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Credential File

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Credential File

  1. 1. CREATING ACREDENTIAL FILE Shepherd University Career Development Center Gardiner Hall – Ground Floor 304-876-5122
  2. 2. YOUR CREDENTIAL FILEWhat is a Credential File? 1. It is a file that will contain information on your educational experience, work experience, career plans, extracurricular activities, coursework, GPA, and most importantly, references from faculty, past employers, advisors, etc. 2. A credential file is kept by the University (Career Development Center) and can be mailed at your request to potential employers, graduate or professional schools. 3. NOTE: The Credential File is optional. In order to use this service, you must complete the necessary forms.Why Do You Need One? 1. Having a credential file enables you to centralize your references into one place. The file is kept for three years or longer if you request. 2. Your reference writers will not have to write an individual reference every time you apply for a job. 3. In most cases, teacher candidates and graduate/professional school applicants should develop a credential file with the Career Development Center.Where Should I Begin? 1. The following materials are required to develop a credential file: a. CREDENTIAL AUTHORIZATION FORM – We use this information in our office. This will not be copied for employers. b. REFERENCES – Our office has a generic form that can be distributed to reference writers. This form has an option of waiving right of access to viewing it. Some reference writers prefer this form. Otherwise, it is recommended to request that your reference writer compose the letter on their school/company letterhead. All references should be typed. It is recommended to have no less than 3 completed references. Optional materials that may be included in your file: Resume (highly recommended), Unofficial Transcripts (print off RAIL), and additional Letters of Reference. 2. In order to have an active credential file, you must complete and return the Credential Authorization Form and whatever number of references you wish to include in your file. Articles in your file may not be copied and mailed, unless a signed Authorization is present. All information that is to be copied and mailed to employers or graduate schools should be neatly typed. Remember, your credential file is a reflection of you and the University!
  3. 3. 3. Record of Undergraduate Courses: You may print your unofficial transcript/record from RAIL and use for the Record of Undergraduate Courses taken at Shepherd.How Do You Get a Reference? 1. Reference Forms: Depending on your experience, credential files may average anywhere from 3 to 6 references. If you need extra forms, request them from the Career Development Center. When preparing a reference form for a reference writer, type your name and major on the top line and indicate type of waiver policy. Sign your name on the line indicated. All references must be signed by you. 2. Getting a Reference: You may use any person for a reference, preferably someone who has observed your work or can comment on your skills. For example, include advisors, professors, intern or externship supervisors, employers, and cooperating teachers. It is strongly discouraged to include relatives, neighbors, etc. Please be polite when requesting a reference. Do not slip reference forms under a professor’s door or mail one to a summer employer without giving the courtesy of asking first. It is extremely helpful to share your resume so they can obtain a more complete background of your experience and activities. This will be better able to write a strong reference. 3. Waiving / Not Waiving Your Right: If you check “I waive my right….,” then you are forfeiting your right under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment) to see and review what has been written by the person providing the reference. 4. Other References: You may use references written on letterhead in lieu of the standard reference form. How is the Packet Used? 1. Releasing Information: The “Credential Authorization Form.” By signing this form, you allow the Career Development Center staff to release information in your packet to prospective employers either through telephone/personal contact or by correspondence. All information released by the Career Development Center will conform to the “Pre-employment Guidelines” as set forth by the Human Rights Act, WV Code, Sections 5-11-9. 2. Teacher Candidates: The same format would apply in most cases. There is a special Data Sheet designed for Education majors. Some school systems will request your credential file immediately upon contact; or, in their job vacancy notice, they may instruct you to send your file at the time of initial contact. It is also a good idea for Teacher Education graduates to include an unofficial transcript. Many school systems now use these transcripts, and it will save you money. 3. Official Transcript: this may be included in a copy of your credential file that is being mailed by the University, providing you request in writing (state in letter or
  4. 4. note on request form) and include a $5 check made payable to: Shepherd University for every transcript after the first copy (first transcript is free).4. Graduate Schools: Because you may be applying to several schools, it is a good idea to develop a credential file. If not to send to graduate schools, it will serve as a place for your reference writers to keep copies of references previously sent. This will enable them to review when writing new references for you. We are finding more and more interest on the part of graduate schools for copies of credential files. Many graduate schools have their own individualized reference forms that will need to be distributed separately.5. If a Credential File is not pertinent to your job search needs, individuals may submit completed Data Sheets with signed Release Authorizations or a Resume with a signed Release Authorization Form. The Career Development Center will then be able to distribute your Data Sheet or Resume to employers who notify us of job openings.
