The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is expanding its comprehensive continuing education programs for the history field by acquiring the ARCUS Leadership Program from the SRI Foundation and Cultural Heritage Partners. The acquisition of ARCUS is an exciting opportunity for AASLH to connect our members and others in the history community to a unique professional development program that covers many topics not available elsewhere.
“Adding these tried-and-true course modules to AASLH’s education programs is a big step forward,” said John Dichtl, AASLH president and CEO. “ARCUS expands what we can offer to a greater range of people because it can be used at organizations of all sizes and by people at different points in their careers. ARCUS will advance the history community by training people to think as entrepreneurs and leaders.”
In 2016, more than 150 federal and state agencies, professional associations, nonprofits, and private companies formed the Preservation50 coalition to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. That coalition identified as a top priority the need to develop new and more effective leadership education and development in the preservation, history, and related fields and the ARCUS program was created. More than 750 learners have completed ARCUS courses, with an additional 175 people completing an intensive fellowship program that has prepared leaders to address the most pressing issues facing the field today.
The SRI Foundation and Cultural Heritage Partners determined that the continued success of the program would best be achieved by finding an organization capable of bringing a sustained, mission-aligned focus to the program. After a nationwide search, AASLH was identified as a good fit because of the organization’s strategic goals of expanding professional development and promoting inclusion in the history field.
“Cultural Heritage Partners and the SRI Foundation are delighted to transition the ARCUS Program to AASLH,” said Greg Werkheiser, Cultural Heritage Partners Founding Partner. “There is a natural affinity between them in their mission to support leadership development and in their focus on diversity and inclusion for the field of public history writ large. We're confident ARCUS will thrive at AASLH and serve even more emerging leaders as it progresses."
AASLH will relaunch the ARCUS program in the fall of 2022. ARCUS programs will be available to anyone working in the history community, from small, volunteer-run organizations to larger institutions. These programs will be particularly helpful for emerging professionals, those in the middle of their careers, and those who are changing to a career in history. ARCUS program offerings will include topics such as advocacy, budgeting, and institutional partnerships. AASLH members will receive a discount on registrations, with the greatest discount available to individual members.
With the acquisition of ARCUS, AASLH now offers five distinct professional training programs. Others include the Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (STEPS), the History Leadership Institute, scheduled online courses, and webinars.
AASLH is grateful to the Preservation50 coalition, the SRI Foundation, Cultural Heritage Partners, and American Express for developing and funding the ARCUS program.