Credential File FAQ
Most Majors: A credential file consists of your resume, letters of recommendation, an unofficial transcript, and for education majors, their student teaching evaluations, and a personal statement. Education and business majors are required to have a credential file, all other majors are encouraged to have one through the career services office. If you are unsure if you have a credential file or not, contact email@example.com.
We encourage alumni to claim their credential file immediately after graduation and manage its contents. Send your request to Ellen.Mouw@dordt.edu and include your graduation year, major, maiden name (if applicable), and complete mailing address. It can take up to a few months to fill all file requests, so be aware of that and indicate if you need it urgently. Unclaimed files will be shredded. Do not confuse credential files with academic records, which will never be destroyed.
If you signed the confidentiality clause with career services, waiving your right to see some recommendations given, we may not be able to release all your letters of recommendation to you.
You can also contact Ellen with any questions.
Education Majors: Dordt College career services keeps your credential file for five years. If you graduated more than five years ago, you should claim your credential file, manage its contents, and send copies of it to potential employers. Please send your request to Ellen.Mouw@dordt.edu and include your graduation year, major, maiden name (if applicable), and complete mailing address. It can take up to a few months to fill all file requests, so be aware of that and indicate if you need it urgently. Unclaimed files will be destroyed.
To send your file to a school, we need to know the complete mailing address of the school, as well as the name and title of the primary recipient (if available). If you were married after you graduated, we will need your maiden name in order to locate your file. If the job deadline is looming, we can send files by email. You would need to contact the school and make sure they are willing to receive your file in this manner, get an email address, and the name and title of the email recipient. (We still need the complete mailing address, even if the file is going by email).
NOTE: Transcripts are not automatically added to your credential file. If you want your transcript included in the file (and you probably do), you need to request that from the registrar. This is different from how it was done in the past. (See instructions under the Transcripts section below.) Once the transcript arrives, we'll add it to the packet and mail or email it to the school. You will need to repeat the registrar step each time you want to send your file, because the transcripts are labeled for each institution they go to, so that we can't use one for multiple locations. It can take a couple days for the registrar to prepare the transcripts, so allow plenty of time in advance for that (at least one to two weeks before a job application deadline).
Finally, if you have questions about your Teaching Licensure, direct those questions to Dr. Dennis Vander Plaats in the education department. The career services office does not keep track of those.
OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT POLICY
Your transcript consists of the courses taken while at Dordt College, the grades assigned to each course, cumulative GPA, and degree awarded upon graduation.
Because Dordt College receives federal funding for some of its programs, we are required to follow federal laws regarding the distribution of transcripts from an educational institution to third parties. According to the federal law, every time this institution sends a transcript out, it must have a signature for each transcript sent. It doesn't matter whether the transcript is sent from the registrar himself or any other body on campus (such as career services). The request for the transcript must be made through the registrar's office and the registrar must receive a signature in order to send the transcript. Once the registrar has the request and signature they will do one of three things as per student/alumni request:
- send the transcript directly to the student/alumni
- send the transcript directly to a third party (such as a graduate school or potential employer)
- send the transcript to career services for immediate mailing/emailing/faxing to a third party (such as a graduate school or potential employer)
The registrar's website has an online form which can be used to facilitate the transcript request process. The form must be printed off, signed, and sent to the registrar.
The form can be mailed in or faxed in.
The form can also be scanned into the student's computer and sent in as an email attachment.
These faxed and emailed signature forms are deemed acceptable signatures. One blanket signature will not cover any and all transcript requests. One signature per request. You may request more than one transcript at a time. You need to indicate to the registrar where the transcript is going (institution and address), but if you want it included in your credential file packet, make sure you tell the registrar to send the transcript to the career services office, and not directly to the recipient or yourself.
If you wish to send the transcript only, and not include the rest of your credential file, then you can instruct the registrar to send it directly to that location and bypass the career services office entirely.
One other choice is to have the registrar send it directly to you. As owner of the document, you may send copies of it wherever you wish without more signatures. We encourage all students to do this upon graduation. There will still be times when an institution will need an official transcript sent directly from the registrar's office or career services, but this other method is recommended for general job searching and to maintain a complete credential portfolio.
Education Students: The major drawback to distributing the transcript or credential file yourself is that schools like to receive it from the awarding institution, and they want to have it included in the total packet of documents sent to them from career services. They don't want to get credentials from two or three different sources and have to match up the pieces when they come in. It seems the simplest way is to scan your signed signature form and keep it in your computer so you can send an email request any time you wish without needing to print it off and mail it. Have the registrar send the transcripts to us, and we will include it in your packet mailing.