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Clemmer College

East Tennessee State University

The background check must be completed at least FOUR WEEKS prior to submitting your application to Teacher Education to ensure enough time for the results to be sent to ETSU Clemmer College. Your Board Application WILL NOT be accepted if the background check information has not been received and clearance granted.  Additionally, background checks over a year old at the time of the board application deadline date will not be accepted.

The above information also applies to EDFN 2300 and any other course that requires a field experience.

Waiver Agreement and Statement

All graduate and undergraduate students who will participate in a field experience, internship, practicum, and/or Residency placement are required to have a criminal background check completed and paperwork on file with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  East Tennessee State University – Clemmer College requires each of these students to complete the authorization forms.   The forms include the VECHS Waiver Agreement and Statement form and the ETSU Authorization for Background Check for Entry form.  The completed forms, should be mailed or dropped off to the Residency office in a sealed envelope. 

VECHS Waiver Agreement and Statement form
ETSU Authorization for Background Check for Entry form

1).     Print out both forms linked above.

2).     Complete the two background check waiver forms.

         (TBI- VECHS Waiver and ETSU Authorization form)

3).     Place completed forms in a sealed envelope.  Mail the sealed envelope to the following address:

East Tennessee State University
Clemmer College
Residency Office
PO Box 70685
Johnson City, TN  37604 

Or drop off in a sealed envelope to:

East Tennessee State University
Clemmer College
Warf Pickel Hall -  Room 321

4).     Please make sure to read all Clemmer College Policy and
         Procedures.  Thank you.



Tennessee Code Annotated §49-5-5610 requires that any student wishing to enter an approved teacher education program must undergo a criminal history check and fingerprinting by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The law also requires the student to sign an authorization and release form authorizing a qualified Tennessee Licensed private investigation company to complete a criminal history records check.

The State of Tennessee has enacted several statutes that require background checks. The Clemmer College will conduct background checks in compliance with state law; to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and, thereby, help maintain our access to research, field, practicum, internship, and residency sites with children.

Persons Affected

  • All graduate and undergraduate students seeking an initial teaching license are required to be fingerprinted, complete an authorization form and have a criminal records check.


  • All graduate and undergraduate students seeking licensure in Counseling and Human Services are required to be fingerprinted, complete an authorization form, and have a criminal records check.


  • Non-education majors enrolled in classes (EDFN 2300) that visit schools or agencies where children are present are required to undergo fingerprinting, complete an authorization form, and have criminal records check before they can participate. Instructors of these classes should alert their students at the beginning of each semester and should include a notice in the course syllabus.  Class visits to schools should be delayed to allow time for completion of the criminal records check for all students enrolled in the course.


  • For Teacher Ed candidates, the background check authorization form should be printed and delivered to the student services office at the time of file startup.


  • Cleared background checks should be current at the time of boarding and will be considered valid from admission to Teacher Ed until graduation as long as the student is continuously enrolled (excluding summer).  Any student who has an arrest AFTER submitting a background check must contact the Field Placement Office within 5 days or prior to entering a school setting. Failure to do so could result in dismissal from the program.


Background Clearance Committee

  • All background checks are received and reviewed by the Director of Field Experiences and Residency (Room 323C).  Should findings be reported by TBI, the Background Clearance Committee will review findings on a case by case basis and determine whether or not clearance will be granted.


  • Teacher Candidates who have an offense which would preclude them from obtaining a license from the Tennessee Department of Education will be contacted immediately by the Director of Field Experience and Clinical Residency and be asked to meet with the Background Clearance Committee. Decisions made by the Background Clearance Committee are final. Clearance can be denied for the following reasons (but not limited to):


    • Assault
    • sexual misconduct with a minor
    • repeated moving vehicle violations
    • theft
    • felony conviction
    • protective orders
    • domestic violence
    • drug trafficking
    • other illegal conduct unbecoming to a teacher


  • In the event that a student is excluded from participating in the clinical experience or entry into a program as a result of the background check, the Background Clearance Committee will provide in writing to the student an initial determination, which will include the basis upon which the determination was made, and allow the student the opportunity to review and provide comment on any information contained in the background check. The notification of the initial determination will include a copy of the document “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” which can be found at


Background Checks

The Clemmer College guarantees the privacy of the background check information.  Background information cannot be shared.  Upon graduation, copies of background checks will be disposed of as dictated by University policy.

IdentoGO by MorphoTrust is the exclusive live scan fingerprinting provider for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and is a certified FBI Channeling Agent.


Background Check Directions

Follow the steps outlined below to complete the fingerprinting process:

  1. Using your web browser, go to and type in your zip code OR choose Tennessee.
  2. You may also call (855) 226-2937 to register and schedule an appointment. You will be asked the following questions instead of completing these steps yourself. *International students should choose this option.
  3. Select the IdentoGO Agency closest to you and click to schedule an appointment.
  4. Select Digital Fingerprinting.
  5. Click to schedule a NEW appointment.
  6. Choose Non-DCS Child Care/Adoption Providers as your Agency Name and select go
  7. Choose Child Related Worker Volunteer (Private) as Applicant Type and select go 
  8. Enter ORI number TNCC90028 and select go. Then click yes to confirm that East Tennessee State University is correct. 
  9. You will have to read an acknowledgement/ release form. Check I agree and select go.
  10. Select the location where you want to be fingerprinted.   You may choose a region of the state, click on the map, or enter a zip code to get a list of locations in a specific area.   Select go 
  11. Click on the words Click to Schedule across from the location you want, under the day you wish to be fingerprinted.   If you want a date further in the future, select the   Next Week>> link to display more dates.   Once you select the location/date combination, select the time for your appointment and select go .
  12. Complete the demographic information page.   Required fields are indicated by a red asterisk (*).   When complete, select Send Information 
  13. Confirm the information.   Follow the on screen directions to make any change necessary.   Once you see the data is correct, select Send Information 
  14. If you are required to pay for your own fingerprinting, then you will be presented with payment options.   Complete your payment process and select Send Payment Information 
  15. Print your confirmation page
  16. Bring approved identification documents with you to the appointment.   These approved document options are identified on your confirmation page of your appointment.
  17. Arrive at the facility at your appointed date and time.
  18. The Enrollment Officer at the site will check your ID, verify your information, verify or collect payment, capture your fingerprints, and submit your data. 
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