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Fingerprinting and Background Checks

Since July 1, 2008, the State of Michigan has required that all individuals “employed or regularly and continuously working” in Michigan schools must be fingerprinted using the LiveScan technology (digital fingerprinting) and submit to criminal background checks. This includes any individuals acting as substitute teachers.

Partner Schools

Our partner schools vary in their interpretation of the fingerprinting/background check regulations with respect to teacher candidates. You should expect that prior to beginning your field work at any level of the teacher preparation program, your assigned placement school may require that you are fingerprinted. Typically, this will require that you go to an approved site for this procedure and that you pay for it yourself. You can wait until you find out about the requirements for your placement site before submitting to fingerprinting, but be advised you may need to get it done quickly in order to be on schedule for your required field work.

Background Checks

At a minimum, all undergraduate students who have school placements through Teacher Education (TE) courses are indemnified by The Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement (“The Service Learning Center” or “CSLCE”) at MSU, and are required to submit to a criminal background check as part of that process.

  • The background check provided by CSLCE is based on the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT). ICHAT allows the search of public records contained in the Michigan Criminal History Record and is maintained by the Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center. All felonies and serious misdemeanors that are punishable by over 93 days are required to be reported to the state repository by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and courts in all 83 Michigan counties. A search for a record in another state requires correspondence with that state directly.
  • ICHAT does not require fingerprinting; students are identified by their full name and date of birth.
  • CSLCE provides forms to the TE program, and these forms are distributed in TE classes. Completed forms are returned to TE personnel who forward them to The Service Learning Center for processing.
  • When ICHAT reveals a conviction, the College of Education Student Affairs Office (SAO) is notified. The process for addressing the matter is the same as that used when convictions are revealed by the Conviction Disclosure Form (CDF).
  • Benefits: Indemnification by The Service Learning Center allows undergraduate students to avoid the cost and inconvenience of being fingerprinted.
  • Limitations: Some school districts may consider the ICHAT check insufficient and require MSU teacher candidates to submit to other background check processes before beginning placements in schools.

Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD)

Secondary pre-interns at MSU who are required by their placement schools to be fingerprinted can do so at the Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD). This information is given below and is also available at the Ingham ISD Fingerprinting web site.

  • Call (517) 244 1268 for an appointment.
  • Print and complete the Livescan Fingerprint Background Check form. Include the agency identification number of the school district in which you will complete your field work. If the ID number is not already indicated on the downloaded form, you must contact the school district and obtain the appropriate agency ID number.
  • The fee is $65.00. You can bring a cash, money order or credit card. Money order made payable to Ingham ISD. You must present a copy of your printed receipt as proof of payment at the time of fingerprinting.
  • Fingerprinting is done at the Thorburn Education Center, 2630 W. Howell Rd., Mason. You must show appropriate pictured identification, such as a driver’s license, to verify identity. If you do not have a driver’s license and would like to know what other forms of identification are acceptable, contact the ISD at the number above.
  • Once these steps have been completed, you will receive a receipt indicating that the criminal history process has been initiated at Ingham ISD. A copy of this receipt should be provided as a courtesy to the district in which you are completing your field work. The actual CHBK results will be sent directly to the district approximately one week later.
  • If you were fingerprinted at Ingham ISD and would like to have the results sent to another employer (or PSEG), complete the release form. The completed Release Form should be faxed to (517) 676-4294.

Prior to the Internship

Prior to beginning the internship, all MSU interns must be fingerprinted. This can be done either through the Ingham ISD as described above, or through the procedures outlined by the Professional Education Services Group (PESG – http://www.subpass.com) or other outside agency that provides substitute teachers to schools. Further, MSU interns must have the results of the associated background check sent to their placement school. It is the intern’s responsibility to make sure that this is done prior to beginning work at the school and that the results are forwarded to the district offices of that school. MSU does not collect or maintain records of students’ fingerprints.

Reporting and Disclosure

The MSU-based Conviction Disclosure Form (CDF), the ICHAT background check performed through CSLCE on behalf of undergraduates and the fingerprinting process initiated by prospective interns together form a set of procedures that help teacher candidates meet state requirements for certification with respect to their criminal history, but each student also bears individual responsibility for forthright and accurate reporting of this history to SAO so that concerns can be addressed in a timely fashion. Students are required to disclose convictions to the SAO on the CDF, and in writing when any new activity appears on their criminal history – before a criminal background check reveals a conviction that has not been previously reported.

Students with questions should contact the Student Affairs Office, 134 Erickson.