“Credential evaluation is an art—not a science,” says Julia Funaki, evaluator and associate director of International Education Services at AACRAO.
As the world evolves and changes, evaluators need to be able to take their professional training and apply it in unexpected and nuanced situations. And that means understanding the “13th rule” of foreign credential evaluation.
Beyond the basics
There are 12 foundational rules of foreign credential evaluation, according to Funaki. Grounding in these basic principles is critical due diligence for any evaluator.
But evaluators must also heed the 13th rule: “There are no rules,” Funaki says.
“The best practice for evaluators is good professional training opportunities and due diligence," she says. But that training isn’t going to provide a simple evaluation formula that will work in every situation. Rather, it lays the groundwork for the knowledge, experience and networking required to take a holistic look at the situation and make the best decision for your institution.
"That’s where the art comes in," Funaki says.
The subtleties of the 13th rule is just one of the lessons learned by attendees at AACRAO’s sixth annual Winter Institute on International Transfer Credit, held February 11-13 in Washington, DC, at the Center for Higher Education.
The Institute, designed for international admissions professionals who are responsible for the transferring of credit earned outside the U.S., focuses on understanding credit from foreign study and how to award domestic credit into the US institutional degree programs. (AACRAO IES also holds a Summer Institute on International Admissions, July 8-11, 2013).
More than 70 participants, representing both private and public institutions from the U.S. and abroad, attended the Institute, led by experts who together have more than a century of foreign credential evaluation experience.
The Institute includes: • Analysis of credit from foreign study via an intensive country by country overview. • Transfer credit methodology. • Hands-on case studies where participants interact in small groups to determine potential transfer credit recommendations. • Discussion and recommendation of best practices in foreign credential evaluation and international admission.
While the training is geared toward those with some experience in international admissions and foreign credential review, many newcomers to the profession have participated in and benefited from the training.
Participants, several of whom are repeat attendees, leave armed with skills, resources and confidence to do their jobs competently. As one returning attendee said: “[It was] very valuable training, we are implementing many of the things we learned already. Each time I attend I learn something new."
For more information, contact Tiffany Hsu, IES Marketing and Institutional Liaison.
By: AACRAO Connect