Message #263:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: How to Find An Accredited Field School
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 20:00:47 -0700

[  It seems that if students go to the Raven Site near St. Johns AZ to
attend "field school," most professional archaeologists won't believe
they have received legitimate archaeological field training.  The
program (?) there is seriously questioned by the professional community.
 If you need an accredited archaeological field school program see the
three messages posted below -- SASIG Ed. ]

From: Sharon Urban

Re: Message 260
    Message 242
This message is coming in response to that of Deb Dosh inquiring about
how a field school gets accredited.  Have never heard of an accredited
field school in this sense. The AAS field schools at Elden, Q Ranch and
Rock Art are "accredited" only because they are sanction by the AAS
State Board.  Like Deb mentioned, who is to accredit them?   Perhaps a
letter to AIA inquiring of credentials of those who offer field schools.
 I too have heard about the same type of story regarding students at
Raven. A couple of years ago there was a female grad student that worked
at Raven who told the same basic story.  She indicated something to the
effect of possibly being able to buy what was dug up. No records were
kept.  This gal went on to work at Homolovi for the next few weeks.


From:	Linda W. Smith 

Regarding the Raven site as an "accredited" field school...

In order to give college credit, the field school must be affiliated
with a degree-granting college or university which has been accredited
through the North Central Association or other official accrediting
agency. (This is a national certification, not an Arizona one.) The
college or university is then responsible for the quality of the program
it provides. One question is what the Raven site owner means by
"accredited", that is, is any educational institution actually
officially involved.  I do not know of any Arizona 
institution working at the Raven site. I have corresponded with Dr.
Michael Adler at SMU about a new program SOPA and the SAA are developing
to accredit field schools.  (I sincerely doubt that this is the
accreditation referred to for the Raven site.)  For more information on
this new accreditation program, you can reach Mike at 

From:	Mike Adler
Subject:       Re: Raven Site As An Accredited Field School?

There is a process now in place for getting field school certification. 
I'm chairing the SOPA Field School Certification Committee, and we have
information on certification on the SOPA home page at:
. We have
developed the certification program to help correct the same problems
Deb Dosh raised in her earlier message regarding field school standards.
 There are currently no shared standards guiding the curricula of US
field schools.  Some students excavate, survey, map, write reports,
learn material science, and acquire a range of useful skills as part of
an ethical research project.  Others get duped into providing labor for
projects that have little research or educational content. My experience
is that most field schools out there provide exceptional guidance in
research, lab methods, archaeological theory, and other important
components of our trade.  Several of these programs have applied for and
received SOPA certification.  Certified field schools will be listed in
the 1998 AIA Field Opportunities Guide and on the Fieldwork
Opportunities page run by Ken Stuart at

I urge others running field programs in 1997 and beyond to get involved
by applying for certification.  Our goals are to:

1) guarantee that field school participants will be exposed to
professional research and educational experiences
2) raise the ante on the research products coming out of field school
programs across the country, and
3) publicize ethical standards ensuring that those programs not
achieving the professional goals of archaeology realize
presentshortcomings and subsequently improve their offerings

Mike Adler
Prof. Michael Adler
Department of Anthropology
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX 75275-0336