Clearances and Insurance Requirements

Please note that these are requirements for ALL practica in Special Education.

There are five separate requirements for our field experiences. You must present each requirement for each practicum (395W, 496E, 409G, 495F, 595A/B).

Clearances and Insurance

  • Available through private insurance carrier
  • Evidence consists of letter or policy statement
  • Must include reference to "professional" liability coverage
  • Available through professional organizations, such as PSEA or CEC
    • Application available on line at
    • for student rate of $12.00 for a calendar year with a membership to CEC
    • Application available on line at with use of credit card - $29 yearly membership, concurrent with school year (September 1 - August 31);
  • Check expiration date!


  • Verification of a negative TB Test by either personal physician or University Health Center; students MUST make an appointment at the Health Center, and should be aware that it may NOT be possible to schedule an appointment the first week of the semester!
  • Allow 2-3 days for reading test
  • Students who prove positive must submit proof of x-ray examination and clearance by physician


  • and select "Submit a New Record Check" under credit card users. $10.00 fee History record (if clear) comes up on screen immediately; print it out as your evidence.
  • OR application forms can be downloaded at:
    • See Documents, Brochures & Forms, then PSP Forms Available for Public;
    • Indicate EMPLOYMENT as the "Reason for Request"
  • For mailed form, allow 6-8 weeks for processing
  • For mailed form, payment must be made with certified check or money order (keep your receipt as evidence!)


  • Indicate SCHOOL as the "Purpose of Clearance" $13.00 fee
  • *** Important - you can not submit online, you must download application and submit form and payment by US mail. Process takes about 6-10 weeks. Payment must be made with certified check or money order (keep your receipt!).
  1. The applicant must register prior to going to the fingerprint site. Walk in service without prior registration will not be provided at any fingerprinting location. Registration is completed online or over the phone. Online registration is available 24 hours/day, seven days per week here. Telephone registration is available at 1-888-439-2486, Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm EST. During the registration process, all demographic data for the applicant is collected (name, address, SSN, etc.), so there is no data entry required at the fingerprint collection site.[PDE recommends online registration to avoid data collection errors and ensure a successful registration.]
  2. The applicant will pay a fee of $40.00 for the fingerprint service and to secure the Criminal History Record. Applicants may make their payment online using a credit card or debit card. Money orders or cashiers checks payable to Cogent Systems will be accepted on site for those applicants without the means to pay electronically.

    No cash transactions or personal checks will be accepted at the print locations.
  3. The applicant proceeds to the fingerprint site of their choice for fingerprinting. The location of the fingerprint sites and days and hours of operation for each site will be posted on Cogent Systems' website. The location of fingerprint sites may change over time, so applicants are encouraged to confirm the site location nearest to them.
  4. At the fingerprint site, Applicant Livescan Operators (ALO) manage the fingerprint collection process.
  5. The fingerprint transaction begins when the ALO reviews the applicant’s qualified State or Federal photo ID before processing the applicant’s transaction. A list of approved ID types may be found on the Cogent Systems’ website. Applicants will not be processed if they cannot produce an acceptable photo ID
  6. After the identity of the applicant has been established, all ten fingers are scanned to complete the process. The entire fingerprint capture process should take no more than three to five minutes.
  7. The applicant’s scanned fingerprints will be electronically transmitted to the Pennsylvania State Police, who in turn submit the fingerprints and demographic information to the FBI as required by federal statute.
  8. A Receipt confirming that the background check was completed is available at the Cogent website. An applicant's social security number and birth date are required to access a printable receipt. 
  9. PDE will receive the Federal Criminal History Record from the FBI. PDE’s School Services Unit will return the Federal Criminal History Record to the applicant. The Record will be printed on standard 8.5 x 11 paper with the Commonwealth Seal imbedded on the paper This document constitutes an official Record. If an applicant presents their Federal Criminal History Record and the Commonwealth Seal is not embedded on the paper, it should be considered as invalid and not an official Record. If the applicant does not receive the Criminal History Record from PDE within eight weeks after being fingerprinted, they should call (717) 783-3750 or email PDE at [email protected].
  10.   The applicant will provide the Federal Criminal History Record to Penn State, so supervisors of the field experiences will be able to share the clearance with public school administrators.