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Background & fingerprint check requirements for students completing a professional education program clinical field placemenT
Connecticut law requires all students in teacher/educator certification programs to
undergo state and national criminal history background check, requiring fingerprint
processing, before participating in school-based field experiences and student teaching.
It is the student’s responsibility to assure that receipt of their background & fingerprint
check is submitted PRIOR to beginning any clinical placement required for a course.
All teacher education candidates participating in any field experiences in schools are subject to this law.
The procedures for obtaining the background checks and the length of time they are valid are established by the State Department of Education and cannot be altered. Students will be responsible for the cost of the background check. SCSU allows students to use their submitted fingerprints for up to 3 years as of the last day of the clinical placement semester. School districts may require additional background checks & fingerprints at their discretion and at the student’s expense.
Students must disclose to the University in advance any incident that may appear on a criminal background check. If a student does not pass the background check, he or she may be unable to complete the chosen degree program at Southern Connecticut State University. A determination will be made by the School of Education regarding the student’s ability to proceed in a clinical placement. The University is not responsible for the student’s inability to complete a chosen degree program.
Completing your required background/fingerprint check:
Who: Any student enrolled in a clinical field experience course (including student teaching) must have a valid background/fingerprint check receipt on file with the School of Education. Below is a partial list of courses requiring a background/fingerprint check:EDU 200 Teachers, Schools, and Societies
EDU 201 Intro to Teaching Professions
EDU 206 Principles: Early Childhood Education
EDU 311 Integrated Curriculum: Upper Elementary 4-6
EDU 312 Integrated Curriculum: Primary Classroom
EDU 413 Secondary Education
EDU 225 Intro to Exceptionalities
EDU 394 Physical Education (Elementary)
EDU 495 Physical Education (Secondary)
MAT 490 Mathematics (Secondary)
ENG 492 Teaching Literature to Adolescents
ENG 493 English (Secondary Schools)
SED 375 Classroom Management Techniques in Education
ART 370 Art Education (Elementary Schools)
ART 371 Art Education (Secondary Schools)
SED 481 Teaching Exceptional Children (Elementary)
SED 482 Teaching Exceptional Children (Secondary)
HIS 490 Social Science (Secondary)
EDU 309 Curriculum Design & Methods for Pre K & K
SED 449 School Based Experiences in Special Education
WLL 403 Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
WLL 491 Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages at Secondary Schools
SCE 490 Science (Secondary Schools)
Student should complete their background check 3 months prior to the start of your first clinical field placement. Students not meeting this deadline will be required to complete additional materials prior to starting their placement. In addition, graduate students in Master's and Sixth Year programs who are completing clinical experiences or research with children in the schools must have a background check completed.
No student may proceed with a clinical placement without a background/fingerprint check receipt on file.ONLY the Office of Clinical Field Placements or School of Education Dean can make an exception to this requirement.Students proceeding to a clinical placement without a valid background/fingerprint check on file are subject to disciplinary action which may impact their ability to complete their course or program.
Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES) conducts fingerprinting and background checks for SCSU students.
Appointment Required: Thursday’s Only
Cost: $52.50 (cost subject to change, please confirm first with ACES)
Methods of Payment: cash, money order, or cashier’s check ONLY
Address: 350 State Street North Haven, CT
Background & fingerprint checks must be completed through a RESC Agency. SCSU recommends
ACES for completion of this requirement. Other employment, police agency, or government
background and fingerprint checks will NOT be accepted by the School of Education
to meet this requirement.
The Office of Clinical Field Placements has a limited supply of fingerprint cards that can be used at area police stations & submitted to ACES (ONLY) for processing. Please note that these fingerprint cards have a high rate of non-acceptance and may require a reprint. Students required to reprint their fingerprint will NOT be able to continue with their clinical placement until a new set of prints has been submitted and a receipt is issued.
It is strongly recommended that you consult with the Office of Clinical Field Placements prior to completing your background/fingerprint at any other location.
Submitting your Background Check Receipt:
At the time of fingerprinting, ACES will issue the student a letter verifying the date the fingerprints were received for processing by ACES. Students should keep copies of this letter for their records.
You must submit a copy of your receipt to the Office of Clinical Field Experiences. You can submit your receipt through:
Scanned e-mail attachment to: SCSUTeacherEd@southernct.edu
Submit: 110 Davis Hall
Mail: Office of Clinical Field Placements & School of Education Student Services
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
Please keep a copy of your receipt for your records.
FAQs - Fingerprinting and Background Checks
Does the University provide opportunities to get my fingerprints completed on campus?
Yes, generally each semester SCSU will host an “ACES on Campus” event where students can schedule an on campus appointment to complete their background/fingerprint requirement. Check the School of Education website for information about the next ACES on Campus date.
Who is responsible for the results of the background check being received by the district where I have been assigned for my placement?
