Conference Schedule and Sessions

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TAICEP 2017 Annual Conference Schedule


Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

8:00am-9:00am – Breakfast On Your Own

8:00am-6:30pmConference Registration, Location (TBA)

9:00am-12:00pm – Pre-Conference Workshop # 1

Beyond the Basics: Confronting Issues and Challenges in Evaluating of Foreign Credentials

As a credential evaluator, you have probably been confronted more than once with cases that are out of the ordinary and that require additional time and effort to complete.  We have many tools at our disposal to help us evaluate foreign credentials, but many cases require creative solutions in order to come up with an evaluation in line with the methodology that we use.  In this pre-conference workshop, we will take a closer look at some of the issues and challenges that credential evaluators have to deal with, such as doubtful accreditation/recognition, transnational education, lack of reliable information, uncommon documentation, fraudulent documents.  During the workshop, we will work with documents that provide concrete examples of these issues. Most of the workshop will be spent discussing and comparing how credential evaluators in various countries and working in various environments (ENIC/NARIC offices, higher education institutions, evaluation agencies, licensing authorities) evaluate these qualifications.  We invite all participants to bring their own challenging examples to the workshop to share with their colleagues.  At the end of the workshop, we hope to come up with recommendations and guidelines that can be useful when confronted with similar cases in the future.

Presenters Sarah Ledwidge, ICAS, Canada, Jessica Stannard, Nuffic, the Netherlands

Room:  TBA

12:00pm-1:00pm – Lunch On Your Own

1:00pm-5:00pm – Pre-Conference Workshop # 2

Evaluating Refugee Qualifications

As wars and conflicts around the globe continue apace, this international workshop will provide an overview of the types of documentation challenges typically faced by refugees and those in refugee-like settings, and provide in-depth examples of the policies and practices undertaken in Europe and North America. It will build on the 2016 TAICEP pre-conference workshop on the same topic by highlighting key developments that have taken place over the past year. Norway’s NOKUT will discuss two key European initiatives: the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees and the Toolkit for Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications. World Education Services will share WES’s methods of evaluating academic credentials of refugees and report on the findings from their pilot project – assessing the qualifications of 200 Syrian refugees to Canada without access to standard documentation. Italy’s CIMEA will present on the work it has undertaken to test new tools and new forms for cooperation with higher education institutions. All of the presentations and discussion will focus on lessons learned, pitfalls, and key considerations in developing your organization’s approach to fairly assessing the academic qualifications of those refugees and others in refugee-like situations who — for reasons beyond their control — can’t meet standard documentation requirements.

Presenters Rolf Lofstad, NOKUT, Norway, Luca Lantero, CIMEA, Italy, Beka Tavartkiladze, World Education Services

Room:  TBA

6:30pm-8:15pm – 2017 TAICEP Annual Conference Opening Reception, Location (TBA)


Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

8:00am-9:00am – Breakfast On Your Own

8:00am-5:30pmConference Registration, Location (TBA)

9:00am-9:15am – Conference Welcome, Room (TBA)

9:15am-10:00am – Plenary, Room (TBA)

Making Recognition Relevant for the Next Decade

Plenary speaker:  Stig Arne Skjerven, Director of the Foreign Education in NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education)

10:00am-10:15am – Refreshment Break, Location (TBA)

10:30am-11:15am – Sessions

Thriving in Chaos: Operating Effectively in a Decentralized International Admissions Office

Operating in a decentralized international admissions office provides both benefits and challenges. In this session, you will hear a variety of methods used to effectively operate and communicate in an office that is responsible for the oversight of all international graduate admissions. Learn best practice methods for effective communication, “humanizing” the admissions process, and educating campus partners.

Presenters Rachel Salinas, Indiana University Bloomington, Chris Adams, Indiana University Bloomington

Room:  TBA

Post-Secondary VET: An Introduction to the Swedish Methodology

The interest in evaluation of post-secondary vocational education and training (VET) increases every year in Sweden, with evaluation statements made exclusively for the labor market. The evaluators at ENIC-NARIC Sweden constantly need to develop methodology for their evaluation of VET. This small unit with a young method possesses a large toolbox for evaluation!

