The HistoriCorps Institute

The HistoriCorps Institute 2017-06-26T12:58:49+00:00

The HistoriCorps Institute

Connecting the Head, Hand, and Heart to Save Places that Matter


HistoriCorps Institute™  is the education and training arm of HistoriCorps®, the nationally recognized leader in mobilizing citizens to save and protect places that matter. Through our Program in Heritage Conservation and Construction, students learn the decision making and time honored hands-on skills necessary to successfully complete a preservation construction project on time, on budget, and with the quality deserving of historic places.

Our community of instructors is professional, patient, and passionate about providing you with a quality experience and sense of pride of accomplishment. All of the instruction meets or exceeds the The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings. Students entering the program regardless of age or construction experience graduate with skills that can help jumpstart a new career, augment an academic program, meet continuing education requirements, or just help authentically repair and maintain their own older buildings.

HistoriCorps Institute is not constrained by a single campus location, building type, style or material. Projects take place throughout the year at locations all over the United States in rural, suburban and urban contexts. By providing a diversity of projects and sites, students gain the flexibility to match project interest with busy personal schedules and finances.

So get your head, hand and heart connected. Browse through the website and catalog, ask us questions, then join our growing community of people that value learning by doing and care about the quality of our built environment today and for future generations to come.

Robert W. Ogle

Click to view and download HistoriCorps Institute's 2017 Catologue


You Will Learn:

  • How traditional building systems balance aesthetics, cost, and function.
  • How to choose the proper materials, operate the tools and master the techniques required to safely conduct hands on preservation interventions.
  • To critically diagnose causes of material failure and offer solutions for proper preservation treatment.
  • The value of teamwork and the role proper planning play to deliver a successful preservation construction project.
  • To demonstrate the skills and knowledge acquired to move forward toward career and education goals.


The HistoriCorps Institute program is designed to meet the time demands of today’s busy students and professionals. You may participate when you want, where you want and as often as you want. All eligible HistoriCorps preservation construction projects are divided into week long, hands on modules that equate to 50 student contact hours. You may enroll in one week or multiple weeks. We even offer daily enrollment for certain projects.


Students and professionals may earn the HistoriCorps Institute Certificate of Achievement in Heritage Conservation and Construction. There are three options to achieve this milestone:

Option #1
Projects plus Online: Enroll in a minimum of three, one week long* preservation projects plus two online courses

Option #2
Projects Only: Enroll in a minimum of five, one week long preservation projects.

Option #3
Combo: Enroll in combinations of one week long preservation projects and online courses

*Note: week long preservation projects may be in succession or spread out over multiple months or years and project sites. One week long project sessions are typically Sunday through Friday.

Click here to apply

All Project Supervisors and Instructors meet the Secretary of Interior’s Professional Standards.

Project Supervisor: Denis Moran

Project Supervisor: Bob Fulton

Project Supervisor: Steve Harris

learn online hstoricorps

“Learning the ins and outs of what it takes to keep an operation as extensive as Bent's Old Fort up and running on a daily basis. I enjoyed being able to get my hands dirty and see some of the real-world application of historic preservation.”
- Chuck Adams

gain practical skills historicorpshistoricorps field


Project Site Course Titles: (Hands On Learning)

  • Heritage Conservation, Materials and Methods
  • Architecture and Aesthetic Responsiveness
  • Safety Planning and Protocols
  • Project Planning, Scheduling, and Reporting
  • Project Leadership, Decision Making, and Crew Dynamics

Online Course Titles: (Online Learning)

  • Heritage Conservation, Philosophy and Practice
  • American Architecture

Course Descriptions

HCI-100 Heritage Conservation, Materials and Method
The scope of work for preservation projects typically involve multiple tasks of work, design, and physical intervention strategies dependent upon scale and existing conditions of the project building or structure and the owner’s desired outcome. Therefore, students have the opportunity to experience proper construction methods in foundation and structural systems, drainage, exterior and interior finishes, roofing, windows, doors, interior walls and partitions, ceilings and floors. Materials include masonry, wood, metals, glass, and a variety of exterior and interior finishes. Emphasis is placed on their use in preservation projects and construction techniques for completing the project.

HCI-102 Architecture and Aesthetic Responsiveness
Most preservation construction projects involve subjects of historic or cultural significance. A major factor embodied in these buildings and structures that matter are aesthetic in nature. Character defining features, styles, and building types blend into a finished composition that stirs feelings in the observer. In order to properly intervene in the repair or replacement of damaged or deteriorating fabric, the student must diagnose the cause of the problem. Conditions assessment is the first step in a preservation construction project and students will have the opportunity to help determine the cause and offer solutions for appropriate intervention. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

HCI-103 Safety Planning and Protocols
This course engages students in the critical role safety plays in performing a successful preservation construction project that assures protection for the participants and the environment. Students will participate in daily safety circles to review hazards, safety and emergency response plans, compliance, and incident reporting. Emphasis is placed on safety planning in the context of OSHA and ISO 14000 standards.

