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From: <>
Subject: Re: [APG] BA in Genealogical Studies at Akamai University
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2007 17:57:21 -0600
References: <215883.78172.qm@web35501.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

Hi Jeannette and all:

Dr. LaWanna Blount has been working incredibly hard to put together this BA
in Genealogical Studies, but she has been a bit stymied because of my
tardiness in contributing the materials they need. She could easily have
replied to all your questions that : "If CEB would get off her butt and do
the necessary things, we'd have more answers for all your questions." But,
graciously, she hasn't done so <g>.

I won't go into a lot of details, other than to say that (1) I attended the
Texas State Genealogical Society Conference in Tyler, Texas, which was an
amazingly great conference, including the Lone Star Chapter of APG's
Roadshow (consultations with patrons), in which I participated; (2) my
Houston condo unit was severely damaged by a burst hot water pipe and I went
directly there from Tyler and I've spent the last week on site, arguing with
the condo association over what needs to be done to restore things to their
previous state; and (3) additionally my "baby" (OK, I'll admit it--my baby
is 34) and was due to give birth to her third child, my eighth grandchild,
last week; she is now scheduled to be induced this Wednesday if nothing
happens before then. And, Thanksgiving is this week.

So I have been remiss in working with LaWanna to perfect the program. Please
remember that all this is in the PLANNING stage, albeit far along at this
point. Although LaWanna has moved it along tremendously, I have not yet done
my part in moving the program from planning to actuation. We're ready to
enroll students and get the show on the road, but perhaps everything that
will be available in the future is not yet finalized.

I have accepted the position of Program Director for the BA in Genealogical
Studies and will be doing the long-distance teaching of several courses for
the program. Additionally, as LaWanna stated, students can earn college
credits towards this BA in a number of other authorized ways, such as
attendance at Samford's IGHR, the NGS Home Study Course, and attaining their
CG, to name but a few.

As with all academic degrees, there are standards for "class" time and
outside work. To fit an example into the standard for credits in a college
degree, you can take a class at Samford's IGHR, but that is only 16-18 hours
in a classroom--NOT comparable to the accepted academic standard for class
credit. But if you write a paper after the class, showing your mastery of
the topics involved, THAT plus your class attendance would earn one credit,
based on the time and effort by the student in comparison to a typical
college course.. For my Course 3: Research in the South, at Samford's IGHR,
if you took the full 3-year cycle, covering research in the entire South,
plus wrote a paper for me, you could earn 3 credits with Akamai.

These standards are completely in line with the traditional college credits
one might earn from any college, community college, or university. And, if
you already have credits from another college or community college, those
credits can be transferred in to Akamai to count towards your BA in
genealogical studies, after your completion of the required credits in
genealogical studies, some of which you may already have in place and which
can be transferred to Akamai for credit also.

And, as most of you are aware, a BA, or Bachelor of Arts Degree is a 4-year
program of college courses. But an associate's degree (and they are
available in many varied fields) is generally a 2-year program, specializing
only in some area, without the background general education required for a
BA or BS. As with any BA program, one must take basic courses in general
topics like English and Math and History, etc. Many of you already have
these basics from your educational experience, or, if not, can fulfill these
requirements at your local college or community college.

I hesitate to be too simplistic, but for those who aren't quite sure what
goes into earning a BA, one normally takes two years of general coursework,
then two years of study in their major field of study. Anyone who has a BA
has spent the first two years of college taking lower-level, basic courses,
in US History, World History, math of some sort, and varied selections from
a range of electives, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, art,
photography, architecture, politics, science, and so forth. This is designed
to ensure a basic level of general knowledge of all who earn a degree from
the institution.

LaWanna has been quite open to suggestions about what particular activity,
such as earning your CG, would be "worth" as college credits. In fact,
DeeDee King and I spoke with her extensively about the amount of credits to
be awarded for earning one's CG, and after consulting with other individuals
of credibility in the genealogical community, she increased the credits
earned for attaining a CG.

So the Akamai program is up and running, but now fully actualized at this
point, as we all work out the details.

I would not be involved in this if I didn't think the genealogical community
NEEDS an academic degree of this type. Not everybody will need or want a
degree, but based on recent discussions on this board and others, many of
you DO want such a recognized degree. This opportunity has come along,
thanks to the hard work of LaWanna Blount and others at Akamai who see the
value in a program of this type (and are willing to put their money where
their mouth is!), and I'm anxious to immerse myself in the details of
getting things perfected and up and running.

