Why are we Different?
Present Home of the College of Teachers
Welcome to The American School of Genealogy. Please visit our Academic Staff section and our policies on enrollment. We are certain that you will enjoy our advanced one-on-one mentorship model. We encourage you to enroll in one or two courses, it is not necessary to enroll for a complete program.
So, Why the American School of Genealogy?
1. The American School was formed to address issues that are NOT being discussed in any other American schools of genealogy in that it:
a. provides information concerning relationships and connections with other sciences such as anthropology, sociology, history, heraldry, documentary sciences, ethics, genetics, etc;
b. provides av very affordable accredited program;
c. provides theory design and advanced research methodology;
d. provides higher education issues;
e. provides higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy – analysis and synthesis; and evaluation;
f. provides ADVANCED research techniques;
g. provides a program taught by accredited master and doctorate level scholars (all of our post-graduate staff has Master degrees or above;
h. provides a specific higher level program in genealogy;
i. provides true international accreditation by a old and respected accrediting body/college and board under royal charter;
j. provides the student (post-graduate program) with educational techniques and advanced teacher training;
k. associated with numerous international societies and schools in the field of genealogy, heraldry and documentary sciences**; and.
l. only program in America to have a professor who possesses an earned doctorate in history/genealogy (genealogy dissertation topic);
m. provides access to our Chancellor who possesses two doctorates in history and the social sciences and an advanced Master’s in genealogy.;
n. provide on-line video-audio discussion forums and lectures weekly for students.
2. It should be noted that:
a. few universities in America teach genealogy.
b. most universities that do teach genealogy are degree mills or unaccredited;
c. there is only one accredited degree program in genealogy in America; and
d. genealogy is NOT regulated by the state or national government.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A PROFESSIONAL GENEALOGIST?
There are several excellent programs which will benefit the potential student. They are listed below. ..
1. American School of Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Sciences was founded in 2010 and is an incorporated program for individuals interested in taking introductory and advanced academic programs in genealogy. The School is located in Como, Mississippi. The School’s certificate course is accredited by the Royal College of Teachers, located at the Institute of Education, University of London. The School offers two programs in genealogy including: a. The Certificate of Genealogical Sciences - Postnomials A.C.G. (Accredited Certificate in Genealogy) b. The Post-Graduate Diploma of Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Sciences (graded as a Licentiate) Postnomials- Lic.G.
2. “The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. Students choose one of the offered courses that last throughout the week and that range from a course for beginners to courses on specialized topics.” “The institute is academically and professionally oriented and is cosponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The faculty is composed of outstanding nationally known genealogy educators. Begun in 1962, the institute regularly enrolls over 200 students from around the country.”
1. “The one-week National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) held at the National Archives in Washington, DC, provides an understanding of the myriad federal records that can apply to family history research.”
1. “Many professional genealogists who hold certification credentials began their family history education with the aclaimed NGS Home Study Course on CD, working at their own pace at home. The course is available with a graded option, which includes feedback from experienced genealogists, or a self-grading option. NGS members receive a discount on the course CDs.”
2.”Boston University offers a Certificate in Genealogical Research through on-site Saturday classes. Some top names in the genealogy education field teach this course of studies. NGS members receive a 10% tuition discount when they enroll in the Boston University program.”
“Few [ACCREDITED] university-based programs in the United States offer a degree in family history or genealogy, but studies in history, sociology, geography, and other topics related to genealogy can be helpful. Be sure to read the requirements and understand the credits you’ll receive for completing a degree at any institution.Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, offers a Bachelor of Arts in family history.”
CERTIFIED GENEALOGIST (CG)- “This is obtained through the Board for Certification for Genealogists (c) “The first and most necessary step to becoming certified is to acquire the knowledge and skills that exemplify the standards articulated in the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. Adequate experience is absolutely essential to acquiring the necessary expertise. No specific program of education is required; however, as standards rise genealogists increasingly are finding that educational preparation via institutes and conferences is extremely helpful. Applicants also benefit from studying case studies developed by certified persons and published in national genealogical journals to be helpful.” We mark this certification board an A+. – Website
ACCREDITED GENEALOGIST – AG (c) “In 1964, the Genealogical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established the Accreditation Program for professional genealogy researchers. Administration of the program was transferred to an independent testing organization, the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists – ICAPGen (SM) – (http://www.icapgen.org/), in 2000. Since then qualified professional genealogists have been rigorously tested through their Accredited Genealogist program and have earned one or more AG (R) credentials in their area of research specialty.” – Again this is an A+ program in genealogy. -Website
o how are we different from the Certified and Accredited Genealogist? Although the AG and CG designations are excellent and above reproach, we are in the process of offering an ACADEMIC ACCREDITED post-graduate diploma that provide higher level concepts, curriculum and theory that are not addressed in these programs. Our program is aimed more toward an academic community who possess an entry level degree in the social or natural sciences. We do, however, offer the A.C.G. which is an accredited certificate program. Our post-graduate program is for students with a BA or higher education who wish to master aspects of genealogical theory, research, higher levels of educational studies, comparative studies and aspects of anthropology, history, heraldry, ethics and genetics.. Upon completion, a student would possess a similar name recognition – John Smith, BA, Lic. G
Application and Admission
A. The Admissions Process
Selection for Admissions
The school uses a review process to determine a prospective student’s genealogical and professional background. All admissions to the Post Graduate program are based upon students having the background and resources to achieve the learning objectives of the desired program.
All student who wish to enroll in the Certificate Program – Basics in the Applied Srudy of Genealogy must have a high school diploma or GED.
They must have access to a computer and the Internet.
If English is their second language they must have a TOEFL score of 550 or above.
Post Graduate Diploma
All students must have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or overseas equivalent. An exception is made with the Bachelor of Arts degree in Genealogy.
Students who have a Bachelor of Arts degree in an unrelated field or who have done no work in or have had no experience with genealogical studies will be required to take a foundational course in genealogy and recommended modules in other venues outside of the school.
The contact procedures are organized to assure the school that the prospective applicants have the necessary information. Initially, the student is guided through a preliminary stage of discussion. It is at this time that the student decides whether or not he or she is qualified to enroll in the program. The student is then referred to the chair of the program to have a more in-depth discussion.
