Pennsylvania Teacher Background Checks & Clearance Forms
Drexel University School of Education
In an effort to protect children from potential harm, law requires that all teacher education students complete a current Federal FBI background check and obtain the required clearances for the state they live in before completing a field experience.
This process is extremely important to both schools and Drexel University. Teacher education students who do not complete the required background check and clearances will not be permitted to enter a school building.
PA State Clearances for Teachers
Students conducting a field experience in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be required to obtain the following:
IDEMIA is the electronic fingerprinting vendor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Students must have their fingerprints taken by IDEMIA as part of the FBI background check process. Students will need to pay a fee of $23.85 as a fee for the service, and will need to travel to an official IDEMIA fingerprinting location. Students will receive a copy of their criminal history record once it has been processed.
Upon registering for the fingerprint check, you will be assigned an unique Universal Enrollment ID (UEID). You are to email the UEID to the Field Placement Office (StuTeach@drexel.edu) so that the FPO may access your FBI clearance online. Be sure to process this clearance through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) NOT the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) or the Department of Banking (DOB). Note: The ‘Service Code’ for Colleges/Universities Teacher Education Programs is: 1KG6RT.
More information about how to complete a federal FBI background check and fingerprinting can be found at the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.
Drexel University School of Education teacher candidates must complete the required Reporter Training before starting their field experience. Reporter Training prepares students with the proper information on how to handle and report issues they experience at a school. Reporter Training is conducted online. You can register and complete the training at the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center website. Candidates must print out the certificate of completion and forward a copy to the Field Placement Office (StuTeach@drexel.edu).
Students completing a field experience in the state of Pennsylvania must complete a criminal background check through the Pennsylvania State Police. Students can complete the process online through the “Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History” system or “PATCH.” PATCH allows the public to easily access criminal history record checks in accordance with PA’s Criminal History Information Act.
There is a fee associated with obtaining a criminal record check. For information about how to obtain your criminal history record, please visit the PATCH website.
Drexel University School of Education students completing a field experience in a school in Pennsylvania must apply to receive PA Child Abuse History Clearance before beginning their field experience. Students can apply online through the Child Welfare Portal. The website, created by PA Child Welfare Information Solution provides the public with a convenient method to have their Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance processed online. The record check will let the student know if they are listed in the statewide child abuse database. Students can apply online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home.
Teacher candidates are required to complete an Arrest/Conviction Report before starting their student teaching experience. The form should be filled out by the candidate and returned to the Field Placement Office. Additionally, schools may request that student teacher candidates complete and sign the form for their files.
*Students are to submit all clearances electronically via email to StuTeach@drexel.edu. Please be sure to use the email subject heading: Clearance Submission and your full name.
NOTE: * Clearances expire 5-years from date of issuance and it is the student's responsibility to maintain updated clearances. Some schools and school districts may require clearances be valid within a year from the date of issuance in order to conduct your field experience within their school/district. Additionally, some districts may require proof of a clear Tuberculin skin test. Drexel students will be notified of any variance(s) on a case-by-case basis by the Field Placement Office.
Field Placement Application and Student Teaching Information
Field experiences must take place within an approved school setting as identified and confirmed by the School of Education’s Field Placement Office. Per the School of Education's policies, field experiences are not to occur within a school or building in which a teacher candidate's children attend or family members are employed. Field experiences are broken into four stages, carefully crafted to provide students with the education and skills to operate their own, effective classroom. The stages include:
In Stage I Field Placements, candidates observe classes in a wide variety of schools and school-related settings. Students serve as active observers assisting classroom teachers and practitioners toward supporting learning of individual students and coordinating classroom activities.
In Stage II Field Placements, candidates explore working in small group settings and with one-on-one instructional support of young learners. Candidates learn about school communities and school policy and regulations.
The following link connects to the Stage I and II Field Placement Application:
At Stage III, candidates continue to evolve their teaching skills by teaching in small groups and in whole class settings, under the observation of the classroom teacher. At this more advanced stage, candidates are applying their knowledge from their Drexel University School of Education classes.
Stage IV is the final stage of the Field Experience process for Drexel University School of Education teacher candidates. Candidates complete a minimum of 420 hours of teaching in a school. Graduate students complete a 13-week (minimum) experience, while undergraduate students complete a 24-week (minimum) student teaching experience. Candidates are supervised closely by the full-time Cooperating Teacher. This experience allows candidates to apply all of the skills and knowledge they have learned through their Drexel classes and their previous field experiences. Candidates will gain first-hand knowledge of the demands of the teaching profession and will receive direct feedback from their Cooperating Teacher.
Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests
The Praxis is a series of teacher exams required by most states to earn a teaching certification. A passing score on the Praxis I exam is required by most college and universities, including Drexel, for admission into a teacher education program. A passing score on the Praxis II exam is required by most states to receive a teaching certification. The assessments cover several subject areas and each state requires a different combination of exams in order to receive certification.
See test requirements for Pennsylvania
NOTICE: All candidate's who do not take the Praxis Exams within PA should list the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) as a score recipient (#8033) on their Praxis Registration form. Praxis scores for candidates who take the Praxis Exams within Pennsylvania are automatically sent the PDE.
All candidate's should list Drexel University as a score recipient (#RA2194) on their Praxis Registration form.
Student Teaching Forms (For Cooperating Teachers & Site Supervisor)