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.
In preparation for the 2020-2021 academic year:
Due to COVID-19, clearance deadlines have been modified:
Students must upload renewed clearances to EdPortal by July 1, 2020 for the following clearances:
- Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Record (Act 34)
- Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151)
- These clearances must be dated May 1, 2020, or later in order to be valid for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Due to access to these clearances being disrupted during COVID-19, these two remaining clearances are not required to be uploaded until further notice. The Office of Field Placement will notify all students when the remaining two clearances are to be completed:
- Federal Criminal History Background Check (FBI/fingerprint check) (Act 114)
- P.P.D. (TB) Test (School Health regulations, 28 PA Code, Section 23.44)
Please review this step-by-step video guide to learn how to obtain your clearances: COE Clearance Video
The College of Education’s Clearances Policy requires that all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in College of Education courses that require fieldwork submit updated copies of the following clearances to the College annually (each summer, by July 1st), via its online platform, EdPortal:
- Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Record (Act 34),
- Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151),
- Federal Criminal History Background Check (FBI/fingerprint check) (Act 114), and
- 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.
Who needs clearances?
All teacher education students, Education Minor students, ABA, School Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and other Temple students who intend to take College of Education courses that include fieldwork are required to obtain and submit updated clearances in advance of all fieldwork. This policy extends to and includes graduate students who intend to complete fieldwork / field projects with the students or youth in the classrooms or schools or community centers or agencies, etc. in which they are currently employed full-time.
Clearances must be valid through the entire academic year (May, June, July or August through the following April (May 1st)) in order to be approved. No matter when students initially obtain their clearances, students are directed to update their clearances immediately following the spring semester (or each summer) so that they’re valid to begin coursework at the start of the summer sessions (and the subsequent fall and spring semesters) and to register in the Fall for Spring courses that require fieldwork and in the Spring for Summer and 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 and graduate program faculty review all clearances submitted to EdPortal on a rolling basis and approve (or “clear”) students for fieldwork. Once students have successfully submitted 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 reviewed by the Office of Field Placement 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 email@example.com or call 215-204-8011 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 an incident, as those with one or more incidents listed 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Faculty can also request access to EdPortal to see if a student has a "cleared" or "not cleared" status by submitting a TUHelp ticket.
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 either the Office of Field Placement or graduate program faculty 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.
Students who engage in fieldwork without approved clearances will not receive credit for that fieldwork in the course, possibly fail the course, and will be subject to disciplinary action by the College of Education for lack of professionalism.
When Should You Initially Request or Update Your Clearances?
All teacher education students and Education Minor students are required to obtain updated clearances and upload them to EdPortal in advance of their first course that includes fieldwork and then annually (each summer).
All ABA, School Psychology, and Counseling Psychology graduate students in the College of Education are required to obtain and submit their updated clearances upon admission to the programs and then annually (each summer).
Undergraduate students from other colleges who intend to register for a College of Education course requiring clearances during the upcoming academic year - whether fall or spring - should begin the process for obtaining each of the four clearances in May (not before) of the academic year prior so that all clearances are ready to be uploaded to Edportal by the July 1st deadline established by the College of Education.
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. Transfer students will be required to obtain clearances before starting fieldwork for spring courses and then also be required to update again that summer in order to be aligned with the annual clearance update cycle established by the College of Education.
Graduate Students should begin the process for obtaining each of the four clearances as soon as they:
Register for a course that requires fieldwork. Check comments on the Schedule of Classes to determine if clearances are needed for a specific course.
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.
Obtaining Required Clearances
Can be Obtained
Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records (Act 34)*
Volunteer clearances will not be accepted. Choose "employment" as the reason for obtaining the clearance.
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
Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151)*
You can complete a registration process and submit your clearance application online: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home
This report is sometimes emailed to you within a few minutes of submitting your application. New applications to the system can take up to a few weeks to process.
Or you can apply by sending this form by mail with a money order. Mail the form and money order to:
Child Line and Abuse Registry
Please note: If you send this post office certified you will receive your results much faster.
The address for certified or FedEx mail is:
Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114)
IdentoGO is PA's fingerprint provider as of November 2017.
Please follow these instructions carefully.
P.P.D. Tuberculin Test
Go to your primary care physician or Student Health Services 215-204-7500
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.
How to Submit Your Clearances to Temple
Students must submit their clearances online at Edportal (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
A student with an offense/incident listed on his/her clearance(s) must also immediately submit a hard copy of the clearance that lists the offense/incident to the Office of Field Placement. The Office is located in the Shimada Resource Center -- Ritter Annex 150. Clearances with offenses/incidents require additional review and approval.
Problems Uploading Your Clearances
If you are having problems attaching/uploading your clearances documents in Edportal, please try the following:
- Make sure the file name of the clearance you are trying to upload does not include any special characters -- like commas (,) pound sign (#) or the at symbol (@) -- remove any special characters from the file name and try again to upload.
- If you are uploading a picture of your clearance document, resize the image to be less than 1mb in file size or less than 800x1200 pixels in size. Need help? Check out Resize Image online.
Incidents on Clearances
If one or more incident is reported on an updated clearance, then the process for approval for fieldwork is as follows:
- The student uploads all updated clearances to EdPortal for review.
- When one or more incident is reported on a clearance, that clearance is marked "pending" and shared with the College of Education’s designee for further review.
- The College’s designee contacts the student to request he/she come to Main Campus for an in-person meeting so that the College’s designee and the student can discuss the clearance review process and any additional information needed and/or any other appropriate actions.
- The College’s designee shares a copy of the clearance with the Legal Counsel of the School District of Philadelphia. Legal Counsel determines through its own review, typically within 3-5 days, whether the student can complete fieldwork in the School District of Philadelphia based on the information reported on the clearance and possibly any additional information requested from the student regarding the incident in question.
- The School District of Philadelphia's determination serves as that of the Office of Field Placement as to whether or not a student is approved to complete fieldwork in any setting for a Temple University College of Education course. The School District of Philadelphia’s determination is final.
- The College’s designee with follow-up with the student, whether by phone, email, or with a request for an in-person meeting, to share the outcome of the review process. Students will then have to schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor to make any revisions to his/her course schedule or program enrollment in response to the information the College’s designee shares.
Reporting Incidents Incurred Between Annual Summer Clearance Updates
Teacher Education, Education Minor, School Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and ABA students at Temple and others who take courses in the College of Education that require fieldwork are expected to inform the College of Education about any incidents they incur after they have submitted updated clearances to the College for the given academic year.
- In order to report an incident incurred between annual summer clearance updates, a student should immediately contact Mr. Bernie McGee, Assistant Director of Field Placement, in the College of Education's Office of Field Placement at email@example.com or 215-204-1520.
- Additionally, a student who incurs an incident should not begin or continue to engage in any fieldwork while his/her incident is being reviewed by the Office of Field Placement.
- A student who fails to immediately report an incident and/or who continues to engage in fieldwork before an incident has been reviewed by the Office of Field Placement will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Temple University's Student Code of Conduct and/or PDE's Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators.
- An "incident" is any criminal activity someone was involved with that received the attention of law enforcement and would appear on someone's background check. If you're unsure whether or not you've incurred an incident, renew your clearances (FBI, PA State Police, PA Child Abuse) to see whether the criminal activity in question is noted on them.
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 course instructor.
- For other questions related field experiences in the College of Education, please contact the Office of Field Placement by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone: (215) 204-8011.