Criminal Background Checks and Substitute Teaching Certificates

The Field Placement Office requires that all student teachers complete all criminal background checks necessary for teaching in the state in which they are placed. When you receive your criminal background check or substitute teaching certificate, please submit a copy via Canvas after you have received your Canvas enrollment confirmation email.

Understanding the Criminal Background Process

New Jersey: Criminal Background Check
NJ districts require that you go through the state-wide criminal background check called MorphoTrak.  The process may take several weeks to complete, so you should begin the process as soon as possible.  You can begin the process using the following link:

New Jersey: Substitute Teaching Certificate
Some school districts also require a substitute certificate for student teaching in their district.  This process includes a criminal background check. 

IMPORTANT:  We strongly recommend getting a substitute teaching certificate as it allows a district to hire you while you wait to receive your teacher license. This is not the case with just a criminal background check.

To obtain one, contact the Administrative Office at a NJ School District which may provide you with the paperwork needed. Not all districts will provide the paperwork. If unsuccessful, please contact the Field Placement Office at or at 856-482-0300.

Pennsylvania: Criminal Background Check
PA districts require three separate documents to complete your criminal background check.  You must complete the Criminal Background Check, the Child Abuse History Clearance, and The FBI Federal Criminal History Records.  You can begin each process at the following websites: