The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) requires all people who have direct contact with minors in schools and other institutional settings to obtain required background checks before having such contact. A minor is defined as any person under the age of 18.
In order to complete required field work in local schools, all candidates for teacher certification (and, indeed, any student wishing to work in local schools while at the College) must complete the following background checks. The rules for completion are convoluted, but the good news is that clearances, once obtained, are valid for five years--so most students will only have to complete this process once while enrolled at Gettysburg College. Although the Commonwealth has approved special rules for volunteers in school classrooms, teachers (including student teachers) are not considered classroom volunteers. As such, we encourage all students to obtain a full set of clearances to avoid any confusion about whether or not entry into classrooms is permissible.
Students cannot be permitted to enter local classrooms or work with young students in tutoring or other after school programs without having completed the proper clearance paperwork. Detailed instructions for each necessary clearance check are available at the links below. If you have questions about your clearances, please contact Kathy Ambrose, the Education Department's office administrator, for more information.