Please be patient as the courses are posted and more information is
forthcoming. LaWanna has been indefatigable in finding qualified instructors
and teachers for needed courses, but all is still in the early stages;
naturally she cannot announce who she is negotiating with to develop classes
until things are in place.

For my part, I will definitely be offering two courses in genealogical
kinship theory. There will be a syllabus published online as soon as I can
manage it. These two courses are virtually identical to classes I teach at
the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, an upper-level, 4000-level,
course for history majors (3 college credits each). The final project for
this class is a publishable family history of approximately 24-40 pages,
evincing knowledge and competence in research, citation, compiling a
bibliography, adding context to your family history, analysis of data, and
much more. And, in fact, if you live near Little Rock, Arkansas, you can
come and take them in person, rather than online!

The second part of the genealogical kinship course will concentrate on the
community aspect of kinship. Students investigate the characteristics of
clusters of kin and how to study them. The final paper will be a 25-40 page
paper on some PLACE or GROUP, either a community, a migrating group, a town,
a cemetery, a church, or whatever your imagination and personal interests
dictate. This too will earn you three college credits.

I am also trying to develop a course in studying religious denominations as
a genealogical research tool, a class in understanding the place of race in
historical and genealogical study, as well as others.

There will also be basic courses in genealogy for those who are in the
beginning stages of their genealogical careers.

Since these are long-distance courses, enrollees will have a personal and
close relationship with their instructors. Each instructor may only be
teaching one to five students at a time--or so we forecast at this time.
Furthermore, students can concentrate on the geographical locations and
areas of research that are of the most interest to them, within the context
of the course. We think there will be a variety of courses to suit
everyone's needs and interests.

And, no, it's not particularly inexpensive; yet, compared to a more
traditional college education, it's comparable or less expensive. In some
areas of genealogy, one needs the credibility of some type of certification
or degree. If you are working for attorneys, or testifying in a court of
law, or working for a corporation, a tribal entity, or other clients of this
sort, it's invaluable to have the backing of an accredited degree to enhance
your credibility. And some of us just want to learn all we can to fully
utilize genealogical skills for our own purposes. I assure you, if you
complete Akamai's program, you will be well grounded and knowledgeable about
all the aspects of genealogy!

There are already a handful of people who are ready to sign up for this
program. I hope you'll keep an eye on what we're doing and consider this
program for yourself. We'll keep you posted as things develop and as the
website is refined and expanded to reflect the full range of Akamai courses
and benefits.

Regards, Carolyn
Carolyn Earle Billingsley, Ph.D. (Rice University, in Southern History,
Colonial History, and Anthropological Kinship Theory); MA from Rice
University in Southern History; BA from UALR in History, with minors in
German and Arkansas History.
Author, _Communities of Kinship: Antebellum Families and the Settlement of
the Cotton Frontier_ (Univ.of Georgia Press, 2004)
Lone Star Chapter, APG
APG Board of Directors
Arkansas Genealogical Society Board Member and Editor, AGS Ezine
Samford University Course 3 Coordinator (2004- )

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeanette Daniels" <>
To: "LaWanna Blount, Ph.D." <>; <>
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 1:52 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] BA in Genealogical Studies at Akamai University

