Students must complete a background check prior to participating in any practicum experience. If your practicum is in a non-Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) childcare settings (i.e., K-12 placements) you need to complete the CastleBranch check. If your placement is Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) childcare setting (Pre-K) you need to complete the DHS check. The results of the background check must be received by Iowa State University before the practicum experience begins.
CastleBranch Background Check
The background check will be completed through CastleBranch – a background check company. The fee is $48. You will go online to complete the background check process.
- Go to CastleBranch
- Click on place order
- Complete the requested steps – please use your Iowa State email when asked for one
- Complete the online order process
- View additional requirements to complete your background check within the mycb account
- Download the required abuse forms and follow the instruction provided to properly complete all necessary fields,* including signature and date
- Upload the completed, signed (digital accepted), and dated form to requirement
*When filling out the Authorization for Release of Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Information form please save it to your hard drive prior to filling out the form and save the form after completing it. You will need to upload the completed forms. If form does not properly display try a different browser. Chrome is recommended as a browser as is the free version of Adobe Reader to fill out the form.
- If you have a previous charge (other than a parking ticket or a speeding ticket), you will also need to complete a self-report process
Self-Reporting Previous Charges: Initial Background Check
When completing an initial background check, any criminal misconduct charges (any charges other than parking tickets or speeding tickets) must be self-reported to the licensure coordinator in Teacher Education Services. This is done by completing a self-report form. Failure to report a charge could result in possible discharge from the ISU Educator Preparation Program.
Before completing the form, please set up a time to meet with the licensure coordinator, Teresa Kahler. Do not complete the self-report form prior to talking with the licensure coordinator.
Once you have talked with licensure coordinator follow these steps to complete the self-report form.
- Go to http://iastate.tk20.com
- Log in using your Net-ID and password
- Re-enter your Net-ID and password when cued to do so
How do I access the self-report form?
- Click on applications on the left menu bar
- Click on the green create new application button
- From the drop-down menu, select the application you want to complete. You will need to complete:
self-report form, click next
- Complete the self-report by answering all of the questions on the form
- If you need to stop before your application is complete, click save at the bottom of the form and then click close at the bottom of the form
- When the application is complete, click the green submit button at the bottom of the form. You cannot make any changes to the application once submitted
Self-Reporting New Charges
Once a valid background check is on file, any subsequent criminal misconduct charges (other than parking tickets or speeding tickets) received must be reported to the licensure coordinator in Teacher Education Services by completing the self-report form on Tk20. Failure to report a criminal misconduct charge may result in dismissal from the ISU Educator Preparation Program.
If you are enrolled in any course that has a field experience component, any new criminal misconduct charges (any charges other than parking tickets or speeding tickets) must be reported to the licensure coordinator in Teacher Education Services with a self-report form within 72 hours after the incident. Failure to report a charge within this time period will result in failing the field experience and possible discharge from the ISU Educator Preparation Program.
If you are not enrolled in courses with a field experience component, any new criminal misconduct charges (any charges other than parking or speeding tickets) must be report to the licensure coordinator in Teacher Education Services with a self-report form within 5 days after the incident. Failure to report a charge within this time period will result in being suspended from any field experiences for 1 semester and possible dismissal from the ISU Educator Preparation Program.
When an incident has been self-reported, participation in the field experience is allowed based on the original record check until a finding on the new charge has been made. An arrest without disposition is not an indication of guilt.
BOEE Coaching or Substitute Authorization
If you have a current (valid) coaching or substitute authorization, submit a copy to 133 MacKay. You will not have to complete the background check process described above.
Finding Background Check Information on Tk20
- Go to: http://iastate.tk20.com
- Log-in using your Net-ID and password
- Click on preferences on the menu on the left side
- Click on profile on the menu on the left side
- Click on the details tab at the top of the page
Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) background checks are for candidates with a placement in a DHS licensed childcare setting. Students must complete the Iowa background and the FBI national check before they participate in the practicum teaching experience – before they enter an experience with students.
DHS Background Check
State and FBI National Background Check with FBI Fingerprints
- The FBI national check requires fingerprint cards, cards can be picked up in 133 MacKay. At this time, they can also be requested by mail, using this request form.
- Have your fingerprints rolled at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at the Armory. There are set times and days for fingerprinting. Please check the DPS website for the most up-to-date hours
- If you are off-campus, you may have your fingerprints rolled at your local police station. Please contact your station for hours and procedures. If your local station requires a fee, this will not be reimbursed. You must use the fingerprint cards provided by Teacher Education Services.
- Fill out the Iowa DHS background form ($16) and FBI waiver form ($41) using this combined form.
Authority for fingerprint requirement is the National Child Protection Act of 1993.
Your forms will be submitted to the Background Check Coordinator via DocuSign upon your completion. Return completed fingerprint cards to 133 MacKay Hall. Your background check will not be considered complete until the fingerprint cards are reconciled with your DocuSign submission.
State Only Check
To initiate the Iowa background check or to renew your state-level check, do the following:
- Review the background check policy
- Complete the following Iowa background check forms as part of the Iowa background check process
- State of Iowa Non-Law Enforcement Record Check Request Form A ($16)
- Authorization for Release of Child Abuse Information and the Authorization for Release of Dependent Adult Abuse Information
State only cost is $16; State and Federal (fingerprinting) cost is $57.
Note: All fees will be billed to the U-Bill.
Self-Reporting Previous Charges
If you receive a charge after your initial check, it is your responsibility to self-report that information to the Teacher Education Services office with this self-report form. Fill out the self-report form via DocuSign and the Background Check Coordinator will receive it via DocuSign.