Tag Archives: accreditation

The Importance of Institutional Accreditation

October 12th, 2017

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The first step in evaluating non-U.S. academic documents is to determine whether the institution where the studies were completed is recognized and approved by the education authorities in the country, which in most instances is the Ministry of Education.

In the U.S. there is no central government body that establishes, maintains and sets standards to oversee academic institutions. Instead, there are accrediting groups which themselves have met or exceed recognition standards in order to review and accredit academic institutions. Accreditation as defined by the United States Department of Education is “the process whereby an agency or association grants public recognition to a school, institute, college, university, or specialized program of study which meets certain established qualifications and educational standards, as determined through initial period evaluation. The essential purpose of the accreditation process is to provide a professional judgment as to the quality of the educational institution or programs (s) offered, and to encourage continual improvement thereof.”

There are some institutions that are “unaccredited” but have formal legal authorization to operate and enroll students or issue degrees. But being incorporated as a For-Profit entity or have a business license to operate does not mean that the institution is also accredited by the nationally recognized accreditation bodies. If you’re planning to study at a college or university in the United States, it is important that you first check on the “accreditation” status of the institution.

Why is institutional accreditation important?

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3 reasons why institutional accreditation is important:

  1. helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality
  2. helps students determine is an institutional is acceptable for enrollment
  3. assists institutions in determining acceptability of transfer credits.

A student who attends an accredited institution in the U.S. is able to move freely from one accredited institution to another and receive recognition of his/her studies. Before you enroll in a school, institute, college or universities, check on its accreditation status first. One thing you don’t want to happen is graduating from at an unaccredited institution in the U.S. that will not be recognized by employers, the government or other schools, colleges or universities.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation provides a list of recognized accreditation boards which is available on its website www.chea.org. You’ll be able to check on the accreditation status of a particular school, college or university or access a complete list of accredited institutions of postsecondary education in the United States.

For further information on the world education systems and credential evaluations, visit our website at www.acei-global.org or contact ACEI at acei@acei-global.org

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Community Colleges for International Development Conference strengthened International Partnerships

February 25th, 2017

ccid

ACEI attended the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) 41st Annual Conference last week in beautiful Houston. The conference theme, “Aligning the Stars” was the perfect theme to align the stars for international partnerships.

CCID recognized their board member organizations for their leaderships in internationalization ranging from Washington State, Australia, Denmark, Japan, Canada, Iowa, Honolulu and so many more U.S. cities and states. It truly was an international event!

The conference was kicked off with welcoming remarks from Lone Star College Chancellor, Dr. Steve Head, who said that he appreciates us – the hardworking faculty, staff, researchers, partners, and administrators for inspiring their students and alumni. He said our commitment and contributions to CCID are what moves us forward. And move forward we did! The conference atmosphere was very collegial and positive.  Many partnerships were formed with ACEI.

ACEI was very well received by many U.S. colleges and international organizations as we discussed the importance of the exchange of information and research.  In this positive light, we discussed how credential evaluation reports and research from ACEI can help strengthen the relationships between international organizations and the U.S.

Dr. Chris Whitaker, Chair of the CCID Board of Directors and President of Humber College in Canada, reinforced the continuing theme of partnering by saying, “I hope that each of you finds this conference to be a useful, dynamic opportunity to establish new partnerships and to strengthen connections already in place.” He also stressed we need to explore new initiatives and trends in our fields.

Mara Anderson, Executive Director of CCID, was absent due to the very recent birth of her child. She sent an upbeat message that she was thrilled to bring everyone together in CCID’s own backyard and that Houston is a wonderful home and resource to CCID, as one of the most diverse cities in the U.S.

The pre-conference workshops ranged from study abroad programs to intercultural awareness training. The sessions presented a wonderful assortment of topics including collaboration towards global understanding to how Community Colleges can stay engaged.

In this time of uncertainty of internationalism, the relationships formed with ACEI will be ever lasting. There was excellent exchange of ideas, tactics, and goals for international partnering. And our red cowboy hats were a complete hit!

Laura Sippel

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Laura Sippel
Marketing Consultant
Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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10 Takeaways from the 2015 NAFSA Region XII Conference in Honolulu, HI.

