On June 1, I signed up for a SLIG class to be held in January 2014. I readjusted my Saturday morning schedule so I could sit by my computer at 8:00 PDT. I clicked the button three minutes after registration opened and registered for Tom Jones’s “Advanced Methodologies” class (course 9). The class was filled in less than 12 minutes after registration opened.
But, what is SLIG? And why the feeding frenzy?
Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy or SLIG is a week long series of 10 or 11 courses of which the Advanced Methodologies is one. The classes are offered once a year and SLIG has a good reputation for providing challenging courses, hence the “feeding frenzy.”
While at Jamboree, I had a chance to interview Kory Meyerink, one of this year’s course coordinators for SLIG, about his role and the course selection process.
SLIG looks to provide a balanced list of classes–a mix of geographic areas, ethnic groups, methodologies and problem solving classes. They also provide different levels of classes, advanced and intermediate. Some courses are more popular than others but there is a continued desire to provide balance even including some courses which haven’t been offered for a long period of time.
How do you select the instructors?
The instructors are experts from both Salt Lake City and nationally. In a quick review of past years, external experts who are “regulars” include Tom Jones, John Colletta, and Paula Stuart-Warren.
What is the difference between the Problem Solving class (Course 10) and the Advanced Evidence Analysis Practicum (course 8)?
The Problem Solving Class is a structured approach with access to experts to address your own “brick-wall” problem. The Practicum gives you and a small cohort a problem that is not your own. The students then work independently on the problem and report back in the late evening to see how everyone did. That evening they get another problem to solve the next day, and so on.
Do you pay the instructors? What about the SLIG staff?
Instructors are paid a flat rate per class taught that is comparable to conference speaking fees. The SLIG staff is all volunteer except for a small stipend to the Director.
What are the night classes?
Every evening during the week of classes, additional night lectures are provided. These are open to the public at a cost of $10 per session. These are usually presented by the visiting instructors and allows SLIG a way to compensate the instructor more than the base compensation.
Thanks, Kory. It was a pleasure to meet you. For more information on the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, go to http://www.infouga.org/cpage.php?pt=42
What I have done since the Jamboree: flew home, got greeted by a very happy cat, read some of the syllabi from the other classes I couldn’t attend; responded to emails, updated my financial spreadsheet with my Jamboree expenses, worked with my nephew on the design of the web page.