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), 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.

Be sure to keep your original clearances in a safe place.  Many school districts will want to see the originals, not copies.

Clearance Submission Instructions for Field Experience Classes

Obtaining Clearances

ACT 24 Clearance - PDE Arrest or Conviction Form

ACT 31 Requirement - Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training

ACT 34 Clearance - Pennsylvania Criminal History Record

ACT 151 Clearance - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (requires 6 weeks to process)

ACT 114 Clearance - Be sure to follow these instruction for the Act 114 Clearance:

  • Log onto Cogent Website:
  • Choose Department of Education
  • Choose Register on Line
  • Complete the registration form and print (you will need the registration id # to have your fingerprints taken and viewed)
  • Take your registration id # to the Cogent location of your choice, the nearest to Cal U is the Intermediate Unit in Coal Center.

Keep your recipt.  You will receive an official letter from Cogent in the mail.  This letter is the clearance you will turn in with your clearances.

If you are Out-Of-State, click this link to find instructions to obtain PA clarances.  (This method uses regular mail, and may take considerably longer than obtaining clearances through in-state methods.)

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 on your certification.