The CDG Series

The Certification Discussion Group (CDG) is presented winter, spring and fall. The CDG “series” is broken down into “tracks,” (taught by a single facilitator) which are broken down into seven “sessions.” There are usually 2-4 “tracks” each season taught by different facilitators with 14-20 participants each. We usually have daytime and evening tracks.

The series is 100% online.

Track AGENDA :

Each track is composed of seven sessions of between one to one and a half hours in length.

  • Session 1: Introductions, strategies (actually every session), application process
  • Session 2: Code of Ethics & Development Activities
  • Session 3: Document work
  • Session 4: Research Report (can be up to 1.5 hours)
  • Session 5: Case Study (1.5 hours)
  • Session 6: Kinship Determination Project (1.5 hours)
  • Session 7: Wrap up, publishing your work product

As an example, here is the course schedule from Winter 2020. This times and days do change as determined by the facilitator:

  • Accelerated daytime course, Monday, 8:00 am PT
  • Accelerated nighttime course, Monday, 6:00 pm PT
  • Wednesday, 12:00 pm ET

The Process:

Sign up: When you sign up (using the Google form on the Sign Up! page), you are placed on a list in the order in which you signed up.  Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS) members, State of Washington residents and those “on the clock’ receive priority on the list in that order. We attempt to place all individuals (those not requesting deferral) on the list in a track. Most get their first choice. We find that keeping the track size smaller facilitates the asking and answering of questions, but size varies between 15-25.

Course Announcements: About 2 months before the course starts all individuals on the list receive an email supplying dates, times and instructors for each track. We request information from you (again using a Google form) as to your preference of available times.  You then indicate your preference for the track, and answer any other questions asked.

You are then placed in a track according to your preference or availability.

If you wish to defer: You can defer. In fact, I urge people to sign up in anticipation of a future class because there is no downside to you. BUT, you must respond and tell us you are deferring. If we do not hear from you after two cycles, you are deleted from the list and you lose your priority on list. Don’t forget which email address you used to sign up, because all communication will go to that address. You could be dropped from the list and not know it. Make sure you check your Spam box as our communication with you can land there as well.

Once the classes are formed (a manual process based on your preferences), another email is sent out to those who received a class assignment giving them the information needed for the series and instructions on how to pay. Those who remain on the wait list whether because of deferral or some other reason are notified of that situation and will be offered another opportunity at the next series offering.

After the classes are formed, a third email is sent to each participant, requesting payment for the course. To date, the cost is under $100.

How the sessions work:

The series itself uses the Zoom.us software platform.  There is usually a tech test before the first class so everyone has the right gizmos in the right location (as you can see, I am not very technical.) Each hour long session is composed of 40-50 minutes of presentation and the remainder composed of questions from the attendees either during the presentation or after.  Each session is a minimum of one hour long.

Each week the specially created and password protected website will open another page specifically built for the next session.  It is usually composed of:

  • “show notes,” the PPT agenda that each facilitator will work from, either directly or by reference
  • extra resources that relate to that particular session
  • Seven or more portfolio submissions coupled with a summary of their judges’ comments (we have not been given permission to post the “real” judges’ comments)
  • a repeat of that session’s “assignment”
  • the next session’s “assignment”

The assignments are not mandatory, but you may find them helpful now or in the future.

The commitment of time is yours to control.  Sometimes if you cannot attend one session, another is available–just ask. The sessions are not recorded. The content, including handouts of all kinds, is protected by copyright and is not to be shared with other non-attendees–ever.

If you are interested, visit our Sign Up! page and you will be placed on the wait list for the next session.