October 30th, 2015

Honolulu

The annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region XII Conference this year was held in Honolulu, HI and like years past, ACEI demonstrated its presence by having a booth at the Exhibit Hall and presented a conference session. Here are a few interesting facts about Oahu, NAFSA’s Region XII, the 2015 conference and our overall takeaway.

1. Oahu is an island in the mid-Pacific, part of the Hawaiian island chain and home to the state capital, Honolulu. Highlights of the city include historic Chinatown; the Punchbowl, a crater-turned-cemetery; and Waikiki, the iconic beach, dining and nightlife area. West of Honolulu is Pearl Harbor, site of the 1941 bombing attack and home to the USS Arizona Memorial

2. NAFSA is a professional association with a national and international membership for those working as international student advisors at U.S. public and private schools and institutions of higher education, as well as credential evaluation companies, international student recruiters, study abroad program providers, ESL schools, insurance companies, immigration lawyers and organizations offering services to international students.

3. Region XII of NAFSA convers the following States in the U.S.: California, Hawaii, and Nevada.

4. Over 500 members had registered and were in attendance at this year’s Region XII Conference. This is a healthy number, since a few years ago, barely 120 people had attended the conference held in San Diego.

5. Tuesday, October 27th, our Director of Communications, Yolinisse Moreno and I joined colleagues, Perry Akins Chairman of ITEP , Sharif Ossayran of President of Ascension Zepur Solakian of CGACC and Judy Judd Price, Deputy Executive Director of NAFSA, for dinner. Our conversation quickly veered into current events, politics, history and related books. We may not have solved world’s problems, but we each left with a list of must-read books!

6. My session “Diploma Mills & Fake Degrees: A Global Problem and Threat,” was scheduled on the program for Thursday, October 29th. I learned that a topic exactly like mine on Diploma Mills was being presented by another person a day earlier. Needless to say, having the same topic presented by two different presenters is something I’ve never experienced or witnessed before. Having served on NAFSA’s Southern District Region XII Committee and on its national conference planning team, I can say with confidence that programming two identical sessions was an absolute no-no. In fact, in such cases, conference programmers either choose between duplicate sessions on a first come, first served basis or invite both presenters to consider collaborating and presenting jointly.

7. Despite the duplicate programming issue, my presentation on Thursday was a success and those who attended, though not the large number that would have been expected had there not been a similar session presented the day before, found the talk highly informative and entertaining.

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Session on Diploma Mills & Fake Degrees presented by Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, President & CEO, ACEI

8. ACEI’s booth was also quite a hit with all of our fun island-themed swag intermingled with our serious literature on our evaluation, translation, and training services as well as our calendar of upcoming webinars. (To stay updated on our services and upcoming webinars, please click here.)

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Yolinisse Moreno, Director of Communications, ACEI

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View of the exhibit hall

9. Everyone’s favorite ACEI giveaway was our stress ball shaped like a pineapple. We had brought a couple hundred of them and they disappeared in less than 2 days!

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A parade of pineapples to relieve you of your stress!

10. Having Honolulu, HI as a conference destination was a great draw, though at times, dressed in our “casual” business attire, I felt like I was crashing someone’s family vacation! It was difficult to not stray from the conference hall. The warm breeze and our senses being bombarded by aromas of coconut infused sunscreens wafting by as we made our between hotel buildings to our meeting rooms were seductive temptations! However, despite the temptations of paradise, meetings and conference sessions were very well attended as was the exhibit hall where we reconnected with colleagues and regular clients of ACEI and made new connections. We look forward to next year’s Region XII conference in Palm Spring, CA.

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Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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5 Reasons Why International Credential Evaluation is Necessary

September 17th, 2015

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Whether you represent a school, college, university, professional licensing board, employer, or any other entity engaged in the recruitment, placement, certification or the hiring of internationally-trained candidates, you know that educational systems and academic documents vary greatly by country. No two academic systems are alike and nothing can be taken on face value, even if an academic document “appears” to mirror a US college transcript. Academic institutions and professional groups that don’t have the expertise or knowledge-base to conduct foreign credential evaluations must not avoid this crucial step, no matter how qualified or appealing an international candidate’s portfolio may appear.
Here are 5 reasons why a foreign credential evaluation prepared by an independent credential evaluation service that is approved and endorsed by the Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) will benefit you and your institution and the international candidate:

1. Authentication of Documents:


A credential evaluation will verify the authenticity of the academic documents with the issuing institution and compare it against archival documents. Such authentication will provide you with peace of mind that the academic documents are bona-fide and valid for processing.