  5. 5. DEVELOPING YOUR CREDENTIAL FILE CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTERItems You Will Need:Resume• Visit the Career Development Center to get information on writing/critiquing your resume.References• Don’t assume that we have received your references. Call or drop by periodically to check. Don’t be surprised if you have to place several calls to the reference writer to remind him/her.Evaluations (for Education majors)• Do not substitute evaluations for reference letters. In order for these forms to be included in your credential file, you must obtain copies from Shepherd University Department of Education and deliver them to the Career Development Center.Transcripts• Your first transcript is free and after that $5 for each (make check payable to Shepherd University).• An unofficial transcript is highly recommended, as sometimes the employer will not require an official transcript. This can save you a little money. You may obtain an unofficial copy of your transcripts via the RAIL.• If you are sending a credential file and wish to include an official transcript, we will process your credential file and deliver the transcript portion to the Registrar’s Office, and the file and transcript will be sent to the employer together.• If you are only sending a transcript, send your request directly to the Registrar’s Office.Request forms• Request forms must be in writing; a separate form must be completed for every employer to whom you would like us to send your credential file. Only items that are specified on the request form will be sent. We will send a maximum of six (6) items with each request.• It is a good idea to keep copies of all of these important documents (and others) in your portfolio. Due to limited storage space, the Career Development Center will keep your credential file active for two complete years after you graduate.
  6. 6. Credential Authorization Form Agreement for Career ServicesI hereby certify that the information on my Career Services registration materials is accurate andcorrect.I also agree to honor the policy and procedural guidelines specified by Career Services which aredesigned to provide an equitable service to all registrants seeking employment.I understand that registration with Career Services does not imply placement or employmentguarantees.Release Authorization:Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, I herebyauthorize Shepherd University Career Services to release information contained herein toprospective employers for the purpose of providing information concerning my qualifications.Please complete the following information completely and legibly: Permanent Mailing Address:_________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: ___________________________________________________________ Email Address: ___________________________________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________Signature Date____________________________________Please print name Original signature and authorization form must be on file before any information is released to prospective employers. (No photocopies, faxes, or emails will be accepted.) Return to: Career Development Center PO Box 5000 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 25443
  7. 7. Credential File Checklist: _____ Credential Authorization Form _____ Resume _____ Unofficial Transcript (helpful until complete transcript is available) _____ References (ideally from the following sources:) ______ Cooperating Teacher (education majors) ______ Supervising Teacher (education majors) ______ Principal(s) (education majors) *optional ______ Subject Area/Other Professor(s) ______ Internship Site Supervisor ______ Cooperative Education Site Supervisor ______ Other _____ Items available to Education Majors (from Shepherd University Department of Education): (It is your responsibility to obtain copies of these items should you wish to include them.) ______ Evaluation by Cooperating Teacher (you receive a copy of this at the end of student teaching) ______ Professional Education Performance Evaluation Your credential file will remain active for two complete years after you graduate from Shepherd University. After this time has expired, you will be notified by mail at your permanent address to make arrangements to obtain these documents. Failure to respond to this notification in a timely manner will result in the permanent destruction of your credential file with the Career Development Center. Requests to have credential files sent must be given to the Career Development Center in writing. Please specify the document(s) in your Credential Packet that you would like sent to the employer. If not specified, only your resume and all references will be sent. If you are requesting an official transcript to be sent with your packet, you must submit a check for $5.00 (per transcript) written to Shepherd University.You may visit the Career Development Center (located in Gardiner Hall) to review items in your Credential File! Career Development Center P.O. Box 5000 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 25443 (304) 876-5122 jobweb@shepherd.edu