Before submitting the application for admission, all students should become familiar with the information regarding the program. It is important to review the application for admissions and any questions or concerns should be sent by e-mail to the Office of Admissions.
Contact Information of Office of Admissions
American School of Genealogy
306 Sycamore Street
Como, Mississippi 38619
Ph: 1- 662-426-0850 or 1-662-934-8078
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Once the student decides to apply to the program, the school Admissions Officer provides the appropriate materials and information. Upon the receipt of the application materials, the registrar reviews the content of the student’s application package and measures it against the entry requirements for the degree. The school registrar determines preliminary eligibility before it is reviewed by faculty and the Vice President of Academic Studies.
Following the preliminary assessment of the Admissions Officer, a letter of acknowledgement is sent to the student identifying missing items. When all the documentation is in order, the Admissions Officer, in consultation with the Admissions Committee, determines the student’s eligibility.
The Academic Review
The Admissions Committee reviews the completed application package. The academic mentors representing the field of study, in collaboration with the Academic Studies Officer, formally assess the applicant’s credentials. This academic review compares the college preparation and professional experience of the applicant with the minimum entry requirements and specific prerequisites of the desired program. In this stage, faculty mentors are able to prepare a recommendation related to the fitness of the applicant for the desired program.
Final Review for Admittance
After the faculty members have determined the eligibility of the applicant with senior staff, the Admissions Committee makes a decision regarding the acceptance of the applicant. Based on the Admission Committee’s recommendations, the school Admissions Officer issues the letter of acceptance, which includes the student’s full legal name, the date of acceptance, the degree level and field, and program specialization into which the candidate has been accepted. This letter provides the name and contact information for the student’s primary mentor and provides the enrollment deadline and tuition rates. The student is also provided with the registration forms and instructions necessary for successful course enrollment.
Prior to applying for enrollment, all students should ensure that they meet the requirements (e.g., completed the appropriate degree or coursework) and the required practical experiences. These required courses ensure that applicants have the necessary understandings, skills and competencies for successful completion of advanced studies. All students must submit their official college transcripts (or other documentation) for the Admissions Committee review.
This program has professional prerequisites requiring a minimum of years of responsible career experience in genealogy. This assures the school that the student is able to approach the subject matter in a mature manner and can make applications to practical genealogical issues.
English Language Competencies
Proficiency in written and verbal English language communication skills must be demonstrated according to the American collegiate standards. Applicants must submit samples of professional writing as well as participate in a telephone conversation with a member of the international faculty. International students who do not use English as the primary language, or if the institution at which the baccalaureate degree was obtained was a non-English language school, a recent TOEFL examination with a score of 550 or above is required.
Access to Learning Resources
All applicants must be able to successfully access appropriate learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, databases, video and audiotapes, online resources, relevant reference materials, and manuals of effective research and writing. These materials are critical to learning the coursework as they allow mentors to aid in understanding foundational theories, principles and practices, and advanced concepts.
Questia Media Virtual Library
With permission, the School of Genealogy and Heraldry shares the QUESTIA MEDIA Library with Akamai University. This is the world’s largest online library of books, journal articles, and periodicals in the humanities and social sciences. Students have the ability to conduct detailed searches of individual words of any book or article as a collection. (See link for more about the Questia Media Library and subscription price.)
Access to External Resources
Upon enrollment, all students must demonstrate that they have access to essential external resources that provide avenues for practical application as potential field placement sites with facilities, equipment and qualified personnel. In addition, students are to be familiar with professional continuing education activities to supplement the program. These can be local or national genealogical seminars, workshops or retreats. Students should also look into the possibility of membership in professional associations and societies.
Access to Educational Technology
It is necessary that the student have access to a computer, a telephone, and, for the duration of the program, have access to a confidential e-mail account, as well as the Internet. These are the delivery methods by which the student receives support with major teaching and learning activities. They also allow free communication with mentors and are a means to transmit formal documents, instructions and written assignments. These are the necessary technologies of distance learning that allow the student to explore the subject matter at a depth beyond the walls of the traditional classroom.
Additional Admission Requirements
It is essential that students have the ability to access local libraries, learning resources and field study facilities. It is also important that when applying, students verify that they have access to a computer, e-mail and the Internet. No student will be admitted without this assurance.
Students must provide English language translations of all documents and, if necessary, a recognized educational credential evaluation of academic credits earned.
Students will also be asked to have at least one telephone contact with the primary mentor in the program. These additional requirements help the Admissions Committee better understand students’ career and the strength of their professional maturity and English language competencies.
Admission Package Requirements
The Admission Package includes the following required documents:
- A completed and signed Application for Admission.
- A cover letter in which the applicant describes his or her professional and research interests.
- An official copy of college transcripts. Students should contact the institution providing the transcripts to send them directly to the School of Genealogy Office of Admissions.
- At least two current letters of recommendation related to prior career and academic performance should be sent by the reference to the Office of Admissions.
- A complete and up-to-date resume or C.V. should be sent electronically to the Office of Admissions.
All students must submit a $30 admissions fee together with their application for admission. This is a nonrefundable fee and is not credited toward the total tuition.
C. Tuition, Fees and Other Educational Costs
The School of Genealogy, Heraldry, and Documentary Sciences is a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational school. This school has developed a fair rate of tuition to provide broad access for students from the international community. Our tuition is paid in advance; however, we have several options where students can make payments in installments as they progress through the program. Tuition reduction allowances may be permitted when students have completed subjects at recognized external institutions and successfully transfer these portions into the school program. The application fee, graduation fee and other incidental fees and charges are not included in the student tuition.
Standard Duration of the Certificate Program (4 modules)
For the Certificate Program, a minimum period of 16 weeks is required to complete the four modules.
Standard Duration of the Diploma Program (6 modules)
Standard Duration of the Post Graduate Program (7 modules)
As a minimum requirement students must maintain enrollment in the American School of Genealogy for one calendar year for the post graduate program. It will take most students two years to complete their program. After two years a small continuation fee is assessed each calendar quarter.
Standard Student Tuition
The standard program tuition is payable in advance or in monthly or quarterly installments with the down payment of the registration fee. Special payment plans can be developed for students with need.
