Education Placement Files

What is a Placement File?
A placement file is a repository for documents that are often required by school districts and other prospective employers in the field of education. Employers find it facilitates the hiring process by having a packet of pertinent information rather than many separate documents. Most school districts require a placement file as part of their application procedures for teachers.

Who is Eligible to Open a Placement File?
The Education Career Services office of Pepperdine University – GSEP offers assistance to students and alumni who would like to create a professional placement file. Placement files are maintained by this office, and sent out to prospective employers upon your request. If you are a current student or graduate of any of the Pepperdine University – GSEP education master of arts or doctoral programs, you are eligible to open a placement file. Placement file services are administered under the oversight and at the discretion of the Career Services office.

Documents Included in a Placement File
The documents that are customarily included in a placement file are as follows:

Please note that letters of recommendation for confidential placement files must be sent directly to the Career Services office by the recommender or may be submitted by the student or alumnus in a sealed envelope. You may never have access to your letters of recommendation if they are to be considered confidential. All transcripts must be received in their original sealed envelopes as well. Any other documents submitted may be copies or duplicates.

Creating a Placement File: Confidential or Open?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment) provides that placement records accumulated by institutions of higher education after January 1, 1975, must be open to applicant inspection. However, the law also provides that applicants may waive their right of access to evaluations and letters of recommendation. While not requiring that you waive this right, the Career Services office recommends that you do so as employers generally view confidential files more favorably. However, please note that in an open file, because you have access to your letters of recommendation, you may scan them and use them in the online application process. As many school districts are currently accepting online applications, Career Services will allow you to add open letters of recommendation to a separate part of your confidential placement file. Open and confidential letters cannot be mixed and cannot be sent out together to any address or prospective employer. In addition, if you open a "Closed File" i.e. confidential file and you later decide to change it to open, the letters of recommendation from the closed file will remain confidential and closed to your access.

Placement File Fees
A fee of $50.00 is required to open your placement file. This fee covers the processing and maintenance of your file for the first year, and includes five mailings of your placement file materials to prospective employers. Payment may be made by check (Payable to Pepperdine University) or by credit card (the Credit Card Authorization form is available online), and must be mailed to Pepperdine with the three initial forms required to open your placement file. A charge of $5.00 per mailing will be assessed for additional files sent out. After the first year, a fee of $25.00 per year will be charged to reactivate your file. Reactivation includes five file mailings, with a $5.00 fee for additional files.

Required Forms
To create or update a placement file please download and print the forms below and submit them to the Career Services office. For additional information contact us at (310) 568-5666

Placement File Checklist
Use this form to list all of the documents that you have requested to be sent in for your placement file.

Placement File Status Form
Defines a file as "Confidential" or "Open". (In an "Open" file, you will have access to your letters of recommendation. In a "Confidential" file, you may not. A confidential file is considered more heavily weighted because you have waived your right to access your recommendations.)

Placement File Maintenance Form
Outlines fees and policies regarding activity and inactivity of your file. If your file is inactive for seven years, it will be destroyed. It is your responsibility to maintain and update your placement file.

The following forms are provided for your convenience:

Confidential Recommendation Form
Instructions for your recommender when you request a "Confidential" letter of recommendation.

Open Recommendation Form
Instructions for your recommender when you request an "Open" letter of recommendation.

Placement File Request Form
Form used to submit a placement file request in person or via regular mail. For faster service, please email your request to:

Credit Card Authorization Form
To pay by credit card, please fill out form and mail to GSEP Career Services. You may also call in your credit card information at 310-568-5666. For your protection, credit card information cannot be accepted via email. (please note: A 3% processing charge will be applied to your credit card per transaction. All major credit cards are accepted.) If paying by check, please make it out to Pepperdine University.

Transcript Request Form
Form to request transcript from Pepperdine registrar must be completed and sent to Malibu for processing. Once the registrar in Malibu receives and fills your request, they will then forward your official transcript to Career Services. Please do not mail your transcript request to Career Services.

Requesting Your Placement File
When requesting that your placement file be sent to prospective employers, it must be done so in writing. In lieu of submitting a Placement File Request form, you may email your request to Please allow sufficient time for processing and mailing, as typical turnaround time is approximately 5 to 7 business days.

Keeping Your File Current
In order for your placement file to be an effective component of your employment search, you must keep all of your documents current and up to date. The typical lifespan of your letters of recommendation is 3 years. Thereafter, we recommend that you request new ones. You may make changes and additions to your placement file at any time and we encourage you to do so. This includes sending updated versions of your resume, cover letter and any other relevant documents such as credentials, transcripts etc.

Please Direct all Correspondence, Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation To:

Pepperdine University
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Career Services
5th floor
6100 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045