> LaWanna:
> Thank you for the explanation. I did go back to relook at your university
> site. I still don't see any genealogy classes. Are you able to view more
> than someone who is not connected with the university? LaWanna wrote:
> "On page 9 of the 28 pages we stated The Academic major: Genealogical
> Studies required is 39 credits. This is the normal amount for a major at
> the Bachelor Degree. The other required courses are GEN 200 which is
> Kinship Theory which will be taught by Dr. Billingsley, and ILT: 331. Then
> I go on to say that there are the the other areas that are required. Court
> records, military research, immigration research and library and
> government documents. I am having the president include the statement on
> couldn't find page 9 of 28 pages. How can I read this? This might clear
> up my questions. You are assuming that I can read the same things that
> you are referring to?
> Where are they on your site?
> I see nothing about a Bachelor Degree. Only an Associate of Genealogical
> Studies degree is partially described. Do you have a better link to your
> site?
> Thanks,
> Jeanette
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: "LaWanna Blount, Ph.D." <>
> To: Jeanette Daniels <>
> Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 8:46:59 AM
> Subject: Re: [APG] BA in Genealogical Studies at Akamai University
> Jeanette,
> I can understand your concern. However, no worry. We
> are developing our own courses. We are preparing for
> our accreditation review so I am working to get the
> website and programs in order. However, we need to
> have something outlined to start with and to let
> students know they can transfer courses in that
> theyhave already taken providing the courses meet the
> criteria. We are an academic institution in good
> standing and will remain so as we have and practice a
> code of ethics. I was somewhat taken aback by what you
> said.
> First there was an error on the website that we
> changed the other day. NGS Home Study course is not
> awarded 18 credits. It is awarded 3 credits in
> transfer. I saw that and I hastily wrote to our
> President to correct that error. On page 9 of the 28
> pages we stated The Academic major: Genealogical
> Studies required is 39 credits. This is the normal
> amount for a major at the Bachelor Degree. The other
> required courses are GEN 200 which is Kinship Theory
> which will be taught by Dr. Billingsley, and ILT: 331.
> Then I go on to say that there are the the other areas
> that are required. Court records, military research,
> immigration research and library and government
> documents. I am having the president include the
> statement on our website now. GENEALOGY COURSES AT
> AKAMAI ARE UNDER DEVELOPMENT. I am also reviewing my
> Mission and the Objectives of the program which will
> go up on the web as well I have developed many
> programs and courses at the graduate level, that have
> undergone accredditation and am much experienced. We
> do not stoop to the level of taking courses from other
> institutions by way of transfer. We all have a code of
> ethics.
> We will not be copying courses. We will remain in
> good standing and will seek accreditiation. OUr
> courses are now under development and I am awaiting
> responses from some of the nationally known
> instructors to teach their courses. We will have our
> own courses up hopefully by Christmas. . However,
> some of the courses elsewhere do not require papers
> and we are asking for papers written in classes or
> post class experience in order to assess the amount of
> credit to be given. This is the normal way
> universities do to assess the amount of work that is
> to be given.
> I conferred with Elizabeth Shown Mills at some length
> and Dr. Billingsley and others. Also others outside
> of the genealogy area.
> I hope this clears things up. Please go back to the
> web site for for the genealogy courses. HTe
> required courses we want to have all at Akamai .
> However, I am now working on the instructors with the
> specific expertise. . My goal is to make this
> program a world class program.
> --- Jeanette Daniels <>
> wrote:
>> Dear LaWanna:
>> I didn't see any required genealogy courses on your
>> website. So, I did not see 3 credits in
>> genealogical methology. I only saw transfer
>> options. Where are the genealogical course
>> requirements? I didn't see them. That is why I
>> wrote wondering why you could offer a degree without
>> the university actually having created any genealogy
>> classes itself. You say that there are 39 credits
>> listed for genealogy. Where is that listed?
>> I'm curious as to how you determined that the NGS
>> six lesson course counts for 18 credits with your
>> university and that a CG counts towards 4 credits
>> and a CGL counts for 3 credits. Did you work with
>> the Board for the Certification of Genealogists
>> before coming to this conclusion? Why would there
>> be more credit for a six lesson course versuses a
>> certification which requires a lot more?
>> Also, I am concerned that students need to send the
>> course requirements, papers written at another
>> institution for credit, instructors' qualifications,
>> syllabi, etc. to get the transfer credit. Is this
>> how you intend to write your own courses for
>> accreditation consideration? It takes a great deal
>> of time to create each course and have it be a
>> meaningful research experience for students.
>> Heritage Genealogical College has free courses that
>> are not comparable to the planned coorindated
>> coursework of our for-credit courses. The RGS
>> courses are also free and although good information,
