This is post number 4 in a series on what makes a transcript a transcript. This is intentionally an introductory series – a Registrar 101 topic. Want to catch up first? See Post 1, Post 2, and Post 3.
In my last post, I discussed the Basic Guiding Principle that the official character of a transcript is determined by the criteria of both the sending and receiving institution. In this post, I will discuss the Basic Guiding Principle that:
The transcript is considered official when verified by the receiving institution.
This is very similar to the previous Principle except that it puts the responsibility directly on the receiving institution to verify whether or not the transcript is official. I interpret this in two ways.
- The receiving institution is autonomous and the Registrar of said institution can make up his or her own mind about what qualifies as an official transcript. At TWU, we have a policy guiding this, but in essence it means the transcript must be sent to us directly by the sending institution, not delivered by the student or parent or interested party. However, I am aware that other institutions may accept transcripts delivered by the student provided it is obvious that they have not been tampered with. This is the responsibility that the receiving institution assumes.
- The receiving institution also assumes responsibility to verify that the transcripts they receive are actually official and have not been modified in-transport. At TWU this means that we occasionally contact the sending institution to confirm that the transcript they sent us is legitimate and official. At times, we have been contacted by receiving institutions and asked to verify transcripts. We are happy to do this work because it verifies and solidifies the trust relationship between our institutions.
Take your responsibility seriously and make it work for your institution. Don’t forget this is all about making sure that your institution and its transcript are trustworthy.