The Certificate in Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Sciences of four modules (12 credits) is $1,480
The Diploma in Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Sciences of six modules (18 credits) is $2,200
The Post Graduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies is 7 modules ( 21 credits) is $ 2,570.
Tuition Reduction Allowances
Students are allowed tuition allowances related to transfer credits and prior learning
assessment. Certain credit limits have been established for tuition reduction allowances.
The reductions have been established in response to recommendations from recognized accreditors in the United States of America.
*Transfer Credit Allowance
Appropriate coursework done at accredited universities may be proposed for transfer credit immediately following formal registration. The student’s primary mentor will conduct a review of one’s college transcripts and approve eligible transfer credits. There is a one fifty dollars ($50) tuition reduction for each approved transfer credit (calculated in modules) up to the maximum allowance.
Tuition Installment Plans
After the tuition reductions have been approved, each student is provided a statement of adjusted tuition and tuition agreement. The balance of the tuition may be paid in full or with monthly or quarterly installments. Installment arrangements, whether paid monthly or quarterly, may not exceed the minimum enrollment period at the student’s degree level. Students in need will be allowed to negotiate a special installment arrangement with the university.
Plan A: Full payment of tuition fee
Students who pay the balance of their tuition in full are awarded a 10% reduction in the balance of the remaining tuition.
Plan B: Monthly installments
Monthly installments begin the month following registration and may extend for the duration of the minimum enrollment period over the degree period.
Students will pay the initial monthly payment followed by 11 monthly installments. Percent per payment 9.1%
Plan C: Quarterly installments
Quarterly installments begin the second month following registration and may extend for the duration of the minimum enrollment period.
Number of Quarterly Payments is four installments.
Tuition Refund Policy
Students who discontinue their registration may receive a full refund of all tuition and fees paid (with the exception of the nonrefundable application fee) if their written request to drop out is received before the actual start of instructional activities and before payments are issued on behalf of the student. Requests may be sent by fax or e-mail to meet the deadline. They should then be signed and sent in by mail.
A partial reimbursement of tuition and fees will be issued if the student’s written notification of withdrawal is received within four weeks following formal registration. The refund will be reduced by the total amount paid to contract with faculty related to the program and any other funds disbursed on behalf of the student. Courses officially dropped within this four-week period will not be included on the official transcript.
Courses officially dropped before the four-week period will show on the transcript as “Withdrawal.” Students that discontinue their registration beyond the end of 13 weeks from their initial date of registration will receive no refund of tuition and fees paid. Courses officially dropped after the 13-week period will show on the transcript as “Incomplete” and will be governed by the rules related to that designation. Petitions are accepted for review relative to special circumstances; should a petition be granted, the final grade will show as “Withdrawal.”
Please note that students are not considered registered simply because they have posted (or otherwise transmitted) registration materials and tuition to the college. The official date of registration is that date the school receives and finalizes the processing of the registration materials and the first installment of tuition. This is the date indicated in the permanent records as the date registration was finalized, and it is that date upon which the tuition refund period is based.
Cost of Learning Materials and Outside Activities
Students are responsible for the costs of texts and other learning materials, as well as the costs of travel, communication, computer hardware and software, other equipment and school materials associated with their programs. Certain courses may have optional outside fee-based activities (entrance fees, travel, lodging and meals) conducted by outside organizations. Students electing to pursue outside fee-based activities are responsible for payment of these fees directly to the activity provider. Such fees are payable in addition to the international tuition and fees.
The initial tuition covers a standard period of time allotted for the Post Graduate program with full-time effort. Students wishing to continue their programs of study beyond the standard period must submit a Petition for Continuation. Students who wish to continue their programs of study beyond the standard period must submit a Petition for Continuation.
At the completion of their programs, students are issued their diploma and an official copy of their final transcript. The cost of these documents is part of the student’s completion fees. For additional copies of the transcript (including interim transcripts issued before program completion) students are assessed a $5 transcript fee per copy, which is payable in advance with the written request. Official transcripts may be withheld pending receipt of payment or suitable arrangements in cases where students have delinquent tuition or funds.
Graduation fees vary depending upon the activities the graduate chooses to attend. There is no fee assessed for attendance at the actual commencement exercises. However, additional activities associated with the graduation may include optional fees. Such fees would include costs of travel, lodging and meals.
The American School of Genealogy is not eligible for the federal student loan program and does not offer student loans. The school does have a policy of maintaining moderate tuition fees and a pay-as-you-go student assessment, in addition to offering installment payment arrangements. The school will consider petitions for special payment arrangements for needy students in addition to the approved installment payments.
ADMINISTRATIVE REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES *
A PROGRESSION THROUGH THE PROGRAM
The following short summaries of procedures explain how a student will progress through the graduate program. This and other information that follows will give a better idea of what to expect once the application has been submitted. Please download and review the forms for further detailed information related to each stage in the process.
Step# 1: Application
The first step is to submit an application with supportive materials for review by the Admissions Office. The application form and instructions are available for download from the Forms link on the website.
Step #2: Admittance
Following a favorable decision, the admissions office will provide a letter of acceptance with materials and information to assist in making formal registration.
This letter will identify the primary mentor, along with the degree level and degree field into which the student has been accepted.
Step #3: Registration
To formally enter the school, students submit their registration materials with the down payment of the tuition (registration fee). The registration form and instructions are available for download in the Forms Archive. The tuition and fees are clearly outlined and discussed in a special section available through the main menu.
Step #4: Study Plan
After registration, students will work with their primary mentors in building the individualized Study Plan for their degree. The Study Plan presents the course of study and a schedule for completion, and itemizes acceptable transfer courses and specific areas where prior learning assessment will be allowed. The Study Plan forms and instructions are available for download in the Forms Archive.
Step #5: Tuition Adjustments
Once senior administration approves the Study Plan, students will be provided a Tuition Payment Agreement, which includes appropriate tuition reductions related to transfer courses and prior learning assessment. Once they approve and sign the agreement, the student will be authorized to submit the first course enrollment. Tuition reductions are discussed in the Tuition and Fees section.
Step #6: Course Enrollments
The next step is to submit the Tuition Agreement and the first course enrollment form. The course enrollment forms and instructions are available for download in the The section is missing.
