Meet Jonathan Cao-Nguyen, new International Educational News Content Curator for EDGE

September 5, 2020
  • AACRAO EDGE
  • AACRAO News
  • International
  • AACRAO Staff

Q: Could you talk about your new role within AACRAO? Why is this important to you and what do you hope to accomplish with it? 

I’m the new International Educational News Content Curator for EDGE, researching and documenting educational impacts and news stories from around the world. Education is rapidly changing, always developing with what is happening in the world. Whether it is educational reform or an exam credential crisis, these changes impact and affect our students. In turn, it will affect us as credential evaluators. If we can better stay on top with what’s changing around the world, we can empathize with the challenges our students are dealing with and prepare for the aftershocks in our profession.

Q: Tell me a bit about your professional background. What is your full time role and what led you to getting involved in international education? 

I’ve worked for 5 years now at UCLA Undergraduate Admission as an Assistant Director, specializing in admission evaluation. I evaluate transfer applicants from California community colleges, 4-year, private, and international institutions. Because we have numerous community colleges in California, the majority of our applicants are from the system, but they all come with different educational backgrounds and mixed records. Some of our California community college applicants are international students as well, with hopes of applying to UCLA through the transfer route.

I’ve always been interested in international education and how the various systems around the world approach credential evaluation. I gravitated towards this role within AACRAO because it allows for me to monitor, explore, and learn more about the curriculums and practices from around the world. 

Q: What should people expect to get out of the news content? How is it relevant to their roles?

I want to provide current information on countries that our users follow, but I also want to be able to provide news that incorporates multiple sources, viewpoints, and mediums to create a clearer scope and scale of the situation. News is rapidly occurring and these urgent news updates from AACRAO EDGE helps spotlight what is going on globally and how it has impacted our students’ education. This year alone has shown that our profession as credential evaluators is interconnected with world happenings as we have seen educational reform, academic year calendar changes due to the pandemic, and leaving exam score revisions in such a few short months. This position has even helped me professionally with my work as a credential evaluator at UCLA this past summer as I understand the challenges that our admitted class and their counselors are facing in submitting credentials to our institution.

 

Q: When not helping students pursue their educational goals, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy?

I’m a huge foodie. Whether it’s cooking and trying new recipes, traveling to amazing destinations/regions for their food, researching food from other cultures, or eating at different local restaurants. There isn’t a weekend when I don’t try or make something new. Food is always on my itinerary, one way or another!