UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Educator Preparation Program

Criminal Background History

 CEPS Criminal Background Disclosure – Due Diligence Policy

  1. Policy Purpose
    This policy requires students declaring majors in the College of Education & Professional Studies and Agricultural Education majors to provide information disclosures as a means of supporting due diligence for public safety in lower division courses with Field experiences that occur prior to admission to Clinical Level instruction and requiring Criminal Background Checks for Senior or upper level practicum experiences for undergraduates and Graduate students who will be involved with minors or vulnerable adults.  This policy establishes a structure by which such disclosures are to be reviewed at the College, and structure for the requirement for Criminal Background Checks and their review.
     
  2. Responsible College Officer
    Dean of the College and Associate Dean of the College
     
  3. Scope
    This policy affects students who declare College of Education Majors/Programs who seek to participate in courses or activities that bring them into public environments with persons who might be minors or vulnerable adults.

    This policy does not preclude asking the questions set forth in section 6.A of this policy to access other specific university services or programs where the Dean of the College deems it to be necessary to protect the welfare of the College’s faculty, staff, and/or students. Disclosures made under these circumstances should be reviewed using the process established in section 6.C.
     
  4. Background
    The College of Education & Professional Studies values and promotes access to higher education and the benefits it provides to individuals and society-at-large. Participation in programs and services offered by the College is an important part of the university experience. Of equal importance is the College’s responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment for members of the university community, and the communities with which it interacts.

    The balance between providing access to specific university programs or services and broader safety considerations is challenging but is important to evaluate constantly. This policy establishes standard crime and discipline questions that must be asked of a student prior to the student accessing or participating in certain services and programs of the College. This policy further establishes requirements for obtaining Criminal Background Checks for College activities that interact with public and private communities where professional clinical practice occurs with either minors or vulnerable adults.
     
  5. Definitions
    1. College of Education & Professional Studies/ Programs: Undergraduate Programs: Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Teacher Education, Educator Preparedness Program, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Social Work. Graduate programs: School Psychology, School Counseling.
    2. College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences: Agricultural Education Program
    3. Felony Conviction: The outcome of a criminal prosecution which concludes in a judgment that the defendant is guilty of a crime that is a felony. This only applies to convictions in which the defendant was convicted as an adult.
    4. Felony Plea: The outcome of a criminal prosecution which the accused pleads guilty or no contest to a crime that is a felony. This only applies to felony pleas in which the defendant was adjudicated as an adult.
    5. Post-secondary: Education that took place following graduation from high school.
    6. Student: An individual enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program In the College of Education & Professional Studies, or Agricultural Education in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences.
    7. Field Experience: A typically lower division course or curricular activity that requires a student to observe or participate under direct supervision in an environment where a preponderance of minors or vulnerable adults may populate. These can include observing in k-12 schools, service learning, social service agencies, hearing and speech clinics, hospitals, correctional facilities, hospitals, or rehabilitation facilities.
    8. Professional Clinical Practice- upper division or graduate level experiences where supervision may be under less direct supervision than in field experiences and a student may be exercising more independent judgment and autonomy of practice. Such experiences include: “Student Teaching”, “Educator Preparation Program”, “Social Work 472 Field Instruction” “Communication Sciences & Disorders Clinical Procedures and Experience”, “Comm Sciences & Disorders Clinical Experience Internship” “After Admission to School Counseling- MSE, Ed.S.” “After Admission to School Psychology MSE, ED.S.”, “after admission to MSE programs” and other programs as they develop.
       
  6. Policy Statement/Procedures
    1. Inquiry/Attestation
      The College of Education & Professional Studies shall ask the following questions of any student seeking to participate in any of the programs or services identified in this policy:
      1. Have you ever been convicted of a crime anywhere? This only applies to convictions in which you were tried as an adult or entered a plea in adult court. (This includes pleading no-contest or guilty in federal, state, local, military or tribal courts- felony or misdemeanor including traffic and conduct citations) (If yes, list each conviction/citation, when and where it occurred. (you may be asked to supply additional information)
      2. Have you ever been expelled, dismissed, or suspended from a postsecondary institution for a non-academic reason? (If yes, list each issue, when and where it occurred (you may be asked to supply additional information)
      3. Do you have any criminal charges pending against you in federal, state, local, military or tribal courts? If yes, list each charge, when and where it occurred (you may be asked to supply additional information or apply for a more complete criminal background check through the college’s vendor)
      4. Has any government or regulatory agency ever found that you committed child abuse or neglect? If yes, list each charge, when and where it occurred (you may be asked to supply additional information or apply for a more complete criminal background check through the college’s vendor)
      5. Has any government or regulatory agency ever found that you abused or neglected any person, elderly person, or vulnerable adult, or client? If yes, list each charge, when and where it occurred (you may be asked to supply additional information or apply for a more complete criminal background check through the college’s vendor)

