Membership Standards

Membership FAQs for NCPE Membership

What does NCPE do?
The National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) does a variety of things to promote preservation education:
• NCPE is a national network of peers committed to excellence.
• NCPE serves as a clearinghouse for student inquiry, providing through our website a list of all of our member programs [http://www.ncpe.us/program-list/], including the name of the institution (a link to the program’s website), city and state where the program is located, contact information for the director of the program, areas of emphasis specific to each program, the actual degree(s) awarded, and the typical class size.
• NCPE serves as a peer review body for our field, providing both educational standards and PER – the journal of Preservation Education & Research [http://www.ncpe.us/publications/]. PER disseminates international peer-reviewed scholarship relevant to historic environment education from fields such as historic preservation, heritage conservation, heritage studies, building and landscape conservation, urban conservation, and cultural patrimony.
• NCPE sponsors internships and preservation conferences and publishes on a range of preservation education topics and issues, including “Toward Promotion and Tenure: Guidelines for Assessing the Achievement of a Preservation Educator.”

What does “being a member of NCPE” mean?
Academic programs and Associate members who meet the Membership Standards [http://www.ncpe.us/standards/] as evaluated by their peers, and remain current with their membership dues are members of NCPE. As there is no official accreditation body for our field, NCPE serves to ensure that our member programs provide the highest standard of education within our highly multi-disciplinary field of study.

What advantage is there for my academic program to become a member?
Members of NCPE have proven excellence and marketability as authorities in the field. Your prospective and current students benefit from your membership and often academic departments/schools/and universities look for programs that engage in peer evaluation. Your students have access to the NCPE NPS internship program and both students and faculty have opportunities to present papers and publish findings in PER, our peer reviewed journal.

What are the basic academic requirements for my program to join NCPE?
The Council expects that all programs will provide instruction in, or require as a prerequisite, the following skills and knowledge deemed common and essential in the field of historic preservation:
• Instruction equivalent to at least two (2) courses in the history of the designed environment (including, for example, the history of architecture, urban development, landscape architecture, archeology, or material culture).
• Instruction equivalent to at least one (1) course devoted to the history and theory of preservation.
• Instruction equivalent to at least one (1) course devoted to documentation and recording techniques used in preservation and archeology.
• Since preservation required the field application of knowledge, including communication skills, the program should encourage a significant period of practical experience, equivalent to an internship, practicum, or apprenticeship.
• Instruction in at least one Specialized Component (design, technology, economics, law, planning, and curation).

So what is the first step to become a member? Is there an application form?
There is no application form – send an email to the NCPE Membership Chair [http://www.ncpe.us/about-ncpe/] to begin the process. You will be asked to provide a document showing how your program meets the Membership Standards. Together with explaining how your program meets the NCPE Membership Standards, you will need to address the following questions:
1. What type of program is it? What school and university are you from?
2. What is the mission statement of your program?
3. Who is the director of your program? Who are your faculty members (a compilation of bios)?
4. How do you meet the Fundamental Component requirements?
5. What Specialized Component(s) do you address in your program?
6. How do you work with students to find employment and how do you communicate with your alumni?

Do we ever need to update our program information with NCPE?
It is expected that each program will periodically review its mission and resources. Continued NCPE membership requires that programs undertake and submit evidence of Existing Program Review every ten years after obtaining NCPE membership. We encourage member programs to, when they undergo either internal or external program review for other academic or accreditation purposes, submit that same documentation to NCPE to serve as their Existing Program Review documentation. See Section 6 of the Membership Standards.

