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Frequent Issues in Foreign Degree Evaluations

Students from overseas who seek to continue their education in the United States face many obstacles.  Evaluating foreign credentials to assign equivalence with American coursework can be particularly problematic. The challenge in interpreting these wide-ranging credentials is the breadth of knowledge that is required for foreign degree evaluations.

Educational systems vary greatly throughout the world. High-school diplomas go by various names and can often be quite confusing for a novice evaluator. A Mexican “bachiller” can be especially misleading during the evaluation of the diploma; despite the apparent similarity to the American Bachelor’s degree, this credential equates with high school completion. This confusion can be amplified by the fact that at times the “bachiller” diplomas show a specialization in nursing or radiology.

Aside from credential names, an additional issue arises with the discrepancy in length of various foreign academic programs.  In many nations, a bachelor’s degree is awarded after three years of study.  In certain circumstances these foreign credentials equate to a four-year bachelor’s degree from an American university, but often they do not. A thorough understanding of the educational system and higher education requirements in various nations helps a credential evaluator to navigate the nuances of these delicate situations.

Political changes present another challenge. Students often come from areas of political tension to seek education in the United States only to struggle with verifying their studies at home. Institutions which were accredited and regulated under the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia may now have different names and be accredited by different bodies. A student presenting a diploma from the University of Stalingrad may be worried about receiving credit from a university which no longer exists.

SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, a NACES-approved company with 30 years of experience and name recognition in the field of foreign credential evaluation, is able to help thousands of clients annually.  Credential evaluators at SpanTran have working knowledge of educational systems the world over. Moreover, SpanTran retains a comprehensive database which facilitates quick and accurate assessment of foreign credentials. For each country in SpanTran’s database, evaluators have access to detailed information about the education systems and grading scales both current and former. The database also contains information on schools’ former names and affiliations, as well as any education certificates or standardized tests offered by a given country. The knowledge and experience of SpanTran: The Evaluation Company helps to produce the most thorough foreign credential evaluations in this field.

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