Step #7: Coursework Completion
Students will receive grade reports from the instructor following completion of each course. Students should submit subsequent course enrollments as they progress through their Study Plan. This requires that they submit succeeding course enrollment forms at least four weeks before the expected start date. A copy of the grade report is available in the Forms Archive.
B. General Program Requirements
English Language Requirement
The School of Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Sciences is an English Language School. Thus, all communications are written in the English language and are of a scholarly standard. This includes all course papers, project reports and course submissions, and examinations. Oral reviews are also in English.
Quality of Official Documents
The school maintains archival documents as the permanent record in support of our student degree programs. These materials should be original, ink-signed documents. Although original official documents are preferred, fax or e-mail copies of completed official forms may serve for purposes of the permanent record if accompanied by a signed letter of transmittal from the authorized party. In some cases, faxed, photocopied, or unsigned documents transmitted by e-mail or fax will not be permitted. For such cases clear instructions will be provided.
Changes in Student Degree
Students experiencing substantial changes in their career focus following registration may seek to make an adjustment in their degree field or program concentration. Students must submit formal paperwork relative to such changes, demonstrating their eligibility for acceptance into the other degree field or concentration. Only those credits deemed eligible and appropriate for transfer will be allowed. Student fees are assessed to cover the costs related to adjusting the permanent record and contracting with a new primary mentor, if that is also deemed necessary. Students should inquire with the administration for further guidance in making program changes.
The American School of Genealogy reserves the right to modify its written guidelines, requirements, standards, policies and procedures at any time. It is the policy of the school to notify students in writing as soon as possible prior to such changes to allow sufficient time for discussion and personal decision-making before the effective date of the changes. NOTE: Students should review the website information in regard to any policy of interest to determine whether a policy has changed. The website information is the most current information regarding any policy.
Registration and Enrollment
1. Rolling Registration and Admissions
The American School of Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Sciences has a system of rolling registration. Students may apply at any point in the calendar year and, after acceptance, may register and begin their program. After approval of their study plan, students may enroll for courses at any point in the calendar year, as arranged with the primary mentor. Students are asked to submit course enrollment forms at least four weeks (28 days) in advance of their expected course start date to permit proper notification and preparation by course instructors.
The Genealogical Studies Program has stated prerequisites (academic and professional) as minimal expected preparation. Mandatory prerequisites are indicated in writing within the university’s materials. Students are responsible to include any unmet program prerequisites as required elements of their degree.
Good Academic Standing
For students to continue in good academic standing, they must maintain full time status at all times, maintain minimum achievement levels and academic grades, and uphold their responsibility to communicate with faculty and administration. In addition, students must also abide by the standards for academic integrity and the honor codes at all times and maintain a positive relationship with the community.
To maintain full-time status, students must carry a minimum of six semester credits at all times. Students should progress in their programs at a rate that allows completion within the maximum degree period allowed. Short periods of inactivity of up to four weeks are permitted between course enrollments without impacting good standing status.
Minimum Achievement Levels
To maintain minimum achievement levels, graduate students must achieve an average grade of “C” or above.
To uphold their responsibility to communicate, students are expected to maintain scheduled contact with their course instructors, their primary mentor, and the administration, as stated in the policy.
Progress through any course is negotiated directly with the course instructor. Students are allowed a maximum of 16 weeks to complete any course. However, to allow effectiveness on the part of course instructors, sufficient time must be provided for reviewing lessons and providing effective feedback on student assignments. Therefore, courses may not officially be completed in less than eight weeks.
Courses should be completed within 16 weeks from the start date; it is necessary for students to consider their course load and time availability in scheduling course enrollment. To assure that students are not overextended and that they have the needed time to produce work to the superior scholarly standard expected, students should not enroll for coursework in excess of nine credits at any one time. Under unusual circumstances, students may make special requests in writing to the administration if they wish to enroll for course credits in excess of this limit. Such special requests will be reviewed only with the full support in writing from the primary mentor.
The Post Graduate Program in Genealogy Studies has academic and professional prerequisites as minimal expected preparation for the course. These prerequisites are cited in writing and usually can be found within the course descriptions. Students are responsible for meeting these prerequisites or equivalent requirements. Students who are unsure of eligibility should consult Admissions prior to course enrollment.
As the situation merits, faculty may allow a four-week grace period for students who have experienced temporary emergency circumstances (family, health or employment) that have made it impossible for them to complete the course requirements within the allotted time. Students should request an academic extension in writing and the final decision rests with the course instructor.
D. Conduct of the Program
Building the Study Plan
Immediately following registration, students begin work with their primary mentor in structuring the formal Study Plan. The Study Plan process determines the required courses for the academic major and minor, approves transfer courses and course waivers, and identifies acceptable areas for prior learning assessment. Students will also need to establish a schedule for the completion of their program of studies. These activities require their active participation in program planning activities with the primary mentor.
After the decisions have been made related to the Study Plan, the student will prepare the formal document, and sign and send it to his or her primary mentor for the process of approval. The approved document will be sent to the registrar for entry to the permanent student record. Study Plan forms and instructions are available to download in the Forms Archive.
Following preparation of the formal Study Plan, the tuition reduction allowances will be calculated and the balance of the student’s tuition adjusted accordingly. The registrar will then send the student the Tuition Agreement for signature.
With the Tuition Agreement, students will also receive authorization to prepare and submit their first course enrollment form. For each course students are required to submit a course enrollment form in which they enroll. Students can move through the coursework at their own pace and to their progress. The Course Enrollment Form and instructions are available for download in the Forms Archive.
Working through the Courses
Qualified instructors throughout the program mentor students
To start the course instructors provide an approved course syllabus to guide students in their studies. Each assignment is clearly explained and the learning resources identified. Students will prepare and submit for assessment scholarly papers, examinations, and project reports. Students are expected to take initiative in their studies and persevere in their schedule of communication with their instructors. Instructors will evaluate students in the course and submit a formal grade report. A copy of the university’s grade report is available in the Forms Archive.
E. The American School of Genealogy Honor Code
The Student Honor Code
The Honor Code at the American School of Genealogy sets out the values of honesty and personal conduct of integrity and scholarship. By enrolling at the university, the student accepts the honor code in place and agrees to abide by it. This acceptance affirms the student’s rights to have his or her academic work accepted and respected as his or her unique contribution to scholastic research.
