CEHS Criminal History Background Checks

Students who are required in their programs to go into daycare facilities, schools, hospitals or other community agencies must complete a background check before CEHS can place them in these facilities.  The background check must be completed through the approved CEHS process and other background checks cannot be substituted. This is required for all undergraduate and graduate students pursuing early childhood programs, initial teacher certification, adding or renewing endorsements, conducting research in a facility, conducting service learning projects or simply job shadowing and it is required as part of your entry into a program.  CEHS monitors registrations in specific courses, which require a background report to be on file, before a student can proceed in the course.  This includes courses in music education programs in the College of Fine and Performing Arts; agricultural education programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; and for students in other Colleges who engage in a minor offered by CEHS.

The Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) is the governing body for all schools in Nebraska and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the governing body for all early childhood centers.  Please complete the DHHS background check as appropriate to your placement and degree. If you acquire a new charge or conviction after you have submitted a background check or self-disclosure report, you are obligated to immediately report this to the Certification Officer, Dr. Sara Skretta, sskretta2@unl.edu.

( Instructions: Click on a section below to expand it. )

How to complete the background check:

OneSource, The Background Check Company will conduct your review.  Please go to their website at: https://www.onesourcebackground.com

Under Tools, click Students. On the page that opens, choose University of Nebraska at Lincoln and follow the prompts. Be sure to enter your UN-L ID number in the “Department Field” on the application.  If you are an international student and do not have a social security number, then enter the following for that field: 999-99-9999. If you are not yet in the United States, please wait until you have a U.S. address before you complete the background check. UNL will automatically receive your report from OneSource if you submitted and paid for the process.

Background Check and Self-Report Procedures for Undergraduate Students:

An initial Background Check is required upon entry to a program leading to an educational certificate in CEHS or upon initial enrollment in a course that requires one.  Several courses in CEHS and other Colleges may not be taken without having completed a background check, and those courses have a Course Note in MyRed. The initial background check covers ALL courses that require a background check, for the first three years of a program.   A second background check will be required prior to student teaching, clinical practice, or the culminating experience.

If your criminal history changes any time after your initial background check, you are required to self-report the information immediately to Dr. Sara Skretta. Depending upon the infraction or change, an additional background check may be required at your cost. For more information contact sskretta2@unl.edu . A background check will typically be valid for three months and CEHS reserves the right to require additional background checks if necessary.  Moving to another program or not sustaining continuous progress towards the completion of a program may necessitate a new background check. You are obligated to immediately report a change in your criminal history to the Certification Officer, Dr. Sara Skretta. (sskretta2@unl.edu).

Please Note: Students in early childhood education programs or students desiring to work in pre-schools, will also be required to complete additional checks as approved and provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Background Check and Self-Report Procedures for Graduate Students:

A background check and free, self-disclosure form are required upon application to or after admittance to a graduate program in CEHS leading to an educational certificate, or when you first enroll in a course that requires a background check.  Several courses in CEHS and other Colleges may not be taken without having completed a background check and those courses have a Course Note attached in MyRed. The initial background check covers ALL courses that require a background check for the first three years of a program. 

If your criminal history changes any time after your initial background check, you are required to self-report the information immediately to Dr. Sara Skretta. Depending upon the infraction or change, an additional background check may be required at your cost. For more information contact sskretta2@unl.edu . A background check will typically be valid for three months and CEHS reserves the right to require additional background checks if necessary.  Moving to another program or not sustaining continuous progress towards the completion of a program may necessitate a new background check. You are obligated to immediately report a change in your criminal history to the Certification Officer, Dr. Sara Skretta. (sskretta2@unl.edu).

Please Note: Students in early childhood education programs or students desiring to work in pre-schools, will also be required to complete additional checks as approved and provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Requirements for Observations, Research and Service Learning Experiences

College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) students, employees and other UNL students who plan to engage in experiences in schools, early childhood centers or community agencies for the purpose of data collection for a grant project, job shadowing, service learning or general research unrelated to a CEHS program or course requirement, are required to complete a background check.  Students currently enrolled in CEHS who have already completed a background check for a program or class should verify with the Director of Professional Experiences if it can be used for this project.

Go to One Source, The Background Check Company: https://www.onesourcebackground.com to complete the background check.  A a fee paid directly to OneSource is required to complete the background check.  If OneSource fails to receive payment, the background check will not be released to CEHS. On the website, under Tools, click Students. Select University of Nebraska at Lincoln, then follow the appropriate prompts. UNL employees desiring to engage in experiences for purposes stated above should select the UNL-Children Services Employees category.  The background check completed by UNL employees for the purpose of employment at UNL cannot be used for this purpose. The UNL ID or Personnel number should be entered in the Department Field on the application.  If you are an international student and do not have a social security number enter 999-99-9999 in that field.

