Best Practices on Transparency in Placement Records

The AHA strongly recommends that departments publish information regarding graduate placement. Complete and accurate information is invaluable to prospective students deciding whether or not to enter the historical profession. For the Director of Graduate Studies, such information can facilitate contact with alumnae/i. For current students, the information might serve as the basis of a job network for certain kinds of employment—for example, jobs in government as well as academia. At a minimum, this information should indicate where graduates in specific fields got jobs and what kinds of jobs they took, although the data provided for the public need not identify individuals by name.

All graduate programs should strive for full and open transparency in their placement records. To the extent possible, an online, fully accessible graduate-program database should include information related to each graduate for at least 8–10 consecutive years after he or she leaves the institution, whether he or she finds a job in a university setting or in another kind of employment. Data might include the (former) student’s field of study and time to degree. To facilitate accurate recordkeeping, a program administrator should impress upon graduates leaving the institution the importance of their continuing to provide up-to-date information on their employment status and on changes in their email address as they move from job to job. Using Google and various social media, it is often possible for administrators to locate former students who are no longer in touch with the institution.

Approved by AHA Professional Division, April 4, 2012: by AHA Council June 2, 2012.