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Important Information for Future Teachers about
Criminal Background Checks

If you plan to earn teacher certification, you will be expected to have a criminal background check at several stages of your academic program, which may include:

  • Field placements for entry-level courses (such as EDUC 280)
  • Extended volunteer assignments
  • Application to some teacher education programs
  • Application for a student teaching assignment
  • Employment as a teacher, substitute, or paraprofessional

Field placement for entry level courses and volunteering:

All public schools are required to ask for a background check for anyone who regularly visits a K-12 school building. Students enrolled in EDUC 280-Teacher Education Practicum, should be prepared to present a completed Internet Criminal history Access Tool (ICHAT) report to their practicum site at the beginning of their assignment. Instructions for conducting this online background check may be found by clicking here.

Application to upper level Education programs and student teaching:

At the time of application to teacher education programs you must disclose any misdemeanors or felony convictions as well as college/university disciplinary actions. Failure to disclose an offense may result in expulsion from the program. Some universities may require a Federal background check (fingerprint) when you apply to the program, but all universities require the Federal background check prior to student teaching. Most university teacher education programs will review each incident on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the student should be admitted or allowed to continue in the program. Final approval of a recommendation made by the university is granted only by the Michigan Department of Education.

Offenses of concern:

Universities are required to report to the Michigan Department of Education any teacher candidate with felony convictions and/or certain misdemeanors involving violence, drugs, or child abuse. Certification may be denied if a person has been convicted, as an adult, of a felony or any of the following:

  • Criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree
  • Attempt to commit criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree
  • Child abuse in the third or fourth degree
  • Attempt to commit child abuse in the third or fourth degree
  • Cruelty, torture, or indecent exposure involving a child
  • Delivery of a narcotic to a minor or student or within 1000 feet of school property
  • Breaking and entering
  • Knowingly allowing a minor to consume or possess alcohol or controlled substance at a social gathering
  • Accosting, enticing, or soliciting a child for an immoral purpose
  • Larceny from a vacant dwelling
  • Assault: assault and battery
  • Assault: infliction of serious injury
  • Selling or furnishing alcoholic liquor to a person less than 21 years of age

These other conviction areas are also a concern of the State of Michigan:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Illegal use of firearms
  • Minor in possession of/consumption of alcohol
  • Obscenity/pornography violations
  • Other acts of violence
  • Possession/use of illegal substances
  • Shoplifting

Students with any of the above misdemeanors should consult with the teacher education program of their transfer university for advisement on how to proceed.

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