2. Verification of English Translations:


Many times the academic documents are issued in a language other than English and are accompanied by English translations. A credential evaluation will verify the English translations to ensure for accuracy that dates, course titles, grades, names, and key words match those on the official academic document.

3. Biographical and Academic History Check:


The candidate’s academic history and biographical information will be compared with the academic documents presented. In addition to the applicant’s name, other biographical information like age will be checked to ensure that it corresponds reasonably to the education represented in the documents.

4. Foreign Academic Institution Status:


The credential evaluation determines the official status of the institution where the studies were completed by identifying how the institution is accredited and who recognizes its accreditation. If an institution is determined to not have the appropriate accreditation, the studies will not be evaluated in terms of those completed at regionally accredited U.S. institutions. If the institution is determined to be a Diploma Mill, then this information will be conveyed to the U.S. institutions for which the evaluation is intended.

5. Program Description:


a) Entrance Criteria – The credential evaluation determines the level of the academic or professional program represented by the documents submitted as either lower secondary, senior high school, post-secondary undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate. It will establish the minimum academic criteria for admission to the institution where the studies were completed before the U.S. educational equivalence is recommended. This is an important step in the evaluation process which will assist the U.S. institutions in their decision-making. For example, if it is determined that the international candidate’s academic achievements are comparable to US senior high school graduation, yet he/she has submitted an application for graduate (master’s degree) studies at the U.S. university, the admissions department will be able to properly advise the candidate of his/her eligibility for admission to another degree program at the undergraduate level instead.

b) Length of Study & Conversion of Instruction Hours to Credits – The credential evaluation will determine the required length of full-time study for the academic program evaluated in order to calculate the U.S. semester or quarter credits for post-secondary studies completed and if necessary, determine the level of post-secondary courses in terms of lower, upper division and graduate division.

c) Conversion of Grades into U.S. equivalent Grade – A document evaluation will calculate the grades or final examination results/marks reported on the academic documents into U.S. equivalent grades, and calculate the overall grade point average.

Due diligence in international admissions, professional certification, hiring and job placement of individuals educated and trained outside the U.S. is essential. Understanding international candidates’ capability and qualifications allows you to properly assess and integrate them into your scholastic, professional and work environment. By obtaining the expert assistance of an independent credential evaluation agency, U.S. academic institutions, professional licensing boards and public or private companies can protect themselves against fraud and misrepresentation in the international education arena.

(Note: Please refer to our previous blog “5 Things International Students Should Know About Credentials Evaluation”.)

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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9 Recent Episodes of Cheating, Fraud, and Scams in Education from Around the Globe

June 25th, 2015

cheating

We probably all share a common misconception that except for a few bad apples in school who are caught cheating on a test, the education system is functioning and has safeguards in place against mass cheating, credential fraud and financial scams. Alas, our schools and universities–the bastions of higher education and research-are not the safe havens we think but the learning grounds for cheaters and scam artists. We can place the blame solely on the students, especially, where cheating has become part of the norm. As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango, and in education, whether at the secondary or tertiary level, those responsible for setting the curriculum and benchmarks for progress and access to higher tiers in the education system must also take responsibility.

Following the thread from last week’s blog post on detecting fraudulent credentials, we’d like to share a few recent examples of blatant acts of fraud and cheating that share a common theme on a global scale. In countries with few seats available at their institutions of higher education and where admission to a university is solely based on performance on a final exit examination, we can see the extreme measures students and sometimes students aided and abetted by their families are taking in order to pass. We see this happening in countries like China, India, and Egypt, for example. Then there are those countries that embrace an open market economy with little regulation on the emergence of private, for-profit institutions that mislead their recruited students by admitting them into programs with little hope of completion or future employment opportunities while saddling them with huge student loan debts. We see this happening here in the U.S. and in Russia where after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was a rapid rise of private universities offering degrees with dubious curriculum and instruction.

Let’s look at the latest news on the cheating that is now rampant in three countries that captured the headlines in international education news media. This is cheating on a large scale, not isolated to one school, or town, or a group of rebel students, but has become a part of the cultural mindset.

