The Cooperstown Graduate Program trains creative, entrepreneurial museum leaders committed to generating programs and services for the public good. CGP trained professionals dedicate themselves to the development of strong institutions that play a central role in their communities, encouraging broad public audiences to use artifacts and the study of art and history as a catalyst for social change.
There is a body of knowledge and a number of skills that CGP graduates — and museum professionals — ought to possess. The CGP curriculum is organized to cover this body of knowledge and skills.
While we encourage students to specialize in a career track and in a subject area, graduates must have a basic understanding of all aspects of museum work, particularly administration, collections, exhibitions and programming.
The curriculum stresses the importance of objects — collecting, preserving, and interpreting them for broad audiences. The definition of "object" for this purpose is a comprehensive one, including anything made or modified by humans.
The curriculum includes formal and informal instruction, individual research and analysis, group projects, internships, and direct museum experience. The curriculum is augmented and supported by field trips, guest speakers, seminars and student attendance at conferences. A major strength of the Program is the integration of the curriculum with the activities of The New York State Historical Association and The Farmersí Museum.
CGP assists students in formulating and achieving their museum career goals, and assists graduates in securing favorable placement. Museums use staff teams to develop programs and exhibitions and management teams to run institutions. Learning and practicing the art of teamwork is an important component of the CGP curriculum.
Excellence, innovation and leadership are the focus of the Program.
Ethical behavior and fairness will guide all of our decision making and relationships with students.
We are committed to providing students with training and experience that will enable them to work effectively with broad public audiences. We are committed to expanding the diversity of the museum profession. We are committed to teaching history and material culture that reflects the diversity of the American people.
We believe that public service is at the heart of museum work and a critical aspect of our mission is to provide service learning through practical experiences in the community. We believe that museums exist to serve their audiences and the public good. Collections, exhibitions, and programs should address audience and community needs.
Effective museums use cross departmental teams to create dynamic programs and exhibitions and to manage successful institutions. An important aspect of museum professional training at CGP is teamwork.
The Cooperstown Graduate Program prides itself on creating a rigorous academic experience for students that includes the most up-to-date scholarship about museum work. As a leader in the field of museum studies, CGP faculty maintains currency in their areas of expertise and is committed to sustaining the national reputation of the program.
We are committed to adopting projects that will benefit the field of museum professional training and enrich the lives of museum audiences. We are willing to experiment and take intellectual risks.