COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
SYSTEM PRESIDENT’S PROCEDURE

STUDENT BACKGROUND CHECKS

 

SP 4-10c

APPROVED: January 10, 2019
EFFECTIVE: January 10, 2019

REFERENCES: 
The Americans with Disability Act of 1990, as amended
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g
34 CFR Part 99
Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. 24-72-201

APPROVED:

/ Joseph A. Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor

I.    Application
This procedure applies to all applicants or students in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS or System) who have received an offer of admission to or are enrolled in an educational program that requires a background check.

II.   Basis
Board Policy (BP) 4-10 authorizes the Chancellor to establish procedures for evaluating the suitability of students enrolling in certain programs that have background check requirements, which may include a review of qualifications, previous employment, criminal history, drug screening, and, when applicable, credit, driving history, and fingerprint-based criminal history records check.

III.  Applicants
Applicants who have received an offer of admission to an educational program that requires a background check must submit to and satisfactorily complete a background check review, at their own expense, as a condition of matriculation to the program. An offer of admission will not be final until the completion of the background check(s) with results deemed as satisfactory. Admission may be denied or rescinded based on a review of the background check.

IV. Current Students
Students who are currently enrolled and who do not have a valid background check must submit to, and satisfactorily complete, a background check review, at their own expense, as a condition of enrolling or participating in education experiences at affiliated sites as required. Students who refuse to submit to a background check, or if the results are not deemed satisfactory, may be dismissed from the program.

V.   Criminal Background Check Report

A. Colleges within the System will each designate an approved consumer reporting agency to conduct the background checks and issue reports to the College’s designated reviewer. Results from a reporting agency other than those designated will not be accepted. Students and applicants who have received an offer of admission must contact a designated reporting agency and comply with its instructions in authorizing and obtaining a background check, including signing a form authorizing the College to have a criminal background check performed on them. Students and applicants will be provided with the document “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” by either the reporting agency or College (Attachment A). Students and applicants who have received an offer of admission are responsible for payment of any fees charged by a designated reporting agency to provide the background check service.

B.    The scope of a student criminal background check will be determined by each program and may include, but not be limited to, the following searches:

–       Criminal history search
–       Sexual Offender and Predator Registry search
–       Drug Offenses
–       Driving History
–       Previous Employment
–       Credit history

Each program will publish the disqualifying criminal offenses it will consider in making its decision for admittance into the program. These offenses will be based on standard industry practices.

C.   In reviewing the background check reports and any information submitted, the designated reviewer may consider the following factors in making its determinations: the nature and seriousness of the offense or event; the circumstances surrounding the offense or event; the relationship between the duties to be performed as part of the educational program and the offense committed; the age of the person when the offense or event occurred; whether the offense or event was an isolated or repeated incident; the length of time that has passed since the offense or event; past employment and history of academic or disciplinary misconduct; evidence of successful rehabilitation; and the accuracy of the information provided by the applicant or student in the application materials, disclosure forms, or other materials. The designated reviewer should bear in mind both the safety interests of the affiliate’s patients/clients and workplace, as well as the educational interest of the student.

VI.     Drug Screening

A.    Programs may require a drug screening for all candidates as a prerequisite to admittance into the program. Colleges also reserve the right to test students based on reasonable suspicion after entry into the program, or subsequently while being placed at clinical sites for healthcare programs.

B.    Colleges within the System will each designate an approved drug screening agency to conduct the tests and issue reports to the College’s designated reviewer. Results from a drug screening agency other than those designated will not be accepted. Applicants and students who have received an offer of admission must contact the designated drug screening agency and comply with its instructions in authorizing and obtaining a test, including signing a form authorizing the College to have a test performed on them. Applicants and students are responsible for the drug screening cost as well as any transportation costs.

C.   Applicants and students who refuse to participate in a drug screening will automatically be considered to have tested positive and may be denied admittance into the program and/or subject to college disciplinary action.

VII.      Negative Findings

A.    Applicants and students have the right to review the information reported by the designated reporting agency and drug screening agency for accuracy and completeness and to request that the designated agency verify that the background information provided is correct. Prior to making a final determination that will adversely affect the applicant or student, the College will provide applicants or students a copy of or access to the background check and drug screening report, inform them of their rights, and how to contact the designated agency to challenge the accuracy of the report. If the applicant or student is challenging the accuracy or completeness of the criminal background records or drug screening, a final decision regarding the applicant or student’s status will be delayed pending the results of the challenge.

