Fingerprint Verification / New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) Security Clearance Requirement

New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) security clearance can take three to six weeks or more, so allow enough time for your security clearance to be completed and verified by Brooklyn College. Your records will not be verifiable by the college unless you follow the relevant steps below. 

By New York State law, contract, and related regulations, the Department of Education (DOE) is required to conduct background investigations on students working in DOE schools. Fingerprint security clearance may be obtained through the NYC DOE and will be verified by Brooklyn College after you follow the relevant steps below.  

When Do You Need College-verified Fingerprint Clearance?

As of spring 2016, all students enrolling in education classes, as well as childhood, bilingual, and special education (CBSE) bachelor's program candidates, must have their college-verified NYC DOE clearance confirmed before registering for education courses.

Students admitted to the education program fewer than four weeks prior to the beginning of class who may be unable to attain fingerprinting clearance before the start of the semester will be permitted to enroll in no more than one class that requires a classroom field experience. Registration in any subsequent semester will require college-verified NYC DOE clearance fingerprint clearance verification.

If you apply for substitute teaching after your clearance is confirmed, you may need to allow time for a further review, which may cause you to have a few days without clearance. 

If there are any changes in your fingerprint clearance status, and you are not cleared to work in NYC DOE schools, you will be notified and then it will be your responsibility to stop working in NYC DOE schools and complete the steps needed before returning to work. 

Graduate students: Fingerprint clearance verification is  required for students doing student teaching, observation, and/or student teaching at NYC DOE schools, regardless of existing employment status.

Notes

CBSE Bachelor's Program: Spring 2016 and Afterward

Students who do not have college-verified NYC DOE (New York City Dept. of Education) clearance but wish to register because they intend to complete a major in childhood education should speak to their adviser regarding what non-education required courses can be taken until they attain the required security clearance.

CBSE Master's Program Spring 2016 and Afterward

All graduate students registering for any course requiring a classroom field experience or student teaching will need college-verified NYC DOE clearance prior to registering for classes. Students admitted to the Childhood Graduate Program fewer than four weeks prior to the beginning of class who may be unable to attain college-verified NYC DOE fingerprinting clearance before the start of the semester  will be permitted to enroll in no more than one class that requires a classroom field experience. Registration in any subsequent semester will require fingerprinting clearance for all required courses with a classroom field work component and for all student teaching classes.

If clearance is not confirmed as described above, students can be added to courses if there is room in the roster after receiving college-verified NYC DOE clearance.

How to Obtain Fingerprint Verification

If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 

If your records have not been verified by the certification officer (e-mail: hspencer@brooklyn.cuny.edu) at Brooklyn College already, find your situation in paragraphs A–G below to begin the process to have your clearance verified. If you are not an enrolled student at Brooklyn College or will not be taking education classes at Brooklyn College,  see below under "Further Information." 