Presenters Elisabeth Lagernäs, Swedish Council for Higher Education, Heni Hatamzadeh, Swedish Council for Higher Education, Hanna Sannéus, Swedish Council for Higher Education

Room:  TBA

Introduction to the Educational Systems of Colombia and Venezuela

This session will introduce participants to the educational systems of Colombia and Venezuela, including secondary, higher, and vocational education, recent changes, sample documents, and determining authenticity. The session is designed for those who may be new to the field and/or those who aren’t very familiar with credential evaluation from these countries.

Presenter Kurt Baumbach, Academic Evaluation Services

Room:  TBA

Getting to Know You (Icebreaker)

Do you want an opportunity to meet your fellow attendees? Here’s your chance! Meet and mingle with your colleagues in a structured environment. Jeanie Bell will guide you through a fun and functional session in which you will find out about common interests and topics that are pertinent to your institution or organization. You will have an opportunity to share business cards and solutions.

Presenter Jeanie Bell, University of Colorado Boulder

Room:  TBA

11:15am-11:30am – Break

11:30am-1:00pm – Sessions

1st Ever TAICEP Credential Evaluation Trivia

The credential evaluator brain is a wealth of incredibly specialized knowledge, essential to the academic mobility of students around the world. Sadly, it is a job with a conspicuous lack of bragging rights. If you think your arcane knowledge of international education is better than the rest (and you aren’t yet sick of winning), prove it to your colleagues at the 1st Annual TAICEP Trivia Contest. It’s gonna be yuge!

Trivia Rules: No alternative facts. Both individuals and teams are welcome (except the Brits, who must participate individually). All European participants must answer the same number of questions in three rounds of trivia as North American participants do in four. However, the first two rounds of all US participants are remedial and will not be counted towards their final score. West African participants should provide a scratch card with their answer sheet. Chinese participants should submit their answers through CHESSIC (or CDGDC if the answer sheet is incomplete). All participants will NOT get a trophy, only the winners.

Presenter Timothy Kell, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)

Room:  TBA

Evaluating Credentials with a Global Mindset: Exploring Our Differences and Similarities

This session is your chance to learn directly from your professional counterparts how credential evaluation is done in other parts of the world. The sessions from the last two years have allowed us to take sneak peeks at what others do. This one will pull back the curtain further. Certain credentials will be explored, as well as how evaluators in different countries might view them. Through collegial, group-styled speech and debate, audience members will be given ample opportunity to represent their own regions as well!

Presenters:  Emily Tse, International Education Research Foundation (IERF), Leah Farrow, International Credential Evaluation Service, Jessica Stannard, EP-NUFFIC, Kate Freeman, SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, Rolf Lofstad, Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), Tracey Torrance, International Credential Evaluation Service

Room TBA

2 HE Systems in 1 City: the Italian and Holy See Higher Education Systems

Learn more about the Italian system of higher education, including both current qualifications and the “old” ones awarded before the Bologna reform took place. We will explore the higher education system of the Holy See, the only “real” global higher education system- one small state located in Rome awarding official qualifications in almost all nations worldwide.

Presenters:  Luca Lantero, CIMEA – NARIC Italia, Chiara Finocchietti, CIMEA – NARIC Italia

Room:  TBA

Issues in Ukrainian Credential Evaluation: Overview, Recognition, and Fraud

Even if your resources on Ukraine are only a few years old, they may be out of date. The current political and economic situation in Ukraine has incited many changes that affect the educational system. The climate of upheaval has spurred the mass exodus of the Ukrainian population to many countries of the world. Many European and U.S. educational institutions are experiencing an increase in Ukrainian prospective students. In the context of educational updates we will analyze the most recent overhaul in the system of higher education of Ukraine based on the Law on Higher Education (2014) and the educational legislation adopted afterwards. This session will be a great update for evaluators with experience in Ukrainian credentials.

Presenters:  Tatiana McKenna, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Karen Krug, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)

Room:  TBA

1:00pm-2:00pm – Lunch, Location (TBA)

2:00pm-2:15pm – Break

2:15pm-3:15pm – Sessions

Issues and Challenges Concerning the Recognition of Double, Multiple and Joint Degrees

Multiple institutions logos… Unclear final official qualifications… Contrasting higher education systems… Joint degrees have become an integral part of higher education, but sometimes their recognition is still a challenge. This session will provide practical tips in order to understand what is behind a double / multiple / joint degree.

