Welcome to our final blog in the "Behind the Desk series" where we've looked at how an educational credential flows through the offices of ECE® to become a comprehensive report. Here we're discussing the final (and to some, perhaps the most visible) position in the process: The Evaluator.
As an evaluator, one of the most important skills we possess is flexibility. (No, I’m not talking about the ability to do the best Downward-Facing Dog or Pigeon pose, though some of us may be able to do that, too). We have to be flexible because each day in this position can be very different from the next – we never know what kind of credentials we will be evaluating, which countries will be represented in our daily work, or what other special projects and research we may be asked to undertake.
A day in the life of an Evaluator
There is no “typical” day for an ECE evaluator, though most of our work revolves around reviewing and evaluating educational credentials and responding to customer requests for additional information. Each morning, we review our individual queues of active cases and determine which ones are ready for evaluation, and which may need additional documents. Currently, our average overall turnaround time is just five business days from when we have received all required documentation, including the time it takes to type, finalize, and mail the completed report, so it is crucial for evaluators to be efficient and quick-thinking.
After undergoing a rigorous 9+ month training process, ECE evaluators are invited to select which countries and/or regions they would like to specialize in evaluating. Many times, these decisions are based on language skills or previous travel experiences, though not always. Given my background in both French and Italian, it made sense that I would evaluate credentials from France, Italy, and other Francophone countries. However, I had no previous experience with the Arabic language, but I am now working on becoming an expert! I was interested in the educational system of the Middle East and North Africa, which is how I came to evaluate credentials from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, and Kuwait. I even took an introductory Arabic class at a local university to learn how to identify and understand Arabic script.
As you read in the first part of this series, ECE® has a dedicated team of Research Evaluators who are responsible for in-depth research and special projects, as well as documenting their findings internally on our Country Wiki and externally on the Connection and Connection Advantage. Thanks to our fabulous RE’s, we often find solutions right at our fingertips, though our regular evaluators are certainly not exempt from doing their own research on a daily basis. It is hard to over-emphasize the elation we feel when we discover a long-lost curriculum or hard-to-find verification contact information!
Additional tasks and projects
In addition to our daily evaluation and assessment work, ECE evaluators are heavily involved in various professional development activities, including presenting at regional, national, and international conferences and webinars; providing training to external customers; serving on numerous committees; and contributing to professional publications. One of the best (pre-pandemic) perks of this position is the opportunity to share knowledge with other professionals in the field while at a conference!
My favorite part of being an evaluator is hearing the stories of how our evaluation and assessment reports have impacted an individual. When we learn that someone has been accepted into a higher degree program or hired in a position that allows them to support their family, we are reminded of the importance of our work and the power of education in our global society.
- ECE® Behind the Desk: Research Evaluator
- ECE® Behind the Desk: Document Specialist
- ECE® Behind the Desk: Evaluator Associate Specialist
Thanks for joining us on this journey around the office. We hope you've enjoyed learning about the life of an educational credential evaluation and the hard work that goes into producing a report!
|Amy Kawa has been an Evaluator at ECE since 2016. While she works with educational systems from all around the world, she specializes primarily in Francophone and Middle Eastern credentials.|