Academic & Student Affairs

Required Clearances for Temple Teacher Education Students Completing Fieldwork in Pennsylvania Schools or Community Centers

The College of Education at Temple University has instituted a Clearances Policy for background checks of persons working with children as mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Act 24 of 2011, Act 34 of 1985, and Act 114 and Act 151 of 2006.

Clearances Policy

The College of Education’s Clearances Policy requires that all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in Temple teacher education courses that require fieldwork submit updated copies of the following clearances to the College annually, via its online platform, EdPortal, a:

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Record (Act 34),
  2. Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151),
  3. Federal Criminal History Background Check (FBI/fingerprint check) (Act 114), and
  4. P.P.D. (TB) Test (School Health regulations, 28 PA Code, Section 23.44).

For detailed information about these requirements, refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Education website.

All students, even those who intend to complete fieldwork with the students or youth in the classrooms or schools or community centers in which they are employed full-time, are required to obtain and submit updated clearances in advance of fieldwork for Temple course(s) that require fieldwork.

Students must have updated clearances both (a) at the time of course registration (though they may expire and need to be updated prior to the start of the course) should they intend to register for one or more courses that requires fieldwork and (b) at the start of the semester in which they are enrolled in one or more courses that requires fieldwork.

Clearances must be valid through the entire semester in order to be approved. No matter when students initially obtain their clearances, students are directed to update their clearances each summer so that they’re valid to begin coursework at the start of both the Fall and Spring semesters and allow students to register in Fall for Spring courses that require fieldwork and in Spring for Fall courses that require fieldwork.

A list of current College of Education courses that require fieldwork, and therefore, clearances, can be found online.

Students with an offense or “incident” listed on their record and indicated on one or more clearances should contact the Office of Field Placement immediately. The Office of Field Placement is located in the Shimada Resource Center in Ritter Annex 150, 215-204-8011.

Clearances Approval Process

Staff members in the Office of Field Placement review all clearances submitted to EdPortal on a rolling basis and approve (or “clear”) students for fieldwork. Once students have successfully submit their updated clearances to EdPortal, no further action is necessary. The approval process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the time of year and the volume of submissions to EdPortal.* Clearances are approved in the order in which they are submitted and “complete” clearance updates of all four documents are typically reviewed first. Should your clearance approval need be urgent, you can email edfield@temple.edu to request a more immediate review of your clearances. The Office of Field Placement will try to accommodate such requests.

*Processing a clearance that reports an incident takes longer than the processing of clearances without incident, as those with incidents must be reviewed by the School District of Philadelphia and/or University Council for approval. Students who have incidents on their clearances should contact the Office of Field Placement immediately. The Office of Field Placement is located in the Shimada Resource Center, Ritter Annex 150, and can be reached at 215-204-8011 or edfield@temple.edu.

Clearances Approval Notification

STUDENTS: Students will know that their clearances have been approved by the Office of Field Placement when “CLEARED” appears next to each of the four clearances that they have uploaded into EdPortal.

COURSE INSTRUCTORS: Course instructors receive notification of students’ clearances statuses at the beginning of the semester (typically during the first week of classes) in a list provided by a staff member in the Office of Field Placement.

Consequences for Not Having Updated Clearances

Students not approved for fieldwork through the note of “CLEARED” next to all four of their clearances in EdPortal are prohibited from engaging in fieldwork until their clearances are approved. Students’ grades can be affected by their inability to complete course-required fieldwork until clearances are approved, and in some cases, students will not be allowed to continue in the course because fieldwork cannot be completed due to clearances not being approved at the start of the semester.

Not having updated clearances uploaded to EdPortal and approved by the Office of Field Placement will prevent a student from beginning fieldwork required for a course and prevent a student from registering for courses the following semester that require fieldwork.

When Should You Initially Request or Update Your Clearances?

Undergraduate students registering for a Course Requiring Clearances in the upcoming academic year - either in the fall or in the following spring semester - should begin the process for obtaining each of the four clearances in May (not before) of each year so that all clearances are ready to be uploaded to Edportal by the July 1st deadline established by the College.

Transfer Students transferring into Temple for a spring semester should make all attempts to obtain their clearances before attending their Transfer Student Advising Session.   Transfer Students transferring into Temple for a fall semester should make every effort to adhere to the policy as stated and secure clearances for a July 1 effective date.

Graduate Students should begin the process for obtaining each of the four clearances as soon as they:

  1. Register for a course that requires fieldwork. Check comments on the Schedule of Classes to determine if clearances are needed for a specific course.

