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Self-managed Credential File Overview

Policy Changes Effective
August 15, 2007

In keeping with current trends in higher education and the employment sector, new policies and procedures have been established for credential files for all Northern Illinois University students/graduates. The Career Services office will offer Self-Managed Credential files, effective August 15, 2007.

Beginning with the graduating class of December 2007, job candidates will collect their own reference letters and assemble their credential files to be submitted directly to an employer along with other job application materials. Career Services will provide the forms and offer guidance.


  • Candidates control what material is sent out to whom, and when it is sent. This ensures delivery of materials to employers in a timely manner.
  • Candidates will save the money that would have been paid for NIU to manage and send credentials.
  • Candidates will be able to demonstrate responsibility, honesty, and integrity in initiating their own direct communication with employers.


Changes in technology have streamlined the application process. School districts throughout the country now accept self-managed credentials, which are submitted directly by applicants. Perhaps more importantly, this new policy better reflects the career development philosophy of teaching students how to manage their own career paths.

Developing the skills to manage one's career includes the collection, organization, and submission of materials necessary for obtaining employment. Credential files fall in this category, and we are pleased to be joining the many other college career centers who have already adopted self-managed files.

How This Works

Beginning with the Graduating Class of December 2007:
We will offer you a Step-by-Step Guide to creating self-managed credentials during our workshop presentations.

Classes Prior to December 2007:
Candidates will now manage their own credential file. You can request that all non-confidential materials from your NIU-managed file be mailed to you. To do so, please submit a Request for Release of Credential File. We will return your file to you with information on how to transition to a self-managed file.

For more information on managing your credentials, go to the Step-by-Step Guide.

If you have an outstanding bill with Career Services, we will hold your file until the bill is settled. Call us at 815-753-1641 with your credit card number, and it will be taken care of quickly.

We are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible. If you have read the information on our Web site and still have questions about this new policy, please feel free to contact our office at 815-753-1641 or e-mail us at

NOTE: After 10 years from the last date of activity, reference letters and student teaching evaluations remaining at Career Services will be destroyed.

*This information is adapted from materials produced by, and available in, Buena Vista University's Office of Career Services and is used here by permission.