Pursuing further education, immigrating to or getting a job in the United States of America requires evaluation of your foreign credentials by a reputed credential evaluation agency. These agencies are independent private entities that typically access your foreign education in terms of a US associate, bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree.
As there are various reasons for evaluating foreign credentials, the reports prepared vary. Students from a foreign land applying for admission to universities or colleges in the United States need their transcripts evaluated. Whereas people looking at immigrating just need a document evaluation or an education and work experience evaluation report.
Having Your Transcripts Evaluated
International students seeking admission to colleges or universities are advised to opt for course by course evaluation reports. These reports are detailed to an extent one can imagine. In addition to the US equivalence, a course-by-course evaluation report lists subjects, US credit hours as well as US grades. A Grade point average is calculated based on the above listed particulars.
Why would one need one of these course by course evaluation reports?
Well, detailed comparison between the education systems of two countries help colleges and universities determine the eligibility of a student for admission to one of the various degree programs they offer. On the other hand, it helps in granting transfer credits for courses already completed by the student. This definitely helps students not repeat courses unnecessarily.
Now, when we talk about setting down in the United States, the rules differ. Immigrating would need a visa issued by the United States Citizenship Services (USCIS). All visa applicants compulsorily need a reliable evaluation report. These reports are not as detailed as a transcript evaluation; however they have just the right amount of data and comparison required. There are two reports that can be used to serve this purpose. (1) Document Evaluation Report (2) Education and Work Experience Report.
Document Evaluation Reports
All one needs here is a simple but detailed document stating the US equivalence of one's diploma or degree, useful and true information of the degree granting institution including its accreditation status and the duration of studies. For employment and immigration a document evaluation should be sufficient as the USCIS is not concerned with one's grade point average or hours completed.
Education and Work Experience Evaluation Reports
As the title suggests, this report primarily combines education and work experience of an individual. There are quite a few points to cover here. Equating experience to education has various norms. The first and foremost rule is experience needs to be in the relevant field of education. A Computer Science degree followed by work in an Insurance company can not be equated. Whereas a Bachelor's in Computer Science followed by five years of work experience in the same field could equate to a Master's in Computer Science. If we talk about equating experience at an undergrad level, three years of work experience is equal to one year of post secondary education. However these points need to be covered by a reliable evaluation agency. Reports by them could only explain the equivalence of your education as compared to the US standards.