If it has not already become apparent, I have a true passion for genealogical research. I believe the appeal is not only in learning the unknown about my own ancestors but rather in the human stories, suspensefully revealed piece by piece, and uncovered through the dramatic building up of clues and information. Who among us does not enjoy a detective story, a mystery which we have fulfillingly solved ourselves?
However, this preoccupation is less fulfilling without the skills required to obtain those story pieces and to puzzle them together. Up until January I have been a self-taught genealogist. I had the aptitude and I was able to search out the resources to help me develop my abilities. Webinars, my own trial and error, reading blogs, articles and books have all been my learning tools but in January I decided I wanted to pursue my passion more seriously. I want to be taken seriously as a genealogist, I want to build credentials, and I want to be able to legitimately provide services and assistance to others in search of their family’s past.
This was the impetus for me to go in search of a Canadian genealogy education program and I was gratified to find exactly what I was looking for: an online certificate program through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. The National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS) has been offering genealogy courses for over 15 years. Why I had not thought to pursue this new path of education years ago I cannot fathom.
The Certificate in Genealogical Studies — Canadian Records is a 40 course program resulting in a certificate and post-nominals (PLCGS). I have completed 7 of the 9 Basic Level courses and will be taking the final 2 basic courses this coming month. Completely online, each course includes module readings, assignments, an exam, and optional live stream chats. The program includes required Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced level courses as well as elective courses which can be selected from a wide menu of choices. Most courses are about two months long however you can work ahead if you wish. You are allotted approximately 2 years for several of the culminating analysis courses which appear to be more intensive. I enjoy working at my own pace!
I am excelling thus far and more importantly enjoying my learning experience. The director of the program has been very helpful and personable whenever I have had any questions. Even if you are not interested in obtaining a certificate you may enroll in NIGS courses individually or in groupings to further your knowledge and aid in your research endeavours. Whether you wish to pursue Genealogy as a business professional/academic or you just want to gain quality skills to aid you in your personal genealogy the National Institute of Genealogical Studies could be what you are looking for just as it was for me!