Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Culture and Heritage Site Management Addresses Current Issues and Events

The management of culture and heritage sites is making news. Historic sites in places like Iraq and Syria are being looted — or even destroyed. These events are leaving organizations such as UNESCO sending out warnings. Recently, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said: “I call on all actors to refrain from any form of destruction of cultural heritage, including religious sites. Their [acts of] intentional destruction are war crimes and a blow against … people’s identity and history.”

Needless to say, it is a changing time in this field for which Centennial College’s Culture and Heritage Site Management heritage management courses prepare students in just two semesters. In fact, part of the preparation places an emphasis on the changing face of tourism and includes in-depth exploration of issues and cases pertinent to current challenges confronting cultural and heritage organizations at home and abroad.

Here is a closer look at how this program works:

Admission: Because this is an Ontario Graduate Certificate program, it is only open to applicants who previously completed a college diploma or university degree in any discipline or those who have partial post secondary education and relevant work experience in the field. It is worth noting that a resume describing relevant work experience may be requested of applicants.

Curriculum: Due to the short span of the time students spend in this program, the curriculum is very carefully delivered. The program consists of practical management courses as well as industry-based subjects relevant to this largely publicly run or not-for-profit culture and heritage sector. Among specific topics are: financial management and planning for the culture and heritage sector, culture and heritage marketing and strategy, national historic site management, municipal cultural planning and more.

Practical Application: Centennial College prides itself on providing students with opportunities to apply what they are learning to either simulated scenarios or the real world. Despite its two-semester length, this offering includes a two-days-per-week industry placement for 15 weeks during the second semester. Centennial College enjoys local, regional, provincial and national institutions and establishments that take on field placement students. Students learn from industry professionals currently practicing their art and build their personal network of professionals.

Learning Outcomes:  After successful completion of each heritage and culture course, students are fully prepared to apply for positions with local, national, cross border and possible international organizations. For example, Canada alone has 2,500 museums and related institutions that include not-for-profit museums, art galleries, science centres, aquaria, archives, sports halls-of-fame, artist-run centres, zoos, and heritage sites that attract more than 59 million visitors annually; a further 60 million visit our historic sites and natural parks.

Due to the scope of the industry, graduates have a range of options that are guaranteed to meet their interest. In addition to the above-mentioned organizations, grads may be employed by national historic sites, national and provincial parks, historic sites, zoos, World Heritage Sites, federal, provincial and municipal cultural funding agencies; government departments, arts service organizations, related not-for-profit arts, cultural and heritage organizations.

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