IEM Spotlight - November 2017

 

IEM SPOTLIGHT NEWSLETTER, VOL. 14, Fall ISSUE - November 2017

Admissions and recruitment professionals in international education are often called upon to determine whether a certain secondary qualification will provide students with advanced standing toward their bachelor degrees. What makes this discussion and policy determination particularly challenging is the frequent historic shifts in the educational systems of the different countries’ educational qualifications that would qualify for such advanced standing. For example, Anglophone African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana chose to discontinue their local A Level examinations in the 1990s, moving to a 12-year educational system. Hong Kong discontinued its A Levels in the late 2000s and moved in a similar direction, extending its three-year bachelor degree to four years, just as the Anglophone West African countries had done in previous decades. A credential evaluator must have knowledge of these changes to ensure that they make the right determination as far as transfer credits are concerned.

Gone are the days when the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Levels from the United Kingdom were the only pre-university qualifications that passed our desks. Students can now take the international version of the A Level examinations, offered through examination bodies in the United Kingdom, from anywhere in the world. The International Baccalaureate was founded in 1968 but has grown exponentially in recent years, providing another avenue for students to complete secondary qualifications that can potentially earn them advanced standing for their undergraduate studies. Admissions personnel also have to contend with international students from countries like Malaysia, for example, who graduate from high schools in their home country with Australian high school diplomas, simultaneously pursuing international A Level or advanced placement (AP) coursework. The ever-changing circumstances for such pre-university qualifications makes evaluating these academic qualifications especially difficult.

LesLee Clauson Eicher and Ann Koenig, both from AACRAO International, explore some of the new challenges credential evaluators face in a landscape where we are seeing tremendous growth in international secondary/pre-university educational tracks at secondary schools that are not a part of the educational system of the country in which the schools are located. The article that follows, from Marsha Oshima at the Collège du Léman International School in Switzerland, serves as a natural progression from the insights that Eicher and Koenig share. Oshima describes the multiple track secondary diploma programs that are offered at Collège du Léman and how they are delivered simultaneously.

We also hear from Marie Vivas and Rachelle Bernadel, both from International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), who discuss the International Baccalaureate as an academic qualification. Paul Steer, who is with OCR Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations, provides an overview of the reforms to the GCSEs and A Levels that were recently introduced in England. Our final piece for this theme is from Kent State University’s Salma Benhaida, who demystifies Cameroon’s unique educational system with its parallel Anglophone and Francophone tracks.

Of course, you will find our regular feature where we share pre-university qualifications and discuss whether or not various credential evaluation agencies and U.S. institutions would grant advanced standing. We are also pleased to profile two of our colleagues in international enrollment management, Kristi Marchesani, associate director of international recruitment and admission at University of Northern Iowa, and Kristoffer Toribio, assistant director of international admissions and recruitment at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California. Both Marchesani and Toribio share their respective international education journeys, while also offering their take on issues such as international recruitment for community colleges, recommending transfer credits for pre-university qualifications, and more. Our IEM Professional profile highlights Miloni Gandhi, director of international market development and student experience at Foothill-De Anza Community College District in Northern California. And last but certainly not the least, we would like to introduce Krishna Prasanth Dhandapani, a senior adviser for EducationUSA in India. Please consider adding these individuals to your professional networks.

This issue will be our last for 2017. As we wrap up for the year, we hope you enjoy International Education Week celebrations. We are excited to start finalizing topics and countries to highlight for our 2018 IEM Spotlight issues, so all feedback and suggestions are welcome!


THIS PUBLICATION HAS BEEN DEVELOPED BY NAFSA MEMBERS FOR USE BY THEIR COLLEAGUES. NO PART OF THIS NEWSLETTER MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM NAFSA: ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORS. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN IEM SPOTLIGHT SOLELY REFLECT THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF NAFSA: ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORS. IEM SPOTLIGHT AND NAFSA NEITHER ENDORSE NOR ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACCURACY OF CONTENT AND/OR OPINIONS EXPRESSED.