B.    If the background check or drug screening report contains negative findings, the College designated reviewer will give the applicant or student an opportunity to submit additional information relating to the negative finding, such as a written explanation, court documents, and/or police reports.

VIII.     Final Determination

The designated reviewer will make a final decision regarding enrollment, withdrawal/revocation of acceptance/admission, or continuation in the program, whichever is applicable. If it is determined that the applicant or student is not eligible for admission into the program or continued enrollment, the applicant or student shall be notified promptly by the designated reviewer. Admissions decisions are final and may not be appealed.

IX.       Confidentiality and Record Keeping

A.    Background check reports, drug screening results, and other submitted information are confidential and may only be reviewed by College officials in accordance with the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA).

B.    Background check reports, drug screening results, and other submitted information of students and applicants will be maintained by each College in accordance with applicable record retention procedures.

C.   The College may, at the request of the program and with approval of the student, furnish the information to third parties in the course of fulfilling its official responsibilities that are required as part of affiliation agreements with clinical or educational sites where students will be placed, or the relevant program’s professional or technical standards.

X.         Duty to Disclose

Applicants and students are required to report to the educational program within two (2) business days, arrests for any misdemeanors, other than minor traffic offenses, and felonies. Failure to provide notification of arrest is grounds for denying admission or removal from the program.

XI.       Other Provisions

A.    Students who have negative findings in their background check or drug screening report and are nonetheless permitted to enroll in the educational program are not guaranteed that every affiliate will permit the student to participate in the educational program at its facility, or that any state will accept the individual as a candidate for registration, permit, or licensure. If no affiliate site is available and appropriate, the student will be advised that he/she may not be able to fulfill the essential functions of the program and is at risk for dismissal.

B.    A background check or drug screening will be honored for the duration of enrollment if the student is continuously enrolled, except for instances when an assigned affiliate may require a repeat background check or drug screening, or the College is on reasonable notice of a change in the background since the original submission, or with respect to drug screening, upon reasonable suspicion.

C.   A student who has a break in enrollment is required to complete a new background check and drug screening (if applicable). A break in enrollment is defined as non-enrollment of at least one semester in the approved curriculum of the certificate or degree program. However, a student whose attendance has been suspended due to a licensing agency’s eligibility certification process will not be considered as having a break in enrollment. An officially approved leave of absence is not considered a break in enrollment.

D.   Falsification of information, including omission of relevant information, and/or tampering with drug screening may result in denial or rescission of admission, and/or dismissal from the educational program and disciplinary action.

E.    Criminal activity that occurs while a student is in attendance at the College may result in dismissal from the program and disciplinary action.

F.    If a criminal history report indicates pending criminal charges that, if a conviction resulted, would result in exclusion from admission, field experience, or clinical placement, the applicant or student may be excluded from admission, field experience, or clinical placement pending the final disposition or adjudication of the charges.

G.   If an applicant or student has admitted to any offenses that the College has deemed disqualifying, or a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the applicant or student has committed any disqualifying offenses, he/she is automatically disqualified.

XII.      Template Letters

Template letters are attached to this procedure as Exhibits and may be utilized by the Colleges at its discretion.

XIII.     Revising this Procedure

CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.

 

EXHIBIT A

Para información en español, visite www.ftc.gov/credit o escribe a la FTC Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Here is a summary of your major rights under the FCRA. For more information, including information about additional rights, go to www.ftc.gov/credit or write to: Consumer Response Center, Room I30-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

·      You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to deny your application for credit, insurance, or employment – or to take another adverse action against you – must tell you, and must give you the name, address, and phone number of the agency that provided the information.

·      You have the right to know what is in your file. You may request and obtain all the information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency (your “file disclosure”). You will be required to provide proper identification, which may include your Social Security number. In many cases, the disclosure will be free. You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:

·      a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your credit report;
·      you are the victim of identity theft and place a fraud alert in your file;
·      your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
·      you are on public assistance;
·      you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.

In addition, by September 2005 all consumers will be entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. See www.ftc.gov/credit for additional information.

