PETS: Fingerprinting for Fieldwork and Student Teaching
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) requires that any student doing more than 40 hours of fieldwork or student teaching in a school needs to obtain fingerprint clearance. All candidates in programs leading to NYS certification will also need to have their fingerprints cleared by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for NYS certification. Candidates will only need to be fingerprinted once, by either NYCDOE or NYSED. Candidates in Early Childhood Education programs may require additional fingerprinting clearance through the Department of Investigation (DOI). Candidates should consult their individual program’s fieldwork page for more information.
All Hunter College teacher candidates who will placed in New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) public schools (K-12) for clinical experiences MUST enter their personal information into the Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) and be fingerprinted by the NYCDOE prior to starting their clinical experiences.
1. To enter your information into PETS, please make an appointment.
2. Upon submitting your personal information into PETS, you will receive an email from PETS within 24 hours. The email will direct you to the Applicant Gateway System login. Fill out the online forms and then print the fingerprint referral form.
3. Visit the HR Connect Walk-in Center at 65 Court St, Room 102, Brooklyn, NY 11201 with the following documents:
- Fingerprint Referral form
- A valid government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport,
- Your Hunter College ID card,
- A payment of $135 (HR Connect accepts only personal checks or money orders payable to NYCDOE/DHRT or a debit/credit card (American Express not accepted).
4. You will then be fingerprinted. If you need to have your fingerprints/criminal history record transferred to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), please request to submit an OSPRA 104 form.
Note: If you have already been fingerprinted by the NYSED, you MUST still enter your personal information into PETS and continue with steps 1-3. Upon arrival at 65 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY, please report to the HR Connect Walk-in Center. You need to clearly state you are a student teacher, even if you are fieldwork intern (bring Hunter College ID) previously fingerprinted by NYSED and then the HR Connect representative will assist you to electronically submit an OSPRA 103 form (paper OSPRA 103 forms are no longer accepted). This will prevent you from paying another fingerprinting fee.
With the increased numbers of New York City Department of Education teachers being hired and the Universal Pre-Kindergarten/Middle-School after-school expansions, the New York City Department of Education is anticipating significant traffic at 65 Court Street, especially at the walk-in center for fingerprinting. The wait for fingerprinting may be long.
New York State law requires applicants for certification and prospective employees of school districts, charter schools and BOCES to undergo a fingerprint supported criminal history background check conducted by the New York State Education Department’s Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA).
The Statewide Vendor Managed System (“SVMS”)is a system for capturing fingerprints for civil purposes (i.e. certification, employment, etc.) for New York State agencies. The vendor for NYSED is MorphoTrust. MorphoTrust has a website that provides more information on the process, including scheduling a fingerprinting appointment: www.identogo.com. The ORI number (code) for NYSED: TEACH
Fingerprinting of International Student Teachers and Researchers who do not hold a valid Social Security Number (SSN) can only be performed by appointment.
You must email the Office of Personnel Investigation at OPIINFO@schools.nyc.gov for a fingerprinting appointment. Walk-ins are not allowed. Indicate that you are an international student teacher at CUNY Hunter College seeking security clearance.
The Office of Personnel Investigation is located at 65 Court Street, Room 200, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Nearest subway stops: Borough Hall (2, 3, 4, 5), Court Street (R), Jay Street-Metrotech (A, C, F, R)
Documents and Payment
Bring with you the following unexpired items:
- Passport with Visa
- if the passport with your visa has expired bring both your expired and valid passports
- I-20 document
- Proof of enrollment in an education program (complete SOE Letter Request)
- Hunter College student ID card
- $135.00 payment, via credit or debit card (with major credit card logo), money order, or check payable to “NYCDOE/DHR”. The NYCDOE does not accept cash.
There are no exceptions for documents.
Fingerprinting fees are non-refundable. The NYCDOE does not offer refunds for fingerprinting services even if your job offer has been withdrawn or security clearance has been denied. No exceptions.
The international student teacher/researcher security clearance review can only be used to authorize the student teacher/researcher to enter DOE public schools or to have access to confidential DOE information/data.
The fingerprint vetting portion of the security clearance review for international student teachers and researchers is processed using an alternative method because a Social Security Number is not available. For that reason, the NYCDOE is unable to transfer fingerprint results to the NY State Education Department (NYSED) for employment or certification purposes. OSPRA 1-4 requests will be denied.
If you wish to subsequently work for the NYCDOE or one of its contracted vendors, you must obtain documented proof of work eligibility and provide OPI with a valid signed Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration. OPI will then be able to arrange for your retained fingerprint cards to be processed using your Social Security Number.
Fingerprinting Once You Have a Social Security Number
Once you have a Social Security Number, generated by either an on campus job or Optional Practical Training (OPT), if you have not yet been fingerprinted you may complete the fingerprinting process through the NYCDOE as domestic student teachers do (see PETS: Fingerprinting for Fieldwork and Student Teaching).
If you have already been fingerprinted but without a SSN you must now inform the NYCDOE so that they may connect your new SSN to your previously taken fingerprints. Once NYCDOE has processed your fingerprints, you may request that they share your fingerprint clearance with the NYSED via completion of the OSPRA 104.
- Passport with Visa
If you have already been fingerprinted by the NYSED, you MUST still enter your personal information into PETS and continue with steps 1-3. Upon arrival at 65 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY, please report to the HR Connect Walk-in Center. You need to clearly state you are a student teacher , even if you are fieldwork intern (bring Hunter College ID) previously fingerprinted by NYSED and then the HR Connect representative will assist you to electronically submit an OSPRA 103 form (paper OSPRA 103 forms are no longer accepted). This will prevent you from paying another fingerprinting fee.
If you have been previously fingerprinted by the DOE and wish to request your fingerprint clearance be transferred to the NY State Education Department (SED) to complete your certification process, you will need to submit an OSPRA 104 form to the DOE.
To forward your fingerprints from the DOE to the SED, follow these steps:
1. Download the OSPRA 104 form.
2. Print and complete the form.
3. Fax the form to the NYC Department of Education office at 718-935-2726.
If you plan to student teach/perform fieldwork in a setting with pre-kindergarten children, click on the Pre-kindergarten children link.
If you have been previously fingerprinted by a NY City, NY State or Federal Agency other than the NYC Department of Education (NYC DOE) or the NY State Education Department, the NYC DOE is legally unable to use those fingerprint results to verify your security clearance.