  • A. Follow steps 1–4 below if you have not had your fingerprints processed already and you will be doing your fieldwork, observation, or student teaching in NYC DOE schools.
  • B. If you had your fingerprints processed already by New York City or New York State, first check your TEACH account to see if your records were received by the NYSED (New York State Education Department), and then follow one of the steps, E–G, below. Your TEACH account will only note if records were received, not if your records are cleared. You should not have to pay again if you are following paragraphs E–G. 
  • C. If you had your clearance processed already by any agency other than the NYC DOE or NYSED (e.g., the New York City Department of Investigation, DOI), and you will be enrolling in education courses, you need DOE security clearance for work in DOE schools. Follow steps 1–4 below. 
  • D. If you are not sure if your clearance was processed, start with step 1 below and ask the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) office to check your clearance status. 
  • E. If your TEACH account states that there are no records on file, and if your records were processed by NYC DOE, send an email to the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) at PETS@schools.nyc.gov  and ask for your data to be entered into the PETS database for Brooklyn College. PETS will need your name, phone number, complete home address, date of birth, and e-mail address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). When you receive a reply from PETSAdmin, they will give you a fax number where you can send a copy of your Social Security card. You can either send a fax or mail a copy of your Social Security card to them. In either case, be sure to include your phone number, complete home address, date of birth, and e-mail address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). Mailing address: New York City Department of Education, Division of Human Resources, Office of Personnel Investigation, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: PETS (Personnel  Eligibility Tracking System). If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below, then follow steps 3 and 4 below.
  • F. If your TEACH account states that your DCJS and FBI (not NYC) records have been received, you will need to first complete Step 1 below to be registered in the PETS database. You will receive online "applicant gateway" forms which you must complete. You will be instructed to go in person to the NYC DOE to be fingerprinted but you should not need to process your records again. You will need to go in person to the HR Connect Walk-in Center, 65 Court Street, Room 102, Brooklyn, NY.  Inform the staff there that you are a Brooklyn College student teacher and need to submit an OSPRA 103 form so that your criminal history record can be transferred from NYSED to NYC DOE. Fingerprint clearance with TEACH alone does not satisfy the NYC DOE's security clearance requirements. You may need to wait four to six weeks for confirmation. Please also complete step 3 below.
  • G. If your TEACH account states that your NYC records have been received, send an email to the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) at PETS@schools.nyc.gov  and ask for your data to be entered into the PETS database for Brooklyn College. PETS will need your name, phone number, complete home address, date of birth, and e-mail address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). When you receive a reply from PETS, they will give you a fax number where you can send a copy of your Social Security card. You can either send a fax or mail a copy of your Social Security card to them. In either case, be sure to include your phone number, complete home address, date of birth, and e-mail address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). Mailing address: New York City Department of Education, Division of Human Resources, Office of Personnel Investigation, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: PETS (Personnel  Eligibility Tracking System). If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below, then follow step 3 below.

Step 1

You must register with the NYC DOE PETS so that your clearance can be confirmed by Brooklyn College before the term begins. There is no pre-registration being done by the college; you will need to follow the steps below. Note that phone registration is no longer accepted. If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 

Complete one of the following:

  • Self-register to be entered into the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) database. Send an email to PETS@schools.nyc.gov. Ask for your data to be added to the Brooklyn College PETS database. PETS will need your name, phone number, complete home address, date of birth, and e-mail address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). When you receive a reply from the NYC DOE PETS fingerprint office, they will give you a fax number where you can send a copy of your Social Security card. You can either send a fax or mail a copy of your Social Security card to them. In either case, be sure to include your phone number, complete home address, date of birth, and e-mail address. Indicate that you are going to be a student teacher or you will be doing fieldwork through Brooklyn College (or indicate any other reason you are registering). Mailing address: New York City Department of Education, Division of Human Resources, Office of Personnel Investigation, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201, Attention: PETS (Personnel  Eligibility Tracking System). If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below. 
  • There is no guarantee that you can be fingerprinted the same day that you register for fingerprinting, so we recommend using the option described above. If instead you would like to go in person to 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY, you can request to be added to the PETS data system by sending an email to PETS@schools.nyc.gov  as described above. After you register, you will need to allow two to four hours for an e-mail confirmation to be sent to you so you can proceed to the Fingerprint Unit on Court Street. This e-mail can be sent to your mobile phone or you can use a computer kiosk at the site. You will need to wait to receive your e-mail confirmation, which may not be completed the same day you register. If you do not have an official Social Security number, refer to the instructions for international students below.

Step 2

After you receive your "nomination" e-mail  from the PETSAdminSupport@schools.nyc.gov e-mail account, follow the instructions in the e-mail to register in the NYC DOE's Applicant Gateway website and complete all online forms before the deadline specified in the letter. The letter will state "Congratulations! ...This email confirms that an organization ... has nominated you for a position... " At the end of the process you will be asked to print a Fingerprint Referral Form. This form will indicate you are ready to go to the Fingerprint Unit, at the HR Connect Walk-in Center, 65 Court Street, first floor, Brooklyn, NY. You will need to bring the following items:

  • Fingerprint Referral form
  • A valid government-issued photo ID (U.S. passport, state driver's license, etc.) 
  • A college/university ID (if you have one)
  • Fingerprinting payment of $130, which is in effect as of January 26, 2015. Refer to the instructions in the "Applicant Gateway" letter you received to confirm your fee. 

HR Connect accepts only personal checks or money orders made payable to NYC DOE / DHRT or a debit or credit card, except for American Express.

The HR Connect Walk-in Center is located at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You should be prepared to wait (possibly more than an hour). 