HCI-104 Project Planning, Scheduling, and Reporting
Preservation construction projects require an appreciation of how the wide range of materials, methods, costs, personnel, and scheduling impact a successful outcome. Working on historic buildings often present challenges in the field not anticipated in the pre-planning phase of the project. Emphasis is placed on student contribution to modifications of plans, schedules and reporting in the face of real world contingencies.

HCI-105 Project Leadership, Decision Making, and Crew Dynamics
No preservation construction project can be delivered on time, on budget, with the quality expected without leadership. Leaders make decisions. Followers make decisions, ironically making them leaders in given circumstances. Decisions can be made alone or with others, but always relative to others. Leaders make decisions and accept and work within the consequences of those decisions. Students will have the opportunity to break into smaller teams during the project and practice their decision making and leadership skills. Emphasis is placed on demonstration of effective leadership skills which is the process of influencing others towards a common goal

HCI-106 Heritage Conservation, Philosophy and Practice
This course will explore the history of the preservation movement worldwide, with a special focus on the philosophy and practice of historic preservation in the United States. Using a variety of HistoriCorps projects as our learning laboratory, we will explore and critique the social, historical, and cultural roots and contemporary meanings of historic preservation as it has been, is, and could be professionally practiced. Emphasis is placed on how the evolving preservation ethic influences the practice of preservation construction.

HCI-107American Architecture
This course examines American architecture from the first colonial settlements through contemporary design. Because a building’s style is inextricably influenced by its context, architectural developments will be analyzed in relation to their historical, cultural, social, and regional context. Drawing heavily on HistoriCorps project sites,we will provide an overview of major themes and developments in American architecture, a discussion of the challenge of identifying architectural styles, and an introduction to the formal, structural, and ornamental characteristics of buildings and corresponding vocabulary to facilitate students’ ability to interpret, analyze, and describe historic buildings. Emphasis is placed on how architectural elements influence the practice of preservation construction.

HCI-200 Special Topics in Preservation Construction
Reserved for specialty workshops or project sites presenting unique opportunities for learning.


Adult, Professional & Continuing Education Program: (Age 18 and older)

  • Preservation Project: $750. per Project Week (includes food and lodging OR camping)
  • Online Course: $320. per Course

Student Program*

  • Preservation Project: $300. per Project Week (includes food and lodging)
  • Online Course: $320. per Course

*Student must show evidence of current enrollment in a post-secondary academic or technical institution program.


  • 10% discount if project weeks are in succession
  • 10% discount for adults 62 and older
  • 10% discount for teachers (K-12) college, and university faculty members
  • 10% discount for veterans



Any adult (18 or older*) who is passionate about history and architecture that wants to learn how to save places that matter for future generations. Generally, students entering HistoriCorps Institute programs are interested in jumpstarting a new career, meeting continuing education requirements, travelling to new places, augmenting an academic program, or learning how to repair and maintain older buildings. (*If you are a high school student and wish to enroll, please contact us for details).
You will learn the hands on and decision making skills required to successfully complete a real historic preservation construction project. You will also make new friends and join the growing community of people that appreciate the design, craftsmanship, and history associated with places that matter. Most importantly you will gain a great sense of pride and satisfaction from preserving a part of our collective heritage.
No! You and your team will be guided throughout your project by professional and patient Project Supervisors and Instructors who are passionate about providing you with a quality experience and sense of pride of accomplishment.
Generally, you will become part of a team consisting of a Project Supervisor, Crew Leader, and 6-10 students. Many students enroll in projects with friends or members of their family. Regardless, you will have a chance to interact with a diverse group of people from all walks of life associated with the project and its history.
Yes! After completing a project or individual course, you will receive a transcript showing your accomplishment. We also award the Certificate of Achievement in Heritage Conservation and Construction. You must complete a minimum of 21 Learning Units to receive your certificate. See the “Flexibility” section for more detail.
As part of your experience with HistoriCorps Institute, you and your team members will conduct and record assessments of what you learned individually and as a team each day. In addition, The Project Supervisor will complete an evaluation of the total team performance at the end of the project. We will provide you with a syllabus and a transcript showing the amount of hours you spent, the learning objectives and learning outcomes achieved along with copies of the evaluations. You may present these documents to your college professor or academic advisor as proof of your leaning. The award of academic credit is totally at the discretion of your college or university. Our staff will be more than happy to assist you in this process.
Program fees differ based upon your status when enrolling in a program. Several discounts are available. See the “Value” section for details.
Unlike traditional single location campuses, our project sites are based all over the United States in rural, urban, and suburban contexts. Classes run throughout the year.
Review the current Schedule and choose the project that best fits your interest, time of year and budget. Our staff will also help advise you in this process. (PLEASE NOTE projects fill up quickly-so it is best to apply and enroll as soon as possible to insure your spot. See the “Get Involved” section for detail.
Complete the short application and remit along with your one time application fee as soon as possible to reserve your spot in the que. See the “Get Involved” section for details.