IPS Insights: Society of American Archivists' Arrangement and Description (A&D) Certificate Program

by Adrienne Tsikewa, Graduate Programming Assistant
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 12:11 PM

Have you ever wished you had support to take advantage of a professional or career development opportunity that lies outside the scope of your academic research? The UCSB Individualized Professional Skills (IPS) Program is designed to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars fill in the funding gaps for pursuing opportunities that support your professional development in a variety of career trajectories.

IPS Insights: In our series, “IPS Insights,” previous awardees share about their IPS-funded experiences in short informational videos. This week's featured video is by Assatu Wisseh, a PhD candidate in the Film and Media Studies department.

Assatu used the IPS funds to complete the Society of American Archivists' Arrangement and Description (A&D) Certificate program and to start the Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Certificate program. Watch the video to learn more!


In Assatu's Words: What I Learned

"The digital humanities is a spacious field, and archival practice is a specific area that interests me. Archivists make decisions about which objects are preserved, how they are preserved, and for how long. These practices directly impact the primary data to which researchers have access. Although archival study is common in communication and media studies, courses in archival practice are not typical university offerings across the field. The Individualized Professional Skills Grant allowed me to complete the Society of American Archivists' Arrangement and Description (A&D) Certificate program and to begin a portion of the Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate program. The Society of American Archivists (SAA), established in 1936, is the first and largest national professional association for archivists in North America. The A&D program consists of eight courses which I completed over the fall, winter, and spring quarters. In this program, I learned how to process an archival collection according to accepted principles known as DACS (Describing Archives a Content Standard), deepened my understanding of metadata standards, examined the importance of laws and ethics concerning archives such as copyright, privacy, and confidentiality, and practiced skills such as grant writing for archives. A highlight of the program is courses are taught by practicing archivists from a range of public and private repositories; learning from them allowed me to have practical questions answered and to network with professionals in the field. It is rewarding to earn a credential from a respected professional organization, strengthening my knowledge and skills as a digital humanities scholar-practitioner.”

IPS Program Overview

Awards up to $1000 are granted to eligible UCSB graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from any discipline who wish to individually tailor their career paths with outside professional development opportunities. The purpose of the IPS program is to help grad students and postdocs take greater agency in their own career path by funding exploration of a range of professional development opportunities across a variety of career and skill interests.

The IPS Program is a collaboration between the Professional Development Series at the Center for Science and Engineering PartnershipsGraduate Division; the Office of Diversity, Equity and InclusionUCSB Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative and CNSI Technology IncubatorCareer Services; UCSB's divisional deans; and external donors. Learn more about the program here!