Act 455 of 2013 established that all educators must clear FBI and Arkansas State Police background checks and submit a release of information from the Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry. 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 follow information is for initial license candidates only.
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.
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
As of July 1, 2016, all criminal history background checks must be completed using the LiveScan system. To complete this background check:
- Pay for your background check by following the directions available here.
- Complete the background check consent form available here.
- Select a LiveScan location then call to verify the dates and times that LiveScans are completed at that location. A list of available LiveScan sites is available here.
- Present your payment receipt, consent form, and government issued ID at your LiveScan site.
NOTE: You must complete the LiveScan process within 14 days of your payment.
For questions about your background checks, contact Clara Toney at the 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.