Human Resources

Frequently Asked Questions About International Degree Authentication Revised January 2024

SACSCOC requires institutions to justify and document faculty qualifications. It is up to the institution to determine how to justify and document. Best practice is to rely on official transcripts of the most relevant degree earned as the starting place to justify and document faculty qualifications. Over 80% of AU faculty have terminal degrees, which is why we use transcripts as the baseline. SACSCOC allows and encourages institutions to provide alternative justification and documentation for faculty qualifications beyond (or in place of) the academic degree. This can include professional experience, licensure or certification, relevant research scholarship, or other relevant experiences.

The relevant graduate degree is the educational record provided by the candidate to meet Auburn University’s Policy on Documentation of Minimum Teaching Qualifications for Instructor of Record, typically a graduate diploma or transcript showing completion of a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours of coursework in the teaching discipline.

Auburn University’s Policy on Documentation of Minimum Teaching Qualifications for Instructor of Record provides that a graduate diploma or transcript showing completion of a minimum number of graduate credit hours is the most common credential. However, in certain circumstances, other evidence may be presented as documentation of teaching qualifications.

Prior to AU’s most recent SACSCOC decennial review in 2023, international credential evaluation was not done in a formal way using an approved 3rd party evaluator. The few instances that required international credential evaluation were typically done on case-by-case basis.

SACSCOC accreditation standard 6.2.a states, “For each of its educational programs, the institution justifies and documents the qualifications of its faculty members.” Currently, AU does not verify nor does a course-to-course evaluation for international credentials. To maintain ongoing compliance with SACSCOC, it is recommended to use a 3rd party company, like SpanTran, to authenticate credentials received from an institution outside the United States.

Any new instructor of record as of January 2024 whose relevant graduate degree is from an institution outside the United States.

Only the relevant degree is required to be authenticated, but if a candidate has multiple degrees, the candidate can order authentication of multiple degrees on the same order for one flat rate. No additional costs will be incurred for verifying multiple degrees on the same order.

Prior to the first day of employment, Auburn must receive official transcripts and SpanTran’s degree authentication of the relevant graduate degree from an institution outside the United States. In the hiring process, some departments request official transcripts as part of the application. Other departments request official transcripts during the interview process. It is the search committee or department’s responsibility to communicate with the candidate(s) early enough to complete the authentication prior to the date of employment. SpanTran’s degree authentication process is typically 10 business days.

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Yes, but must be an approved member of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services). However, SpanTran is the preferred evaluator.

No. Similar to official transcripts and background checks, Auburn University’s authentication requirements are unique to Auburn and may not comply with other institutions.

The candidate is responsible for all SpanTran fees. As of January 2024, the cost of SpanTran’s authentication services start at $85 for a 10-day turnaround ($135 for 5-day turnaround; $160 for a 2-day turnaround). Additional costs may include translation to English or for SpanTran to verify transcripts that were not provided to SpanTran directly from the issuing institution.

Yes. However, if a department offers to pay the cost of the authentication, the entire authentication process must be done by the department and the cost paid on the University’s purchasing card OR the candidate may provide the “comeback” link to the department for the department to provide the pcard information and submit the request to SpanTran.

SpanTran does not opine or recommend or approve someone to teach at Auburn. Rather, SpanTran’s services are to confirm that the transcripts provided are authentic, were issued from the institution, and that the institution does offer the degree listed on the transcript. Auburn University’s policies and procedures will determine if someone is qualified to teach.

Once the candidate submits the authentication to SpanTran, they will be assigned a reference number. The candidate can visit SpanTran’s Status Checker for the current status of the authentication.

Yes. If the degree and/or transcripts are not originally provided in English, SpanTran has translation services for an additional fee.

SpanTran has translation services. Other vendors may be used, but they must be a member of the American Translators Association.

All offers of employment are conditional on a number of criteria, degree authentication being one of those criteria.

Yes, prior to the first day of employment, Auburn must receive official transcripts of the relevant graduate degree.

Hiring Proposals for anyone who will be an instructor of record should include official, itemized transcripts of the relevant degree. If the relevant degree is from an institution outside the United States, the degree authentication from SpanTran will also be required. If the original, itemized transcripts are not in English, a certified translation to English will also be required and available via SpanTran.

Last updated: March 11, 2024