The Honor Code at the School of Genealogy, Heraldry and Documentary Studies applies to all graduate students and students enrolled in the community education courses.
The most serious offense of the honor code is plagiarism. If a student is proved through due process that he or she has presented work, in whole or in part, without proper citations, which is the work of another person the student will be dismissed from the university. If such offense is brought to light after the student has been awarded a degree, the degree will be declared invalid and the student’s transcript will be stamped to that effect.
Students at the graduate level are taught the appropriate form of referencing the use of another’s work. Students are also required to purchase several texts illustrating the correct referencing format. If in doubt, they are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their mentors.
Violations of Honor Code
The American College of Genealogy, Heraldry, and Documentary Sciences is committed to enforcing the provisions of the Honor Code and will not tolerate acts of plagiarism and cheating.
Violations of the College Honor Code include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Submitting works that are not entirely a product of one’s own thought, labor and research. Students’ works should be of their own creation.
- Claiming as one’s own, the works, theories, data, words, arguments, organizational patterns, or views of someone else without proper consent or acknowledgment.
- Falsifying records, data, observations, or time schedules for the purposes of fulfilling assignments or administrative requirements. Attempting to alter instructor records/accounts, or attempting to access the records/accounts of another student.
- Misuse of computer resources or falsely associating the name, affiliation, or domain with unauthorized activities.
• Presentation or receipt of materials, information, or consultation for the purposes of gaining an unauthorized, dishonest, or unprincipled advantage in academic work.
- Using or attempting to use deception, theft, fraud, or unprincipled coordination to gain an advantage in academic work.
- Unauthorized use of notes, aids, books, data, or information during closed-book examinations or other such assignments.
- Directly witnessing or observing a violation of the Honor Code by another student and Reporting the incident to the Faculty or Administration.
Disciplinary Council Review
The Disciplinary Review Council will review the case of any student who is suspected of, or accused of, violating the American School of Genealogy’s Honor Code. This Disciplinary Council will consist of, at a minimum, the faculty member raising the issue, a faculty member uninvolved with the issue, the Vice President of Academic Studies, and two volunteer current students selected by the vice president. Students who are accused of violating the honor code will be allowed to present the details of their case to the council to be considered, along with other issues and evidence.
After a comprehensive evaluation of all relevant issues, the council will make a judgment as to whether or not a violation has occurred. If it has been found that there is indeed a violation, the council will make a judgment of the specific action to be taken. Minor offenses may warrant a warning, a letter or reprimand, or a failing grade on an assignment. Moderate violations may warrant a failing grade in the class or suspension from academic activities. Serious violations, such as plagiarism, may result in dismissal from the university and forfeiture of all tuition and fees.
The student retains the right of appeal to the school president. The president, in hearing the appeal and with the recommendations of the Honor Code Council, will offer a final binding resolution.
When a graduate is given an honor code violation such as plagiarism, a council will be convened consisting of the school vice president, the college president, and the student’s primary advisor.
The American School of Genealogy’s Honor Code works to benefit all students, instructors and administrators in the school and is based on the mutual trust and respect of those bound by its principles. The student’s enrollment at the School of Genealogy and the acceptance of the school’s honor code entitles all students to the presumption of academic honesty until otherwise proven. This presumption of honorable behavior makes it the responsibility of all students and instructors to promptly report suspected violations of the honor code.
F. Voluntary Withdrawal
General Leave of Absence
Students that confront extreme conditions that prevent them from continuing their studies (such as serious illnesses, family emergencies, or other major crises) may petition the school for a temporary leave of absence. Most leaves do not exceed 26 weeks, but under the most extreme conditions a period of 53 weeks may be allowed. Students granted a leave of absence will be allowed to exit their program, and, when able to continue their studies, re-enroll for courses. During the leave of absence a grade of “incomplete” will be entered in the student’s permanent record.
Requests for leaves of absence should be submitted in writing to the primary mentor with copies submitted to the course instructors and to headquarters.
Notification by e-mail, fax or post is acceptable. To become formalized, requests for leaves of absence should be submitted in writing to the primary mentor with copies submitted to the course instructors. School approved leaves of absence must be filed with the head office.
Leaves of absence count toward the standard and the maximum allowed period for completion of the degree. Should a leave of absence extend beyond the standard degree period, students will be required to request an extension of time and pay the continuation fees. Leaves of absence do not count toward the minimum required period of enrollment.
Military Leave of Absence
Students that have military commitments that temporarily prevent them from continuing their studies may petition the school for a temporary leave of absence.
Students granted a military leave of absence will be allowed to exit their program, and, when able to continue their studies, re-enroll for courses. During the leave of absence, a grade of “Incomplete” will be entered in the student’s permanent record for all courses left unfinished.
Requests for military leaves should be submitted in writing to the primary mentor with copies to the course instructors and headquarters. Notification by e-mail, fax or post is acceptable. To become formalized, an approved leave of absence must be filed with the headquarters.
Military leaves count toward the standard and the maximum allowed period for completion of the program. Should a military leave cause the program to extend beyond the standard degree period, students will be required to request an extension of time and pay the continuation fees. Military leave does not count toward the minimum required period of enrollment.
Reactivation Following Leave
Reinstatement following a leave of absence will not require another application to the school if accomplished within the agreed upon time frame. Students wishing to reactivate their programs are expected to submit a “letter of reactivation” together with the appropriate fee.
Permanent Withdrawal from American School
Students voluntarily ending their enrollment in the school within the first four weeks following registration will have this withdrawal action noted on their transcript, but no course enrollments will be notated. Students withdrawing from the school after the end of this four week period will have this withdrawal action noted on their transcript and all course enrolments will be listed as withdrawal (“W”) or incomplete (“I”) according to the notification from the course instructor.
G. Academic Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal
Students who fail to meet the minimum academic standards or follow the policies of the school may be placed on academic probation, suspended or dismissed. Students may be placed on academic probation if they fail to maintain good standing according to the guidelines of the school. Probation is deemed appropriate if the student fails to maintain effective communication, fails to maintain full-time enrollment, or if the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0 at the undergraduate level or 3.0 at the graduate level.
