In 2016, Elissa Scalise Powell attended one of my Legacy FamilyTree Webinars (a subscription site) and in an email urged me to apply for the CGL credential. I appreciate that she put that thought in my head, because I certainly did not think I was worthy of that certification, but it was nice that she did.
The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) administers the program.
The requirements are simple (once you get past the first one!):
- must be a CG
- access to two presentations (can be FamilyTree Webinars) with some caveats
- any script and notes, if any
- the syllabi
- List of resources, which I always include in the syllabus
- your presentation resume
I started to gather my materials together in 2017 but that was pre-Zoom and it was (at best) cumbersome to get a recording of the lecture and make it available for the judges. It is desirable to apply for the CGL at the same time (or shortly after) as your CG as the cycle for renewal, whenever you apply for the CGL will match that of your CG. In other words, the longer I waited, I would still be paying $300 for a shorter amount of time. I waited.
I applied shortly after I submitted my renewal and was notified at the same time as my renewal that I had also compiled with the requirements for the CGL
I am not sure why I decided to apply for the CGL. I would present whether I had the credential or not. I love to teach eager students. More postnomials? Unlikely. BCG does provide peer review by expert presenters who give thoughtful comments. Here is what I submitted.
- I submitted two presentations: Finding a Father for Molly using DNA (see image above) and Spanning 150 Years of Record Loss: a Methodological Approach to Identifying Parents in Sweden. Both were presented in 2020.
- I also submitted the syllabi (available at Legacy FamilyTree webinars).
- I do not script my presentations. I rarely have notes except if the slide is data heavy and the data are not on the slide.
- I used my renewal resume and revised it to concentrate on the lectures I had given and at which venue (conferences, state and local seminars and local genealogical societies. I did not list them all.
Here are some takeaways based on the judges’ (3) comments. Maybe you can learn from them if you also lecture.:
- Two of the three judges were more critical of “Molly” than “150 Years.”
- They thought my DNA explanations were not as clear as they should be and pointed out that I used some words in the wrong way, e.g. pedigree collapse instead of “multiple common ancestors.”
- One judge wanted more explanation of what might make the cause variation in the methods I used. I disagree with this a bit as Molly is an DNA case study that is easily understood by the person who knows something about DNA, but not much. it was supposed to be without jargon.)
- There were no comments about me as a presenter–voice, word patterns, motions, etc.
- There were some grammatical errors on the syllabi.
- The formatting of the footnotes varied between bibliographic or reference style. (My fault on that one.) I used a very short footnote style for any image used in the presentation and one judge thought they were too cryptic.
- The organization of the presentations was clear. They liked that I stated the objectives up front. (H/T to Tom Jones for that one!)
- They liked the section breaks that broke “150 Years” into methodolgical sections, which enables the mind to partition off what was just presented and preps it for what is to come.
- The visual aids were strong, but I sometimes put periods at the end of a phrase in a bullet and sometimes do not….I need to strive for consistency.
- One judge stated, “The presenter coins the term “radial research,” applying it to a powerful research technique. This new term serves as a great member aid for a potent methodology.” Credit where credit is due: I am not the creator of that term; I don’t know who is. I do know that Geoff Fröberg Morris, FHL Scandinavian expert, used it when we discussed this project and Warren Bittner, CG used the term in a presentation on his Bittner family given many years ago that I attended.
So, perhaps this will be helpful to you should you decide to obtain the CGL credential. There are not many of us. My credential is no. 49! There was talk for a while to reduce the price. The Board elected to keep it at the $300 level.
What I have done since the last posting: The Certification Discussion Group kicks off in August this year for me. I reviewed the website, sent out the zoom and Dropbox links and did some responding to requests by the students. If you are interested in CDG, just go to our website (https://theCDGseries.wordpress.com) and sign up on the waitlist. It will be offered in the winter of 2023. I worked on my Applied Genealogy Institute syllabus for my “Write as You Research” course. These are always harder to put together then I think they will be. Registration will be open from 8-14 August at https://appliedgen.institute. And finally, we are making final plans for our Italy trip in September and October.
 Board for Certification of Genealogists,”Teaching-Category Application,” BCG Application Guide 2021 (online download: https://bcgcertification.org/process/app-guide/) Table of Contents says p. 10, but the pages are not paginated.