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Credential Files

Confidential File Options

The Center for Career Exploration & Success no longer provides a confidential credential file service. Instead, students may wish to use Interfolio — an intuitive, fast, and secure online service — to maintain their confidential credential files.

What Is A Credential File?

A ‘credential file’ generally contains letters of reference from professors, supervisors, advisors, etc.; examples from your portfolio (if appropriate); and/or student teaching evaluations. Your credential file may be used to store this information for use in your job search or application to graduate/professional school either now or in the future.

Credential File Options for Teacher Candidates

Teaching candidates have two options when considering credential files:

Non-Confidential File Option

A credential file typically contains student teaching evaluations and letters of recommendation from faculty, work supervisors, campus administrators or advisors. Copies of the credential file are usually sent to potential employers or graduate schools. By choosing the non-confidential file option, you may maintain your own credential file. Maintaining your own credential file offers the following advantages:

  • You have control over the contents of your file (letters, evaluations, transcripts, certificates, licenses, etc.).
  • You will receive recommendation letters directly from your references.
  • You can send letters when desired, as opposed to services such as Interfolio.
  • You can keep copies of letters with you and ready for distribution as you interact with potential employers.
  • Avoid a file maintenance service charge for an online service, such as Interfolio.

A tool that you may wish to consider using is Chalk & Wire. Chalk & Wire is provided to you at no charge by the university. The system allows you to create an e-portfolio of digital content that can be shared with potential employers or graduate schools. 

Suggestions for Maintaining Your Non-Confidential File

  • As a courtesy to the writer, offer to pick up the letter of recommendation in person or provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Upon receipt of your original letters of recommendation, keep them in a folder or file located in a safe place and immediately make several photocopies of each to have on hand.
  • Make sure you organize all documents in your file in a logical and orderly fashion.
  • We recommend that you keep a record of each time you send your file to potential employers or graduate schools.

Suggestions for What to Include When Sending a Copy of Your Non-Confidential File

  1. Cover Letter. If you are mailing your non-confidential credential file separately from other materials, be sure to include a brief cover letter as the first page of your file. If you are mailing your file along with other materials, then write a general cover letter for everything.
  2. A copy of your resume, as appropriate.
  3. A photocopy of your student teaching evaluation(s).
  4. A photocopy of your recommendation letters. (A minimum of three are recommended.)
  5. Miscellaneous information such as copies of transcript, certificate or license, PRAXIS scores, and other relevant items, at your discretion.

Letter of Reference and FERPA Release Form

Letter of Reference and FERPA Release Form