Students placed on probation will be provided a statement of conditions that have been approved by the primary mentor. If the student is unable to satisfy these conditions according to the timeline allotted, the student will be placed on suspension.
Should the student fail to maintain payment of installments on tuition and fees (or other charges), the administration may place the student on probation. Under such circumstances, the student will be provided a statement of conditions including a schedule of the expectations for bringing payment of the student’s tuition and fees into good standing.
If payments are more than two weeks overdue and the head office has not heard from the student, an overdue notice requesting immediate communication will be issued. If, at four weeks, the school still has not heard from the student, a second overdue notice will be issued. At six weeks past due the student’s program will be placed on probation.
Students placed on probation will be issued a statement of the conditions required for regaining good standing with the school. If suspension is issued, the student is notified in writing. The primary mentor and any current course instructors will be directed to close the student’s file. Faculty will direct all subsequent correspondence from the student to the school administration.
Maximum terms of suspension are generally 26 weeks, during which time students may undertake no coursework at the school or communicate regarding any official matter with members of the faculty. Periods of suspension accrue toward the standard and maximum allowed degree period.
Students who are suspended due to financial matters will be given the period of suspension to make the account current. Failure to make an effort to repay delinquent tuition and fees during suspension will result in denial of the re-admittance fee at least two weeks prior to the end of the suspension period. The school administration will review the student’s academic and financial history and issue the conditions of re-admittance.
Students readmitted after suspension will be placed on a 26-week probation and will be carefully monitored for compliance with the terms and conditions of their re-admittance agreement.
The school administration may dismiss students for any of the following reasons:
- The student fails to officially reinstate programs as required following suspension.
- The student fails to maintain good standing following suspension.
- The student is found in default of the college’s guidelines on academic integrity or the honor code.
Students dismissed from the school are readmitted only by successful petition of the school board of directors.
H. Academic Grading System
Faculty members make use of the following academic grading system in determining grades for individual assignments, course grades, scores for final projects and comprehensive examinations. Student transcripts make note of these requirements in the awarding of credit.
Undergraduate Grading Standard
|Letter Grade||Percentage||Quality Grade||Grade Point|
|A||90% & above||Distinction||4.0|
|B||80 to 89%||Above Average||3.0|
|C||70 to 79%||Pass||2.0|
|P||70% & Above||Pass||Not applicable|
|F||Below 70%||Fail||0. 0|
Graduate Grading Standard
|Letter Grade||Percentage||Quality Grade||Grade Point|
|A||90% & above||Distinction||4.0|
|B||80 to 89%||Pass||3.0|
|P||80% & above||Pass||Not applicable|
Pass/Fail grades are awarded only under special circumstances. The grade of “Pass,” which is indicated by the letter “P,” is placed on the student’s permanent record. The grade of Pass is equivalent to the grade of “B” or better at the graduate level and “C” or better at the undergraduate level. Pass/Fail grades are not included in the overall grade point average.
Students may withdraw from a course if the written request to the college administration is received within 13 weeks of the course enrollment date. Withdrawals will be recorded as “W” on the student’s official transcript. Should the student later re-enroll and successfully complete the course in question, the designation of withdrawal may be removed from the transcript.
Students who do not formally withdraw from a course within the time allowed and do not satisfactorily complete the course requirements will fail the course and the grade of “F” will be entered in their permanent record.
In some special circumstances as illness, tragedy or unforeseen events, students may petition the course instructor for a four-week grace period during which they may complete the course requirements. Upon successfully completing the course requirements, the grade of “Incomplete” will be temporarily removed from the student’s permanent record.
Grades of “Incomplete” will be removed from the transcript only upon the student’s successful completion of the course requirements within the grace period allowed.
If a student does not complete the course requirements, and the grace period has expired, a grade of “F” will be entered on the student’s permanent record.
Recording of Course Grades
Course grades are calculated immediately after the course instructor reviews and marks the final assignment of a course. The instructor completes the Course Grade Report form and, within a week, sends it to the head office with a copy to the student.
Grade Point Averages
The grade point average is in use internationally to compare student achievement across various grading and credit systems in higher education. The student’s grade point average represents a weighted grade score that is based upon the grades achieved and the course credits awarded. A conversion is calculated determine the grade point average for all courses receiving standard letter grades (not including pass/fail grades). The grade point score awarded for each course is multiplied by the course credit (in semester-equivalent units) to produce a weighted grade point score.
The weighted grade point scores for all courses are summarized and then divided by the total credits for all courses (with the exception of pass-fail). The result is the grade point average.
Periodic Student Staff Academic Reviews
A requirement of the program is that students and faculty mentors return completed evaluation forms for the courses at the end of the course period. This is to assess the teaching of the instructor, content and workload appropriateness. At mid-term for each course the instructor receives a progress report to identify any problems and determine where each student is in the course. This is an effective way for administration to monitor student progress and faculty performance at a distance. These reports help identify problems and allow the college to address barriers to successful program completion. Periodic reviews also allow students and faculty to formally update the college administration concerning their correct contact information.
Course Instructor Evaluations
In addition to period reviews submitted each calendar quarter, students submit evaluations of the course instructor following completion of each course. Students can comment about issues with the instructor in the following areas:
- Progressing according to schedule
- Directing the work of the student
- Maintaining communication
- Guiding the student to learning resources
- Overseeing the field study placement
- Overseeing the research project
- Achieving objectives of the course.
I. Transfer Credits and Course Waivers
A student may transfer credit for courses completed at outside educational institutions (colleges and training organizations) and examination centers provided the prior learning satisfies meaningful elements of the student’s program of studies. Courses, reviews or examinations completed at outside institutions that were applied to prior degrees will not be granted credit in transfer but will either be considered for course waiver eligibility or be applied within a professional portfolio presentation. Students are advised to carefully review the school’s requirements and guidelines and undertake detailed discussions with the primary mentor concerning credit transfer and course waiver alternatives.
The primary mentor shall determine the acceptability of proposed transfer courses as an integral part of the design of the Study Plan immediately following the student’s registration. To receive transfer consideration, students must submit certified transcripts or other formal documentation certifying satisfactory completion of the courses or training under consideration. However, if, upon careful inspection, any proposed transfer course proves unsatisfactory in meeting the learning objectives, the transfer will be disallowed.
