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Non-Criminal Justice Applicant's Privacy Act

How to obtain a Fingerprint Background Check

(These background check instructions are only for Southeast.  Do not follow these instructions for substitute or initial certification (DESE). Please follow DESE’s background check instructions for certification purposes:

In order to participate in any field experience, you must provide evidence of having had an updated fingerprint background check on file with the Teacher Preparation Program. Background checks completed for Southeast Missouri State University after September 2018 have no expiration (unless you have left Southeast or the Teacher Preparation Program for more than one semester). If a background check was completed prior to September 2018 for Southeast Missouri State University, a new fingerprint background check must be obtained.

To see if you have an up-to-date valid fingerprint background check, email

You can provide evidence of having a valid background check by doing one of the following:

  • Option 1: Complete a background check for Southeast Missouri State University by
    • Step 1: Complete this waiver form and email it to (This form requires a signature. You may need to print the form, sign it, and then scan it or take a picture of it to email it). *Your fingerprint background check will not be valid without this form being on file*
    • Step 2: Follow the directions on this form or these screen shot directions
      • Section One contains the 4-digit registration number
      • Section Two gives you step by step instructions
      • • The fingerprinting process costs $41.25 (only debit or credit cards accepted)
    • Step 3: Go to any registered site location, to have your fingerprints taken. A list of locations can be found here.
  • Option 2: Submit a copy of your Missouri Substitute Certificate by email to Since you have to have a fingerprint background check in order to be issued a substitute certificate, we can use the “effective date” on your substitute certificate as a proxy for a background check. (Your substitute certificate as a proxy will only be valid for one year after the “effective date”. For example, the “effective date” on your substitute certificate is March 08, 2017, then it will only be valid until March 08, 2018.) In order to apply for a substitute certificate, follow this link.


Background Check & Substitute Certification Recommended Timeline*
At the beginning of the semester in which ED280 or ME222 (Music Ed) is taken: Prior to the semester in which the Prior to the semester in which the EL314 Literacy Field Experience (EESE) or SE365 Pedagogy 2 or SE360 Pedagogy 2(MSE) are taken: Prior to the semester in which EL430/EX309 Advanced Field Experience (EESE) or SE380 Advanced Field Experience (MSE) are taken:
Obtain a background check. Apply for a substitute certificate that will serve as a proxy for a background check. (DESE requires a background check as a part of this process.) Obtain a background check.

*Students are required to have an up-to-date FBI background check to be eligible for all field and clinical experiences. Failure to follow these recommendations may result in a delayed start to a field placement. Since circumstances may be unique, always confirm scheduling plans with an academic advisor.

Missouri and National Rap Back Program

Southeast Missouri State Teacher Preparation Program participates in the Missouri and National Rap Back Programs. The purpose of the Rap Back program is to allow the Teacher Preparation Program to receive updated Missouri and National fingerprint based criminal arrest information on individuals who are in the Teacher Preparation Program.

  • Background check applicant’s fingerprints shall be retained by the state central repository and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and shall be searched against other fingerprints on file, including latent fingerprints.
  • Background check application’s fingerprints, while retained, may continue to be compared against other fingerprints submitted or retained by the FBI, including latent fingerprints.
  • Once a background check applicant has graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, withdrawn from Southeast Missouri State University or changed their major from a Teacher Preparation degree program, they will be removed from the Missouri and National Rap Back program for Southeast Missouri State University.

When a Clear Background Check is received

No action is taken on the part of the COE. Candidates and personnel will be advised that “no news is good news” in terms of CHRI notifications.

When CHRI needs to be Addressed

For COE personnel, it will be the role of the Dean to review the results of the FBI background check and ensure no one with a criminal history consistent with grounds from dismissal from a teacher education program supervises the receipt of background checks.

For candidates, according to DESE, if “(a)n individual has pled guilty or been found guilty of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude whether or not sentence is imposed,” they will not be eligible for a teaching certificate.

Students with a felony conviction are not eligible for matriculation in to the teacher education licensure program at Southeast Missouri State. A complete list of convictions not eligible for teacher licensure is provided below.

Students that have one or more offenses shall meet with the Dean to discuss the implication of the offense(s) upon future participation in field experiences and student teaching. Teacher education candidates must understand that individual school districts have the right to reject candidates with a positive criminal history. Students will be expected to create a corrective plan that allows districts to see the potential strengths of the teacher candidate in spite of the offense(s).

Students should be aware that the timing, pattern, and type of offense(s) may prevent placement in to a field experience. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education utilize a standard of moral turpitude in determining whether a teacher education candidate is suitable for work in schools. Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States that refers to "conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals." (West’s Encyclopedia of American Law). Students with repeated offenses may be denied entrance to field experience unless evidence is supplied that the issue is no longer a reoccurring pattern of behavior for the teacher education candidate. (e.g. successful participation in a program for addiction for a student with multiple driving under the influence convictions.) Students may be requested to produce official court documents related to the offenses and the resolution of the issue that resulted in the criminal history. Students will not be required to meet with the Dean each field experience for a previously reviewed offense. Students with new offenses must meet with the Dean of the College of Education.

Students with any of the offenses below are not eligible to participate in the teacher education program.

  • Murder 1st Degree
  • Murder 2nd Degree
  • Arson 1st Degree
  • Assault 1st Degree
  • Forcible Rape
  • Forcible Sodomy
  • Kidnapping
  • Robbery 1st degree
  • Rape
  • Statutory Rape 1st degree
  • Statutory Rape 2nd degree
  • Child Molestation 1st degree
  • Child Molestation 2nd degree
  • Deviate Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Misconduct involving a child
  • Sexual Misconduct 1st degree
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Abandonment of Child 2nd degree
  • Abuse of Child
  • Child used in a sexual performance
  • Promoting Sexual Performance of a Child
  • Trafficking in Children
  • Offenses Involving Child Pornography and Related Offenses
    • Offenses Involving Child Pornography and Related Offenses
    • Promoting Obscenity in 2nd degree, if penalty is enhanced to Class D Felony
    • Promoting child Pornography in 1st degree
  • Promoting Child Pornography 2nd degree
  • Possession of Child Pornography
  • Furnishing Pornographic Materials to Minors
  • Coercing Acceptance of Obscene Material
    • Sale or rental to Persons Under 17
  • Incest
  • Abandonment of Child 1st degree

Appeal Process

Students removed from the Teacher Education Program due to offenses that are the judgment of the Dean of the College of Education have the right to appeal. Appeals will be made to the Dean of Student Life. The student will have the right to provide documentation related to the offenses as well as other evidence to suggest the teacher candidate should be considered eligible to participate in clinical experiences with children or adolescents. Appeals should be made within 5 days of the decision to remove the student from the Teacher Education Program.

The decision of the Dean may be altered if

  • The sanction is not consistent with past practice.
  • New information is suggestive of suitability in clinical experiences.
  • Procedural errors regarding the student’s rights involving in the administration of the background check process.


Educator Preparation

Certification/Background Check

Field Experiences

Scully 301

Educator Preparation
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701