If you have followed my blog for the last several years you know that I am a student (and blogger) for The National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Last month was my 2 year anniversary for the start of my work toward a Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS) - American Records. If I can keep the pace going, I will finish my certificate program roughly this time next year. 40 classes in 3 years. Yeah….
Periodically I am asked why I am doing this. Why didn’t I go straight for a BCG or ICAPGEN certification? Didn’t you take the BU program? Or, the newest, what do you mean you are doing ProGen and this at the same time?! Are you insane? You have to admit that they are all good questions! Which has lead me to this blog post. Maybe I should answer some of these questions.
Didn’t you take the BU program?Yes I sure did, hardest and most rewarding 15 weeks of my life. It was an awesome feeling getting an A in that course and I learned so much. The improvement was noticeable from day one in not only my work but my research. However, just because I successfully complete one learning program doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t continue my education right? In the fall of 2013 I was only a few years into my genealogy research adventure. There was still more to learn!
What do you mean you are doing ProGen and this at the same time?! Are you insane?There are days when I ask myself the same question. However, the programs are vastly different and do not overlap. ProGen is prepping me to be a professional. The PLCGS is prepping me to be an excellent researcher. While they will go together in the end I can easily separate out the time and work load for each. Then there are months when I want to hide in the corner and cry.
Why didn’t I go straight for a BCG or ICAPGEN certification?
I have toyed on and off with this notion for several years. Mainly, I don’t think I have enough work behind me to justify the time commitment or expense of these certifications. My client base is growing monthly but I still feel too “new” to the scene to make that leap. It may be that I am struggling with getting the ball rolling, but I really do have a lot on my plate right now. Commitments have to be consider you know.
Also, I was nowhere near ready to submit 2 years ago when I started the PLCGS program. I had just started to speak and take clients. While I felt I “knew my stuff” I did not think I was not to the writing level needed to submit a portfolio. An honest assessment of myself was that I needed to mature into the craft more.
Then there is the inner voice who asks “and why do you need it, what will it do for you?” I think of myself more as an educator. My passion is in speaking and teaching, how will those little letters after my name help me there? It is something that I am still pondering and investigating.
In the end, I see this as a great self-paced way to further my education. While I do have the luxury of working from home and setting my own hours, I am also a mom with kids at home. I can’t just up and gallivant off somewhere for a week long lecture/conference/symposium without months of planning (with plan B, C, and D in the wings) whenever I feel like it. Programs like this (and there are SO many more) are one of the ways I keep my continuing education up to speed.
So… what do you think?