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Subject: [APG] Independent learning, an alternative to "Distance" Learning
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 16:24:20 -0700 (PDT)

I strongly suggest that most genealogists "learn" genealogy by independent learning, including, but not limited to attending local state, and national genealogy meetings and conferences, by using local mentors, and home study programs such as NGS American Genealogy study program.

I would guess that a very high percentage of APG members already have at least one higher education degree. Many/most of these degrees require the same basic background regarding ability to learn, and apply, new material without attending a classroom or seeking structured learning experiences.   

My most favorite learning tools include the top genealogy journals. I recommend the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, The American Genealogist, and The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

While I have chosen not to seek certification, those that want to test their knowledge, can take the APG Certification process to verify their proficiency.

And, while the APG Certification process is valuable, most genealogists recognize the value of an knowledge about local, state, national and world history, socialogy, and a number of other components of the arts and sciences.

If one is inclined to seek verification of their knowledge of these topics, there are recognized testing program (ACT-PEP, AP, ACT, and CLEP tests) can result in a degree from an External Degree Program. While I have not kept up with the development of the External Degree Programs nationwide, I do know that New York Regents and the New Jersey State higher education agency recognize such programs. The cost of the External Degree Progams can be significantly less than tuition to independent "Distance Learning" programs that have faculty involved in the learning process.

Active genealogists are often self taught, and may well be prepared to succeed in a less expensive, independent learning program as an alternative to a distant learning program that involves significant tuition. 

Kathleen McLaughlin

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