Online Education with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies

Have you ever considered taking genealogy courses to help you with your research, to expand your knowledge base or to begin your preparation to become a professional? I was looking for all of these when I found the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in October of 1999.

I had read an article about the program in Maclean’s magazine and was very excited to find a program on offer in Canada. I had been researching different programs to see what would best suit my finances and what I wanted from this type of education. My post secondary education already included two diplomas from Sheridan College for Research Techniques and General Arts and Science.

To be honest I had all but given up taking genealogy courses to expand my experience. They were very expensive and if they were available by correspondence I would still have to go to the educational institution to do my final exam. Since most of the institutions offering these programs were in the United States this was out of my budget range.

So you can imagine my excitement in reading about the online courses that were going to be offered by the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. The article in Maclean’s said they were affiliated with the University of Toronto. I was at the “Word on the Street” festival in Toronto and the University had a booth. The people manning the booth had not heard about the program, it was that new. While at a one day genealogy conference I found a flyer on a table about the program and grabbed it up. This was a Saturday and I had to wait until Monday to call.

First thing Monday morning I called and they had just started their very first course so I had to wait until the beginning of November to start my course and then I was off! I have completed my Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS) for Canada, England, Ireland and Methodology and was in the first graduation class for each program.

The NIGS offers a variety courses. You can take a single course or you can take a full certificate course. Do you have ancestors in Canada, England, Ireland, Germany, United States or Scotland? Are you a Librarian who would like to take genealogy courses so you can better serve the patrons coming into your facility? The National Institute can help.

You not only take your courses online but you upload your assignments and do your exams online as well. They also offer chats with instructors that are audio and video. You will see the instructor but if you do not have a webcam that is not a problem. Everyone is welcome and it is a chance for students and instructors to meet. If students have questions, need clarification or just want to connect with their classmates this is the place to do it.

There is the choice of printing out the reading material on your own printer or ordering the material already printed and getting a binder to store it in. If you get the pre printed material it comes all at once. If you do it yourself you have to wait for each week to be released before it can be printed.

You can basically custom make this program to suit you, your schedule and your price points.

Want to do one course on how to research your Slovak, Scandinavian or Polish ancestry? How about a course that tests your analysis and skills for each level of the program you are taking? The National Institute can help you with that as well.

I have risen through the ranks at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I started as a student and then became an author and instructor. Are you planning a genealogical research trip to Ireland? Consider taking my course “Planning a Research Trip to Ireland”. I also moderate the chat sessions for the Irish program.

You can start slowly with a single course and then build upon that baseline. Or you can jump in and take a full certificate course. One thing I can say is that I am very glad that this program was on offer when I was looking to improve my genealogical knowledge base.

Check out their website or give them a call and have a chat. You will be glad you did.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research