Clearances are required prior to working with minors in any capacity for any amount of time as a Penn State Harrisburg student. Teacher candidates must obtain clear background checks before entering any public or private schools in Pennsylvania for the purpose of completing educational field experiences and student teaching. The following is important information for submitting all required clearances and documentation.
Where and how do I submit my clearances?
- Teacher candidates are not permitted to enter the field until all four required clearances are submitted to “Clearance Submission for Teacher Education” Canvas pride and reviewed by the Clinical and Field Experience Coordinator. Failure to submit these documents by the deadlines provided in Canvas may result in a delayed field experience or the loss of a secured field placement.
- Clearances and TB test results will only be accepted through submission to the Clearance Submission for Teacher Education Canvas pride. Clearances submitted in any other manner will not be accepted.
- Clearances must indicate no record and must be valid (do not expire) for the entire semester during which there is a field experience.
What form should my clearances be in when I submit them?
Only PDFs of the state, federal, and child abuse clearances will be accepted. A PDF or image of the TB test results are acceptable. Please be sure that the PDF or image captures all necessary information and is easy to read.
When are my clearances due?
Clearances are due the first week in August for the fall semester and the first week in January for the spring semester. We strongly suggest this time frame so that clearances cover two academic semesters. Clearances submitted in June, July, or August (recommended) prior to the fall semester cover the full academic year.
How long are my clearances valid?
Clearances are valid for one year and cannot turn one year old during a semester. Renewed clearances must be submitted annually. Please note that TB tests must always be dated within 90 days of the first day in the field.
Are there any additional required documents that I need to submit?
A Waiver to Release Medical and Clearance Records is required by Penn State Harrisburg to participate in a field experience. This form is available in and is also to be submitted to the Clearances Submission for Teacher Education Canvas pride.
Should I keep physical copies of my clearances on hand?
Yes. Keep originals of all clearances accessible while attending field placements. Teacher candidates may be asked at any time by staff in schools to produce original documents. Candidates are expected to comply.
What if I have a prior arrest or conviction record? Am I still able to become a teacher?
If an arrest, conviction, or indication is present on any clearance document, teacher candidates are required to make an appointment with the Clinical and Field Experience Coordinator to discuss continuation in the teacher education program. No teacher candidate should report to any field experience site without first meeting with the Clinical Coordinator.
What if I am arrested while I am in the teacher education program?
In the event of a teacher candidate’s arrest during their time in the teacher education program, they are expected to contact the Clinical and Field Experience Coordinator within 72 hours of the incident.
Teacher Candidates: Be sure to thoroughly review all of the information included in the “Clearance Submission for Teacher Education” Canvas pride. After you have done so, if you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to Ms. Danielle Bowers, Clinical and Field Experience Coordinator at [email protected].