The Online Certificate in Genealogical Research consists of the following five modules:
Foundations of Genealogical Research
This first module is an overview of general genealogical principles, goals, ethics, and end products. It covers the research principles needed for successful results. It focuses on three primary skill-building areas (problem-solving, research design, and report writing). The module will introduce and establish the “Genealogical Proof Standard®” as the basic framework for all research assignments to be covered in this program.
Problem Solving Techniques and Technology
This module utilizes multiple examples to impart the skills necessary to design and follow the most direct path to a supportable conclusion. The use of technological tools, particularly the internet, is placed in perspective and thoroughly explored. Students create and execute a research plan, with particular attention to organizing, documenting, verifying, and presenting the findings in a report for a client.
Evidence Evaluation and Documentation
This module presents the key elements necessary for determining the credibility and authenticity of evidence. It will prepare the student to recognize unreliable evidence and its origin. Once the evidence is evaluated, students learn complete citation formats and construction principles.
Forensic Genealogical Research
This module provides practical examples, famous cases, and in-class problem solving that will define the parameters of ethical forensic work. Generally the most lucrative of the genealogical specialties, forensic research is done for the legal community, often at the direction of an attorney. Tracing heirs for probate, identifying people in old photographs, and other problem-solving exercises will provide practice and define the parameters of ethical forensic work.
Techniques for opening cases, uncovering assets, collaborating with attorneys, and interviewing informants will also be presented.
The Professional Genealogist
After learning the skills and competencies necessary to perform genealogical research according to set standards, this module explores the business opportunities, specialties, and trends for genealogists. It covers ethics, client relations, contracts, additional educational venues, BCG certification requirements, and many other resources that will launch you into an exciting and fascinating profession.
Requirements and Materials
- You will need access to a computer and the Internet. The following System Requirements are needed to successfully complete the program. Click for system requirements.
- The following materials are required for the program. Four textbooks are required and reading assignments are assigned in all four books. Click for materials list.