Clearances for Teacher Candidates

In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations, all teacher education candidates who have direct contact with children must have current (not more than one (1) year old) Pennsylvania State Criminal Background (Act 34), Child Abuse (Act 151), PDE Arrest or Conviction (Act 24) and Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114, Fingerprinting) clearances. Additionally, College of Education and Human Services policy requires the Mandatory Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training (Act 31) to be completed each year. This applies to all course-related observation, field, and clinical experiences, as well as student teaching. It is recommended that Teacher Education Candidates apply for these clearances during their first semester at Cal U and then each summer thereafter.

Obtaining Clearances

ALL candidates (both incoming and current) are required to have a CastleBranch account for managing their clearances. The CastleBranch management system will allow students to apply directly, upload, maintain, and access their clearances from any electronic device. It is required that all candidates update their clearances by August 15th  each year in preparation for the upcoming field experience(s). 

CastleBranch: How to Place Order 


Step 1)            Go to Castle Branch

Step 2)            Click Place Order

Step 3)            Select Appropriate Program

Step 4)            First time CastleBranch users will select "Background Check and Compliance Tracker."

  Returning users who already have a CastleBranch account will select "Background Check Annual Recheck."

Step 5)            Review Order Instructions, Create Account, and Apply for Clearances

Clearances Required to be Stored and Monitored in Castle Branch

ACT 24 Clearance - PDE Arrest or Conviction Form

ACT 31 Requirement - Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training

ACT 34 Clearance - Pennsylvania Criminal History Record (apply in CastleBranch account)

ACT 151 Clearance - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (apply in CastleBranch account, requires 6 weeks to process)

ACT 114 Clearance - FBI Fingerprint Clearance

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.  Cal U 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.