1. China: Using Drones to Catch Cheaters on Exams

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Yes, you read this correctly. China is now using drones to hover over test takers to catch anyone in the act of cheating on the National College Entrance Exams. Where you have exams that determine a person’s future, from access to higher education or not, and if accepted, to the long-term impact on their future job, one can understand the serious pressure placed on the young people and their families which may push them to resort to unethical tactics such as cheating and fraud. Those caught by the drones cheating have been arrested. http://time.com/3914087/china-drones-cheating-exams/

2. Egypt: Students cheating on Final Exams

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Image: How to prevent cheating on exams?

Students in Egypt are so brazen in their cheating that they have no qualms in beating the proctors and using social media for answers to the questions. The Ministry of Education has taken great measures to secure the annual exams but so far it appears the students are winning. Maybe Egypt needs to take cues from China and get a few drones?
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/06/19/helicopters-scanners-no-match-for-egypts-exam-cheats?src=usn_Fb

3. India: Mass Cheating on Exams

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Image of families scaling walls of exam center in Bihar, India.

India has been in the news recently with mass cheating that took place in Bihar where thousands of family members scaled the walls of an examination hall to help the students cheat on their finals. This resulted in the expulsion of 500 students and arrest of 300 people which included parents and even policemen who were complicit in the cheating extravaganza.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150326203322304

4. Morocco: Jail Sentences for Students Caught Cheating

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Photo Credit: Morocco World News

Morocco is made it a law that any student caught cheating will receive a two-year prison sentence.
The Ministry of National Education is taking these tougher measures to fight cheating at the national baccalaureate examination (taken at the end of high school and required for admission to universities). Law enforcement specialized in detecting cheaters will be patrolling examination centers http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2015/06/160558/morocco-students-who-cheat-in-exams-will-face-up-to-2-years-in-prison/

5. USA: Cheating in Atlanta Schools

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Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter presides over the sentencing of former
Atlanta public school educators convicted of inflating students’ scores on state tests. (Pool/Reuters)

In April 2015, a judge in Atlanta, GA, found 10 public school teachers, principals and administrators guilty of conspiring to inflate student’s final exam grades. For more on this story, click on these three links:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/eight-atlanta-educators-in-test-cheating-case-sentenced-to-prison/2015/04/14/08a9d26e-e2bc-11e4-b510-962fcfabc310_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/eight-atlanta-educators-in-test-cheating-case-sentenced-to-prison/2015/04/14/08a9d26e-e2bc-11e4-b510-962fcfabc310_story.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/14/us/georgia-atlanta-public-schools-cheating-scandal-verdicts/

Now, let’s take a look at other varieties of cheating that are not directly related to exams but to misrepresentation and committing fraud at various levels of academia.

6. Nigeria: Skewed Understanding of Plagiarism

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Though plagiarism is not exactly similar to cheating on exams, using another’s published work and claiming it one’s own without crediting the original source is an ethical concern. The result of a doctoral research study on this topic concludes that plagiarism exists at Nigerian institutions of higher education and that those engaged in the act did not fully comprehend what plagiarism is. The same was true of the lecturers at the universities who too like their students weren’t completely unclear on what plagiarism is and were not aware of the serious ethical implications.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150609151735677

7. India: Distance Learning Programs Scrutinized

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There is also the case of open and distance learning programs offered by institutions of higher education deemed universities which have been found by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to be in serious violation of existing rules and regulations. The UGC is warning students and parents to be cautious when selecting such programs as several of these universities had not been granted recognition to offer “online” programs and have been doing so without the approval of the UGC.
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/tp-others/distance-learning-keep-your-eyes-open/article7340864.ece

8. Russia: University Closures

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Image: Red Square, Moscow, Russia

In a move to regain control of higher education institutions, especially newly established private universities, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia will cut the number of universities by 40% and university branches by 80% by the end of 2016. This is in accordance with a federal plan that is designed to improve and develop education during 2015 to 2010. There are currently about 593 state and 486 private universities which have 1,376 and 682 branches respectively. The Ministry sees this rapid rise in number of institutions, especially private universities, as one that is out of control and a close review has shown that the quality of education by some is subpar and unsatisfactory with some rubber stamping diplomas without requiring much instruction and classroom attendance.
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150417043945585

