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General Description
Policy Provisions
Performance Evaluation
Subject Experts
School of Education Candidate Background Check Policy and Procedures

Document Number: ACAD--176 Revision #: 1.0
Document Owner: Executive VP Date Last Updated: 07/11/2013
Primary Author: Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts Status: Approved
Date Originally Created: 02/16/2012

General Description

Information about criminal background checks relative to School of Education policy and procedure.


Delineation of policy and provisions.



Responsibility: Academic Affairs
VP for Academic Affairs

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Relevant Knowledge: In order to comply with this policy you should know:
Current University policy
Standards of good practice

Terms and Definitions: Additional training

Corrective Action

Loss of privilege, general

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Policy Provisions

Background Check Policy and Procedure

By law, any person who will work with children in schools must complete a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Child-related worker private background check (pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-5-413) (“background check”). Background checks only provide information about a candidate’s record at the time that the check is completed. Below are the policies of the Cumberland University School of Education (SoE&PS) regarding background checks.




1. All Cumberland University School of Education (hereafter: SoE&PS) undergraduate students and/or candidates for Tennessee teacher licensure or endorsement must complete a background check under the SoE&PS ORI number and have it submitted to the SoE&PS office to be placed in their files before being admitted to the Teacher Education Program, Phase I. Candidates in the Master of Arts in Education programs who are not licensed teachers must complete a background check upon entering the program under the SoE&PS ORI number and have it submitted to the SoE&PS office to be placed in their files.

a. Procedures for completing a background check are to be posted on the SoE&PS website.

b. Candidates may not engage in or be placed in schools for field experiences or student teaching without having a background check on file in the SoE&PS office.

c. Any candidate who withdraws from the university for a semester or longer and is readmitted with an interest in teacher licensure must complete all requirements for entry to the Teacher Education Progression again.


2. If a background check is returned with an “indication that there is reason to preclude the applicant from consideration for employment or licensing” candidates and SoE&PS personnel must follow the steps detailed in the Background Check Positive Return Policy and Procedure.


3. Candidates are required to notify the SoE&PS if, after a completed background check has been submitted to the School of Education, they are involved in any incident in which law enforcement is involved, or that requires an appearance in a court of law. Candidates must notify the School of Education on the first business day after the incident occurs, and prior to their appearance in court.

a. They must sign an agreement to do so (the School of Education Background Check Candidate Statement).

b. The agreement is to be signed during the TEP I interview for undergraduates, and upon entrance to the program for Master of Arts in Education candidates who are not already licensed.


4. The SoE&PS reserves the right to judgment on any positive return indicating an “indication that there is reason to preclude the applicant from consideration for employment or licensing.” Decisions made based on these judgments include but are not limited to the following:

a. NO FELONS will be permitted to complete a degree at Cumberland University that may be used to secure teacher licensure in any state (exceptions may rarely be made on a case-by-case basis on the merits of the individual and the case);

b. Any incident involving children, minors, abuse, violence, etc. is to be very seriously considered on the merits of each individual case;

c. For other incidents not involving children or violence, CFE must consider the nature and date of the incident before clearing the candidate for placement;

d. If the candidate is considered ineligible for placement by the SoE&PS, the SoE&PS faculty or its representatives will take the necessary steps to assist the candidate with a transfer to another major if appropriate;

e. The SoE&PS faculty reserve the right to deny a candidate the ability to complete a degree based on the merits of information returned in a background check.


5. This policy will remain in effect indefinitely and apply to all students enrolled in a School of Education degree program or program leading to Tennessee teacher licensure or teaching license endorsement.


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Performance Evaluation
Performance Metrics: Compliance with standard policy and procedure

Consequences: Further training
Loss of privileges

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Subject Experts
The following may be consulted for additional information.
Dean of the School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts

VP for Academic Affairs

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