Clearances for Teacher Candidates
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires ACT 33/151 PA Child Abuse History, ACT 34 PA Criminal History Record, ACT 24 Arrest and Conviction Report, and ACT 114 FBI Fingerprint clearances for students enrolled in teacher preparation programs.
Additionally, university policy requires the Mandatory Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training (Act 31/126) to be completed each year.
This applies to all course-related observation, field, and clinical experiences, as well as student teaching. Teacher candidates will begin field experiences during the freshman year and continue throughout the program sequence of courses. Thus, teacher candidates must submit the required clearances at the beginning of the first semester enrolled in university courses.
Submitted clearances are legal as long as the student is continuously enrolled in the university course, as stated in Act 114. However, the school district or university can request clearances be renewed.
Required Legal Clearances
ACT 24 Clearance - PDE Arrest and Conviction Form
Act 24 requires all current and future employees/pre-service teachers to complete a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) form to report prior arrests or convictions for any offenses listed on form PDE-6004.
Act 24 also requires that you report any future arrests or convictions of any criminal offense listed in Section 111(e) to the Office of Clinical Experiences within 72 hours.
ACT 31/126 Requirement - Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training
The Pennsylvania state legislature passed ACT 126 and ACT 31 which requires professionals working with school-age children to be trained in the recognition and reporting mandates for child abuse. Your placement site will expect you to have completed this training.
- This requirement can be met by completing a free online course approved for human services and education majors. The program is through the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work, Child Welfare Resources Center. After completing the course, print the CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION, and submit it with the other required clearances.
- You can review the PA Department of Education website for other approved providers if you wish. Most charge a fee.
ACT 33/151 Clearance - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance can be applied for and processed online or an application can be printed out from the PA Child Welfare Portal website and mailed in for processing. Click on the link above to access the PA Child Welfare Portal. To process your application online, you will need to create an account and have a credit/debit card to pay the fee. Because there is minimal delay, this method is recommended.
- You will be required to “Create Individual Account” on the Child Welfare Portal and create a “Keystone ID.”
- After creating your account and logging in, you will create your clearance application. Please select “Individual 14 years of age or older who is applying for or holding a paid position as an employee with a program, activity or service,...”.
- Results will be returned to you using your online account (and a copy via mail).
ACT 34 Clearance - Pennsylvania Criminal History Record
You can apply for and access your PA Criminal History Clearance online through the Pennsylvania State Police PATCH system page.
- Select “Submit a New Record Check.” Read the terms and conditions, and select “Individual Request” when prompted for Requestor Details.
- On the Requestor Information page beside Reason For Request, click on the down arrow. Then click “Other.”
- From this point, you will need to move through the remaining pages as directed to pay for and receive your clearance printout.
- You will receive the clearance on the screen to print out after the application has been completed online unless there is a need for extensive research by the PSP. A debit or credit card is required for payment for each clearance request.
ACT 114 Clearance - FBI Fingerprint Clearance
Education students MUST register through the IdentoGo site. Use Service Code: 1KG6RT.
- Please save the receipt you receive on the day you have your fingerprints scanned. The receipt will include your UEID which can be used by school district administrators to verify your results.
- Please note that fingerprint results come in an email from PASafeCheck and this email often gets flagged as junk/spam.
- The link in the results email only works once – the first time you open the results email. Be sure to have access to a printer and/or a device where you can save the results report before opening the confirmation email.
This insurance is required prior to the beginning of the actual classroom field experience. This coverage can be obtained through personal insurance or by purchasing insurance through one of the links below. The liability requirement coverage is $1,000,000. Suggested sites:
- Student PSEA – Annual Membership includes liability insurance
- ACEI – Membership does not include a liability plan, but it can be purchased separately
- NAEYC – Membership does not include a liability plan, but it can be purchased separately
In addition to the clearances listed above, a TB test will be required. Your doctor or health care provider will provide you with documentation showing your test result.
For all candidates, undergraduate and graduate, in the PreK-4 certification programs, a Child Care Staff Health Assessment is required for all field placements in PreK locations.
Submission of Clearance Results
Once a teacher candidate has received his/her new clearances, documents must be submitted to the Office of Clinical Experiences for review.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, ALL candidates (both incoming and current) are required to upload their clearances to CastleBranch for review.
Beginning with Fall 2022, ALL candidates will upload a copy of their clearances to Chalk and Wire. Details will be provided to all teacher education students after July 1, 2022.
June 1st is the latest recommended date students who will be student teaching during the fall semester should apply for new clearances. Prior to the start of the Fall student teaching semester, the deadline for submitting new clearances to the Office of Clinical Experiences is August 1.
November 1st is the latest recommended date students who will be student teaching during the spring semester should apply for new clearances. Prior to the start of the Spring student teaching semester, the deadline for submitting clearances is December 1.
Clearance originals are yours! Keep original clearances in a safe place! Many school districts will want to see the originals in order to accept copies and teacher candidates must take both their original clearances and copies of their original clearances to their assigned placement.
Clearances with Infractions
Teacher Education candidates with any type of record, on any clearance, will require a meeting with the Teacher Education Subcommittee. See your Department Chair for more information. PennWest California does not automatically deny Admission to Teacher Education because of any citation, but candidates need to be aware of future issues with the Department of Education and future employers. All Teacher Education candidates must be aware that the Pennsylvania Department of Education has the final decision on whether infractions on your record will impede the issuance of your certification.