trainer” approach.
Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Subcommittee Report:
- Course Names: courses now use the term “digital” rather than “electronic,” reflecting digital as a subset of electronic.
- Courses in certificate curriculum: 6 courses are currently co-listed in the DAS and Arrangement and Description (A&D) curriculum. The subcommittee sees further integration of courses in the future, with DAS courses as format-specific but better integrated with other courses.
- Core Reading List: under development, to assist with preparing for the comprehensive exam, and as an additional resource.
- Mosaic Fellows are now matched with a DAS mentor, and receive registration to several DAS courses.
- DAS is looking into ways to provide direction and feedback for archivists seeking a DAS certificate.
History of Archival Graduate Education:
This year CoE intern Shanee’ Murrain, with the direction of CoE Chair Alison Clemens, conducted research into the history of archival graduate education. Shanee’ did a lit review going back to 1939, identified themes (namely, archives as coursework rather than a single course; and archives courses housed under history vs. library science). She also reviewed archival education and job preparedness and discussed the need for theory in tension with the need for job skills/practicum. Finally, Shanee’ looked at gaps in the data, particularly harvestable data and data from the global South.
Revisions to Guidelines for Archival Continuing Education (ACE) Guidelines:
The Archival Continuing Education Guidelines is one of CoE’s foundational documents. It was adopted by Council in 2006, and reviewed in 2010, so these year we reviewed and made some updates.
The biggest change was to remove digital as a separate area of archival knowledge. Instead, we included digital formats in a group of Specialized Courses. We also included a small step toward inclusiveness by stating that needs of people with disabilities should be considered when developing and offering courses.
The document has been sent to the Standards Committee, and from there it will go to Council for review.
Communications with Groups
We brainstormed ways to improve communication and collaboration with SAA sections, including the leadership activities google doc and liaising directly with section leaders. We’d like to tap into the knowledge base in the sections for new course ideas and development, course needs and education gaps, subject experts, and general feedback. And, sections can help share information about upcoming courses and opportunities to host courses.
Current and Future Courses
We reviewed the A&D courses and made decisions for what needed to be retired, reviewed, developed, and made appointments as to who would do this.
As for courses to be developed, we had some big ideas, which included an Essential Coding Suite and Digitization with an eye to Digital Preservation.
Finally, we looked at online courses under development.
Hopefully this gives you an idea of the work CoE does and our current business. If anything has caught your interest, or you have feedback or comment, please feel free to contact any of the membership, listed below. Contact information is available on the SAA website at http://www2.archivists.org/groups/education-committee under “Roster” (login required).
Also, there are eight pre-conference workshops available for the SAA Annual Meeting in Portland. Take a look here, and for our full course offerings here, or on the website under Education.
Committee on Education
Chair: Alison Clemens; Vice-chair: Lauren Goodley; Members: Sarah Buchanan, Stephanie Call, Erin Faulder, Marcy Flynn, Brad Houston, Martin Olliff, Seth Shaw, Matthew Strandmark; Intern: Shanee’ Murrain; DAS Chair: Mahnaz Ghaznavi; GAES Chair: Martin Olliff; Council Liaison: Kris Kiesling; Education Director: Kara Adams; Education Coordinators: Mia Capodilupo, Brianne Downing.
*Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously stated that the Massachusetts Municipal Clerks is developing a suite of online courses. This information has been corrected in the Staff Report above.