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).

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. 

Where can I get fingerprinted?
You can get fingerprinted at any police department in New York State, including here on the SUNY Oswego campus at University Police, 109 Pathfinder Hall. To be prepared for the fingerprinting process, you must already have completed the online fingerprint application including payment through the New York State Education Department.

Most police departments require that you make an appointment to be fingerprinted. If you plan to be fingerprinted by SUNY Oswego University Police, call University Police (315-312-5555) in advance to schedule an appointment. If you plan to be fingerprinted elsewhere, call that police department and make an appointment. You will need to bring a government issued photo ID (e.g., driver's license, passport) and provide your social security number. There is a service fee payable by cash or check at the time the fingerprints are taken. If you are being fingerprinted by University Police, please see the University Police website for the current cost. Other police departments may have separate fees: please check with the specific department where you are having the fingerprinting done for those fees. This is a separate fee and is not included in any costs or service fees associated with your application.

When should I get fingerprinted?
SUNY Oswego recommends that you get 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. Some school districts (e.g., NYC) require that you be fingerprinted prior to any field experience in that district. Thus in some cases, you may need to complete fingerprinting as early as your sophomore year. The Field Placement Office will advise you if you need to complete the fingerprinting prior to your field experience or student teaching. 

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.

To learn more about fingerprinting, and to begin your fingerprinting application, please go to the NYS OSPRA site: