We have been asked for many years, “Will you ever have a way that we can add courses to TES that we see on transcripts but that aren’t in the institution’s catalogs?” “What if a catalog doesn’t exist for a school?” is another one. Well, now we have an answer for those questions, and a couple of others.
First, let me start by saying that if we have existing catalogs for a school, but you see a course on a transcript that’s not in our database for that catalog, we’re actually asking you to hold off on that one, for now. In Phase 2 of the User-Added Send Courses, we hope to be able to provide you with a way to add an out-of-catalog course to an existing catalog. If you really, really, really need to add it now, there is a way – and I’ll explain that later.
Let’s start with those catalogs that we don’t have in TES already. They might be International Schools. They might be non-accredited schools. They might be local agencies that provide licensing of some sort that either compliments a program you offer, or that you use as prerequisites to your current courses. The User-Added Send feature is perfect to add these incoming source courses for evaluation or to be used in defining equivalencies.
To understand how this works, let’s take a look at the hierarchical structure of the data in TES. We start at the institution level. Within an institution there are data sets that are each tied to a low year and a high year (essentially, a catalog year). Within the data set there are departments. And within the departments, there are courses. So what you need to do to add a course to TES that doesn’t exist in an existing catalog is this:
- Add an Institution
- Define a data set
- Create a department
- Add a course
The full TES User Manual topic is available here: User-Added Send Courses
But for now, here is an overview:
Navigate to the Match menu and select the User-Added Courses option. The first screen will provide an option to create Home Data (the traditional target course data that has been available in TES for quite some time), or Transfer Data. Select Transfer Data. Add an Institution.
This can be an Institution of Higher Education, or, it can be an agency, industry, or certification that you would like to create evaluations/equivalencies to – using this thought process, combine the User-Added Send Courses feature with the Evaluation Tracker Workflow and you can manage your CPL/PLA (prior learning) evaluation process on campus!!
Add a data set to the institution. Add a department to the data set. Add a course to the department, and you’ve got a course that can be sent forward for evaluation or included as the incoming “feeder” course for an equivalency. You are essentially adding an institution, and building a catalog for that institution.
- Add as many Institutions as you like
- Add as many data sets as you like, to each institution
Maybe you just want one that you extend the time frame on each year to incorporate new entries, or maybe, like TES, you add a new one each year.
- Add as many departments as you like
Again, maybe that means one “catch-all” department (which might even be the same as the institution), or perhaps you add multiple departments for all of the disciplines offered by the particular source institution.
- Add as many courses as you like
- Include these courses in evaluations
- Include these courses in equivalencies
- Hide the equivalencies from public view if you don’t want certain ones to show
- Make them public if you want them to show to prospective transfer students
Please note, these User-Added Send Institutions/Data Sets/Departments/Courses/Equivalencies will not carry over to Transferology since they won’t have an underlying IPEDS ID (which Transferology uses as a key).
Did I mention that this would be a great way to organize/manage CPL/PLA evaluations?! If you’re campus is like the ones I used to work on, CPL/PLA went through the academic departments, exclusively. If something was approved, we (the Registrar’s office) would get a note. If it was denied, we never heard anything. Students would come down and ask us what happened and we had no way of answering them. With this new User-Added Send feature, now you can build the CPL/PLA evaluation as a course, from a data set, from an “institution.” You can even put it through the workflow and attach all the documents to it. If it is a career/job that is being evaluated, you can attach job descriptions, performance reviews, résumés, and more. If it is a certification you are evaluating, you can attach requirement lists, certificates of completion, and more. As long as the document can be stored as a .pdf, you can attach it. The evaluation tracker will document every step through the evaluation process, including the final resolution (Approve/Deny). You’ll then have a record of that for review should any part of the process come in question.
For more information on the User-Added Send Courses feature, see our User Manual, or sign up for a TES Office Hours webinar and bring that topic up!