Student Clearances Information

Professional Liability Insurance

All students who intend to participate in any student teaching programs or field experiences of any sort are required to procure and maintain liability insurance for the duration of all such programs. You must provide proof of such coverage to the course instructor of the related field experience. The policy purchased must be applicable to teaching situations, and must cover the specific situations, which will be presented during your field exercise. Such coverage may or may not be termed professional liability insurance, depending upon the carrier or organization that issues the policy. It is your responsibility to choose an appropriate policy and to make a determination as to the amount of coverage.

The College of Education does not specifically endorse nor recommend any particular insurance carrier nor insurance policy. However, the following are provided for your convenience, as options which you may wish to consider.

Liability insurance may be available as an endorsement, for an additional fee, to a renters or homeowners insurance policy. You may also procure a separate liability insurance policy from a private insurance policy. If you choose to pursue such options, you should carefully investigate the terms of the policy and speak with your insurance agent in order to ensure that the policy is applicable to your field activities.

You may also wish to consider coverage, which is provided by professional associations. The Student Pennsylvania State Education Associations annual membership fee ($25.00) includes $1 million of liability protection, which is applicable to classroom situations. SPSEA membership enrollment forms are available from the SPSEA, however, for prompt registration students are strongly urged to apply online. The yearly membership is concurrent with the academic school year (Sept. 1-Aug. 30). Insurance is also available through the Professional Liability Protection Plan for Student Teachers. This benefit is available through membership in one of sixty sponsoring educational associations, and is offered by the Trust for Insuring Educators, administered by Forrest T. Jones & Co. A list of sponsoring associations and applications are available online.

PA Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151) and PA State Police Criminal Record Check (ACT 34)

Pennsylvania laws require all employees of public and private schools to acquire child abuse history clearance (Act 151) and criminal history clearance (Act 34) prior to employment. Many school districts require volunteers and others working directly with children to have these clearances. Accordingly, the College of Education requires all students enrolled in field experiences to have both Act 151 and Act 34 clearances.

PA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE forms are available here (see Forms & Publications). Indicate SCHOOL as the Purpose of Clearance.

CRIMINAL HISTORY REQUEST forms SP-164 are available at (see Documents, Brochures & Forms, then PSP Forms Available for Public). Indicate EMPLOYMENT as the Reason for Request.

Mail completed forms directly to the Harrisburg agencies identified on each form. EACH application must be accompanied by a certified check or money order--no personal checks accepted. As a precaution in case of loss or delay, make copies of completed forms prior to mailing them. Allow 6-8 weeks for processing.

Tuberculosis Test

In compliance with regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the PSU Office of Pre-service Teaching Experiences requires students enrolled in all field experiences to present proof of a negative T.B. test prior to beginning any field experience. You may have the test administered by your family doctor or at the Ritenour Health Center. Since skin tests must be read 48 hours after administration, schedule your test to ensure that the health facility will be open for your follow-up visit. Students who test positively because of previous health conditions must submit proof of X-ray examinations.

Submit TWO copies, not the original, of your test results to the field experience instructor during one of your orientation meetings. Copy on letter-size (8.5 X 11) paper.

Guest Host Form

TWO signed copies of the Guest Host Form indicate your agreement to abide by the governing principles of your field experience host. It also indicates your understanding that, should your personal and professional behavior not be compatible with the expectations of the host school, you could be dismissed from the school and the field experience. This form can be downloaded from the OPTE website.

Student Teaching Audit (Student Teaching Only)

The Student Teaching audit must be requested in person in 228 Chambers during the semester prior to student teaching. The audit determines the status of prerequisites and required courses for graduation and teacher certification. Students will not be permitted to student teach without proof of this audit--a yellow business-size (2 X 3.5) card.