·      You have the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scores are numerical summaries of your credit-worthiness based on information from credit bureaus. You may request a credit score from consumer reporting agencies that create scores or distribute scores used in residential real property loans, but you will have to pay for it. In some mortgage transactions, you will receive credit score information for free from the mortgage lender.

·      You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate, and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your dispute is frivolous. See www.ftc.gov/credit for an explanation of dispute procedures.

·      Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information. Inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information must be removed or corrected, usually within 30 days. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report information it has verified as accurate.

·      Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information. In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.

·      Access to your file is limited. A consumer reporting agency may provide information about you only to people with a valid need—usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business. The FCRA specifies those with a valid need for access.

·      You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers. A consumer reporting agency may not give out information about you to your employer, or a potential employer, without your written consent given to the employer. Written consent generally is not required in the trucking industry. For more information, go to www.ftc.gov/credit.

·      You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report. Unsolicited “prescreened” offers for credit and insurance must include a toll-free phone number you can call if you choose to remove your name and address from the lists these offers are based on. You may opt-out with the nationwide credit bureaus by calling them directly.

·      You may seek damages from violators. If a consumer reporting agency, or, in some cases, a user of consumer reports or a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency violates the FCRA, you may be able to sue in state or federal court.

·      Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights. For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/credit.

States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General. Federal enforcers are:

 

TYPE OF BUSINESS: CONTACT:
Consumer reporting agencies, creditors and others not listed below Federal Trade Commission

Consumer Response Center – FCRA

Washington, DC 20580 1-877-382-4357

National banks, federal branches/agencies of foreign banks (word “National” or initials “N.A.” appear in or after bank’s name)  

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Compliance Management, Mail Stop 6-6

Washington, DC 20219 800-613-6743

Federal Reserve System member banks (except national banks, and federal branches/agencies of foreign banks) Federal Reserve Board

Division of Consumer & Community Affairs

Washington, DC 20551 202-452-3693

Savings associations and federally chartered savings banks (word “Federal” or initials “F.S.B.” appear in federal institution’s name)  

Office of Thrift Supervision

Consumer Programs

Washington, DC 20552 800-842-6929

Federal credit unions (words “Federal Credit Union” appear in institution’s name) National Credit Union Administration

1775 Duke Street

Alexandria, VA 22314 703-519-4600

 

 

State chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Consumer Response Center

2345 Grand Avenue, Suite 100

Kansas City, Missouri 64108-2638 1-877-275-3342

Air, surface, or rail common carriers regulated by former Civil Aeronautics Board or Interstate Commerce Commission  

Department of Transportation

Office of Financial Management

Washington, DC 20590 202-366-1306

 

Activities subject to the Packers and

Stockyards Act, 1921

Department of Agriculture

Office of Deputy Administrator – GIPSA

Washington, DC 20250 202-720-7051

 

 

EXHIBIT B

SAMPLE LETTER TO AN ACCEPTED APPLICANT FOR ADMISSION ACCOMPANYING A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK REPORT CONTAINING INFORMATION OF CONCERN AND REQUESTING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

(Print on College’s stationery)

Dear ______________:

Pursuant to the authorization and information you provided, a criminal background check has been completed. A copy of the report produced by the consumer reporting agency is enclosed for your review. You have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the report by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly:

(type name, address and phone number of consumer reporting agency)

A copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” is enclosed with this letter.

Please review carefully each item in the report and provide a detailed, written description and explanation, along with appropriate documentation, including police reports. Pending the resolution of this issue to the satisfaction of the College, your pre-enrollment requirements have not been met and your offer of admission is not final.

Please return your response to _____________________ within ten (10) working days of the date of this letter. As noted in your application and in your authorization to conduct the background check, your admission may be denied or rescinded, unless the results of your background check are deemed favorable by the College.

Sincerely,

 

EXHIBIT C

SAMPLE LETTER TO AN ENROLLED STUDENT ACCOMPANYING A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK REPORT CONTAINING INFORMATION OF CONCERN AND REQUESTING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

(Print on College’s stationery)

Dear ________________________:

Pursuant to the authorization and information you provided, a criminal background check has been completed. A copy of the report produced by the consumer reporting agency is enclosed for your review. You have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the report by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly:

(type name, address and phone number of consumer reporting agency)

A copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” is enclosed with this letter.