Students hoping to transfer college courses (or training) completed in countries or at educational institutions that do not have formal transcript systems will be asked to request an official educational review from a recognized credential evaluation organization. Students completing coursework at non-English language institutions will be asked to provide official translations of the documents and may be requested to provide a report from an approved educational credential evaluation organization.
If coursework was completed in countries that do not follow a comparable transcript system, or where the transcript is a language other than English, students may be requested to submit an official educational credential evaluation document at the time of application. Credential evaluators conduct an official review of coursework and present an itemized report clarifying the semester credit equivalency of the completed coursework (related to the American system).
The primary mentor holds the responsibility of reviewing the effectiveness of the proposed transfer coursework, proficiency examination, or training review and recommending acceptance (or rejection) of credit. The final decision regarding any appeal rests with the Vice President of Academic Studies.
Transfer Credit Limits
Students of the School of Genealogy are required to pursue studies for a sufficient period of time to allow adequate association between the student and faculty. The primary mentors and course instructors need this time to observe the students in action, both in their communication with members of their academic and research review committees, and through at least some minimum course requirements.
At the Postgraduate level the Maximum Transfer Credits Allowed is 6.
At the Certificate Program the Maximum Transfer Credits Allowed is 4.
The minimum enrollment period is deemed an essential element of all degree programs. Consequently, regardless of what amount of work students have completed at outside institutions, they are required to complete a minimum course time at the American School of Genealogy. To support this policy and assure academic quality, the American School of Genealogy has established the above time limits on transfer credit imported to the American School Postgraduate programs.
Course waivers allow students to bypass required coursework. If they have already completed this work at a prior institution or in an alternative manner (professional achievements or non-college training), the primary mentor holds the responsibility to review the effectiveness of the proposed course waivers and recommend acceptance (or rejection). The final decision regarding any appeal rests with the Vice President of Academic Studies.
Students receiving a course waiver will substitute an elective course under the guidance of the primary mentor to serve their academic needs and professional interests. Waived courses do not apply toward the minimum credits required for the degree and will not show on the College of Genealogy transcript.
Although adequate documentation for a waiver is required for the student’s permanent record, course waivers do not show on the College of Genealogy student transcript and do not apply toward the minimum credits required for the College of Genealogy degree.
J. Assessments of Established Scholarship and Professional Activities
Assessment of Established Scholarship
The International Association of Professional Studies respects the prior learning and professional achievements of its students to the extent that such learning satisfies elements of the degrees pursued. The College of Genealogy allows prior learning to be credited from assessment of professional portfolios and course challenge examinations.
Acceptable sources for prior learning include professional work experience; formal non college training; continuing education; professional, technical and occupational seminars and conferences; employment training; language training; certification training; diplomas and licenses; and other advanced level learning.
Credit limits for Assessments of Established Scholarship
At the post graduate level nine credits are the maximum credits allowed for assessment of established scholarship.
Assessment of Professional Activities
The professional portfolio must be presented in a manner that allows a detailed evaluation of the learning from professional activities as it relates to the stated learning objectives of the degree program. For each portfolio submitted, the student must include notarized copies of documentation, affidavits, and certificates. Portfolios also should include samples of the creative work or scholarly written materials of the student. Students are also expected to include a narrative statement that summarizes the content of the portfolio and clearly identifies the courses or program elements to which it is addressed.
Most genealogical courses and programs are clearly identified. If the student has taken a number of skill builders at the National Genealogical Conferences, he or she must have them accompanied with a scholarly paper describing what he or she learned in the workshop, the name of the course instructor, the instructor’s credentials, and the date of the skill builder exercise. A special form has been prepared for a number of these skill builder exercises in which a student may have participated.
Course Challenge Examinations
Challenge examinations allow students to have study requirements waived in select courses by passing assessments conducted by qualified course instructors. The primary mentors identify courses deemed eligible for challenge examinations as part of the Study Plan process. The academic instructors in charge of the competency areas dictate the final requirements of the actual challenge examination.
Course challenge examinations may be conducted by any combination of oral or written examination or by assignment of a scholarly paper or project report, whichever is most appropriate to the subject matter. The challenge examination itself will be designed in such a manner as to require the student to demonstrate the ability to conceptualize the subject matter at higher levels, demonstrating an ability to explore the issues in a creative manner answering complex and probing questions.
K. The American School of Genealogy Course Numbering System
The American School of Genealogy employs a three-letter code followed by a three-number code. The letter code represents the degree program from which the course is drawn. (GEN) number code indicates the course type and academic level of the content.
Required Academic Competencies
These courses represent the underlying principles, practices and theory of the field of genealogy that set the foundation for advanced study of the discipline. These courses also provide elective studies that serve to round out the student’s program, adding competencies essential to the professional success of genealogists, and are especially related to their advanced professional, academic or research endeavors.
These Graduate Level Academic Competencies are levels 500 – 599.
These courses include both the foundational courses and the core competencies.
The Graduate Level Research Competencies are levels 600 – 691.
Independent Study Competencies and Field Experience Courses are levels 790 – 799.
Independent study competencies and field experience courses are designed for students wishing to enroll in individualized elements of study. These studies may be conducted through advanced reading or student-designed external projects and can be developed across a wide range of subject matter. The student and the instructor collaborate in the establishment of the topics and develop a plan for the independent study course.
Field Experience Courses 790 – 799
Field study courses are designed for students who have little professional experience in genealogy and need to obtain practical knowledge, hands-on experiences. Such field study courses may include an internship in a genealogical library or archival collection, working with a practicing genealogist in a business, or a field investigation. Each study course should provide over 300 hours in the field contact project.
The material in the preceding section follows closely the policies of the Program Handbook 2001 of the International University of Professional Studies, (IMPS) of Makawao, Hawaii and was approved by the Chancellor, Dr. Irv Katz, and Dr. Douglass Capogrossi, former president, on January 10, 2010.
V. STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Rights of Students
At the American School of Genealogy students have the right to review their permanent record files and to request that errors be corrected or to ask questions about the material on their record. Students have a right of protection against disclosure of confidential information without their written permission. Students have a right to file a grievance concerning any wrong they may have experienced through participation in programs or activities of the university.
