New Standard Set for Teacher Education Program

—Submitted by the OPSU School of Education on 11/09/2012

Public school districts across the nation are implementing more restrictions regarding who is allowed on their campuses and who may interact with their students. The teacher education program at Oklahoma Panhandle State University will join other teacher preparation programs in Oklahoma to address this issue.

Beginning with the spring 2013 semester, any OPSU student who will enter a public school building for the purpose of observing and/or participating in the instruction of public school students will be required to have a current background check on file in the office of OPSU's Field Placement Director. OPSU must have the completed report on file prior to the student being placed in a classroom to meet course requirements.

The background check for each individual will include, but is not limited to, verifying residency history and social security status and accessing multiple county criminal records, statewide criminal records, and nationwide sex offender records. OPSU will use the same business most other Oklahoma institutions are using, Certified Background Company and the reports are typically available 72 hours after the information is submitted to the company. The initial background check will be valid for one year from the date it is performed and must be renewed annually as long as the student attends OPSU.

In the event that an OPSU student is identified with a negative background check, the student will not be assigned any pre-service observations or student teaching and will immediately be instructed to drop the course(s) he or she is taking. The student will also be removed from the OPSU Teacher Education Program.

Please direct any questions to Dr. Wayne Stewart, OPSU's Dean of Education at 580.349.1408 or by email at rwstewart@opsu.edu.


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