Self Managed Credentials

What are Self-Managed Credentials

Self-Managed Credentials are an employment file used by people seeking jobs in education. Self-Managed Credentials consist of:

  • the applicant's non-confidential letters of reference.
  • a copy of a student teaching evaluation (if recent). If you do not have a copy of your student teaching evaluation and wish to have one, contact the College of Education and Human Sciences at (402) 472-8620.
  • a copy of a transcript from each higher education institution attended.

Why do I need a Credentials File

School districts make hiring decisions based on several aspects of the application process, including the resume, the letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. The letters in the credentials file allow the school district hiring officer to quickly gain information about each applicant rather than calling references.

When do schools ask for a credentials file?

Schools vary in terms of when they ask for credentials. Some schools request credentials with initial application; other schools wait until they have narrowed the list of candidates to those whom they wish to interview.

Why do I need a Credentials File

School districts make hiring decisions based on several aspects of the application process, including the resume, the letters of recommendation, and a personal interview. The letters in the credentials file allow the school district hiring officer to quickly gain information about each applicant rather than calling references.

When do schools ask for a credentials file?

Schools vary in terms of when they ask for credentials. Some schools request credentials with initial application; other schools wait until they have narrowed the list of candidates to those whom they wish to interview.

Will schools ask for a copy of my teaching certificate with my application materials?

Some schools may. If you wish, add a copy of your teaching certificate to your credentials.

Should I make a cover for my Self-Managed Credentials sets?

Yes. With a variety of computer programs available, you should be able to design a personalized cover. It could be very simple: Self-Managed Credentials for Mary Smith. If you do not wish to create your own cover, Career Services provides a cover sheet template.

How do schools receive my Self-Managed Credentials file?

You supply your credentials to the school system as the school requests them. Your materials should be assembled in this order:

  • Letter of Application
  • Resume
  • Student Teaching Evaluation (if recent)
  • Credentials
  • Transcript

Send your materials together in a 9 x 12 envelope.

Whom should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?

You could consider any of the following to write your letters:

  • Your current principal/curriculum director/department chair who could talk about your success in the classroom
  • A former principal/curriculum director/department chair
  • A professor from graduate level coursework
  • Your cooperating teacher (if within the last 3-5 years)
  • Your supervising teacher (if within the last 3-5 years)
  • A teacher (or teachers) from your undergraduate specialized subject area
  • A school board member who has direct knowledge of your success as a teacher
  • A resident of the community who might have another perspective of your professionalism
  • A summer employer who could speak to your value as an employee

Most people generally have 4 to 6 letters in their files, no more than five years old. The letters should be strong and indicate that you have the skills needed for success in the classroom. Give each letter-writer a copy of your resume when you ask them to write a letter for you. Give them an idea of what you would like them to emphasize in the letter and a specific date to return the letter to you.

Will schools accept non-confidential letters of recommendation as being as professional as confidential letters of recommendation?

Yes. Nationally, career centers have moved toward non-confidential letters for education employment. Career Services adopted this method with students seeking initial certification in 2000 and with education alumni in the spring of 2001. Our office has rarely had an administrator question this policy. At the time that UNL Career Services moved to eliminate education alumni credentials files, letters were sent to all school principals in the state of Nebraska to alert them to this change.