Global colleagues learn international transfer credit at AACRAO’s Winter Institute

February 24, 2020
  • Credential Evaluation
  • International
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
  • Meetings, Workshops, and Trainings
  • winter institute
group photo at the AACRAO 2020 Winter Institute

In early February, colleagues from as nearby as Washington, DC, and from as far away as Egypt and Costa Rica gathered in Arlington, Virginia, to learn how to “do” transfer credit from the nearly 200 countries around the world. 

You might wonder how, over the course of merely two full days and three half-days, one might cover so much new ground? How can one master 196 educational systems in that short amount of time?

The answer is: you don’t have to! AACRAO’s Winter Institute for International Transfer Credit is based on the theory that there are really only a handful of “educational models” that underpin the educational systems of the world. Once you’ve mastered these models, you’re equipped with the basics to evaluate almost any credential, from any country, that crosses your desk. 

For instance, France is one of the world’s educational models. There are close to 30 countries with educational systems modeled on the French system. At Winter Institute, participants learn all of the particulars of the French system: its educational ladder (the graphical depiction of the levels of education), the credentials offered, the grading scale or scales used, and important characteristics of the French system, such as cycles (1st, 2nd, 3rd), severe grading, and the pyramidal structure of the education system (“siphoning” students into structured pathways).

The theory is, once you understand the French model, you’ll also have the tools necessary to evaluate credentials and transfer credit from those other 30-ish countries that are modeled on France. 

Only 165 more countries to go, right?

Not so! Luckily, Winter Institute also includes information about the other models: United Kingdom, Bologna, Soviet, and the United States. If you count in the countries that are patterned after all of these models, you quickly realize that you’re becoming a more experienced and competent -- and thus…CONFIDENT -- evaluator and transfer credit specialist in just 5 days!

Some of the most beneficial aspects of Winter Institute, according to the participants:

  • “The sharing of resources we can utilize to determine the various factors we need to consider when evaluating credentials, educational systems, grade/credit conversion, etc. was a huge-takeaway”

  • “Reviewing the different academic models”

  • “The case studies to get hands-on experience”

  • “The activities for the countries were really useful to become familiar with the different documents that came in”

  • “Being able to get input from so many peers and experts.”

If this sounds like training that would help make YOU a more confident transfer credit evaluator, we hope you’ll join us at one of our upcoming international transfer credit institutes or workshops soon. Click here for more information. 



AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter is open to members and non-members alike.