Frequently Asked Questions About TES

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Getting to Know TES®

What is TES®?

TES®, the Transfer Evaluation System from CollegeSource, is the premier interactive resource for course data from institutions of higher education. It is an all-in-one solution for researching transfer credit, tracking evaluations, and managing equivalencies.

Central to TES is an exhaustive database of institutional and course information. Institutions using TES can find all the information one would expect to see about a course in a college catalog, including its course code, title, description, number of credits, etc. 

TES also encompasses a suite of tools specifically aimed at automating and streamlining educational business processes. These processes include the analysis of transfer courses and transcripts, the administration and maintenance of course equivalencies, and communication of course data between staff, users, and faculty.

What is the Difference between TES® and CollegeSource® Online?

Both TES and CollegeSource Online are designed, created, and supported by CollegeSource, Inc.

CollegeSource Online provides students, parents, advisors, faculty, and college administrators access to digital college catalogs, transcript keys, and profiles from institutions of higher education around the world. CollegeSource Online is free for students and available to colleges via a subscription.  While both CollegeSource Online and TES provide access to the information noted, TES goes beyond this by providing more in-depth tools for researching transfer credit. It also allows institutions to create and track evaluations and create and manage equivalencies.

What is the Difference between TES® and Transferology®?

Both TES and Transferology are designed, created, and supported by CollegeSource, Inc.

Transferology is a nationwide network designed to help students explore their college transfer options. It has two paths. The first is "Will My Courses Transfer?" Students can add coursework, exams, and/or military learning experience into Transferology to see how many schools in the network may accept them in transfer. Students interested in taking summer classes at another institution can use the "Find a Replacement Course" path to find equivalents of their college's coursework, which they can then transfer back to their institution.

Transferology Lab is an extension of Transferology, designed to support the needs of staff at colleges and universities that are part of the network. In the Lab, users review and manage inquiries from students, access advising resources like equivalency lookups, and optimize their institution's transfer-friendliness by fine-tuning equivalency and profile data.

TES and Transferology have similarities but also differences.

  • They both provide a means to reach students, parents, and families with information about how courses have been evaluated for transfer. 
    • In TES, colleges achieve this by embedding a link to their TES Public View on their website, directing visitors to this information. 
    • Institutions using Transferology have the additional benefit of sharing information with students who aren't necessarily aware of their website.
  • They both provide a means for college staff to view their institution's existing transfer equivalencies.
    • In TES, this information can be found in either the Equivalency Manager or Equivalency Finder, depending on what user rights and permissions a person has. 
    • Institutions using Transferology Lab can look up this information within Advising & Recruiting > Transfer Equivalencies. 
  • TES and Transferology provide different tools for student outreach, advisement, and transfer credit data management.
    • Institutions using TES can take advantage of the Evaluation Tracker workflow to evaluate coursework and create equivalencies. TES also provides a means to track curriculum changes across institutions, update equivalencies, and research possible equivalencies through reports.
    • Transferology provides a means for students to connect directly with institutions in its network. Students can view the School's Profile, see how courses transfer, and reach out to request advising, a campus visit, admission or financial aid information, or Veteran resources. Students can review program information and, in some instances, apply their coursework to a program to see how it would fulfill degree requirements. 

TES and Transferology are powerful tools that support students, faculty, and staff in the transfer process. Institutions can opt to use both systems together to take advantage of their full range of features.

Institution and Course Information 

What is Course Finder?

Course Finder provides institutions with a means to quickly navigate the course description database. Institutions can research colleges and universities and quickly locate course information. Once a course has been selected, its description can be printed, emailed, or routed to the appropriate campus personnel to review for equivalency. 

See Using Course Finder for more information about this tool.

Can I Send My Catalog Directly to CollegeSource?

Yes. See Submit a Catalog to CollegeSource for more information.

Why Doesn’t TES® Show the Most Recent Catalog for Particular Institutions?

Catalogs are collected with the permission of the institution. CollegeSource makes every effort to ensure that catalog holdings are up-to-date; however, there are several reasons why they may not be current in every instance. 

  1. An institution has not yet shared a catalog with CollegeSource;
  2. A school revises its catalog throughout the academic year and asks CollegeSource not to publish it until it is complete; or
  3. CollegeSource is no longer actively collecting catalogs from the institution.

Additionally, a catalog may have been received from an institution but may not yet be available for use in TES because it needs to go through processing and quality control checks.