Presenters:  Luca Lantero, CIMEA – NARIC Italia, Vera Lucke, CIMEA – NARIC Italia

Room:  TBA

Understanding Differing Evaluation Perspectives

Presenters will discuss credential evaluation from different perspectives. In other words, what do higher education institutions do vs. what credential agencies do? While some of the basics are the same, the needed outcomes can be different. Institutions and agencies have different missions, ranging from determining eligibility to successfully complete a higher degree to eligibility to practice a profession. Various regulations surrounding each type of organization will be included in the presentation.

Presenters:  Jeanie Bell, University of Colorado Boulder, Monica Hatle-Larssen, Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), Margaret Wenger, Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

Room:  TBA

Health Professionals Education and Licensure in the USA

This session will introduce the various educational pathways and licensure process of health professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, etc.) in the US. In addition, this session will give an overview of how health professionals educated outside the US are licensed to practice.

Presenters Kate Freeman, SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, Ildiko Bors, SpanTran:  The Evaluation Company

Room:  TBA

Untangling Transnational Education in China

Transnational education is an ever-broadening field, and China is no exception. As the options multiply, it becomes more complicated to determine things like recognition status and sources responsible for issuing official credentials. This session will examine various types of transnational education in China, the types of documentation to look for, and how to identify an international program from the documentation. We will look at secondary schools offering international programs (such as IB and A Levels), joint degree partnership programs with overseas institutions, summer programs, and more, with tips and tools for determining recognition of different types of programs.

Presenters:  Karen Krug, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Jade Jiang Rieger, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Patrick Leahy, Michigan State University

Room:  TBA

3:15pm-3:30pm – Refreshment Break, Location (TBA)

3:30pm-4:00pm – TAICEP Business Meeting, Location (TBA)

4:00pm-4:15pm – Break

4:15pm-5:00/5:15/5:30pm – Sessions

Academic Research and International Credential Evaluation – Broadening Horizons?  (75-minute session)

This 75-minute session seeks to explore the relationship between academic research in Comparative and International Education (CIE) on the one hand and international credential evaluation on the other. We will provide an overview of theoretical and methodological developments in CIE research, and suggest some possible starting-points for applying these theories and methods (or elements thereof) in our field. Sample cases will be provided to illustrate our suggested applications. We will ultimately consider the ways academic research may support the development of policies, processes, as well as broaden the scope of what is evaluated and what recommendations are made.

Presenters:  Henrik Ohlsson, Swedish Council for Higher Education, Patrick Leahy, Michigan State University

Room TBA

“Breaking Bad”: An Evaluator’s How-To Guide to Document Fraud  (60-minute session)

Maybe it’s my degree in criminology that makes me always think like a “bad guy”. I’ve seen enough academic documents (real and not) and attended enough sessions on fraud and verification to learn how to beat the system if I ever start “Breaking Bad”. Using resources and technology that are easily available to anyone, let me demonstrate exactly how I would beat your institution’s documentation requirements, get a visa, and take your scholarship money- should I ever decide I’m in the wrong business. Only by realizing and accepting what your institution’s vulnerabilities are can you develop best practices to protect yourself. Bring your thoughts to the discussion on how to best balance security concerns against the practical considerations of time, cost, and access.

Presenter Timothy Kell, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)

Room:  TBA

Introduction to TAICEP’s Certificate Program (45-minute session)

One of TAICEP’s goals is to provide a certificate program to provide credentials assessors with a professional qualification. Members of the Certificate Committee will describe TAICEP’s new certificate program.

Presenters Kate Freeman, SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, Aleksandar Popovski, Ucredo

Room TBA


Thursday, September 7th, 2017

8:00am-9:00am – Breakfast On Your Own

8:00am-5:00pmConference Registration, Location (TBA)

9:00am-10:00am – Sessions

Overview on Bologna Tools: Qualification Framework, ECTS, and Diploma Supplement

In the European credential evaluator community, the city of Bologna is known not only for its lasagna, but mainly for educational change. Begun in 1999 in this ancient university city, the Bologna Process created the European Higher Education Area, reshaping the education landscape in its 48 member countries.

Presenters:  Luca Lantero, CIMEA – NARIC Italia, Vera Lucke, CIMEA – NARIC Italia

Room TBA

Introduction to Education Fraud and Degree Mills: What It Is and How to Fight It

Have you ever received a document from an institution that did not look or feel quite right and were not sure what to do? Fraudulent documents and degree mills are a growing problem. Knowing how to identify such documents is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your credential evaluations process. If you are new to the field, or looking for a refresher session on fraud and degree mills, this session is for you. Together, we will embark on an exciting journey to learn about fraud -how it works, how to spot a fake degree and what to do when you find one.

