Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spotlighting the National Institute of Genealogical Studies

This post was written by guest author Eileen Souza. I have asked some of my friends who have experience with different genealogy education programs to share their experience.

Spotlighting the National Institute of Genealogical Studies
By Eileen A. Souza

I have been participating in the National Institute of Genealogical Studies (NIGS) online program for almost three years.  NIGS works in affiliation with the Continuing Education Division of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto in offering comprehensive genealogy courses and certificate programs. The web site is  

The course work ranges from basic to advanced, with the lessons and homework becoming correspondingly more difficult.  I have been very challenged by this program and feel a sense of satisfaction as I progress through the various levels. I see the improvements in my own personal research and in my client work.  I would definitely recommend this program to others.  

I have completed my certificates in Basic and Intermediate Genealogical Studies for General Methodology and American Records and am working toward a Certificate in Genealogical Studies-American Records.  Once I complete this 40 course program, I will be able to use the post-nominal, PLCGS (Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies), after my name.

The instructors are dedicated genealogists who do an excellent job of knowledge transference. You can find the faculty list at

NGIS offers a Certificate in Genealogical Studies with a specialty in one of the following record types: American Records, Australian Records, Canadian Records, English Records, German Records, Irish Records, Scottish Records, General Methodology and Librarianship.  Details can be found at   You may sign up for a certificate program or just take individual courses.  

Each course consists of reading and assignments for the student to complete. Assignments cover a range of problem-solving and analytical exercises and each course ends with a final exam. Assignments are generally submitted online and are graded along with the exam.

Each level of instruction has an analysis and skills mentoring course where you apply what you have learned to date and analyze a case study. This course provides for two appointments with your instructor to obtain feedback on your progress.  

There are numerous live “chats” held every month and you may attend as many as you wish in any of the courses.  Recently, the Institute switched the chats to Microsoft’s LiveMeeting. This is a very exciting option as the instructor can now present/teach during the session and with webcams you can see the instructor and fellow students.

All in all, I believe that NIGS courses are instructive, challenging and cost-effective alternatives for the continuing education of genealogists. 

Eileen Souza is finishing the ProGen Study Program this month in the ProGen 4 group. She can be contacted at or

1 comment:

  1. I would like to present you with One Lovely Blog award. You really have a unique well presented blog.
    I will get my list done tomorrow and you will see your name there then, hopefully done. lol