If a catalog is not available in TES, please follow the instructions within Catalog Status Tracking to check the current status of the catalog, add the catalog to a watchlist, and/or request a catalog be added to TES.

Why Is the Course Description in a Foreign Language?

If English is not the dominant language in the region in which an institution resides, course descriptions may be in another language.

CollegeSource makes every effort to collect as many domestic and international catalogs as possible. When collecting course information, we will add it to the TES® database in the native language of the catalog. CollegeSource cannot translate this information into another language for multiple reasons - one being that it would require us to verify the accuracy of the translation. 

Luckily, there are great tools that can provide a translation. The easiest translation method we have found is browser-based - an example being the "Translate to English" feature in Google Chrome. To use this feature, first, navigate to the TES page containing the course description needing translation. Then, right-click on a blank portion of the screen and select "Translate to English." The page will be reloaded with the text translated to English. Google Translate will provide the noted translation. While it may not be 100% accurate, it can provide insight into the course description.

What is a Transcript Key?

Transcript keys are documents that detail an institution's grading system, course numbering schema, terminology, and any other information necessary to help interpret the transcript. These are generally found on the back of the physical copy of a transcript. 

If an institution has supplied CollegeSource with its transcript key, it will be available in the TES® Course Finder. After selecting the institution, look for the key icon in the upper-right of the page. If the icon is greyed out, a transcript key is not yet available. 

CollegeSource would like a transcript key to be available for each college and university. If an institution notices that their transcript key is not in TES, we ask that the college do one of the following:

1. Upload the transcript key here.

2. Send a PDF copy of the transcript key or mail a voided sheet of transcript paper to one of the below addresses:

What is a Course List Report?

A Course List Report is a custom report created within TES®. Within each report is a list of courses from one or more institutions, along with their descriptions. 

For more information, see Course List Report.

What is an EQ Audit? 

An EQ Audit, or equivalency report, provides a means for a person to see how each course within an individual Course List Report has been evaluated. The audit lists all the courses and descriptions within the Course List Report and maps them to the equivalency history stored in the Equivalency Manager. 

What Are User-Added Courses? What Are They Used For?

User-Added Courses enable institutions to add departments and courses not in TES® to datasets. There are two types of User-Added Courses:

  1. Home Courses
  2. Transfer Courses

User-Added Home Courses enable institutions to evaluate transfer coursework as something other than a direct equivalent to their classes. Courses can be evaluated as electives, meeting liberal education requirements, and so forth. Institutions can use this functionality to signal that they will be awarding additional credit if courses transfer as equivalents but have a higher credit value at the sending institution.

User-Added Transfer Courses can be used to review coursework not currently in TES - either because an institution's data set is unavailable or coursework is missing from that catalog. To send a course review, create the institution, a dataset, a department, and a course. From here, the course can be sent for review as an evaluation task, or an equivalency can be created. 

For more information, see User Added Courses.

What are Course Tags?

Course Tags are intended for use when there are system-wide or state-approved codes corresponding to courses from the system or state’s institutions where common course numbering is not in place. Tags are a way of labeling the course as meeting a particular requirement. 

An institution's TES® Administrator should contact CollegeSource if they are interested in adding Course Tags to their datasets. 

For more information, see Course Tags.

What are Course Outlines?

Course Outlines are PDFs that a TES® Administrator can attach to the courses in the home institution's data set to help illustrate its learning outcomes. 

For more information, see Outlines.

Equivalency Management

What is the Difference between an Evaluation and an Equivalency?

In TES®, an evaluation is a process wherein a course is reviewed for alignment with the home institution's curriculum. When the evaluating party at the academic institution deems the content to be similar enough to be accepted in place of the institution’s curriculum, the curriculum is considered equivalent. Within TES, the data resulting from the established relationship between the transfer curriculum and home curriculum is called an "equivalency,” or an EQ. The evaluation process generally takes place within the Evaluation Tracker workflow. 

What is the Equivalency Manager?

The Equivalency Manager is an area of TES® wherein one can create and manage course equivalency relationships between a transfer institution and a home institution's course inventory. These equivalencies can be generated from evaluation tasks or made separately. Equivalencies created in TES can be viewed here or in the Equivalency Finder, depending on user permissions. Institutions that employ the Public View can also display equivalencies via this means.

How Do I Get Course Equivalencies from My Student Information System into TES®?

Institutions currently storing equivalencies in their student information systems (Campus Solutions, Ellucian, Jenzabar, Homegrown, etc.) can export the data into a flat .txt file (or vertical pipe "|" delimited file) using the instructions in Import Transfer Equivalencies into TES and Transferology.