Presenters:  Shereen Mir-Jabbar, Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators

Room:  TBA

Demystifying Institution and Program Recognition in French-Speaking Africa

Autorisé, Agréé, Habilité, Homologué. What do these terms mean? How do they apply to the recognition of academic credentials in French-speaking Africa? What role does the Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur (CAMES) have in program recognition? All these questions will be examined as we dig into the recognition systems in place for public and private institutions in the selected countries.

Presenters:  Sarah Ledwidge, International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS), (Presentation prepared in collaboration with Michel Bédard of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (Québec))

Room TBA

Supporting Student Mobility with EMREX – Towards Automatic Recognition

Do you want to get rid of paper? This session will introduce EMREX and how it supports student mobility with smooth and fast electronic transfer of achievement records. We will present student feedback on EMREX and discuss the long term implications and how EMREX can be used as a building block for automatic recognition and credential verification across countries and HEIs. We will also open up the floor to a discussion on what more is needed for automatic recognition and how to get there. What about standard formats of data? A way to know the credibility of the other HEI/program? Grade conversion? Degree conversion? Other considerations?

PresentersMats Lindstedt, CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd, Anders Bøgebjerg Hansen, Danish Agency for Institutions and Educational Grants

Room:  TBA

10:00am-10:15am – Refreshment Break, Location (TBA)

10:15am-11:00am  – TAICEP Town Hall Meeting, Location (TBA)

11:00am-11:15am – Break

11:15am-12:45pm – Sessions

Vocational Qualifications from Russia and Ukraine

Russia and Ukraine shared the same centralized system of education for many decades until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Vocational education in Russia and Ukraine has been subject to significant structural and content changes over the last twenty years and presents a challenge for professionals in international evaluation. Expertise in this topic is in high demand for evaluators, university admission officers and employers as a large portion of people immigrating to Europe and the USA are holders of vocational qualifications.

Presenters:  Tatiana McKenna, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Henrik Ohlsson, Swedish Council for Higher Education

Room:  TBA

The Future of Electronic Student Data Mobility

In April 2017, a group of stakeholders in student data and credential evaluation convened in Melbourne. They discussed recent developments in electronic data transfer as it pertains to credential evaluation, building on the work of the Groningen Declaration Network (GDN). The goals of this Symposium were to a) discuss best practices, b) create a plan to direct the evolution of the transfer of student data, and c) suggest a data governance strategy to guide the future of student data mobility. The presenters will share the outcomes and look for input from attendees on next steps.              

Presenters:  Margaret Wenger, Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., Bas Wegewijs, EP-NUFFIC

Room TBA

International Secondary Schools on Domestic Soil: Whose Educational System Is It, Anyway?

It can be a challenge when a student presents records from a secondary school that is not part of the educational system of the country in which it is located, especially when the program is still in progress and a final credential has not been awarded. Examples include international schools, A-level colleges, IB schools, “European schools”, refugee schools, and one country’s secondary school operating in another country. We will review case studies and share best practices for evaluating the status of transnational secondary schools and the programs they offer, as well as considerations involved in credential recognition.

Presenter:  LesLee Clauson Eicher, AACRAO International

Room:  TBA

From Confucius to International College: An Insider’s Guide to Changes in China’s Educational System

When Confucius started the first private school in ancient China over 2500 years ago, he probably never foresaw that “his school” would be established around the globe. In this fast-paced and globally- connected world, China is adapting by updating their educational system to meet the needs of both domestic and international stakeholders. Drawing upon the Eastern and Western educational experiences of our group of presenters, this session will address several major topics including historical perspectives on the development of China’s educational system, changes in degree format, gaokao reforms, and China’s role in the growing international education market.

PresentersJade Jiang Rieger, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Xiaohua Ning, China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC), Xiaoshu (Susan) Li, China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center (CHESICC)

Room:  TBA

12:45pm-1:00pm – Break

1:00pm-2:00pm – Lunch, Location (TBA)

2:00pm-2:45pm – Sessions

Who Wants to Be a Credentials Evaluator?

Using the format of the popular game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, this session will challenge both new and experienced credentials evaluators on educational systems and qualifications.

