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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Edward Ward, Columbus Grove, Putnam County, Ohio

see post at: for my post on this elusive ancestor.

My thoughts about Genealogy degrees at Public Universities

I was working on an assignment for our ProGen Study group and this issue probably won't be discussed in our group discussion chat time so I wanted to discuss it here.

It saddens me to see that genealogy courses at the college level are sometimes pushed off to instructors who are not as knowledgeable on the subject as some “hobby” genealogists. Instructor qualification would be a important criteria for program evaluation in this case. If history instructors cover genealogical courses then there may be a difference in methodologies or goals as to the outcomes of research. So, this must also be considered if courses are taken at a college. What would be ideal is for a master’s level degree program to be offered online from a public university. In a general survey of (fully)online university programs this may be a long time in coming because change comes slowly in the halls of academia. Maybe the degree programs could be offered through a less computer phobic avenue like an extended studies program.

In regard to the price tag of some of these programs: My father has a Doctorate in education and teaches in a public university and he is appalled at the price of some extended studies programs. The claim from the extended studies departments of many universities is that this division is not funded by public education like the regular college courses and so the higher costs are justified. Should students foot all of the bill if the teachers may not be qualified? It really pays to do your homework and check the teacher’s qualifications and the feasibility of pricing for degree programs for Genealogy. Your thoughts?

Disclaimer: I do not work for any university although I have conducted some personal research regarding Universities and their online programs for a course "teaching online" that I took at Grossmont College.