Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back To School: Day 100

An update on my participation in the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research online program which began on 13 January 2010.  You can read here about Day 1, Day 20, Day 72 and Day 92.

I am happy to say that I just finished probably the best 13-weeks of education in my adult life.  Yes, school is finally over for me and I am actually a bit sad to see it completed.  Not so much because of the assignments (some were very complex and challenging) but because of the camaraderie developed among the participants - students, professors and teaching assistants - during the semester.  Luckily many of these folks will continue to be involved in the genealogy profession and I look forward to running into them at conferences and other events.

So what genealogy skills have I been able to develop during these past 13 weeks? How has taking the BU course changed the way I look at research and the genealogy industry?
  • The course has given me a better understanding of what is required in terms of a skill set to be a professional genealogist.  And even if I didn't want to pursue my CG or become a professional researcher, the course has improved my ability to conduct research and analyze results.
    • I can now cite some sources in my sleep - for realz!  In my research log I can now type out US Census citations from memory as well as newspaper articles and more!  For me this is a big deal.
    • I research differently - more efficiently and more critically.  I enter the results in my research log and then I add my analysis notes.  I weigh negative evidence and try to resolve conflicts.  I now see the value of the Genealogical Proof Standard and why it should be followed by not just professionals but by anyone serious about genealogy.
    • I know where my weaknesses are - the most difficult module for me was Immigration Records.  As part of my continuing education, I need to improve my background in certain types of records and certain ethnicities.  I will probably do this in a variety of ways.
    I have so much to say about the BU online course - I'd be happy to answer any questions readers may have.  And don't forget that Boston University will have a booth at NGS 2010 next week - look for them at Booth 216.  Stop by and meet some of the fantastic instructors and other staff involved with the program!

    * * *

    Reminder!  The next session of Boston University online classes in this program starts on 10 May 2010 and the registration deadline is 23 April 2010.  I highly recommend this class whether you want to become a professional genealogist or you just want to improve your own research skills. Call 1-877-290-9005 or visit the website at

    © 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee


    kinfolknews said...

    Congratulations, Thomas!

    Sheri said...

    Thomas Dahling!

    I am so very proud of you. Congratulations on a job well done!

    Kerry said...


    I'm totally sold on it; I just need to save up the money. I'm also thinking about doing the NGS Home Study course's mostly a review for me, but I'm finding I'm a little rusty on some things, so a review would probably be good.

    I'm impressed that you can do ANY citations from memory!