The Value of Educational Credential Evaluators
When studying, whether domestically or abroad, it is becoming more and more common to finish one’s degree in a location other than where one may call “home”. According to a 2014 study from NAFSA (the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers – now the Association of International Educators), the number of “students studying abroad for credit during the 2014-2015 academic year grew… to 313,415 students”. For perspective, 1 out of every 1000 people in the United States alone was taking the initiative to study material in a foreign country. For some, the ability to not only learn a foreign countries customs, but to become engrossed in the culture itself, is fascinating. For many others, there is a belief that a better education can be found in a country other than their own.
When deciding to study abroad, a service is available to those who have already completed some form of study in their home country that will allow them to transfer their educational credits and compare them to the standards of the country in which they wish to travel. These individuals who provide this service are known as educational credential evaluators.
Educational credential evaluators do exactly as their name suggests: evaluate educational credentials. They take the curriculum that is traditionally learned in the home country and compare that standard to the country that one is wishing to continue their schooling. These evaluators typically belong to a non-profit organization of some kind, who’s main goal is to help students succeed in their educational endeavors.
The most difficult part for any educational credential evaluator is determining whether or not credits that have been earned in one country are equivalent to the standards of another countries standards and practices. Thankfully, many organizations offer a program that will correctly and succinctly uncover which classes will or will not transfer. Although some credential evaluators do charge a fee, many will guarantee an accurate reflection of the curriculum’s scores when compared to another country.
A few examples of some educational credential evaluators from the United States are: ECE Incorporated, AACRAO, and GCE. These credential evaluators, apart from being non-profits, provide educational development on top of their desire to help their clientele succeed with help from their services.
On an international front, organizations such as: NAFSA, WES, and NACES also help non-U.S. students by evaluating their transcripts and help discern whether credits earned in their home country will transfer successfully to the country in which they wish to study. These three are some of the more well-known organizations, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less qualified to evaluate the credentials of those who come to their doorstep and/or websites. If anything, their exposure has shown that they are more than capable of evaluating educational credentials, due to their success in the past.
When deciding to study abroad, it is important to make sure that, not only is one obtaining the proper quality of education desired, but that it fits in line with the quality required from other countries. If one has obtained a Master’s degree in theoretical physics, for example, the educational credential evaluator’s position must help the client to discern if that degree actually holds merit on a country other than their own. If not, each organization will do their best to meet the needs of their clientele in an appropriate and professional manner.