Directions for Sponsoring Faculty

When faculty have a group of participants who wish to conduct observations, research or service learning experiences in schools, CEHS requests the sponsoring faculty member send a student roster with UNL ID numbers to the Director of Professional Experiences. Faculty sponsors are responsible for instructing participants on how to complete a background check and to refer them to this web site for directions.  Once the background reports are submitted and completed, faculty will be notified regarding individual student clearance for participation. In some cases, grant funds may be available to pay for the completion of the background check.  It is best practice to have the individual applicant pay the background check fee directly and then obtain reimbursement from the grant.  If that is not possible, then the sponsoring faculty member should instruct participant(s) to type, ‘Paid by Grant’ in the ‘Recruiter Field’ on their background application.  OneSource will generate an invoice sent to the faculty member so grant funds may be used to pay for the background checks.

Contact Information

Dr. Sara Skretta, Director of Professional Experiencessskretta2@unl.edu, 402 472-8626, 116 Henzlik Hall.
Dr. Skretta will meet with you if you have been identified as at risk or not being able to move forward in your program due to background check results.

Kendra Marker, Certification Associate - kmarker5@unl.edu, 402 472-8623, 116 Henzlik Hall.
Ms. Marker can assist you if you have questions about completing a background check, need to verify you’ve completed a background check to meet a course requirement, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Skretta.

OneSource, The Background Check Company
1-800-608-3645 – General Phone number
https://www.onesourcebackground.com - to complete a background check
orders@onesourcebackground.com - to order a copy of your completed background check

The College Professional and Ethical Behavior Policy

Professional and Ethical Behavior: Avoiding Risky Behaviors

In addition to criminal convictions, other non-criminal behaviors which involve risks that are unacceptable for teachers and the children charged to their care; demonstrate a lack of professionalism and good judgment; and evidence a disregard for one’s personal reputation, the integrity of the College and the teaching profession, may bring into question a student’s ability to be successful in an education career. Before engaging in such questionable behavior, students must consider how the College, the profession, educational employer, parents of school-aged children, and the community of Nebraska, would perceive or evaluate the impact of that behavior with respect to the students’ ability to serve children. Teaching is a profession that requires its candidates to be individuals of the highest integrity. The College reserves its prerogative to evaluate students’ fitness for the profession in its discretion, so that safety in the classroom, the reputation of the College, and the best interest of the student, are all recognized and promoted.  Should the College, through the reasonable exercise of the judgment of its Certification Officer or the Director of Professional Experiences, determine that a student’s individual behavior represents a lack of integrity, questionable moral/ethical character, or otherwise indicates a potential of risk to young persons and others in the educational community, the College of Education and Human Sciences may deny entry to or dismiss such a student from any program which leads to certification or to service of children in a community agency. More specifically, these kinds of behavior shall be adequate foundation to deny any candidate or potential candidate from participation in any practicum, pre-practicum, student teaching or similar field experience, since the interests and safety of the children, and young people present in the classroom, schools and other practicum settings are paramount.

Problematic behaviors, which the College of Education and Human Sciences reasonably determines renders the candidate a risk to the educational community or demonstrates a likelihood of illegal activity, may be established by any credible means, including the facts surrounding a record of arrests and/or convictions.

Students will be expected to meet Nebraska standards for personal and professional fitness, as described in the Nebraska Department of Education, Application for Teacher Certification.  The consequences for unprofessional, unethical or risky behavior will differ given the unique circumstances involved in each matter.

Appeal to the Dean

Should a student object to the determination made by the Certification Officer or the Director of Professional Experiences with respect to a criminal behavior or unprofessional behavior, the student may appeal to the Dean of the College, in writing, within ten days of the determination, requesting the Dean of the College to investigate and review the determination. The student’s written appeal shall clearly explain the basis for the appeal. The Dean will review the student’s basis for appeal, and is authorized, but not required to look into related concerns, whether or not sure concerns are contained in the student’s written appeal.  The Dean shall render a decision on the appeal as soon as reasonably possibly, but no later than 20 days following the initiation of the appeal. Once the Dean has completed the review and investigation, he or she shall deliver to the student and the Certification Officer and the Director of Professional Experiences, a written decision which shall be final and not subject to further appeal or review within the University of Nebraska.

Informational Videos

The College of Education and Human Sciences has implemented the background review process to meet school system and other institutional expectations. More importantly, however, the process protects our students as they pursue a career in education or another profession in the human sciences. We know that understanding the standards that our society expects of those engaged in teaching and helping professions is causing our students to be more thoughtful about choices they make in everyday life. We urge each individual to carefully consider decisions based, in part on the impact a behavior might have on their opportunity to pursue their career.

Be thoughtful about the activities in which you engage.

Be prudent about your use of social media.

Be forthright.

Seek sound guidance if issues arise.

Strive always to do things that enhance your opportunities to practice the profession for which you are preparing. The videos are intended to provide additional information as you navigate the background check process.

Please contact the Director of Professional if you have any questions.

CEHS Criminal Background Checks - Video 1 - Charges Only
CEHS Criminal Background Checks - Video 2 - Field Experiences in Early Childhood Education
CEHS Criminal Background Checks - Video 3 - Convictions Requiring State Board Approval
CEHS Criminal Background Checks - Video 4 - Misdemeanor Convictions