Clearances for Teacher Candidates
In accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations, all teacher education candidates who have direct contact with children must have current (not more than one (1) year old) Pennsylvania State Criminal Background (Act 34), Child Abuse (Act 151), PDE Arrest or Conviction (Act 24) and Federal Criminal History Record (Act 114, Fingerprinting) clearances. Additionally, College of Education and Human Services policy requires the Mandatory Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training (Act 31) to be completed each year. This applies to all course-related observation, field, and clinical experiences, as well as student teaching. It is recommended that Teacher Education Candidates apply for these clearances during their first semester at Cal U and then each summer thereafter.
ALL candidates (both incoming and current) are required to have a CastleBranch account for managing their clearances. The CastleBranch management system will allow students to apply directly, upload, maintain, and access their clearances from any electronic device. It is required that all candidates update their clearances by August 15th each year in preparation for the upcoming field experience(s).
CREATING CASTLE BRANCH ACCOUNT AND APPLYING FOR CLEARANCES
Step 1) Go to Castle Branch https://portal.castlebranch.com/LS33
Step 2) Click Place Order
Step 3) Select Appropriate Program
Step 4) First time CastleBranch users will select "Background Check and Compliance Tracker."
Returning users who already have a CastleBranch account will select "Background Check Annual Recheck."
Step 5) Review Order Instructions, Create Account, and Apply for Clearances
Clearances Required to be Stored and Monitored in Castle Branch
ACT 24 Clearance - PDE Arrest or Conviction Form
ACT 31 Requirement - Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting Training
ACT 34 Clearance - Pennsylvania Criminal History Record (apply in CastleBranch account)
ACT 151 Clearance - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (apply in CastleBranch account, requires 6 weeks to process)
ACT 114 Clearance - FBI Fingerprint Clearance
Clearances with Infractions
Teacher Education candidates with any type of record, on any clearance, will require a meeting with the Teacher Education Subcommittee. See your Department Chair for more information. Cal U does not automatically deny Admission to Teacher Education because of any citation, but candidates need to be aware of future issues with the Department of Education and future employers. All Teacher Education candidates must be aware that the Pennsylvania Department of Education has the final decision on whether infractions on your record will impede the issuance of your certification.