What are the different membership program categories?
• Full Members
Degree granting programs:
o Undergraduate
o Graduate
o Other degrees with a historic preservation emphasis
• Associate Members
o Certificate programs
o Other non-degree granting programs that offer training or education in Historic Preservation

How much does it cost to be a member of NCPE?
Dues are assessed annually according to the following guidelines:
• 1 program = $500
• 2 programs = $750 (i.e. graduate degree + certificate OR B.A. degree + B.S. degree)
• 3 Programs = $1,000 (i.e. graduate degree + undergrad degree + certificate)
• Associate Members = $500

When is the submission deadline?
The deadline for submitting your new or existing membership application is February 1 of each year. This allows time for the Membership Committee to review your program material during the Spring semester and make recommendations to the NCPE Executive Committee at the Summer meeting. You should allow time after the Summer NCPE meeting to answer questions the Executive Committee may have about your application. Upon recommendation by the Membership Chair, applications are then reviewed by the NCPE executive committee and presented to the membership of the whole for a vote at the Fall Annual Meeting. You will receive a letter from NCPE confirming your membership soon after the Annual Meeting.

Who reviews my application? How are membership decisions made?
Typically, the NCPE membership chair will solicit reviewers of similar peer programs to review the application according to the NCPE Membership Standards. The purpose of the standards is to foster the attainment and maintenance of excellence in preservation education, while recognizing the importance of program diversity and the plurality of disciplines and skills demanded in the field. Every program should provide experience in and engender respect for this interdisciplinary nature and the recognition that preservation focuses on cooperative work. Applicants are then reviewed by the NCPE executive committee and presented to the membership of the whole for a vote.

I submitted my application materials just after the recent annual meeting – is there any accelerated review process?
Unfortunately no, there is no accelerated review process. Programs must be approved by our membership at our annual meeting, which only happens once a year – at this time, in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation annual conference (PastForward) in the Fall.

When can I put my program on the website as an applicant?
As soon as your program has been reviewed and approved by the Membership at the Annual Meeting, and you pay your membership dues, your program information can be posted on the web page. Those programs that have not yet become members are so noted on the website.

How do I apply as an Associate Member – do I have to meet the same membership standards?
Please see the requirements outlined in Section 5.0 the Membership Standards.

How can I tell how long my program has been a member? Or when it was recertified?
NCPE will be posting this information on our website soon!

The NCPE standards for historic preservation degree granting graduate & undergraduate programs with protocols for evaluating NCPE associate members

1.0. Philosophy:
1.1. The purpose of the standards is to foster the attainment and maintenance of excellence in preservation education, while recognizing the importance of program diversity, and the plurality of disciplines and skills demanded in the field. Every program should provide experience in and engender respect for this interdisciplinary nature and the recognition that preservation focuses on cooperative work.

1.2. Each program should develop a Mission Statement identifying its purpose and objectives, and describing the means used to achieve them. Programs with special emphasis in archeology, architecture, heritage education, history, landscape architecture, planning, etc., shall clearly identify this focus.

1.3. The Council believes that self-evaluation, rather than regulation, provides the most effective assurance of quality of student preparation.

1.4. It is expected that each program should undertake a review of its Mission Statement and resources (faculty, space, financial support, computer capabilities, etc.) on a regular basis.
1.4.1 Continued NCPE membership for degree granting programs requires that programs undertake and submit evidence of an Existing Program Review every ten years after obtaining membership (Section 6.0)

2.0. Program Organization
2.1. The program must have a director or coordinator.

2.2. The program shall be supported by an identifiable faculty, full-time and adjunct, whose educational preparation and professional experience qualify them to teach preservation.

2.3. Completion of the program should contribute to the award of a university degree at the graduate or undergraduate level.

3.0. Program Content
Consistent with the Council’s belief in diversity, it should be noted that these elements or suggested standards are intended as minimum guidelines for preservation programs that lead to a graduate or undergraduate degree, and are not intended as a curriculum model.

3.1. Fundamental Components
Recognizing the diversity of approach and expertise required in the field of preservation, the Council expects that all programs will develop specialties in one or more of the following areas of knowledge. The objective of such instruction will vary in response to the goals of the individual program as identified in the Mission Statement, and may extend from awareness of the issues in a particular topic, through understanding, to the development of expertise.

