Virginia Certificate Program FAQs
What are the costs involved in this program?
Currently, there are two additional costs related to the Certificate Program other than the registration fees for the various workshops and conferences that you must attend in order to meet the requirements of the program. An application fee of $30 is due when you fill out the Letter of Intent to Complete, and a second $30 fee is due immediately prior to your graduation from the program. Workshops normally cost between $50 and $75 apiece, and the VAM conference costs $150 to $225, depending on how you register.
Do I need to be a member of VAM in order to participate in this program?
Yes. As of September 1, 2010, all applicants to the Certificate in Museum Management will need to be an individual member of VAM. You can join at the staff level if your organization is already a member of VAM, or you can join at the individual level. If you are a full or part time student or faculty member at an accredited college or university, you can join as a student or faculty member.
What kind of guidance will be provided to students once they are a part of this program?
The VAM staff and the Certificate Review Committee will work with students to answer questions about the program, help determine what programs and workshops will help fulfill requirements for the program, and assist in future career planning.
How long do students have to complete the program?
Students have five years to complete the program; based on our estimates, it should take an average of three years to complete all the requirements necessary for a Certificate. If a student attends VAM workshops as well as outside programs, the Certificate can be completed faster. Back to top.
Can students use workshops and conferences outside those of approved partners to count toward their Certificate?
Each student must submit a fulfillment form for each workshop or conference they wish to use to fulfill a requirement for the Certificate. Workshops offered by VAM, by our partners, Radford University, Tidewater Community College, Rappahannock Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Nonprofit Learning Point Program, and by SEMC, AAM, or AASLH are approved automatically, as long as they fit the core curriculum requirement for which they are being used. Classes offered by other organizations will be reviewed by the Certificate Review Committee to determine whether the content of the program in question meets the standards of the Virginia Certificate for Museum Management. Students will be notified about the acceptance of any fulfillment form.
Can students use technology-related workshops to count toward their certificate?
Technology is an excellent tool, one that can enhance many aspects of museum operations and care. In recognition of this, the Certificate Review Committee has determined that technology courses that relate to specific core elements can be counted toward your certificate. There is a limit of one software- or tool-based technology class per student (i.e. Frontpage, PastPerfect). However, more broadly based technology classes are not subject to this limit (i.e. "Using Podcasts in Planning Exhibits" or "How Online Tools Can Assist Museum Marketing"). Back to top.
How do students decide what workshops fulfill which core curriculum requirements?
Each advertised VAM workshop will list which core element it fulfills. If a student is using workshops of our approved partners or other organizations, they will need to pay attention to the list of sub-categories within each core element; any topic that matches one of these sub-categories can be used to fulfill that core element. If there is ever a question about the relevance of a particular workshop, the student may call VAM to verify that the workshop does indeed meet the requirement.
One important thing to keep in mind, however: each student must complete two different topics within each core element in order to fulfill the requirements of the certificate. For example, a student cannot fulfill their Education/Outreach requirement with two workshops on the Standards of Learning, or the Collections Management requirement with two conservation workshops.
How do students use an Independent Study to fulfill a core curriculum element?
Students may apply to complete an Independent Study for a core element credit. Students may have no more than 2 independent studies out of 10 core curriculum elements, and no one core element can be completed using ONLY independent studies (meaning, only one of two Exhibitions credits, for example, may be completed as an Independent Study).
In order to use Independent Study credit, students need to fill out a Request Form prior to doing the study. This request is reviewed and must be accepted by our Review Committee before an Independent Study can begin. Once a student completes their Independent Study, a Completion Form is submitted to the Review Committee for final approval of credit. Both forms can be found on the VAM website.
Can students use a project they are already completing for their current job as the Certificate’s final project?
The final project for this Certificate is designed to cap a student’s progress through this Certificate Program. It should be something conceived specifically for this purpose, and should demonstrate the student’s understanding of at least two different areas of museum management. Any ideas for final projects must be presented for approval, in writing, to the Certificate Review Committee. A final project can be something relevant to a student’s current position, such as designing a new program, but it must be able to show the student’s growth and the new knowledge gained in the Certificate Program. A final project should not be something that fits into the student’s current job routine—for example, an educator who creates educational programs on a daily basis cannot design a new educational program for her final project.