Criminal Background Check

NIU requires that all candidates for Illinois certification submit to a criminal background check by the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Adam Walsh Child Protection Act) as outlined in the attached NIU Criminal Background Check Information Sheet prior to their initial field experience in the schools. This is consistent with the state law that requires Illinois school districts to conduct criminal background investigations of applicants for certified and non-certified positions. A candidate whose background check results in a status of "no record" may be placed in the schools. Northern Illinois University will not accept criminal background check reports from other sources.

  • A candidate may not be placed in any schools if the background check determines that he or she has been convicted of criminal behavior that, by law, automatically prohibits him or her from attaining Illinois certification.
  • The offenses that automatically prohibit certification include first degree murder, any Class X felony, juvenile pimping, soliciting a juvenile prostitute, exploitation of a child, obscenity, child pornography, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, some offenses set forth in the Cannabis Control Act, and some crimes defined in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.
  • Candidates whose criminal background check reveals an offense other than these may be recommended for clinical placement if, in the judgment of the program or department coordinator, the offense should not disqualify the individual from such a placement.
  • In the event that no district will accept a student because of his/her criminal history, the relevant department/college will assist the student in choosing an alternative course of study.

Criminal background checks must be completed before the candidate enters the first field experience and will be valid as long as the candidate remains a continuous student. If a candidate interrupts his/her program for one semester or longer, another criminal background check will be required upon his/her reentry.

It generally requires three - six days to obtain the results of a fingerprint check. During that period the student is not permitted to participate in field experiences in the schools.

Candidates are responsible for all fees connected with this procedure.

Information on how to obtain the criminal background check is provided on the NIU Criminal Background Check Information Sheet.