Background Checks

Act 455 of 2013 established that all educators must clear FBI and Arkansas State Police background check and Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry check.  Background and child maltreatment registry checks must be no less than one (1) year old when a license is issued or renewed.

Early Field Experience Background Check

Those who currently hold a valid Arkansas teaching license are not required to complete an additional background check before beginning a field experience.  The following information is for those candidates seeking an initial license.

Undergraduate & MAT Candidates Only

Prior to any field experience, undergraduate and MAT candidates must have a background check.  For early field experiences, candidates can use the StudentConnect system.  Information for completing that background check is included in the forms below.  At the same time, candidates should complete the field experience waiver that is included.  All signed documents should be submitted to Nancy Ringgold in the Teaching and Learning department.

 Early Field Experience Background Check and Waiver

NOTE:  The StudentConnect background check is not valid for licensure.  For licensure, candidates must complete the final internship background check detailed below.

Initial License School Counseling Only

A preliminary background check is required before beginning any field experience (e.g. Practicum).  Those with a current teaching license may use the background check that they completed for licensure.  Initial license school counseling students should contact the School Counseling program coordinator for information about acceptable background checks.

Final Internship/Licensure Background Check
[For all initial licensure candidates]

All candidates completing an initial licensure program (undergraduate, MAT, school counseling, school psychology, and speech language pathology) must have an approved background check prior to beginning the final internship semester.  This approved background check must be no more than one year old.

This background check can also be used for licensing provided that it was approved no more than one year prior to the issuance of the initial license. For more information from the Arkansas Department of Education regarding background checks, click here.

STEP 1: Criminal History Background Check (LiveScan)

As of July 1, 2016, all criminal history background checks must be completed using the LiveScan system.  To complete this background check:

    1. Pay for your background check by following the directions available herePrint your payment receipt.
    2. Complete the background check consent form available here.  Be sure to select the correct reason for your background check.  Those completing a background check prior to internship for an initial license should select Teacher (Pre-Service)Print your consent form.
    3. Choose your LiveScan location. You must complete the LiveScan process within 14 days of your payment
      • To complete your LiveScan at UCA, go to and select an available appointment time.  The UCA LiveScan location is Mashburn 121.
        If you need to change or cancel your appointment, go to (login with UCA username and password) and delete the entry from your calendar.  Then, repeat this process to schedule a new time.
      • You may select another LiveScan location.  A list of available LiveScan sites is available here.  Call to verify the dates and times that LiveScans are completed at that location.
    4. At your scheduled LiveScan appointment time, bring the following:
      • Your payment receipt (from step #1)
      • Your consent form (from step #2)
      • Your government issued ID (e.g., driver’s license)

If you have questions or need assistance, go to Mashburn 121 or call (501) 852-0922.

For questions or assistance AFTER you have completed LiveScan, contact:

Clara Toney, Arkansas Department of Education
Telephone:  (501) 682-4342

STEP 2: Child Maltreatment Central Registry

For Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry clearance, submit the application with payment following the directions on the form.  Notice that this form must be notarized.  Also, you are strongly encouraged to pay by check so that you have evidence of your payment.

The form to submit for child maltreatment registry check is available here.

Allow 4-5 weeks for your Child Maltreatment registry check to clear.  If you have questions or problems, contact the Arkansas Department of Human Services at (501) 682-0405.

Arkansas Educator Licensure System

To verify that your background checks have cleared, use the Arkansas Educator Licensure System (AELS).  To access your record, enter the last 4 digits of your social security number and your last name.  Leave Case I.D. blank!   You have cleared the background check process when your record indicates APPROVED in the Employability Check section.