What is Credential Evaluation?

Credential evaluation is a task faced by any institution admitting applicants who completed any portion of their prior academic study in a non-US education system. Foreign education systems are diverse in many ways including structure, content, documentation, and outcomes. While in many cases, there is little linearity with the US system of education, the basic principles of credential evaluation can be relied upon to determine an applicant’s suitability for an institution, regardless of the academic level or institution type.

The first thing to understand when evaluating credentials is what is being evaluated. Fundamentally, credentials are just pieces of paper, but the information they convey is crucial in determining an applicant’s academic accomplishments. Speaking of the applicant, it is therefore essential to determine that the credentials being evaluated actually belong to that applicant. Although this seems like a basic process, it can be much more difficult if your accompanying application is not thorough. Ensure that this supplemental piece asks for accurate biographical information, an academic history, and self-identification of the credentials submitted for evaluation. Foreign naming conventions, academic calendars and terminology, and transnational factors are just some of the potential sources of confusion when beginning the evaluation process.

Accurate and efficient foreign credential evaluation is an inherent part of the international admissions process. The complexity of the task can be as varied as foreign credentials themselves and is dependent on the purpose of the admission review. The importance of each principle of credential evaluation holds value regardless of the intended purpose because the goal of foreign credential evaluation is consistent with the goal of making effective admission decisions – to admit international students who are adequately prepared to succeed in the programs to which they are applying.

Delving deeper into the foreign academic credential evaluation process, it is not always enough to determine the US equivalence. In order to make an informed admission decision, and to meet pre-established institutional guidelines, it is necessary to quantify the studies of various subject as the units of measurement at the home institution. Foreign academic credentials quantify academic studies in various ways, using points of reference such as contact hours, maximum marks, foreign credits, etc. Converting such programs to the system used by your institution becomes an exercise of proportions – comparing what is presented on the foreign credential to what would be expected to be earned by a full-time student at your institution. Besides ensuring that a foreign program meets specific admission requirements, you can, at this point, assess an applicant’s performance in singular subjects, allowing you to more accurately predict their preparation for their intended purpose.

Foreign Credits helps individuals, companies, and institutions receive accurate and timely evaluations of foreign credentials. We can evaluate diplomas and academic transcripts from any country outside of the United States and prepare Document-by-Document and Course-by-Course evaluations for employment, immigration, college admission, and licensing. The reports prepared by our firm have been successfully submitted to USCIS, USPTO, NASA, and to many universities and private companies.

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