Presenters:  Kate Freeman, SpanTran: The Evaluation Company, Ildiko Bors, SpanTran: The Evaluation Company

Room TBA

Post-Secondary Technical Education in Syria

The session will focus on post-secondary technical education in Syria. Technical/intermediate education in Syria is taught at over 200 different institutes. There is also the lack of contacts in Syria and the lack of information about technical education on official Syrian websites, which all together have made our work quite difficult. However, we are receiving thousands of Syrian certificates per year and have worked out best practices on how to deal with these credentials. The goal of this session is to share our approach and our knowledge of Syrian certificates.

Presenters:  Elin Medalen, Swedish Council for Higher Education, Alaa Alhusni, Swedish Council for Higher Education

Room:  TBA

Beyond Year One: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Credential Evaluation

Are you in charge of training new evaluators and need some ideas on how to start? Are you a new evaluator yourself and want to learn about ways to grow in the field? Then this session is for you! Please join me, a relative newcomer to the exciting field of credential evaluation, as I describe the arduous training process, some immediate challenges and learning experiences I faced, and ways that I have broadened my horizons and grown as an evaluator. Equipped with a good sense of humor and a thirst for information, the field is your oyster – come see how!

Presenter:  Amy Kawa, Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)

Room TBA

The Advanced Placement Program (AP): AP’s Value As An Admission Qualification within Higher Education in Europe & Beyond

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) is increasingly used as a credential for entry to world-class universities, particularly within Europe. As students’ international mobility from high-achieving schools to European higher education accelerates, what do credential evaluators need to know about these qualifications? This interactive session will provide examples of how AP courses and exams are used to evaluate applicants. The use of AP vs the SAT as an admissions credential within European universities and other regions will be discussed.

Presenters Russell Dover, College Board, Danette Anderson, John Cabot University, Jessica York, American University of Rome

Room TBA

2:45pm-3:00pm – Refreshment Break, Location (TBA)

3:00pm-4:00pm – Sessions

Cross Border Higher Education Institutions and Recognition

Do you feel lost in the Transnational Education jungle? Learn more about what TNE is, the expansion of TNE institutions, the stakeholders involved, and the main emerging issues. Learn how to implement best practices in TNE, and how to defend oneself against bad practices.

Presenters:  Luca Lantero, CIMEA – NARIC Italia, Chiara Finocchietti, CIMEA – NARIC Italia

Room:  TBA

AICTE vs UGC: What Is the Difference and Does It Matter?

Traditionally, approval of universities in India by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has been used to determine the recognition of a school. However, over the years, many more programs have come onto the scene from schools approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Should credit be given for these programs based on AICTE recognition alone? Also, what should one do with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) list of Postgraduate Diplomas in Management that are regarded as equivalent to MBAs (which often come from AICTE-approved schools)? This session will help tackle these questions and more!

Presenters:  Emily Tse, International Education Research Foundation (IERF), Johan Rognlie Roko, Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT)

Room TBA

Secondary Education in Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, Sweden

Education in Europe is currently undergoing many changes. Scandinavia has often been at the forefront of these changes. In this session, participants will be introduced to the various types of secondary-school curricula and leaving-certificates (academic, vocational, and the varied streams within each) currently available to students in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Grading scales will be shown. We will examine sample documents and learn about available resources.

Presenters:  LesLee Clauson Eicher, AACRAO International, Rolf Lofstad, Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), Christopher Adams, International Admissions, Indiana University, Erik Kyhlberg, Swedish Council for Higher Education

Room:  TBA

The Quandaries of Evaluating Transnational Education Academic Credentials

In this session we will provide an overview of the varieties of translational educational (TNE) relationships and scenarios, from overseas branch campuses to “validated” degree programs offered by prominent universities that, in fact, are taught by non-faculty at non-recognized and non-accredited institutions in other countries. We will examine the official recognition statuses of the partnered institutions, the teaching faculty, the curricula and mode of delivery (residential and/or online), and then we will explore and discuss the available resources and types of documentation issued. Ultimately, we will compare sensible evaluation procedures and outcomes.

Presenter Kevin F. Rolwing, World Education Services (WES)

Room:  TBA

4:00pm-4:15pm – Break

4:15pm-5:00pm – Conference Closing, Location (TBA)

5:00pm-5:30pmConference Attendance Certificates Pickup, Location (TBA)