  8. 8. CREDENTIAL REQUEST FORM Today’s Date____/____/____Name________________________________________________ _____________________________ (Last) (First) (MI) Month/Year of Graduation____________________________________________________ Or any other name in which file may have been establishedStudent ID _________________________________Current Address________________________________________________________________________ Street City State ZipCurrent Telephone (_____) ___________________To support my application for employment or graduate/professional school admission, I hereby request andauthorize (required by U.S. Public Law 93-380) the Career Services Office to send copies of the material inmy credential folder to the following: (complete address required) SIGN HERE_________________________________Name___________________________________ Name______________________________________School/Company__________________________ School/Company____________________________Street Address____________________________ Street Address_______________________________City____________________________________ City________________________________________State & Zip______________________________ State & Zip_________________________________Please indicate materials to be sent Resume  Transcripts ___ Unofficial ___ Official ($5 per copy; first transcript free.) (The 24-hour service request will require a $15 charge) References (please specify references to be sent)  Other (Please specify) ______________________________________ ____________________________________ ______________________________________ ____________________________________ ______________________________________ ____________________________________ ______________________________________ ____________________________________A signed “Credential Authorization Form” must be in your file before this request can be processed.Use reverse side for additional requests. **PLEASE ADVISE OUR OFFICE WHEN EMPLOYMENT HAS BEEN OBTAINED** MAIL TO: Career Development Center Attention: Credential Request P.O. Box 5000 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 25443
  9. 9. SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY REFERENCEFOR CANDIDATE ONLY:Name________________________________________ Major __________________________________________ (Last) (First) (MI)____ I waive my right of access to this reference so that it can remain completely confidential from me.____ I do not waive my right of access to this reference sheet.____________________________________________________________________________________________(Signature) (Date)FOR PERSON PROVIDING REFERENCE: PLEASE TYPEName______________________________________ Position __________________________________________Organization/Institution ____________________________________Business Phone ________________________Business Address _______________________________________________________________________________In what capacity do/did you know the candidate? ______________________________________________________Period candidate known _____________________________ to __________________________________________Please TYPE a statement giving your assessment of this candidate in the space below:____________________________________________________________________________________________ (Signature of Reference Writer) (Date) RETURN TO: Career Development Center P.O. Box 5000 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 25443
  10. 10. SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY REFERENCEFOR CANDIDATE ONLY:Name________________________________________ Major __________________________________________ (Last) (First) (MI)____ I waive my right of access to this reference so that it can remain completely confidential from me.____ I do not waive my right of access to this reference sheet.____________________________________________________________________________________________(Signature) (Date)FOR PERSON PROVIDING REFERENCE: PLEASE TYPEName______________________________________ Position __________________________________________Organization/Institution ____________________________________Business Phone ________________________Business Address _______________________________________________________________________________In what capacity do/did you know the candidate? ______________________________________________________Period candidate known _____________________________ to __________________________________________Please TYPE a statement giving your assessment of this candidate in the space below:____________________________________________________________________________________________ (Signature of Reference Writer) (Date) RETURN TO: Career Development Center P.O. Box 5000 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 25443
  11. 11. SHEPHERD UNIVERSITY REFERENCEFOR CANDIDATE ONLY:Name________________________________________ Major __________________________________________ (Last) (First) (MI)____ I waive my right of access to this reference so that it can remain completely confidential from me.____ I do not waive my right of access to this reference sheet.____________________________________________________________________________________________(Signature) (Date)FOR PERSON PROVIDING REFERENCE: PLEASE TYPEName______________________________________ Position __________________________________________Organization/Institution ____________________________________Business Phone ________________________Business Address _______________________________________________________________________________In what capacity do/did you know the candidate? ______________________________________________________Period candidate known _____________________________ to __________________________________________Please TYPE a statement giving your assessment of this candidate in the space below:____________________________________________________________________________________________ (Signature of Reference Writer) (Date) RETURN TO: Career Development Center P.O. Box 5000 Shepherd University Shepherdstown, WV 25443

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