As of July 2, 2001, under the Schools Against Violence in Education Legislation, applications for new teaching certificates are subject to a fingerprint-supported criminal history background check. Background checks are required for all school personnel, including applicants for certification and all educational services (BOCES).

Fingerprinting clearance is one of the requirements of the New York State Education Department for certification. Many of the school districts SUNY Oswego candidates are placed in are now requesting candidates complete the fingerprinting process prior to placements being approved. Although not required, it is recommended candidates complete the fingerprinting process one semester prior to placement.   The fingerprinting process is undergoing changes as of summer 2015 and it is imperative you click here to get the latest information.

SUNY Oswego recommends all candidates be fingerprinted PRIOR to student teaching for Childhood Education, Adolescence Education, TESOL, VTP and Technology Education majors as well as prior to starting internships for Counseling Services and School Psychology majors. Follow the five steps below to complete the process.

Step 1: Create your TEACH Account with New York State Education Department: 
The TEACH account is the system that maintains certification records at NYSED (New York State Education Department). To create your TEACH account, if you haven't previously, click here. Retain your login and password information in a safe place. They are linked to your Social Security number. You will need them in the future to apply for your certification and to maintain your professional certification information. Create only ONE TEACH account - Do not create duplicate accounts.

Step 2: Complete the Online TEACH Fingerprint Application: 
(Make sure you're connected to a printer.) In order to be fingerprinted for certification you must complete the TEACH online fingerprint application, including payment ($91.50 as of 11/2014), through the New York State Education Department. Paying by credit card is advised as it is significantly faster.              

Step 3: Print Your Receipt:
Once you have completed the online fingerprint application your online account should indicate that you are ready to be fingerprinted.  Be sure to print two copies of your receipt as you will not be able to access it later.    

Step 4: Call the Location Where You Will be Fingerprinted: 
You may be fingerprinted at a number of locations that do Livescan, including SUNY Oswego University Police (details below), school districts and BOCES Livescan is the preferred method of fingerprinting, as it allows the entire process to be completed within 24-72 hours (see important OSPRA updates here). Please call the location prior to when you need to be fingerprinted and find out if they:       

  • Livescan fingerprints for NYSED/ Civil purposes? (Not mandatory, but preferred) 
  • Charge a fee to scan your fingerprints?
  • Have specific dates and times dedicated to fingerprinting?
  • Require an appointment to have your fingerprints done?  

Step 5: Request Any Additional Information:
After completing the steps above, please notify the Field Placement Office as there may be additional forms to complete. You will need to complete an OSPRA form in order for your fingerprinting status to be confirmed.

SUNY Oswego University Police Fingerprinting Information
The Fingerprint service is by appointment so be sure to call University Police at 315-312-5555  in advance (at least a few days) to schedule an appointment. Bring the following with you for the fingerprinting appointment:

  • Photo ID
  • Social Security Number - Be able to provide your social security number so they may access your fingerprint information.
  • Pay fee with cash or check - A service fee, payable by cash or check, to University Police at the time the fingerprints are taken. The fee is a separate fee and is not included in any costs associated with your TEACH application. See the University Police website on fingerprinting here to look up current fee.     

How long do fingerprints take to clear?
Fingerprints take several weeks to clear.

How can I tell if my fingerprints have cleared?
You can check the status of your fingerprints by calling OSPRA at 518-473-2998.

 For further information visit the following websites: