Interpretive Guide Course (CIG™)

The Interpretive Guide (CIG) course is designed for interpreters who regularly lead interpretive programs and would like to learn more about the fundamentals of interpretation. During this course you will participate in group activities, write a program outline, and deliver a 10-minute presentation on a topic of your choice.

Find a course

In-Person Courses     Online Courses

"The CIG was part of an internship I did just after graduating college. At the time it seemed like a nice perk in addition to the work experience. Since then (2007) it has helped me in every job I’ve had (both interpretive and not) and helped me GET most of my jobs as well!
 —Robyn Anderson, CIT, CIG

Course Content

This 32-hour course covers:

  • The history, definition, and principles of interpretation
  • Techniques to make your programs purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic
  • How to use tangible objects to connect your audience to intangible ideas and universal concepts


After completing this course, you will have a basic knowledge of:

  • The history of the interpretive profession
  • The basic principles of interpretation
  • Creating a program outline
  • Leading a thematic interpretive presentation


You must be at least 16 years old to register.

Registration Rates

$235 plus an additional $165 for the certificate of completion, the certificate fee includes a one-year NAI membership.

Effective July 1, 2024

We work hard to keep costs as low as possible, but in order to remain financially sustainable, we have to consider the realities of rising costs. It’s been more than a decade since we’ve made comprehensive changes to our professional development offerings. We’re doing so now to make sure that what we’re charging for our courses reflects their value in the field, and to ensure that instructors are compensated fairly.

Our new pricing structure takes effect July 1, 2024, and will reflect a direct relationship between the number of contact hours and the cost of the course. Please note that all Interpretive Guide courses include a certificate upon completion.

$600 Non-member (includes a complimentary one-year NAI membership)
$525 with NAI Member Discount

For additional questions, please contact our Certificate Programs Administrator at

Upcoming In-Person Interpretive Guide Courses

Marion County Cooperative Extension Office
April 23–April 26, 2024
Ocala, FL, United States
Instructor(s): Connie Avery

4/23/2024 12:00:00 AM

San Antonio River Authority
April 30–May 3, 2024
San Antonio, TX, United States
Instructor(s): Clark Hancock

4/30/2024 12:00:00 AM

Northwest Museum Of Arts & Culture
May 2–May 5, 2024
Spokane, WA, United States
Instructor(s): Linda Strong,

5/2/2024 12:00:00 AM

Seneca Creek State Park
May 13–May 17, 2024
Gaithersburg, MD, United States
Instructor(s): Amy Bram,

5/13/2024 12:00:00 AM

McCormick's Creek State Park
May 13–May 16, 2024
Spencer, IN, United States
Instructor(s): Angie Manuel,

5/13/2024 12:00:00 AM

Flathead Valley Community College
May 20–May 23, 2024
Kalispell, MT, United States
Instructor(s): Christiane Hinterman,

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

Witt Stephens, Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center
May 20–May 23, 2024
Little Rock, AR, United States
Instructor(s): Jay S. Miller, CIP, CIT,

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

Mississippi Aquarium
May 20–May 23, 2024
Gulfport, MS, United States
Instructor(s): Hadiya White,

5/20/2024 12:00:00 AM

Windsor Art & Heritage Center
May 21–May 30, 2024
Windsor, CO, United States
Instructor(s): Katherine Mercier,

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Macoskey Center At Slippery Rock University
May 21–May 24, 2024
Slippery Rock, PA, United States
Instructor(s): Becky Thomas,

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Vancouver Aquarium
May 21–May 24, 2024
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Instructor(s): Christopher Villacorta-Lopez,

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

Elizabeth Community Center
May 28–May 31, 2024
Elizabeth, IL, United States
Instructor(s): Hillary Holt,

5/28/2024 12:00:00 AM

Aspen Historical Society Community Gallery
June 4–June 10, 2024
Aspen, CO, United States
Instructor(s): Nina Gabianelli,

6/4/2024 12:00:00 AM

Historical Museum At Fort Missoula
June 6–June 11, 2024
Missoula, MT, United States
Instructor(s): Kristjana Eyjolfsson,

6/6/2024 12:00:00 AM

Jackson Lake Lodge Grand Teton National Park
June 18–June 21, 2024
Moran, WY, United States
Instructor(s): Connie Avery,

6/18/2024 12:00:00 AM

Lake St Clair MNC & Oakwoods MNC
June 25–June 28, 2024
Harrison Twp, MI, United States
Instructor(s): Erin Parker,

6/25/2024 12:00:00 AM

Upcoming Online Interpretive Guide Courses

Virtual CIG courses are a combination of online instruction and virtual meetings with your instructor. The virtual course is designed to cover all the same material and requirements as the in-person CIG course. Prior to the start of the course, you will receive information from your instructor on course meeting times.

Courses will be held in the instructor's time zone.

April 15–May 8, 2024
Instructor(s): Robert L. Carter
Pekin, IL, United States

4/15/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 15–April 26, 2024
Instructor(s): Rita Poussaint Nethersole
Roxbury, MA, United States

4/15/2024 12:00:00 AM

April 23–May 3, 2024
Instructor(s): Scott L. Davison
Woodstock, VT, United States

4/23/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 6–May 14, 2024
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson
Bethel, CT, United States

5/6/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 13–May 22, 2024
Instructor(s): Jennifer Waithman,
, CA, United States

5/13/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 13–May 24, 2024
Instructor(s): Rita Poussaint Nethersole,
Roxbury, MA, United States

5/13/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 21–June 12, 2024
Instructor(s): Nikki Rhode,
Payson, AZ, United States

5/21/2024 12:00:00 AM

June 3–June 11, 2024
Instructor(s): Kristin Robinson,
Bethel, CT, United States

6/3/2024 12:00:00 AM

June 24–July 17, 2024
Instructor(s): Nikki Rohde,
Payson, AZ, United States

6/24/2024 12:00:00 AM