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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thinking about a PLCGS? Then read this blog!

A year ago I began the 3 year process of obtaining my Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies, or PLCGS, from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies.  40 courses seems huge, but a year in I am on my way and learning a lot!  

In case you didn’t already know I am writing about my experience as a student on The Institute’s blog (which you should check out here).  The blog is a great way for you to get the inside scoop on what each course entails.  Plus the blog has a lot of other information about The Institute including announcements, other student posts and general information a prospective (or current) student would be interested in.

Currently I am working on a certificate in American Records.  Which makes sense because I, well, live in the US.  The Institute offers certificates in 9 other areas though: Australian Records, Canadian Records, English records, German Records, Irish Records, Librarianship, Methodology, Professional Development, and Scottish Records.  I understand that there are more programs being considered too, but you have to admit that is a pretty good selection right now.

It is not necessary to work on a full certificate, you can take classes al ’a carte if you choose.  There are several hundred classes offered from methodology to history all of which aide the student in developing their genealogical knowledge base.  You can see a complete listing of courses offered on The Institute’s website.

If you are interested in my progress then go on out there are read about it! You can read the whole blog or you can select a posted course from the “themed blogs” listed on the right hand menu.  For each course I do an introduction post, 2-3 posts on the modules and then a conclusion post.  After all of the posts are up Gena Philibert-Ortega and I host a chat where anyone (students or not) can ask me questions about the course and my opinions. Even better, if you attend the chat you can get a discount on that course when you register! Live chats are announced on The Institutes blog and twitter accounts as well as via student emails.

As of today these are the courses I have completed and each one is labeled if the posts are up or coming:

Lecturing Skills Including Preparation (posted)
Methodology Parts 1 and 2 (posted)
Electronic Resources: Using the Internet (coming soon)
Demystifying Culture and Folklore (posted)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting, and Extracting (posted)
US: Census Records (posted)
English: Occupations – Professions and Trades (posted)
US: Vital Records (posted)
Writing for Genealogy: Articles, Blogs, Research Reports and so much more (posted)
Google for the Wise Genealogist (coming soon) *this is one of the free courses you can register for*
US: Religious Records Part 1 (coming soon)

11 down, taking 2 and 27 left.  I can do this and so can you!

Disclaimer: As a student blogger for The Institute I am taking courses gratis in return for writing about each one.  I personally don’t feel this influences my opinions on the courses as  I am very honest and up front with my thoughts on each which I hope you will see on the blog.


  1. I am working on mine too and have really enjoyed the courses. I had to take a year off to help a family member going through a health crisis and loved that it allowed that freedom. I am back at it now and plan to be done by fall. It's been great and I've learned a lot.

    1. I am so happy that you took the time to share this with me. You can do it, you are nearly there!

  2. I am currently taking my 8th course with them. I have been really impressed and find that most genealogists I talk to have not heard of them. I need to help spread the word!