9. U.S.A.: Corinthian Colleges

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The story of Corinthian Colleges is that of the quintessential private for-profits that through unethical practices secured financial aid and defrauded the federal government from millions of dollars in student loans for students who never completed their education but are saddled with debt. Corinthian Colleges has since filed for bankruptcy and is under investigation. You can read more here:

http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-fines-corinthian-colleges-30-million-misrepresentation

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/10/education/questions-of-cost-in-plan-to-aid-defrauded-corinthian-colleges-students.html?ref=topics&_r=0

The problems cited are not unique to one or two countries. We are facing an epidemic on a global scale and if we don’t take action and seriously evaluate our systems, we’re going to be trapped in the vicious cycle of more mass cheatings by tech and social media savvy students and continuous fraud in falsifying documents (let’s not forget the ever present booming industry of Diploma Mills) and misappropriating funds by private for-profit institutions lacking stricter oversight and regulation. As for the for-profit institutions, many may be closing shop here in the U.S., but they are turning their gaze overseas, a market ripe for the kind of wares they are selling, promising a U.S. degree at a high cost with little or no guarantees for future employment or access to other institutions of higher education.

jasmin_2015

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Detecting Fraudulent Academic Credentials

June 18th, 2015

fraud

Ensuring the authenticity of educational credentials is by far the single most important step in credential evaluation and international student admissions. Without due diligence in fraud detection, we may run the risk of evaluating documents that may have been falsified, or fraudulently procured and admitting the students into our institutions based on unauthentic credentials. As professionals involved in international credential evaluation and admissions, we must remain vigilant and adopt best practices that protect us and the community from fraud.

In this blog post, we offer some tips to consider when evaluating international academic credentials.

What is an authentic academic credential?
The definition adopted by the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is as follows:

An official transcript is one that has been received directly from the issuing institution. It must bear the college seal, date, and an appropriate signature. Transcripts received that do not meet these requirements should not be considered official and should be routinely verified for validity and accuracy before proceeding with the evaluation and admissions consideration.

The 5 Most Common Types of Non-Official and Illegitimate Documents

1. Forged or altered documents – Official, legitimate document that have been altered in some way (usually by omissions, addition, or changes)

2. Inside jobs – these are special cases because the documents are actually produced by institutional employees, usually for a fee; inside jobs are virtually impossible to detect upon initial review.

3. Fabricated (counterfeit) documents – documents fabricated to represent official documents from real or non-existent institutions (including use of letterheads)

4. Degree or Diploma Mill Products – The products of degree/diploma mills are not in themselves fabrications but the academic study they purport to represent certainly is.

5. Creative translations – “Translations” of foreign-language documents that are not just inaccurate but systematically misleading, tantamount to fabrication.

Watch for the Red Flags!

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Checklist of Clues:

• The application is unusually late, assuming that it would impede verification, or is accompanied by a long letter from an impressive office – usually located in the U.S. – which may be attempting to lend an aura of officialdom to otherwise unacceptable documents. Do not be pressured or rushed into completing the evaluation or reaching an admissions

• Discrepancies/inconsistencies noted in the application for evaluation;

• Evidence of corrected personal data (birth date, gender);

• Document is tampered and has evidence of white-out, burn-marks, erasures, corrections;

• Credentials do not display misspelling, wrong course titles for the time period, smudges, white-outs, or erasures;

• Fonts, text layout, and symmetry of documents are correct for that institution’s credentials.

• Interrupted/obliterated lines where information is generally typed or printed;

• Missing pictures on diplomas or professional identification cards;
• Partial seals on the surface of superimposed pictures not on the document surface;

• Institutional logos are clean and correct for the time period.

• Signatures of institutional authorities do not look forced, unsteadied, nor copied and pasted.

• The type is inconsistent throughout the document because subjects have been added or grades changed. In some cases, crude alterations have been made in longhand, or lines may have been typed in at a slight angle to the computer generated originals;

• Irregular spacing between words or letters, or insufficient space for the text;

• Questionable paper quality, texture, size (regular or legal), weight coloration;

• Ink color and quality;

• Inappropriate or outdated signatures;

• Incorrect seals/emblems, colors, shapes;

• Excessive seals and stamps attempting to help the document appear official;

• Does the document security features, such a embossed seals, foil printing, raised text, or holograms that should be the official document of that country?

• Does the document include a stamp “not to be released to student’ or “confidential,” yet it is provided by the student?

