As a Career Navigator, I have had the opportunity to meet adult ESL (English as a Second Language) students from various backgrounds and cultures. Many of these students had professional careers in their home country, but what they are doing now in the States is a lot different. Whether the student was a lawyer, businessperson, or banker in their domestic country, they have settled for minimum wage paid positions here in the US. I believe there is a major reason why.
Although these students have obtained an academic degree or professional training in their domestic country, when relocating to the United States they are informed they must start their educational journey over. So, along with relocating from a foreign country, many students must now learn how to navigate a completely new educational system.
Some ESL students who are currently looking for work have explained that employers they have interviewed with do not understand their educational or professional background. This miscommunication has cost many ESL students to lose out on beneficial job opportunities. The cost of relocating to a new country alone can be thousands of dollars, not to mention the cost of not having a well-paying job needed to establish themselves and family once they arrive.
What is a Professional Transcript/ Credential Evaluation?
For ESL students who are currently seeking employment, having their transcripts professionally evaluated can lead to beneficial opportunities with potentially higher income. A professional transcript or credential evaluation will analyze the educational program, degree, or professional training to determine the American equivalent.
Transcript Evaluations establish credibility and potentially saves money.
Educational degrees and systems differ from country to country. As a result, most if not all, potential employers may not know about the education programs, institutions, or systems in foreign countries. We know that having professional academic training can increase one’s ability to obtain employment, however, employers need to know if your training meets the standard taught in the US and the requirements for the job. A professionally evaluated transcript or credential can establish credibility.
Since employers are not familiar with foreign academic systems, they often encourage foreign job seekers to complete a domestic program in the US, which can be costly and time-consuming. By having your professional and academic information evaluated, employers may not require a domestic degree or training.
Having your credentials or transcript evaluated is an essential process for ESL students who have earned their credentials outside of the US. This process will assist employers in understanding a job seeker’s academic and professional background. Also, it will help job seekers know if they have met the requirements for several different occupations.
There are several Adult Education and Literacy Programs within the greater Houston area that provide academic and training programs for adults on the Texas Workforce Commission website.
SPAN TRAN is a local (Houston Area) organization that specializes in degree, credential, and academic evaluations for foreign students.
Zenoria Abdalla is a Career Navigator with the Workforce Solutions Regional Team for the Gulf Coast Region. Prior to joining the Regional Team, she worked at a Workforce Solutions Career Office as an Employment Counselor providing career counseling. In her current role, she focuses on the Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) population by facilitating career development workshops and navigating AEL students to beneficial resources. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication from Texas Southern University.