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Evaluation or Translation?

Whether you’re a foreign student applying to a U.S. college or a professional looking for work in an American industry, you’ll need your educational credentials evaluated. A credential evaluation is sometimes described as “translating” education and employment documents, a misrepresentation which can cause confusion. An evaluation involves more than simply translating documents from a foreign language into English.

Both translations and evaluations are important steps towards college admission or employment in the United States. Without them, employers and college admission officers are unlikely to seriously consider your application, so it’s important to understand the difference between both.

Understanding Credential Evaluations

Each nation has its own education system and means of evaluating educational proficiency. The criteria of completing a Bachelor Degree in India, for instance, are not exactly the same as those required in the United States. Neither system is better than the other—just different—but it’s that difference that can lead to confusion.

A credential evaluation examines your degrees, diplomas and certifications and compares them to U.S.benchmarks. The completed evaluation allows college admittance officers and potential employers to understand whether your education meets their qualifications or not.

For instance, in China, a person may graduate from college with a variety of diplomas and certifications which have no direct equivalence in the U.S. education system. A credential evaluation company, such as SpanTran, verifies that the documents are genuine and explains how they match up to U.S. educational requirements.

For example, a three-year foreign degree and a one-year academic program may qualify as the equivalent of a U.S. four-year degree; educational credentials from one country have been converted into the requirements of a second country. This explains why some people refer to the process as “translating” credentials. An evaluation of a foreign degree can also breakdown credits, coursework, and convert grades into the U.S. educational system, which enables admissions advisors to understand how the foreign document relates to U.S. standards.

Translation Is Also Important

If your credentials are in a language other than English, you’ll need them translated before they can be evaluated. Colleges and employers will want to see translated versions of your credentials in addition to a completed credential evaluation.

Some credential evaluating organizations offer translations as part of their services, which greatly simplifies the process. SpanTran offers translation services and by using SpanTran to translate and evaluate foreign credentials is a simple way to get both services done and is appealing to admissions staff.  Be sure to only send copies of your documents. Never send the originals, or they could be damaged or lost.