• Applicant claims to have lost the original documents;

• Applicant claims to have graduated from an institution but can provide only a letter indicating completion of program;

• Although the applicant had taken external examinations, the certificates have been lost and all he/she has left is a statement of attendance or graduation from the school;

• You know the education system to be different from US system, yet the transcript appears to be very American, giving, subjects, grades and credit hours in US terms;

• Grade certificates prepared in a language other than the official language of the country where the document originated. Many countries are currently using official transcripts in English: Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Canada (except Quebec), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and India.

• Names may have been substituted. Typically, a person will type his/her name on a sheet of paper, cut it out and paste it across a copy of an original, which he/she then photocopies; the substitution of names will rarely appear on an original;

• Grades listed may be absurdly high, or the number of course hours claimed to have been carried per semester an improbably load;

• Numerical aberrations: credits do not add up and the overall grade point averages are a mathematical impossibility;

• Is the educational terminology correct for the country concerned?

• Use of unprofessional language on academic documents, poor grammar, misspellings;

• Are there any dates or signatures on the documents?

Our advancement in technology is both a blessing and a curse. With sophisticated computers and printers at their disposal, counterfeiters today produce flawlessly perfect documents that for the uninitiated make it difficult to detect fraud. We hope that the tips shared in this blog and your institution’s enforcement to have in place strict standards for the submission and receipt of academic documents help thwart it not eliminate fraud.

Who ever said international credential evaluation is dull doesn’t know and appreciate what we do. Stay vigilant and happy sleuthing!

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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13 Facts about the Bologna Process

May 14th, 2015

bologna
The 2015 Ministerial Conference and Fourth Bologna Policy Forum recently took place in Yerevan, Armenia, on May 14 and 15, 2015. Here are some facts about the Bologna Process that highlight the progress it has made to date and problems and challenges to overcome.

Bologna Process Defined

1. The Bologna Process is named after the Bologna Declaration, which was signed in Bologna, Italy on June 19, 1999 by ministers in charge of higher education from 29 European cities.

2. The Bologna Process is a European reform process aiming at establishing a European Higher Education Area by 2010

3. Today, the Bologna Process unites 47 countries which are all part to the European Cultural Convention.

4. The Bologna Process also involved European Commission, Council of Europe and UNESCO-CEPES, as well as representatives of higher education institutions, staff, students, and employers and several organizations involved in quality assurance. For a list of countries and organizations participating in the Bologna Process, please click on this link: http://bit.ly/1IDtH0q

5. The main mission of the Bologna process is to facilitate student mobility and academic exchange amongst participating countries by offering comparable degrees organized in the bachelor, master and doctorate model of higher education.

6. The European credit transfer and accumulation system, known as ECTS, is part of the Bologna process of the three-cycle degree structure in its effort to make mobility and recognition of studies easier.

Challenges and Problems

7. Disparities exist both within and between countries and regions that have adopted the Bologna Process. Not all countries are moving in the same direction at the same pace.

8. The three degree model is not always used in a coherent way, especially in fields such as medicine, teacher training or law.

9. There is a lack of consistency in how ECTS credits are used especially in master’s degree programs where designating credits for student-centered learning remains unclear.

10. Students continue to face problems of having their degrees recognized by other countries that have adopted the Bologna process. According to Tibor Navaracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, “…by 2020, 20% of students will be mobile during their studies. Problems of recognition of foreign degrees persist: students (almost one in 10, according to one Bologna report) find they cannot continue their studies from bachelor degree in one country to masters in another, despite the – on paper, at least – comparable degree structure throughout the European Higher Education Area.”

11. The degrees appear to not be providing graduates the skills needed to prepare them for future careers.

12. Higher education in some of the countries is still not easily accessible for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

13. Not all countries have embraced digital technologies and their potential in transforming learning and teaching techniques.

Given the significant progress made and the problems observed, it would be interesting to see how the recent Ministerial Conference in Yerevan plans to resolve these challenges. What goals and reforms will be decided on to help give the Bologna Process the boost it needs to move forward and remedy the shortcomings witnessed in the past 20 years?

Helpful Links:

http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/about/
http://www.coe.int/T/DG4/HigherEducation/EHEA2010/BolognaPedestrians_en.asp
http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150506110025327

jasmin_2015

Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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