Field Experience and Student Teaching Clearances

In order to engage in any type of field experience at any location, student teach, or complete the PPES process, students must have a photocopy of the following clearances in their departmental education major file in LS134. All clearances must be updated annually. Students must have clearances that are less than a year old to start each semester and the clearances must be valid for the entire semester. 

3 Required Clearances:

  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (CY113, Act 151)
    • This application can be submitted electronically at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS.
    • When completing the application, the student should check the box “School Employee Governed by Public School Code” in the Purpose of Clearance section.
    • The Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance will only be accepted by the Department of Education if the following status is shown: “No Record Exists.”
  • Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check, also known as Pennsylvania State Police Check (SP4-164, Act 34)
    • This application can be submitted electronically at: https://epatch.state.pa.us/.
    • When completing the application, the student should check the box “Employment” in the Reason for Request section.
    • The Pennsylvania Criminal Record Check Clearance will only be accepted by the Department of Education if the following status is shown: “No Record.”
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Criminal Background Checks (Act 114)
    • When accessing the FBI Check, students must be sure they are using the Pennsylvania Department of Education fingerprint check link that specifies it includes but is not limited to: Teachers, School Administrators, Substitute Teachers, Teaching Assistants, PIAA Sports Officials, School Bus Drivers, and Student Teachers.
    • Applicants register online at: www.pa.cogentid.com/index_pde.htm
    • When completing the application, the student should check the box “Colleges/Universities” in the Reason for Fingerprinted section.
    • After internet registration, students must print the registration and/or the receipt.
    • Students should bring the printed registration form to the Department of Education Office, LS134, to be filed until they receive their unofficial clearance certificate.
    • The student must take the registration and a photo ID (photo driver’s license) to the fingerprint site of his/her choice.  Sites are found on the registration website listed above.
    • When the clearance certificate is received, the student must bring it to the Department of Education Office, LS134.
    • The Federal Criminal History Record will only be accepted by the Department of Education if the following status is shown: “A search of the fingerprints on the above individual has revealed no prior arrest.”

It is the student’s responsibility to access the above websites and complete all 3 Clearance Check Processes.  This must be done in a timely fashion, as it could take up to 12 weeks for the student to receive their clearances, if you choose to mail in your applications.  Field Experience, PPES, or Student Teaching cannot proceed unless these clearances are on file in the Department of Education Office, LS134.

The cost and mailing of the applications are the student's responsibility. If students receive any clearance(s) by mail, they are responsible for bringing the original of each document to the Department of Education Office and having official copies made. The originals will be returned to the students for their records.