Mission Statement

NOVA’s certificate program in Public History and Historic Preservation is designed to help students acquire a solid foundation in the theories, methods and skills used in the fields of public history, historic preservation, museum studies and archaeology. The certificate is unique in the region and country, with only a handful of community college-based public history and historic preservation programs in the entire country.

In the mid-1990s, the curriculum was originally designed by nationally-known preservation professionals and prominent local government and community leaders, and inspired by Northern Virginia’s wealth of historic structures, museums, archaeological sites and battlefields. Students don’t just sit in the classroom; they get out into our region’s broader historical community. Field work and professional internships are vital components of our program, and our students receive a genuinely “hands-on” introduction to public history and historic preservation.  Since the inception of the program, the curriculum has continued to be refreshed and maintained to incorporate emerging fields, such as digital history, and best practices in the public history and historic preservation field.

The certificate is a great place to begin if you’re interested in training to become a historic preservation professional or just want to deepen your own appreciation of Northern Virginia’s historic heritage.

The program undergoes Annual Performance and Evaluation Reviews and is also subject to periodic review by the college’s associate vice president for academic services.