User and Account Management

Who is a TES® Administrator, and What Responsibility Does This Person Have?

When subscribing to TES, institutions need to identify a person as their TES Administrator. The TES Administrator oversees the institution's TES user accounts. This person can add, deactivate, or modify a user's account. This individual can also set and adjust the user rights for each account.

The TES Administrator can perform other functions for an institution, such as setting up and managing the Public View, running Usage Statistics, sending announcements to users, etc. 

For more information about user rights, see User Rights and Permissions.

How Do I Add a User to TES®?

ADMINISTRATOR rights are needed to add/create users in TES. See Creating a New User Account in TES for step-by-step instructions on this process.

Once a user's account is created, the new user will receive an email with an activation link and be directed to create a password. Sometimes this email gets marked as spam, so it is important to check one's spam/junk folder if not received.

There is no limit to the number of users that can be granted access to TES, nor the number of users that can be assigned a particular user right - including the TES Administrator right. 

What If I Forgot My TES® Password?

See Request a Password Reset for further instructions.

Additionally, users can reset the TES password by selecting the "Forgot your password?" link on the TES login page. Passwords can also be reset within TES via User Preferences.

I Received a Message That My User Account Is Already in Use. What Do I Do?

A person might be greeted by the below message in TES® if a browser or browser tab was closed without logging out of TES first. TES is configured to log a user out automatically after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Message that the user is still logged in to TES. Please wait 10 minutes and try again or contact CollegeSource.

How to regain access to TES:

1. Wait a full 10 minutes for the TES session to be terminated. After 10 minutes, log back in.

  • If, after 10 full minutes, the account is not reset, contact customer support (see the link above, or use the Help Beacon on any page in TES). 

2.  If unable to wait 10 minutes, try accessing a page in one's TES browser history. 

How Do I Update Permissions and Workflows When Staff Retire, Leave, or Transition to a New Role?

Steps can be taken to ensure a smooth transition in TES® in the event of change. Before removing or modifying someone's  TES® access, the following should be considered. 

It is important to note that removing a user's access to the evaluation tracker will remove them from the search filters in TES. Thus, all issues should be addressed before removing access.

1. Does this person have any evaluation tasks to complete?


If the employee gives advanced notice, reach out and encourage this person to complete any pending evaluation tasks before departure. If the tasks cannot be completed, a TES® Administrator, or any user with SERVICE EVAL and MANAGE EVAL user rights, can batch reassign those tasks to a different user.

Creators of Evaluation Tasks or Recipients of Completed Tasks

Users with  CREATE EVAL, SERVICE EVAL, and either (MANAGE EVAL or CREATE EQ) user rights are eligible to have reviewed evaluation tasks returned to them for the next steps. If the employee gives advanced notice, request that this person finalize any returned evaluations before departure. If these cannot be completed, any user with SERVICE EVAL and MANAGE EVAL user rights can batch reassign them or take further action in reviewing them if needed. Users who additionally have the CREATE EQ user right can also create equivalencies from these tasks. 

Suppose the employee who is leaving has created evaluation tasks that are still in progress. In that case, this person's name will no longer appear on the list of eligible recipients once access is removed. If evaluators were used to returning evaluations to this individual, it may be helpful to connect with the evaluators to let them know to who they should instead return the task to. If an institution has set up a Default Assignee for evaluation tasks, this individual's name will appear on the top of the list when an evaluator selects the Approve, Deny, or Need More Information actions within an evaluation task. Otherwise, the evaluator can choose any user with SERVICE EVAL and (MANAGE EVAL or CREATE EQ) user rights. 

The settings within the Evaluation Tracker should be updated if the person leaving is established as the Default Assignee for evaluation tasks or externally generated tasks.

2. Did the transitioning employee own any course list reports?

If the transitioning employee were the owner of any Course List Reports, ownership of these reports would need to be transferred to a new active user. Course List Reports are hidden once access is removed, so it's essential to transfer ownership first. Additionally, others may lose access to shared reports if the user is deactivated before reports are transferred.

3. Did the employee build and create equivalencies?

Any equivalencies already built in TES will remain in the system. Equivalency logs will show the evaluation history, even after a user is deactivated. 

It is ideal to follow these guidelines to ensure that work is not lost. If any of the above steps were missed during an employee transition, please reach out to CollegeSource for assistance. We may be able to grant another active user access to evaluation tasks and reports. 

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