Frequently Asked Questions

At Willowbank we strive to provide an innovative approach to education that blends hands-on teaching with theoretical approaches that creates a unique experiential learning environment. Our classes are small to afford our students with direct access to instructors and our equipment and facilities. Please read on for some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the Heritage Conservation Diploma.

What date is the start of the next admission cohort?

Our updated dates are included in each year’s application form.
Download online application form. Fill out and return with supporting documents.

When is the deadline for applications?

We have rolling admissions BUT the first deadline for applications is March 30th 2016.
The committee will review the first round of applications and will notify applicants of their decision by June 2016.

The application process will remain open as a second round of admissions will take place in the Summer should there still be places available (exact date to be determined).

Are there still places available?

For Fall 2016 cohort, yes!

What degree is awarded and where or how is the degree accredited?

A Diploma in Heritage Conservation is awarded. We are registered with the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU) as a Private Career College (PCC).

Is the award considered an undergraduate, graduate or perhaps professional award?

Graduate award.

Will the program lead to or is the program aligned with any professional certification like general contractor, construction/project manager, or real estate?

No – our graduates become Heritage Professionals/Heritage Consultants.

Students and graduates are encouraged to become members of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.

When will you be hosting any open houses or can we drop by to see the program?

We hold an annual Open House - this year the date is: April 02 2016. We encourage those who cannot make that date to contact us at school@willowbank.ca to schedule a visit anytime during the year. The best time to visit is between September and April when school is in session. You can even sit in on on-going first and second year classes and get a sense of the curriculum.

What type of backgrounds do students have entering the program?

One of the pleasures of our incoming classes each year is the diversity of backgrounds that people bring - some have done primarily academic work, many with B.A.s, the occasional M.A., and some with a studio arts background. Others have community college experience or have been working in the field as masons or carpenters and have developed hands-on experience that they bring with them.  Once students are here, they respect each other's particular skills.

What type of employment can a student expect after graduation?

We are very proud of all of our graduates. Generally our alumni have gone on to pursue successful careers in their areas of interest in heritage. Our students are exposed to as many facets of the heritage field as possible, both theoretical and practical and our graduates go on to reflect that exposure.

Some graduates are in hands-on areas, working as heritage carpenters or masons, or as stained glass window conservators. Others have gone on to join architectural offices, planning departments or work for heritage agencies. A number have gone on to work with community development groups in historic neighbourhoods bringing together their heritage training with social justice causes.

Check out our what some of our graduates are doing now and what they are saying about their time at Willowbank.

What is the third year internship year? Do I have to complete it?

The third year internship year is designed to help transition the student into the field. It is a mandatory requirement for graduation. Third year begins at the end of second year in May with 3 weeks of classes prior to a 6-month internship/practicum/project and is completed with 3 weeks of classes in late Fall.

Third year students are encouraged to seek out internship/project opportunities in their particular areas of interest. Some of our third year students have worked internationally with heritage agencies in both Paris and Shanghai. Others have gone on to work as heritage carpenters for companies in the UK, or right here in Canada.

What kind of accommodations/transit are available in the area?

We are located in Queenston, Ontario, on a beautiful heritage estate - our campus is one of a kind but it is also out of the way. Transit hubs are located in nearby Niagara Falls and St. Catharine’s but there is no direct route to Willowbank.

There are accommodations within the village of Queenston including apartment rentals, house rentals and room rentals. Contact school@willowbank.ca for an updated list of Queenston accommodations availability. If you have a car, there are numerous opportunities in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Niagara Falls and St. Catharine’s that would only require a short 10-15 minute commute.

The program is expensive what forms of financial aid are available?

We increase our fees inline with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities guidelines. Our fees include equipment and administration fees and are on par with other graduate degrees, while our students have gone on to find work within the heritage field at a 91% success rate.

As a Private Career College with small class sizes, we do not qualify for government funding and our Heritage Diploma Program is subsidized by the donations of our supporters and faculty who realize the value and need of our graduates.

We offer several bursaries and fellowships. We encourage our students to seek out loans from financial institutions as well.