Editorial Policies and Practices
At STEPS, our goal is to be the trusted source for students who want to explore a degree in the public service sector. Whether we are connecting potential students to programs that suit their desired career path or providing resources to support their online college journey, we aim for the highest standards of accuracy, transparency, and inclusion in our page content.
Read more about how we are working to better serve our readers:
Our Core Values
Below is a list of the guidelines we follow to create educational and informative content that you can trust. Our commitment to excellence is evident through the following:
Accuracy and Integrity
To provide the most accurate information, our pages go through rigorous fact-checking, using only trusted sources for data and information. Sources include:
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – for our career-related statistics and salary information.
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) – for rankings data used to determine what schools to include in our rankings profiles.
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) – for education-related data and statistics.
- Studentaid.gov – for up-to-date information related to student financial aid and FAFSA.
- US Department of Education – for education information, data, and resources.
Accuracy and integrity are important to us, which is why we put every piece of content through a rigorous editorial process that includes using seasoned writers with years of experience in their field, editors and fact checkers, a final editing process by our full-time staff, and final proofing prior to publishing. This ensures that we produce work we can stand behind, as well as valuable content for our readers.
Authority and Experience
STEPS strives to be a leading expert for information on earning your degree in public service. To do this, we source experts from all backgrounds with knowledge related to public service, admissions processes, financial aid, student wellness, and more. Read about each of our experts on our Authors and Experts page.
We are committed to reporting that is supported by current data and reviewed by experts, particularly when covering sensitive topics related to mental health and marginalized groups. Our reviewers check for accuracy, sensitivity, bias, and inclusive language to ensure we are upholding the standards we value.
Confidentiality and Transparency
Current Information and Data
We are committed to providing the most up-to-date information available. We conduct regular site audits and page updates to ensure information presented on our site is as current as possible.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
At STEPS, we recognize that students come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and we aim to support students from marginalized groups and other traditionally underserved populations. We create specific resource pages for students to support their individual higher-education needs.
Additionally, we are committed to bringing voices from both authors and experts of diverse backgrounds, using language that is as accurate and inclusive as possible. We welcome and implement feedback, updating pages when needed to meet current standards.