College of Education and Public Policy

Criminal History Background Report

Every school or agency that the Department of Educational Studies interacts with requires our students (you) to have a current background report on file at the university. A current background report is defined as "within one year from the requested/order date on the report", after which time you will need to obtain a new one.  There is a fee each time a background report is obtained. 

If the background report will become more than 1 year old before the end of your field experience, you must obtain a new background report prior to the beginning of your field experience.  If an infraction appears on the report, a faculty committee will review the report to determine if you are eligible to enter into field experiences or student teaching.  IPFW and each school or agency reserve the right to deny placements based on the report.  In addition, should an infraction occur during the timeframe of the field experience or student teaching, it is the student's responsibility to report this to their supervising instructor(s) and the EPIC Office (Neff Hall #243). 

Please understand that once your SSN is submitted to Safe Hiring Solutions the process begins instantly and there are no options for refunds so be SURE you actually need a new report and that you are applying for the correct report (LEVEL 1 or EXP).  If you are not sure whether or not you need a new report - or - which report to get, contact the EPIC office at 260-481-6449 and ask Melinda.  Reports are valid for 1 year from the order date.

Please read these step-by-step instructions on how to apply for your Safe Hiring Solutions (SHS) Criminal History Report before you start a report:  Criminal History Report instructions

SHS Disclaimer (9/22/15)
SHS has received a number of calls from applicants who cannot login, cannot e-sign, cannot view a report, or complete an order.  99% of this has been related to applicants using an outdated version of Internet Explorer (SHS uses Version 11).  SHS recommends using either Google Chrome or Firefox web browsers.  Both of these web browsers are compatible with our program plus they update automatically.


Criminal History Reports (CHRs) must be obtained from Safe Hiring Solutions unless you are an Early Childhood Education (ECE) major (see information for ECE Majors & Dual Majors below).  Reports will be sent directly the EPIC office (not the student) and can take anywhere from 1 day to 2+ weeks to receive it after the request and payment are completed.  The EPIC office will maintain all current reports.  If you need a copy of your report, contact the EPIC office to obtain a copy.  


If you are an ECE major or dual major, you must follow two different procedures because of having placements in both early education settings and public/private P-12 school districts. 

  1. For an early childhood setting experience, please see these instructions on how to obtain the National Criminal History Check through MorphoTrust.  These reports will go to the FSSA.  

  2. For a field experience or student teaching experience in a public/private P-12 school district, follow the Safe Hiring Solutions instructions as listed below.

STUDENT TEACHING students:  Click on the Safe Hiring Solutions link above.  Select EXP (i.e. Expanded).  This now includes a Federal District Courts search.

FIELD EXPERIENCE students:  Click on the Safe Hiring Solutions link above. Select LEVEL 1 only if you have ever lived in one county. If you have lived in more than one county, get the EXP report.

NOTE:  If you plan to student teach within 1 year of obtaining a criminal history report, get the EXP report.

Don’t forget to print, fill out, and sign a Criminal History Release Form too. Return the release form to the EPIC office in NF #243.  If you have previously completed a release form, you don’t need to do another one.  If you are not sure, contact the EPIC office and ask if they have one on file.  Everyone will need to have a release form on file. This form gives the IPFW College of Education and Public Policy department permission to use, copy, and send your Criminal History Background report to the schools or agencies where you are being placed for a field experience, practicum, or student teaching.


A photo of an IPFW elementary student working with a  young student during her field placement.An IPFW elementary student working with a young student during her field placement.