How to get your transcripts Evaluated?
Many students wish to further their education to higher levels, including undergraduate and graduate programs, within the United States and Canada. Though the transition to a foreign country may be difficult, many students believe that they will gain a better, stronger education through the universities and colleges located in Northern America. Though some schools may have more specific requirements for international students, all require a transcript evaluation to better process the admissions requests.
For international students to gain admittance to universities in the United States and Canada, they must go through a transcript evaluation. A transcript evaluation is also known as a credential evaluation and may be completed through various services, like the Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE).
Typically a transcript evaluation can be completed in three different ways. The first is known as a "course by course" evaluation. This process reviews each and every course taken before attempted study in the United States or Canada, as well as diplomas and certificates for past educational experiences, and attempts to find an equivalent match in either country. To find the proper equivalent, criteria must be met; experiences must match certain time periods, specific grades or grade point averages must have been achieved and overall academic performance must show determination and willingness to succeed, much like programs in the United States and Canada.
The second type of transcript evaluation is known as the "educational credential" evaluation; the process reviews previous educational institutions attended and attempts to match the certification or degree attained to an equivalent in the United States or Canada (this could be a Bachelor or Master degree). This type of transcript evaluation is typically used for higher levels of education in North America, such as those students looking to gain a Masters or Ph.D. The third type of transcript evaluation is "professional work experience" and is typically only used for those looking to gain employment past education in the United States and Canada.
To be processed through the "course by course" evaluation, specific documents must be present to be reviewed. These include original (or certified copies of) transcripts from previous schools with courses, grades and hours listed. To be processed in the "educational credential" evaluation, original (or certified copies of) academic documentation must be provided: diplomas and school transcripts with graduation date. Typically most documents should have been pre-translated into English before being turned over to the transcript evaluation reviewer.
Once all documents have been submitted for review, the evaluator will connect with the prior institutions (whether collegiate level or primary and secondary levels) to confirm that the documents in question are legitimate and were given by said institution. Once the institution has confirmed the documents are correct, the student may proceed with the evaluation process.
How to choose a Service
In order be sure a transcript evaluation is handled properly, there are some items that should come into question when choosing the service. As the transcript evaluations are not handled through government agencies, they act as associations and separate businesses. Prospective students should make sure that the service is a member of at least one of the following organizations: National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), American Evaluation Association (AEA), European Association for International Education (EAIE), American Translation Association (ATA), Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) or the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).
The service should take between one to four weeks to process the documents and information; if it does not meet within that period, it may not be reliable. The service should be able to provide more copies of the evaluation once it has been processed and should have the capability to handle a withdrawal from the process or change in the selection of process. Some of the top transcript evaluators in the United States and Canada, aside from ECE, are the International Education Research Foundation (IERF), the Advanced Evaluation Services or World Education Service (WES). All can be accessed via their websites or through contact methods listed on their websites.