It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the results of the fingerprint-based background report is received by the district. To have the results sent to the district, email firstname.lastname@example.org with permission to release records to the school district in which you are placed. The district must receive the results before you can begin your field experience. If the district does not receive the results by the beginning of the semester, the placement may be canceled and the student withdrawn from the class. SCSU cannot provide information regarding your background check other than the date of processing.
Do I have to get fingerprinted through ACES if I have already been fingerprinted through another town or other agency?
Yes, you need to get fingerprinted through ACES. The State Department of Education has designated the Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC) as the agencies to complete the fingerprinting and background checks. ACES is the RESC that serves SCSU and the majority of districts that SCSU uses for field experiences.
Do I have to get fingerprinted if I am already working for a school district?
If you are a permanent employee of a school district in a position that requires fingerprinting, you may or may not be able to use your fingerprinting. Both of the following criteria must be met to use your current fingerprinting:
Criteria 1: All your placements must be in the district where you are employed. THIS IS RARE. Most programs require their teacher candidates to do a variety of placements to provide exposure to high-need and moderate-need schools. Placements will not be adjusted to accommodate a teacher candidate's fingerprinting.
Criteria 2:You must provide proof of employment and fingerprinting to the Office of Clinical Field Experiences. This can be a signed short statement from a school district or school official verifying you are employed and providing the date of the fingerprinting. Other documentation may also be acceptable.
I am enrolled in a clinical field experience course but I have not yet completed by background check. Will I be able to continue in the course?
You will be required to submit a copy of your background/fingerprint receipt prior to beginning your clinical field placement. We recommend that you schedule to get your background check and fingerprints completed as soon as possible. Placements arranged by the Office of Clinical Field Experiences & School of Education Student Services will not communicate placement notifications or provide final approval for self-placement request until a receipt is on file.
I am NOT taking any Professional Program classes that require field experiences this
semester. Do I have to get fingerprinted now?
You may wait until the semester before you take a field experience class. Be aware that all teacher candidates enrolled in the classes on the field experience course list will be monitored for compliance with the fingerprinting requirements. If you add a field experience class later, you must comply with the fingerprinting requirement before you can begin your clinical field experience.
What happens if the background check reveals a prior conviction, arrest, or issue in my background?
SCSU does not receive the FBI and CT State Police Report but is notified by the Connecticut State Department of Education of prior convictions or issues. The certification officer, Ken Bungert, notifies students when incidents are reported. Teacher candidates contact Ken Bungert at 203-392-6295 in Davis Hall, Room 103, to discuss the incident(s) and possible issues and options. The consequences of any incident depend on the nature of the incident and the policies of the school district, SCSU, and state certification regulations. If necessary, the Incident Review Committee will review the case to determine the appropriate action. Be aware that some districts have a zero tolerance policy and will not accept students with any incidents on their reports. It may not be possible to place a teacher candidate with an incident in a school setting. Teacher candidates who do not pass the background check may be unable to complete their chosen program at Southern Connecticut State University. The University is not responsible for teacher candidates' inability to complete their chosen degree or certification program if they are unable to do so as a result of the background check.
What if I have a conviction or other issue and SCSU does not place me?
Students who do not pass the background check may be unable to complete their chosen degree program at Southern Connecticut State University. The University is not responsible if you are unable to complete your chosen degree or certification program as a result of the background check. You will be advised on other non-education majors you might pursue.
How long is the fingerprinting valid?
Provided the candidate has maintained continuous enrollment, candidate must submit for criminal background checks every 3 years (subject to district agreement).
What districts does ACES serve?
Ansonia North Haven Bethany Orange Branford Oxford
Cheshire Region 5 (Amity) Hamden Seymour Meriden Wallingford
Naugtatuck Wolcott New Haven Woodbridge Middletown Waterbury
Milford West Haven Derby East Haven North Branford
Region 13 (Durham, Middlefield Region 16 (Beacon Falls, Prospect)
What if I am placed in a district not served by ACES?
If you are placed in a district not served by ACES, you will need to request that ACES send your background report to the RESC that serves the district in which you are placed. The RESC can release the report to your district. ACES will release the report to your placement district. Please contact Madeline Torres at email@example.com to complete this request.
What if I did my fingerprinting at a RESC other than ACES?
If you are fingerprinted at RESC "A" (not ACES) and you are placed in RESC "A", request that RESC "A" send your background report to the district where you are placed.
If you are fingerprinted in RESC "A" (not ACES) and you are placed in RESC "B", request that RESC "A" send your background report to RESC "B". Then, contact RESC "B" and request that your background report be sent to the district.
Will I be required to have additional background checks even if my fingerprints were processed less than 3 years ago?
Possibly. School districts are independent agencies and may require additional background checks as designated by their School Board. You are responsible for any additional costs associated with a request. The University will NOT make a change in a clinical field placement to accommodate students not wishing to comply with these requests.
Who can I call if I have additional questions:
Office of Clinical Field Placements & School of Education Student Services
110 Davis Hall