The Council expects that all programs will provide instruction in, or require as a prerequisite, the following skills and knowledge deemed common and essential in the field of historic preservation:

3.1.1. Instruction equivalent to at least two (2) courses in the history of the designed environment, (including, for example, the history of architecture, urban development, landscape architecture, archeology, or material culture.)

3.1.2. Instruction equivalent to at least one (1) course devoted to the history and theory of preservation.

3.1.3. Instruction equivalent to at least one (1) course devoted to documentation and recording techniques used in preservation and archeology.

3.1.4. Since preservation required the field application of knowledge, including communication skills, the program should encourage a significant period of practical experience, equivalent to an internship, practicum, or apprenticeship.

3.2. Specialized Components:
3.2.1. Design Issues
Issues of appropriateness, restoration rehabilitation, in-fill, exterior and interior concerns at a variety of scales, and their effect on buildings, neighborhoods, communities and landscapes.

3.2.2. Technological Issues
History, evaluation and conversation in the normal range of building materials and systems.

3.2.3. Economics Issues
Marketing principles, private and public finance, property management, and budget preparation.

3.2.4. Legal Issues
Constitutional law, preservation case law, federal, state and local regulatory legislation and administration.

3.2.5. Planning Issues
Fundamentals of zoning, strategic planning, housing, and the social aspects of real estate development, archeology and cultural landscapes.

3.2.6. Curatorial Issues:
Site development, interpretation and management.

4.0. Alumni Performance:
Since programs are measured by the performance of their graduates, programs should have a system of placement for their graduates and for monitoring their career progress.

5.0. Protocols for evaluating NCPE Associate Members
5.1. Each program should provide a mission statement clearly defining the purpose of the program and how it contributes to preservation education. This should be evaluated in reference to the Standards for Non-Degree Preservation Education Programs, Section 1.0 Philosophy.

5.2. Each program seeking to be an Associate Member should reference the Standards for Non-Degree Preservation Education Programs and define:
5.2.1. How the program is organized and operated (Section 2.0).
5.2.2. Which fundamental components are addressed (Section 3.1).
5.2.3. Which specialized components are addressed (Section 3.2).

5.3. If the program is offering a certificate, define how that certificate is earned in terms of coursework, studio projects, thesis, internship or other requirements. The program should also define how that certificate is recorded in terms of degree requirements, if any. If the program offers continuing or seminar-based educational opportunities, it should define how the success of these opportunities are evaluated.

5.4. Each program should define how attendees and graduates are placed, evaluated and monitored (Section 4.0).

6.0. Protocols for Existing Program Review of Degree Granting Programs
6.1. Continued NCPE membership requires that programs undertake and submit evidence of program review every ten years after obtaining membership
6.1.1. Submittal of Existing Program Reviews for NCPE members shall be phased beginning in 2014.

6.2. Existing Program Review submittal shall include:
6.2.1. Mission Statement and program emphasis (if any) (Section 1.2) Description of any changes that have occurred since your institution last submitted program information to NCPE.

6.2.2. Evidence of your most recent self evaluation (Section 1.3 and 1.4) and describe how your program has implemented recommendations

6.2.3. Description of how your program is organized and operated (Section 2.0). Describe any changes that have occurred since your institution last submitted program information to NCPE.

6.2.4. Description of program fundamental components (Section 3.1). Describe any changes that have occurred since your institution last submitted program information to NCPE.

6.2.5. Description of program specialized components (Section 3.2). Describe any changes that have occurred since your institution last submitted program information to NCPE.

6.2.6. Evidence of Alumni Performance (Section 4.0).

6.2.7. Submit a copy of your institution’s original approved submittal for NCPE membership. If not available, submit date NCPE membership was initiated, if known.

6.2.8. Submit 1-5 page document describing substantive changes to your program since original NCPE membership acceptance.