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Do schools need to see the actual diploma?

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  • niksarkisian
    Participant
    5 May, 2007 at 3:37
    • Total posts: 4

    Hi,

    I’m going overseas soon to teach either in Turkey or Eastern Europe. I have a BA and an MA (not in TEFL). Also have a TEFL certificate.

    I have the actual TEFL certificate but my diplomas are buried in storage somewhere and it would take my college months to replace them.

    Will an official copy of my transcript with my BA and MA clearly stated on it suffice to prove my education or do I actually need copies of the diplomas?

    I could also probably get a letter from the registrar if that would help.

    Thanks

    Sue Swift
    Participant
    5 May, 2007 at 7:47
    • Total posts: 26

    Reply To: Do schools need to see the actual diploma?

    Hi – I think you’ll find it differs depending on where you are, and the type of job you’re applying for. For example, if your MA is not relevant to TEFL, then the cert may not be important. But if the job demands a BA, then you would need proof of that.

    Personally, as an employer, I would always want concrete proof of any qualifications which were required by or relevant to the job, and I would be suspicious of anyone who couldn’t produce the certificates – especially if they were recent. After 20 or 30 years you may get away with it! If there was a plausible reason for not having them, official confirmation from the university would be acceptable, as long as it contained grades etc (if relevant) to show that you weren’t avoiding showing the certificate because you actually did poorly on the course. And as long as you gave a course tutor at the uni as a reference, so that I could contact them personally – proving that you hadn’t forged the lot! But as I said, different employers will see things differently. If you’re applying for a job in a state institution for example, they might be much more rigid.

    Unfortunately I don’t know what you mean by "an official comment of my transcript" so I can’t comment on that.

    But if I were you, I’d dig through the trunks – and then keep the certs in an easily accessible place for the future :lol:


    For articles on ELT methodology and practical activities – http://eltnotebook.blogspot.com

    niksarkisian
    Participant
    5 May, 2007 at 13:35
    • Total posts: 4

    Reply To: Do schools need to see the actual diploma?

    Sue, thank you so much for the quick response.

    I am not talking about the TEFL cert here, I have that with me, no problem. And if the job just requires that, again, no problem. But…

    I am talking about my Bachelors degree and Masters degree in History and Economics. Both of which I recieved over 10 years ago and are in California somewhere, I live in New York City. So getting them out of the trunks is not an option.

    The thing is, in the United States no employer ever asks to see the diplomas, they don’t have the grades on them or classes taken, they are simply for show and have the name of the school, the degree "Master in Arts – Economics" and the name of the student.

    like this

    Western Ohio University
    Joe Smith
    Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

    with a lovely gold seal and a nice leather case.

    Here emloyers want "an official copy of the transcript". That is, a list of classes taken, grades recieved and degrees conferred issued by the registrar of the school. That is the document with all the important information on it. But it looks really plain.

    So most professional Americans either have their diplomas hanging on their walls or buried in boxes. Nobody ever looks at them for credentials.

    That’s why I don’t have mine with me. But now I want to teach overseas and they do things differently. I would hate to arrive and not be able to work because I don’t have my diploma (assuming I would need proof of that degree)

    Sue Swift
    Participant
    7 May, 2007 at 10:18
    • Total posts: 26

    Reply To: Do schools need to see the actual diploma?

    Yes, it’s the same in Britain – except we don’t even have the transcript! Certificates tend to be important immediately after you get the qualification, but then experience and other achievements take over. But you’ll find it’s very different in some places overseas. For example, just recently my organisation applied for a government contract. Everyone involved in the project, including me as leader, had to submit copies of every qualification they had – and for me that goes back 30 years. Like you, I hadn’t the faintest where half of them were, but I had to get duplicates – otherwise we wouldn’t even have been considered for the contract. When I explained the problem to the people we were dealing with, the reaction was just total incomprehension that anyone would not know where their certificates are. It’s a cultural thing.

    So, my advice would be – as long as you’ve got your TEFL cert and the transcripts, you’ll probably be OK for some jobs in some places. But if you’re planning on working abroad for long, sooner or later the day will come when you need all the certs themselves. So, if I were you, sooner or later I’d dig them out and keep them safe. I’ve now got mine both in a file in my office and scanned into the computer!


    For articles on ELT methodology and practical activities – http://eltnotebook.blogspot.com

    niksarkisian
    Participant
    8 May, 2007 at 18:48
    • Total posts: 4

    Reply To: Do schools need to see the actual diploma?

    Sue,

    Thanks so much, that does help.

    I will take the TEFL certificate and transcripts with me and the next time I’m in California, I’ll dig the diplomas out.

    I love the Idea of scanning them into the computer too.

    By the way, did you say you were an employer? May I ask where and whether you are looking for teachers?

    I am looking for a summer post, preferably in Turkey, Europe or the Middle East. My CV is posted here on ESLbase if you’d like to see it.

    Well, I guess you can’t access it. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll email it to you.

    niksarkisian@mac.com

    Thanks again

    Nik

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