FAQs

Who participates in the ProGen study groups?

The ProGen study groups are made up of professional genealogists, individuals with excellent research skills working to become professional genealogists, and other serious researchers who want to do professional level research. While not all participants are currently taking clients, each one is required to complete all the assignments, including the ones focusing on business practices. Each member has unique experiences and skills that they bring to the group.

What does the ProGen Study Program cost?

The ProGen Study Program is a cooperative learning program run by volunteers. Both the mentors and the group coordinators volunteer their time to help others learn professional genealogy skills. There is a contribution of $90 requested to cover the expenses of managing the program, including the Basecamp project management website and the ProGenStudy.org website.

How soon will I be invited to join a group after applying for the waiting list?

In general, groups are formed three times a year in February, June, and October. Each group consists of 24 people invited from the waiting list. Our list is long, so it may be a while before you receive an invitation. The time on the waiting list depends on the number of people currently on the list, and the timing between groups when you apply, but the average is approximately six months. If you do not get an invitation to join a group about 4-6 weeks before a new group starts in February, June, or October, know that you will need to wait for the next group. It happens occasionally that someone higher on the list may decide the time is not right and defer their invitation for the group currently being invited. In that case, we continue inviting more people from further down the list. We appreciate the efforts of our volunteer coordinators and mentors who make each group possible!

What kind of feedback am I expected to give to my group members on their assignments?

When you review the work of your group members each month you are expected to provide constructive feedback on how to improve the work or on specifics of what makes the work good. Just providing feedback that says “good job” doesn’t help anyone learn what was good, what was bad, and where to try to improve. You should provide at least three specific comments or suggestions, and for some projects there will be additional detailed feedback instructions.

Would the ProGen Study Program help me prepare for certification through the Board for Certification?

Those applying for certification through BCG generally have broad experience with both research and educational programs. The ProGen Study Program contains assignments similar to the BCG requirements that may help applicants gain experience in the skills necessary to prepare a successful portfolio. Study group members that plan to apply to BCG need to be careful not to use any families or projects they would like to include in their portfolio for their ProGen Study Group assignments. While we practice the skills necessary, your portfolio must be your own work.

How many people are in each study group?

Each of the ProGen study groups has twenty four participants. They are divided into three groups of eight members to meet in online discussions and to review each other’s work.

How do I join the next ProGen study group?

Read the participation requirements on the Enroll page and go through the readiness checklist. If you determine that you are prepared to participate in a professional genealogy study group then complete the online application which follows the readiness checklist.

How long do I have to complete each assignment?

Generally, the assignments are posted on the first of each month and due on the 25th of the month. It is important to meet this deadline to give your colleagues time to review your assignment before the group discussion.

How long does it take to complete the assignments?

The assignments vary in complexity and the time required will depend on the experience level of each individual. Previous participants have reported taking between four and twenty hours to complete assignments. Some assignments, such as evidence analysis, research reports, business plans, and proof arguments are complex and take longer to complete.

What do I need to do to earn a Certificate of Completion?

In order to earn a Certificate of Completion in the ProGen Study Program you need to complete ALL of the practical assignments. Participation in monthly discussions and reviewing the work of group members is also expected.

Where can I get a copy of Professional Genealogy?

The book is available from Heritage Books at heritagebooks.com. If you are a member of The Association of Professional Genealogists you can get a 15% discount by using the coupon code available on the members only section of apgen.org.

What happens at the ProGen events?

Study group members get together at national and regional genealogical conferences and institutes to network with colleagues. Sometimes we meet for dinner, and other times we gather and visit. We have ProGen ribbons so that it is easy to identify other group members.