Please review carefully each item in the report and provide a detailed, written description and explanation, along with appropriate documentation, including police reports. Pending the resolution of this issue to the satisfaction of the College, your ability to participate in training at clinical facilities and your continued enrollment are at risk.

Please return your response to _______________________ within ten (10) working days of the date of this letter. As indicated in your authorization to conduct the background check, you may be subject to dismissal from the program, unless the results of your background check are deemed favorable by the College.

Sincerely,

 

EXHIBIT D

SAMPLE LETTER TO AN ACCEPTED APPLICANT OR ENROLLED STUDENT IN WHICH CONSENT IS SOUGHT TO DISCLOSE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK REPORTS TO CLINICAL FACILITIES

(Print on College’s stationery)

Dear _______________________:

This is to inform you that ____________________________________ (“facility”) requires disclosure of students’ criminal background check reports and supplementary materials as a condition of acceptance for training at the facility. Training at the facility is an important component of your educational program, and equivalent clinical experiences may not be available at other facilities.

Please sign below, indicating your consent for the College to disclose to the facility a copy of your criminal background check report and any other materials provided by you or others in connection with the report. Return signed copy to _____________________________________________.

 

 

_____________________    _________________________      ___________________

Name (Print)                            Signature                                           Date

 

EXHIBIT E

SAMPLE LETTER TO AN ENROLLED STUDENT DISMISSING THE STUDENT AFTER REVIEW OF ITEMS OF CONCERN FROM A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK

(Print on College’s stationery)

Dear ____________________:

This is to inform you that the review of the results of your criminal background check and the explanation and information you provided has been completed. I regret to inform you that the results are not deemed favorable by the College. Your enrollment, which was conditioned on results deemed favorable by the College, is terminated effective immediately and you are dismissed from the College.

This decision is based, in whole or in part, on information provided in a consumer report furnished by:

(type name, address and phone number of consumer reporting agency)

Please be advised that the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take this action and will be unable to provide you with the specific reasons why you have been dismissed. You have a right to obtain a free copy of the consumer report which the consumer reporting agency prepared on you by writing to the consumer reporting agency. You also have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the report by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly. A copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” is enclosed with this letter.

Sincerely,

EXHIBIT F

SAMPLE LETTER TO AN ACCEPTED APPLICANT FOR ADMISSION WHO IS NOT YET ENROLLED WITHDRAWING AN OFFER OF ADMISSION

(Print on College’s stationery)

Dear ____________________:

This is to inform you that the review of the results of your criminal background check and the explanation and information you provided has been completed. I regret to inform you that the results are not deemed favorable by the College. Your offer of admission to the [INSERT] program for the [Fall/Spring 20XX] semester, which was conditioned on results deemed favorable by the College, is therefore withdrawn.

This decision is based, in whole or in part, on information provided in a consumer report furnished by:

(type name, address and phone number of consumer reporting agency)

Please be advised that the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take this action and will be unable to provide you with the specific reasons why you were not offered final admission. You have a right to obtain a free copy of the consumer report which the consumer reporting agency prepared on you by writing to the consumer reporting agency. You also have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the report by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly. A copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” is enclosed with this letter.

Sincerely,

EXHIBIT G

SAMPLE LETTER TO AN APPLICANT ACCEPTED FOR ADMISSION WITHDRAWING AN OFFER OF ADMISSION WHEN APPLICANT HAS NOT PROVIDED REQUIRED DOCUMENTS ABOUT INFORMATION OF CONCERN FROM A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK

(Print on College’s stationery)

Dear ____________________________:

This is to inform you that the review of the results of your criminal background check has been completed. Because you failed to provide the explanation and/or other documents requested, your results were reviewed without them. I regret to inform you that the results are not deemed favorable by the College. Your offer of admission to [INSERT PROGRAM] for the [FALL/SPRING 20XX] semester, which was conditioned on results deemed favorable by the College, is therefore withdrawn.

This decision is based, in whole or in part, on information provided in a consumer report furnished by the following consumer reporting agency:

(type name, address and phone number of consumer reporting agency)

Please be advised that the consumer reporting agency did not make the decision to take this action and will be unable to provide you with the specific reasons why you were not offered final admission. You have a right to obtain a free copy of the consumer report which the consumer reporting agency prepared on you by writing to the consumer reporting agency. You also have the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the report by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly. A copy of “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” is enclosed with this letter.

Sincerely,