  2. Due to the variety of research requirements and opportunities that may involve working directly with schools or students, it is recommended that Graduate Students complete clearances as soon as they begin their program in the College of Education and keep them current through graduation.

The table below highlights why it is imperative for students to renew their clearances between May 5th - July 1st every year; by doing so, students can be assured that there will be no barriers (other than those potentially posed by any incidents reported on their clearances) to beginning fieldwork and registering for the next semester’s courses that require fieldwork.

Example Clearances Renewal Timelines

Processing or “Approval” Date on Clearance

Expiration Date of Clearance

Good to begin fieldwork at the start of the Spring 2014 semester?

Good to be able to register during Spring registration for Fall 2014 classes that require fieldwork?

Good to begin fieldwork at the start of Fall 2014 semester?

Good to be able to register during Fall 2014 registration for Spring 2015 classes that require fieldwork?

Good to to begin fieldwork at the start of the Spring 2015 semester?

Good to be able to register during Spring 2015 for Fall 2015 classes that require fieldwork?

10/31/13

10/31/14

YES

YES

NO

NO

NO

NO

12/20/13

12/20/14

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

01/15/14

01/15/15

YES

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

03/10/14

03/10/15

------

YES

YES

YES

NO

NO

05/15/14

05/15/15

------

------

YES

YES

YES

YES

07/01/14

07/01/15

------

------

YES

YES

YES

YES

Obtaining Required Clearances

How to Obtain Required Clearances
Required Clearances Valid Period Can be Obtained Fee/Cost

Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records
(Act 34)

Good for one calendar year from the date of issue.Must be renewed every year.

https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp

If done electronically, this clearance result prints out instantly.

Please write down your control number. In the event you misplace the clearance, you can go back to the site to obtain a copy.


717-425-5546 or 1-888-783-7972

$10.00

Child Abuse History Clearance
(Act 151)

Good for one calendar year from the date of issue.Must be renewed every year.

http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/index.htm

Must mail in completed form with a $10.00 Money Order to:

Child Line and Abuse Registry
Department of Public Welfare
PO Box 8170
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8170
Phone: 717-783-6211

Please note: If you send this post office certified you will receive your results much faster.

The address for certified or FedEx mail is:
Childline
53 Hillcrest Building
5 Magnolia Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110

$10.00

Federal Criminal History Record
(Act 114)

Good for one calendar year from the date of issue.Must be renewed every year**.

www.pa.cogentid.com

Complete the Registration form, print, pay and take to a cogent fingerprinting site along with a photo ID. A list of fingerprinting locations is located on the Cogent site. Phone: 717-783-3750

You can get your prints done at the Main Campus Temple Police station on Tuesdays & Fridays from 1pm to 5pm (by appointment only) or at any other Cogent fingerprinting site.

To make an appointment on Main Campus, call Temple Police at 215-204-7900.

$28.75

P.P.D.
Tuberculin Test

Must be current with in one year and renewed each year.

Student Health Services:

Go to your primary care physician or Student Health Services 215-204-7500
1810 Liacouras Walk, 4th floor

If you use a primary care physician we do not have a special form. Physician letterhead or prescription pad with your name, date and results will be approved.

$4.00

** Other COGENT Fingerprint sites
Name Location Hours

The UPS Store

1735 Market Street, JFK Entrance

  • Monday through Friday: 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: Unavailable

 

The UPS Store

3720 Spruce Street

  • Monday through Friday: 10am to 4pm
  • Saturday and Sunday:  Unavailable

 

South Street Business Center

774 South Street
p. 215-592-8000

  • Monday through Friday: 9am to 7pm
  • Saturday:  11am to 4pm
  • Sunday: Unavailable

 

Finally, students are encouraged to refer to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website about fingerprinting which lists alternative locations: https://www.pa.cogentid.com

How to Submit Your Clearances

Students must submit your clearances online at http://edportal.temple.edu (login as student and then select "Clearances" from the list.) Clearances must be scanned individually to upload.  Need Help? See detailed Instructions for Uploading Your Clearances

If you have an offense listed on your clearances, you must also immediately submit a hard copy of the clearance that lists the offense to the Office of Field Placement.  The Office is located in the Shimada Resource Center -- Ritter Annex 150.  Clearances with offenses require additional authorization.

Questions and Assistance

  • For general questions about clearances, please contact the SRC at 215-204-8011.
  • For questions about clearances related to a course, please contact your instructor.
  • For other questions related field experiences in the College of Education , please contact the Office of Field Placement by email (edfield@temple.edu) or phone: (215) 204-8011.