The school protects the rights of students and faculty in their pursuit of truth and knowledge and guarantees their freedom to teach and to learn and express personal views and perspectives on academic and other matters. Regardless of their country of residence, our students are assured the right to participate as full members of the academic community and to function as equal partners in the learning experience. The school further acknowledges the right and necessity of international students to pursue programs of study appropriate to the needs of their home country, However, the school shall not require any student to undertake or participate in any activity that is expressly against the laws of the student’s home country or country of residence, or the customs of religion or gender.
The school shall take all necessary actions to protect students from undue pressure or harassment from any element of the community concerning participation in voluntary social, research and academic activities. Furthermore, the school acknowledges the rights of students to be free from physical and sexual harassment and emotional abuse from any element of the community and shall take decisive action to investigate any complaints by students.
B. Equal Opportunity
The American School of Genealogy is an equal opportunity institution and, by its processes and design, is committed to the policies of non discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, physical and mental disability, or sexual preference in its programs, policies, procedures and practices. This includes access to, participation in, and treatment in admissions and registration processes and school programs and services. This equal opportunity extends to include state (State of Mississippi) and federal (United States of America) laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of veteran status, marital status, religion, ancestry, and arrest and court record.
Student self-description concerning race, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, physical and mental disability, or sexual preference is wholly voluntary and lack of disclosure will not result in any adverse treatment in the school’s admissions and program administration. Our students’ personal information will remain confidential except where disclosure is required by law, rule, regulation or court order.
C. Student Privacy Rights
The school will release only the minimum information, unless it has received written instructions from applicants, students or graduates directing it to do otherwise. This policy will assure that the college remains within legal limits on disclosure, protecting the privacy of the school’s educational community from unscrupulous individuals.
To this end, the school shall release no information regarding applicants to outside individuals or organizations. The school shall release only the degree level and degree field of registered students. Dates and additional facts regarding a student’s program or progress will be released only by written permission from the student. The school will release only the degree level, degree field, date of graduation, and the title of the final project of our graduates.
D. Student Grievance Procedures
Should a student become dissatisfied with the actions of faculty or administration, or should he or she believe a member of the school community has deviated from the written standard, guidelines, codes, policies and procedures of the university, the student may pursue a formal grievance process. Under all circumstances, students, faculty and administrators shall adhere to the following process in addressing a student grievance. This grievance process is understood to append all registration and course enrollment agreements and other written materials provided by the college whether issued in print or by electronic means.
The student and the school administration shall share equally any costs of the processes of mediation and arbitration. The college faculty carries absolutely no financial liability with regard to any aspect of the grievance process, including the mediation and arbitration procedures, unless otherwise found criminally liable by a court of law.
As an initial step in addressing all problems and disagreements, the student is expected to first attempt to resolve the issues through communication and informal negotiation directly with the individuals involved. Students should address a letter to all involved individuals clearly outlining the nature of the problem or disagreement and providing the full history. The student is advised to keep copies of all communication and essential documents for later reference in case formal school intervention becomes necessary.
If the student remains dissatisfied with the situation after making every effort to resolve the difficulties directly with the involved parties, the student may request administrative assistance. The student should address a formal letter to the Vice President of Academic Studies requesting administrative intervention to resolve the conflict. An attachment should be included journalizing the history of the conflict and the attempts to directly resolve the issues. The student is also expected to send copies of this letter to all parties directly involved in the dispute. Administrative intervention is a fact-finding process and one through which an administrator attempts to reconcile the issues to the satisfaction of all parties, governed by written guidelines and the written statements of all parties.
Mediation by Senior Administration
Should the process of reconciliation prove ineffective, the Vice President of Academic Studies (or the School President) will submit the unresolved matters to formal mediation by one or more impartial administrators or members of the senior faculty. The impartial mediation process will involve a careful review of the school policies, the history of the dispute, and verbal and written statements from all parties.
Should the process of formal mediation prove unsuccessful, all parties shall be bound by the results of outside arbitration. The disputing parties shall attempt to agree on a single arbitrator; however, if they cannot agree, both parties shall each choose one arbitrator. The two arbitrators shall attempt to agree upon a solution; however, if the two arbitrators cannot agree, they shall jointly choose a third arbitrator. The decision of a majority of the arbitrators shall be final and binding on the parties.
D. Standards for Fair Academic Use of Electronic Technology
The School of Genealogy expects all members of its community to comply with acceptable principles of honesty and integrity, respect for others’ privacy and respect for property. These traditional property, privacy, and publication rights are extended to include those areas involving computers and other electronic communication (audio or video) and publication via the World Wide Web or Internet, news groups, bulletin boards or chat rooms. The School of Genealogy’s policies also extend to technology administered by individual centers, departments, institutes, programs or courses and to information services hosted by or for students using their own hardware networked to a website or electronic system.
When a member of the school community is found to be in violation of any policy related to use of electronic technology, the normal college disciplinary processes will address the matter.
Although the School of Genealogy will respond promptly and appropriately to all personal or organizational complaints, the school is not directly responsible for any material any individual may post, send, or publish electronically or otherwise as a member or non-member of the American Genealogy College community. With the exception of our official publications, the School of Genealogy is only a carrier of information through electronic means, not a publisher.
The electronic technology and resources of the School of Genealogy community are intended to be used for instruction, independent study, research, networking, and the official work of students, faculty, staff, administration, affiliated organizations, and programs of the school. The school is committed to protecting members of its community from abusive technology, whether within or outside of the institution.
Members of the school community are required to report violations of privacy or property involving electronic technology, whether or not the perpetrator is a member of the school community Examples of violations that should be reported include:
- Capturing or attempting to capture, alter, intercept, or interfere with stored or
transmitted electronic information.
- Spreading spammed electronic messages or postings.
- Bombarding or bombing an individual, group, or system with numerous
• Sending large mass mailings or voice messaging.
The material in the preceding section follows closely the policies of the Program Handbook 2001 of the International University of Professional Studies, (IUPS) of Makawao, Hawaii and was approved by the Chancellor, Dr. Irv Katz, and Dr. Douglass Capogrossi, former president, on January 10, 2010.