South Carolina Background Clearance Information
South Carolina students are required to follow separate processes to obtain two different background clearances—one for Preclinical Experiences (PCE) and one for Demonstration Teaching (DT). For PCE, a local South Carolina background check or an FBI background check is needed. For DT, students will need to complete a state and FBI background check through the South Carolina Department of Education. Detailed instructions on how to obtain these required clearances can be found below.
All SC DOE background checks must be less than 18 months old by the end date of your DT to meet South Carolina and WGU requirements. If your background check will expire prior to completion of your Demonstration Teaching, you will need to complete an updated background check by the background check deadline set for your cohort.
WGU can only accept your background clearance as described below. School district clearances are not acceptable for students in South Carolina.
PCE CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS
Prior to PCE a student must complete either A) a local South Carolina background check, if South Carolina has been their only state of residence OR B) an FBI background check, if the student has lived in states other than South Carolina past the age of 18. Follow the instructions below to complete the PCE background check that is appropriate for your situation. All background checks submitted for PCE must be less than two years old.
A) To complete a name-based SC background check, please go to the SLED website, accept the terms and conditions, and follow the instructions for entering the required information. You will need to pay the $25 fee and be ready to print off the results of the background check directly from your computer. Forward a copy to WGU via email (email@example.com) or fax (801-401-7961).
B) Order a background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by following these instructions.
For information on how to submit either type of PCE Clearance to WGU, see PCE Clearance Submission section below.
DT CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS
The dates by which WGU Students must complete their SC Department of Education background checks, application, and fee for their DT Clearance are February 15 for those in a Fall Cohort and June 15 for those in a Spring Cohort.
Prior to Demonstration Teaching students in South Carolina are required to complete a state (SLED) and FBI background check through the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDoE), accompanied by an Application for Educator Certificate. Again, the due dates are February 15 for a Fall Cohort and June 15 for a Spring Cohort. Please plan to complete the required application, $105 fee, and background checks in advance of these deadlines to ensure they are completed on time.
First, complete the Application for Educator Certification. You may use either the paper or online version. In Section II, you will select "Student Teaching — FBI background." Submit your completed application along with a check or money order for the $105 fee, payable to the South Carolina Department of Education (see SCDoE submission information below). You may also pay the fee online.
NOTE: Completing the Application for Educator Certification is the first step in applying for your South Carolina Certification. The $105 non-refundable processing fee associated with it covers your initial licensure application. One of the reasons we instruct WGU students to abide by the processes and timing outlined in this article is to avoid having a background clearance expire before a student's DT and graduation is complete, and thereby avoid having to repeat steps and pay the fee a second time.
Division of Federal, State, & Community Resources
Office of Educator Services
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29223
Second, register and schedule an appointment online to get livescan fingerprinting done by following the fingerprinting procedure. There is a fee for this service, payable to MorphoTrust USA LLC.
WGU CLEARANCE SUBMISSION INFORMATION
PCE Clearance Submission
You will need to send a confirmation of your completed PCE background check via fax or scanned email copy to WGU. An email submission with pdf attachment is preferred.
Fax: (801) 401-7961
DT Clearance Submission
When you have completed the DT clearance requirement, you must send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Certification Officer will verify this information with the SCDoE and update your records accordingly.
You can personally check the status of your Application for Educator Certificate at the SCDoE website, here: View Licensure Status. When you are cleared, you will see "Student Teaching Status: Cleared" in red font underneath your personal information.
In certain circumstances, even though you have been cleared for demonstration teaching by WGU, the school district in which you are placed for field experiences may have an additional background check requirement that is not required by WGU. Or, the school district may make a different determination regarding a background clearance. You may be required to provide additional documentation to the school district. If so, you are also required to abide by the school district’s decision of approval or denial of the submitted background clearance information.
While we do our best to give you accurate and up to date information about your state requirements, we are not infallible. State requirements change frequently. It is your responsibility, and in your best interest, to double check certification and licensure requirements with your state’s Department of Education.
Article Number : 20132, 1411