Required Clearances

All student teachers and fieldwork students must provide the public school building administrators copies of the following:

Federal Criminal History - Act 114 (fingerprinting)
Pennsylvania State Criminal History Background Check: PATCH - Act 34
Child Abuse History Clearance - Act 151
Tuberculin Test

Federal Criminal History

Effective April 1, 2007, all student teaching candidates and fieldwork students must have an FBI fingerprint clearance completed before entering the public schools. Currently, the charge for this test is $36.00 pus an additional $2.00 to receive your unofficial report. The procedures for obtaining the fingerprint clearance will be outlined during an information session held on campus. Additional information is available in the Education Department office.

Please read the following directions carefully. The fingerprint-based background check is a multiple-step process.

1. The applicant must register prior to going to the fingerprint site. Walk in service without prior registration will not be provided at any fingerprinting location. Registration is completed online or over the phone. Registration is available online 24 hour/day, seven days per week at Telephone registration is available at 1-888-439-2486 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm EST. During the registration process all demographic data for the applicant is collected (name, address, SSN, etc.). There is no data entry required at the fingerprint collection site.

2. The applicant must pay the $36.00 fee plus an additional $2.00 fee to receive an unofficial copy of the fingerprint report at the time of registration. Applicants may make their payment online at using a credit or debit card. All students must request an unofficial copy of their fingerprint report at the time of online registration. This is the only time that request will be accepted by Cogent Systems.

3. The applicant proceeds to the fingerprint site for fingerprinting. The locations of the fingerprint sites and hours of operation are posted on the Cogent Systems website. The Education Department will provide directions and hours for the site closest to Muhlenberg College.

4. At the fingerprint site the Applicant Livescan Operators (ALO) manage the fingerprint collection process. Applicants must provide a state or federal photo ID before processing the applicant’s transaction. Applicants will not be processed if they cannot produce an acceptable photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport. Additional forms of acceptable ID may be found at the Cogent Systems website.

5. After the identity of the applicant has been established, all ten fingers are scanned to complete the process. The entire fingerprint capture process should take no more than three to five minutes.

6. The applicant’s scanned fingerprints will be electronically transmitted to the Pennsylvania State Police who in turn submits the fingerprints and demographic information to the FBI as required by federal statute.

7. Pennsylvania School Districts and Colleges will have electronic access to a secured database of FBI clearances.

8. Questions or concerns about the FBI clearances should be directed to: Denise Wolfgang at (717) 783-3750 or email at

9. The applicant must provide copies of their clearances to the Education Department and to the schools in which they are placed for fieldwork and/or student teaching.

Confidentiality (Security) of Applicant Information

On-site access to the Livescan equipment, and the data traveling from the equipment, is comprehensively secured and regulated by both Cogent Systems and the regulations governing the use of that data.

The Computer System

The system will be housed within a secured network that is protected by firewall devices configured explicitly to allow only permissible protocols and traffic. Cogent Systems will ensure that all devices procured under this process continue to adhere to the Commonwealth’s Security requirements. The proposed systems will be configured to provide a point of defense with controlled access from both inside and outside the network. The Livescan systems will be configured to support logging and audit capability. Furthermore, the Livescan solution will support 128 bit encryption.

UPS is located at 3440 Lehigh Street Allentown, PA (610-966-4255)

Directions to UPS on Lehigh Street:

1. Take Chew Street to Ott Street

2. Turn left onto Ott Street

3. Turn left onto Hamilton Boulevard (2nd traffic light)

4. Turn right onto 24th Street (1st traffic light)

5. Continue until you come to Lehigh Street – Turn right onto Lehigh Street

6. After 2nd traffic light UPS is on the right side next to Subway.


9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Monday through Friday
9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Saturday

Act 34 Criminal Record Check

You can access your Criminal History Record online through the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP):

1. On the PSP webpage, under “Public Services,” click “Criminal History Request.” This moves you to the PATCH system page.

2. ON the PA Access page select “Submit a New Record Check.”

3. On this page, please review the “Terms and Conditions for the use of PATCH.” Scroll to the bottom of the page. Here, by clicking the “Accept” button, you will move into the page to begin the process. If you click “Decline” you cannot go further and get your clearances online.

4. On the “Personal Information” page beside “Reason For Request,” click on the down arrow. Then click on “Education “.

5. From this point you will need to move through the remaining pages as directed to pay for and receive your clearance printout. You will receive the clearance printout after the application has been completed online unless there is a need for extensive research by the PSP. A credit card is required for payment for each clearance request, and the cost is currently $10.00.

Child Abuse History Clearance

  1. Required forms are available in the Education Department office.
  2. Complete the attached sheet according to the directions. You must include a money order for $10.00 – no personal checks will be accepted.
  3. Please allow 4-6 weeks to receive your clearance from the state.

Please note: When you have received all three clearances, make 3 copies of each. Send one copy of each to the Education Department and retain the additional copies to present to the school districts. Keep your original documents in a safe location. You may be required to present the originals in order to conduct field work or student teach in the public schools

Tuberculin Test

All fieldwork students and student teachers must have proof of a current Tuberculosis Test. This test is available from the Student Health Center and may be completed the first week of the semester. You may be asked to provide this document at your fieldwork site.

For more information on required background checks for PA certification, please visit PDE’s website.