>> are not college-level or requiring research skills.
>> .I would be upset, and I believe that the NGS and
>> BCG and any others who have spent hours, time,
>> money, etc. to create courses would be too, to find
>> that our course materials were sent to you so that
>> you could change a few words and claim them as your
>> own.
>> I'm all for genealogical instruction at the college
>> and university level and I would be happy if you
>> created a good (great, etc.) curriculum that really
>> prepared your graduates for careers in genealogy. I
>> don't want you to think that I am unhappy that you
>> are creating a degree program. I do want you to
>> make sure that you and your faculty have done the
>> work yourself.
>> Sincerely,
>> Jeanette Daniels
>> www.genealogy.edu
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: "LaWanna Blount, Ph.D." <>
>> To: Jeanette Daniels <>
>> Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 5:58:02 AM
>> Subject: Re: [APG] BA in Genealogical Studies at
>> Akamai University
>> Dear Jeanette,
>> Thank you for your e-mail. I was going to contact
>> you
>> about your Heritage College program.
>> We did not find it until last week I heard about it
>> First, let me tell you that our aim of course is to
>> have all the required courses which are the basic
>> foundational research courses at Akamai
>> University.Yes, that is necessary. See what I
>> currently have for required courses. We are
>> planning
>> a DETC accreditation review in the Spring and will
>> have those research courses prepared by then and up
>> on
>> the web.I want this program to be in this review.
>> We
>> already have more courses being completed by
>> instructors. I am working hard to identify and
>> bring on qualified instructors for those required
>> courses listed. Dr. Billingsley is preparing her
>> Kinship theory course and several others and other
>> instructors also have put up more courses which will
>> be on the web. I am working to have a basic
>> genealogical research course which would be
>> extended
>> to intermediate level. You will note that a
>> requirement of the program is 3 credits in research
>> methodology. This program is still evolving and I
>> am
>> contacting instructors now for the required courses
>> listed and others which can be selected for the 39
>> required credits. However, we should have options
>> for
>> transfer as well. All of these courses must be
>> approved for transfer. If a student enrolls he or
>> she will need to prepare a study plan with the
>> Program
>> Director and we will review any courses that a
>> student
>> submits for transfer, (as you will note on the web)
>> as
>> to the level, the instructor qualifications. the
>> syllabus and the paper that the student writes and
>> submits on the learnings of the course. The
>> research
>> courses that you are talking about at a very
>> elementary level, and are free..If a student
>> enrolls,
>> and , and wishes to transfer these type of courses
>> for
>> credit,a nd submits the papers, syllabus, and the
>> qualifications of the instructor as we have set
>> out... and If the student needed those elementary
>> level courses and prepares a submission for a credit
>> and meets the requirements as identified.... The
>> Program Director and student prepare a study plan
>> and
>> have students then take higher level course at
>> Akamai
>> to meet the requirements needed. if a student
>> enrolls
>> in the program right now say.... and has no basic
>> research skills
>> I would recommend the NGS basic course. However,
>> yes,
>> we will be under control of the courses, especially
>> the required ones at Akamai. . Other genealogical
>> courses to transfer as usual the case are reviewed
>> by
>> a panel. and must be APPROVED for credit transfer as
>> we have stated on the web. Therein liES the control
>> also. We hope to have the basic courses on the web,
>> taught by Akamai Instructors by Christmas. However,
>> at the start we have these options. As you know
>> things
>> take time and the program to be announced is for
>> students to start to think about this BA option and
>> I
>> have sevral interested now.
>> Thank you, I hope that I have responded to all your
>> quesitions
>> I am interested in hearing about your program at the
>> Heritage College as perhaps that could be a transfer
>> option.
>> Sincerely,
>> LaWanna L. Blount
>> Director of Center for Education and Literacy
>> Director of Division for Continuing and Professional
>> Education
>> www.akamaiuniversity.us.
>> --- Jeanette Daniels <>
>> wrote:
>> > Dear LaWanna:
>> >
>> > I was very interested in your BA in Genealogical
>> > Studies. I didn't see any genealogical research
>> > courses, just opportunities for students to
>> transfer
>> > in courses from other programs. This surprised me
>> > since it seems that your university should have
>> > control over what is taught in these genealogical
>> > courses before offering a degree in genealogy.
>> Some
>> > of the programs that you suggested transferring in
>> > credit from are free courses on a very elementary
>> > research level. How do you determine whether a
>> > student has enough knowledge to get credit from
>> > another program for a genealogy degree at your
>> > university?
>> >
>> > Sincerely,
>> >
>> > Jeanette Daniels
>> >
>> > www.genealogy.edu
>> >
>> >
>> > ----- Original Message ----
>> > From: "LaWanna Blount, Ph.D."
>> <>
>> > To:
>> > Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2007 2:29:39 PM
>> > Subject: [APG] BA in Genealogical Studies at
>> Akamai
>> > University
>> >
>> >
> === message truncated ===
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