International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52

|

INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT
By Jeannine Bell

Students Without Documents:
Possible Approaches for U.S. Universities
AS REFUGEES LOOK FOR WAYS TO BETTER THEIR CHANCES OF MAKING A LIVING

As I have watched the refugee crisis unfold, it has reminded me that this is, sadly, not a new phenomenon,
either in the United States or elsewhere in the world. This
reminder is especially true for professionals who work in
international higher education. Those of you who have
been in the profession for a few decades have encountered
such situations previously.
For those of you who are newer to international higher education, you may wonder what steps you can take.
To put this into perspective, there is no national policy
on how U.S. universities must address students without
documents because the U.S. higher education system is
decentralized. The U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to establishing policies on federal financial aid for
education, collecting data and disseminating research, focusing national attention on key educational issues, and
prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to
education. On the other hand, education itself is primarily
a state and local responsibility. It will be up to individuals within U.S. universities to determine their best course

52  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B .17

of action, with input from the appropriate entity, which
might be the state government or a graduate department.
From my own experience at U.S. universities with
Hmong refugees from Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam in
the mid-1980s, to the Lost Boys and Girls of the Sudan in
the late 1990s to early 2000s, I have gathered several basic
tenets that can be applied once again. These make up the
foundation for a process that I recently proposed at my
current institution, a process that has been successfully
adopted and implemented. You may want to consider formalizing similar steps, appropriate for your institution, so
that as these situations arise you don't have to start from
the beginning each time.
The first step is to determine what the student is requesting and the student's specific circumstances. The
process of admitting a student to a degree program, requesting transfer credits, or verifying transcripts at your
institution may require different academic documents. In
speaking with the applicant, ascertain if he or she can supply any documentation, even partial documentation. If the
student cannot provide any documentation, find out how
and how many times the student has attempted to retrieve
the documents or verification. Ask the student to provide
as much information about his/her academic background
as possible (e.g., creating a self-reported transcript with
course titles, course descriptions, dates, levels, etc.). Testimonials from nonfamily members may be considered.
The next step is to get a sense of what the education
system was like during the time period that the student
was in attendance, and then determine what documentation should be available. Use alternative verification
methods, if they are available, such as examination boards
for British-based programs, and credential verification
databases such as INFORESURS for Ukraine and China
Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development
Center (CDGDC) or China Higher Education Student In-

JUAN MONINO/ ISTOCK

and being successful in a new country, it comes as no surprise that many will find their way to some
of our universities. In fact, this has already begun.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 10
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Voices
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Act Globally
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Tradition and History
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20191112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708gfclone
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102_supp
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112_supp
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_2070910_supp
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20170102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304_fr
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20160102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20151112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20150102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20140102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20131112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20130102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20121112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20111112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20110102
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com