What do you do with the international education credentials you have evaluated? Keep them as a resource? Throw them out?
Have new data security and privacy requirements changed the way you think about documents?
Is it important to have an archive of international education documents?
In the last two decades, the profession of international credential evaluation, like the rest of the world, has experienced a revolution in how documents are recorded and stored. We have transitioned from a paper-based environment to a digital world in less than a generation. Not long ago, many of us consulted paper versions of documents and compared them with descriptive information given in physical publications. Now we review scanned and digital documents and the new mantras are “google it” or “check online.”
The repositories of sample international educational documents are being digitally captured and saved in data bases, such as IERF’s Vault, Sample Documents on ECE® Connection and NUFFIC’s Foreign Education Systems. That is good, but is it enough?
Those of us with rich documentation libraries wonder if we are saving the right documents? Who else is capturing historical document samples? Does anyone care if archives include a vocational certificate in floral arrangement from the UK from the 1980s or a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Addis Ababa from 1963? Do we need such documents for posterity, or can we shred copies of them without looking back? Would the profession benefit from having a comprehensive repository or some other way to preserve knowledge about educational credentials? Is digital storage sufficient, or do we need to go the way of political elections and ensure we have paper backup? Who would use such an archive? For what purpose?
With these larger philosophical, professional, and technical questions in mind, a small group of TAICEP members met informally at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to examine this issue. Our goal is to come up with a plan to preserve international educational documents that aligns with the needs of our profession, serves as a resource to researchers, and serves the people who earned those credentials and their former and new communities.
We invite TAICEP members and other international credential evaluation and assessment professionals from around the world to participate in a dialog and activities that will help design a plan that will support the preservation and professional use of international educational credentials. How can we best preserve knowledge about the credentials? What the best way to do this?
If you are interested in this topic, please take this on-line survey to have your opinions counted: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T3WWDVN
Join us at the TAICEP Annual Meeting in Vancouver this October where we will continue this discussion in an open conference session and informally throughout the meeting: https://taicep2019.dryfta.com/en/
Margit Schatzman is President of Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. (ECE), and Past-President of The Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals (TAICEP)