Students will be identified at the beginning of each semester with using a listing of students declared with an included program of study (Esis: “EW”,”ES”,“BME”,“MSE”, “all CSD and secondary Ed majors”). They will be directed to a secure web-based survey platform that will provide the opportunity to supply the requested attestation.

If a student answers ‘yes’ to a question, they must be provided any opportunity to provide further details, including a description of the incident(s), including the date(s) and location(s) and any explanatory information the student wishes to provide.

If a student answers ‘yes’ to a question, a review of the information will be undertaken be the Associate Dean of the college to ascertain if there is sufficient reason to prevent a student from participating in academic programs that have a field experience. The review may include requiring the student to apply for a certified criminal background check, an interview, or follow-up information seeking. Rationale for decisions preventing participation will be guided by standards found in UWS 17.08 or UWS 17.09. Efforts to support academic participation may include working with a course faculty and the student to have an analogous assignment. Decisions may appealed to the Dean of the College.

Students who are seeking participation in programs and services covered by this policy are required to notify the College if the answers to any question changes during their enrollment in a program of the

College. Students may be subject to disciplinary action through the University’s regular disciplinary processes if there is a failure to disclose, or there is a fraudulent disclosure.


Required Criminal Background Check

Students who have advanced to upper division level standing, and graduate students in appropriate programs, will be required to apply and complete application with the college’s vendor for a certified criminal background check. The costs of these checks will be borne by the student.
 

The requirement for making application for a criminal background check will be an administrative requirement that becomes applicable only after a student has passed whatever admission processes exist for a particular program, and will in no way have applicability to the admission process. Findings from criminal background checks will reviewed by the Associate Dean of the College to ascertain if there is sufficient reason to prevent a student from participating in academic programs that have a Professional Clinical Practice experience. The review may include, an interview, or follow-up information seeking. Rationale for decisions preventing participation will be guided by standards found in UWS 17.08 or UWS 17.09. Efforts to support academic participation may include working with a course faculty and the student to have an analogous assignment, with an understanding that there may be reasonable limits to this availability. Decisions may appealed to the Dean of the College. The viability of the criminal background check will be for three (3) calendar years. If a student will be under Professional Clinical Practice conditions beyond this time, an updated re-check may be required and this cost borne by the student.


Students who are seeking participation in programs and services covered by this policy are required to notify the College if the answers to any question or background check changes during their enrollment a program of the College. Students may be subject to disciplinary action through the University’s regular disciplinary processes if there is a failure to disclose, or there is a fraudulent disclosure.
 

Institutional Review

The Dean or Associate Dean of the College shall review affirmative disclosures made under section 6.A. and 6.B.of this policy. The institutional review process shall allow for input and/or representation from the program or service in which the student is applying to participate.
 

The institution shall evaluate the disclosure and may request all relevant information to inform decision-making. The Associate Dean of the College will follow-up and oversee any limits or access to programs.
 

The College shall decide whether to grant or deny the student’s request to participate in or receive the student experience or program in question. The institution may also grant the student’s request subject to certain specified conditions made in concert with administering departments and collateral agencies.
The College may only deny a student’s request to participate in the programs or services identified in this policy based on disclosures made under this policy if:

    1. The disclosures made are relevant to the programs being sought; and
    2. The student’s participation in the requested service or program would pose an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public.
    3. Review of policy: 6/30/2019
    4. Entry into force: 7/1/2018

 

Contact Us

Education Preparation Program
203 Wyman Education Building
michael.martin@uwrf.edu
Phone: 715-425-3774
Fax: 715-425-0622
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