Your NYC DOE security clearance must be verified the Certification Officer before you begin the term. Schools can confirm security clearance by e-mailing the NYCDOE student teacher coordinator. If you apply for substitute teaching after your clearance is confirmed, you may need to allow time for a further review, which may cause you to have a few days without clearance. 

Step 3

All education students working as a student teacher or doing fieldwork observation must register every term with the NYCDOE's Student Teacher registration site at https://nyc.teacherssupportnetwork.com/studentteacher/Home.do. If you will be working in a charter school or private school, you can indicate that. Registration is not required for school psychology, school counseling or international students who do not have an official Social Security number. Please write to  STUDENTTEACHERCOORDINATOR@schools.nyc.gov if you have questions about the teacher support network site.

When you register, you will need to create a user account and complete your online registration. Even if you have already created a user account to begin a full-time teacher job application, you must still create a new user account to complete your student teacher registration.

Submit your student teacher placement information as part of the registration process. If you do not know your placement information when you first create your user account, you need to log back in as soon as it is known to add your placement information. Once you have fully completed all the required registration information, you should print your registration confirmation letter from the site. NYC DOE host school principals or their representatives will ask to see your registration confirmation letter. Be sure to enter an active e-mail address when registering.

Step 4 (For All Candidates for New York State Teacher Certification)

Be sure to check your TEACH account to check if your fingerprint status is posted there. Your TEACH account will only note if records were received, not if your records are cleared. If your records were not received and you had your fingerprints processed by the NYC DOE, you will need to print out and submit an OSPRA 104 form (pdf), authorizing the DOE to release your criminal history record to the NYSED (New York State Education Department). If the information in section two of the OSPRA 104 form does not apply to you, you can leave it blank. The form will be processed by the New York City Department of Human Resources. Allow about two to three weeks for your records to be processed, and then check your TEACH account to be sure your fingerprint records were received.

If you have not had your security clearance processed by the NYC DOE or NYS ED and you are not completing fieldwork, student teaching, internship, or practicum classes, see the information below.

If Follow-up Is Required With the NYC DOE

If there are any changes in your fingerprint clearance status, and you are not cleared to work in NYC DOE schools, you will be notified and then it will be your responsibility to stop working in NYC DOE schools and complete the steps needed before returning to work. 

Further Information

If You Are Not Enrolled at Brooklyn College or If You Will Not Be Doing Your Fieldwork, Observation, or Student Teaching in NYC DOE Schools

Fingerprinting is processed by the NYC DOE only for candidates who are associated with a college program and who will be doing fieldwork, observation, or student teaching in NYC DOE schools. Otherwise, you will need to process your security clearance with the new MorphoTrust/IdentoGo system instead of NYC DOE. Note that the time it takes for processing with MorphoTrust/IdentoGo may be much longer than following the steps above.Fingerprint clearance with MorphoTrust/IdentoGo alone does not satisfy the NYC DOE's security clearance requirements. 

International Students (Students Without an Official Social Security Number)

If you do not have an official Social Security number, you must e-mail the Office of Personnel Investigations at OPIInfo@schools.nyc.gov to make an appointment. Indicate to the OPI representative that you are an international student teacher without a Social Security number. You will be directed to the correct person. You must have an appointment, and you must bring in the following four items:

  • Passport
  • Student visa
  • Proof of enrollment in an education program (a letter from your college program office will suffice: Early Childhood/Art Education, Childhood, Bilingual and Special Education, Secondary Education, or School Psychology/Counseling/Educational Leadership)
  • College ID card

After your records are processed, contact the Certification Officer. After you receive your Social Security number, you will need to bring your Social Security card to the OPI, 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY. Indicate that you are an international student teacher who was previously fingerprinted without a Social Security number. Ask to be added to the Brooklyn College PETS roster so that your fingerprint records can be on file with Brooklyn College.

If you use a number obtained from any source other than the Social Security Administration (including numbers generated by CUNY and/or Brooklyn College) to be added to the  NYC DOE PETS fingerprint roster, you will lose your security clearance and will be required to be fingerprinted a second time at your expense.

If you do not receive a Social Security number (either for employment purposes only or otherwise) before you complete your requirements for New York State certification, you may need to process your fingerprint clearance again with IndentoGo. Refer to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tsei/ospra and contact that office for instructions.