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Credential Evaluation

Why Should I Consider a Credential Evaluation?

When people move to a new country, they bring so much with them: their hopes, dreams, ambitions, talents and accomplishments. But what happens when the accomplishments, experiences, and professional skills from their home country aren’t easily translated into value in the new country? That’s where a credential evaluation can help. 

A credential evaluation can help someone with educational or professional qualifications from one country find opportunities in a new country—through the recognition, validation, and measurement of their achievements. In this post, we will go through each of the reasons why you may need a credential evaluation.

Education Credential Evaluations

This is the most common purpose for a credential evaluation. Colleges and universities want to make sure that their international candidates meet the school’s requirements for admission. A credential evaluation can provide a Grade Point Average, converted credits, and a final equivalency, which admissions officers use to determine if an individual satisfies the school’s criteria. Additionally, an evaluation also shows a thesis or dissertation title, statements about what occupation the degree prepares holders for, and explanations about the documentation received.

In sum, a credential evaluation presents achievements from another country in a way that U.S. higher educational institutions can understand and apply. It also provides institutions with better context for the educational achievements of their international applicants, providing admissions officers with the information they need to make more informed decisions about who will get an offer of admission. Additionally, institutions may use the credential evaluation to award transfer credit or exemptions, so in addition to supporting an application, a credential evaluation can also save an applicant time and money during their degree program.

At IEE, the goal of a credential evaluation is twofold: help admissions officers with their deliberations, while also doing our best to advocate for our clients. Furthermore, at IEE, we use two methodologies for education evaluations: benchmarking and year-counting. We work closely with institutions to support our clients while following the approaches of institutions that we serve. For more information, please see our white paper about evaluation methodology.

Immigration and Foreign Credential Evaluations

In order to receive certain visas, such as an H1-B visa, there are often educational thresholds that one must meet. An individual can obtain and then present a credential evaluation to bolster their application for getting a U.S. visa and/or work permit. The credential evaluation will show the U.S. educational equivalent that immigration authorities, such as USCIS, utilize while considering an applicant’s eligibility for certain visas, which if approved, will allow the applicant to migrate to the U.S., and depending on the visa, work, or study.

Professional Licensure and Education Requirements

Internationally trained individuals often want to continue their careers in a new country. However, some professions, such as teaching and nursing, are more regulated than others, and thus require a license from the local, state, or federal authority. Licensing boards usually require at minimum, a four-year degree in order to grant a license in a specific field. Therefore, a credential evaluation will make an application for licensure to practice in a chosen career significantly stronger, as it will clearly indicate that an applicant has met the educational requirements that are needed before being able to practice.

For professions, such as teaching, nursing, physical therapy, and others, we show a program’s duration, admission requirement, and major, as well as additional details that directly compare the degree program in an applicant’s home country to the equivalent program in the U.S.

Additionally, IEE’s course-by-course analysis for licensure shows grades and credits converted to the US system, and then groups the courses by categories, in order to highlight the different areas of expertise that were gained during an education. This clearly displays courses in a way that the recipient can easily see and find. For example, if an engineering licensing board wants to see the courses in Mathematics, they’ll simply look at the area labeled “Mathematics,” which will save them time and make it easier to understand an applicant’s background. 

Employment Credential Evaluations

Employers in both the private and public sectors have certain standards and requirements for their employees. One of the most common is a four-year degree. A credential evaluation can show employers that the education received in an applicant’s home country is both rigorous in its subject matter, and equivalent to the expected requirements of candidates in the country of employment. In the event a recruiter or interviewer has questions about an applicant’s education and is unfamiliar with their country’s system, the credential evaluation will put their education into terms that their future employer is able to follow and trust. 

Furthermore, a credential evaluation reveals knowledge and academic experience in different subjects. For example, if an applicant is applying for a position at a law firm and has an undergraduate degree in law from their home country, the course-by-course credential evaluation will show all of the courses taken, including torts, administrative law, ethics, and other courses common across law curricula. The evaluation also shows the US-equivalent grades and credits. 

Credential evaluations are often required for public sector roles, such as for positions at public educational institutions or government agencies. So, whether you are interviewing at a bank and have a finance degree, or at an engineering firm and have a civil engineering degree, the credential evaluation will help to strengthen an application, as it validates your skills and expertise in a job interview.

Nursing Evaluations and Licensure Reports

With national shortages, nurses are in high demand now and into the foreseeable future. At the same time, there are licensed nurses from all over the world that are looking for work and can assist with this demand. However, due to individual states or province requirements, it can be cumbersome for internationally educated nurses to gain licensure to practice nursing. The credential evaluation can assist qualified nurses get their achievements and expertise recognized, by helping them to obtain licensure and work as nurses in hospitals, clinics, and medical practices.

Beyond standard information, such as admission requirements, duration and institution attended, the IEE nursing report includes a breakdown of clinical and theoretical hours taken; showing how much time was spent devoted to various areas of concentration in nursing such as Pediatric Nursing, to Community Nursing, to Medical/Surgical. Our credential evaluations are designed to assist nurses by getting them closer to licensure and employment.  Additionally, IEE’s industry-leading processing time for evaluations can help with the market demand for nurses, while always ensuring compliance with the rigorous standards of medical providers and state nursing boards.

Credential Evaluation to Serve in the US Military

The United States Military has been accepting foreign-born individuals into its ranks since its inception. However, there is a rigorous selection process that candidates must navigate before official enlistment, which includes a screening of education. At minimum, enlistees are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. A credential evaluation makes it clear to military recruitment officers that all the educational requirements are met. Whether it is the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines or Space Force, we at IEE respect our clients’ wishes to serve in the United States Military, and our credential evaluation vouches for them as they pursue this noble path.

As you can see, there are many reasons for a credential evaluation. Various sectors accept credential evaluations from individuals to get a more holistic and understandable view of candidates. For which purpose do you need an evaluation? When you’ve decided on your path, feel free to start your application with IEE!

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About author

Garrett Garcia is a Senior Evaluator and Team Lead at International Education Evaluations (IEE) with 4.5 years in the international credential evaluation industry. Prior to IEE, Garrett spent 3.5 years teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey. He loves being able to assist people from all over the globe with accomplishing their goals and is also an avid traveler.
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