Background Check

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that students enrolled in educator preparation programs, at the initial or advanced level, must undergo three criminal history checks in order to participate in classroom teaching, internships, clinical or field experiences that involve direct contact with children.

Upon admission to an Education program leading to a first or additional certification, students must apply for three background clearances and submit the originals of the returned reports to the Office of Field Experience and Certification, located in 217 Hyatt Hall.

Special Notes:

  • Criminal history reports need only be submitted once unless the student has a break in enrollment other than the summer.
  • Criminal history reports must not be older than one year at the time thehy are submitted to the Office of Field Experience and Certification.
  • Originals of each report must be submitted for inspection. A copy will be maintained in the student's file and originals will be returned to the student.
  • Fingerprint clearances performed outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania cannot be accepted.
  • Current students with clearances that date prior to April 1, 2006, must renew the Child Abust History Clearance and the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check. Likewise, they must also complete the Federal  Criminal History Record (Act 114).
  • Failure to comply with the criminal history report requirement will bar students from enrolling in coursework containing a field experience.

How to Apply for Criminal History Reports

  1. The Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114), a.k.a., FBI Fingerprinting; must be completed through a two step process. Step 1 pertains to registration and payment. Step 2 involves going to a fingerprinting site with ID to have your fingerprints recorded for processing. Registration information and other details may be found online. You will receive a receipt once your prints are recorded (keep it); however, it is the certificate that you receive in the mail approximately 3 weeks afterwards that must be submitted to the Office of Field Experience and Certification. Cost $40.00
  2. The Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check (Act 34) may be completed online. Choose the "non-registered users" option and select "Submit a New Record Check." Complete the online application by providing the personal information requested. In most cases a report is returned within minutes. Click on the Control # and then "Certification Form" to obtain and print the official record report. Cost $10.00
  3. The Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151) does not have an online application process. Applicant must complete paperwork, which can be downloaded. Choose form CY-113, which is located towards the middle of the page. Mail the report to the address provided on the form along with a money order for $10.00. The results of your clearance report will be mailed directly to your home address in approximately 14 days after receipt by the Dept. of Public Welfare. Submit the returned clearance report to the Office of Field Experience and Certification, 217 Hyatt Hall.

Question regarding any of the above may be directed to:

Betsy Todaro

Secretary, Office of Field Experiences and Certification

(610) 499-4373

bftodaro@mail.widener.edu