Important Information - Please Read Carefully

  • The Goodwin College of Education (GCOE) requires federal and State of Illinois fingerprint-based criminal background check reports per the Uniform Conviction Information Act (UCIA) effective Dec. 1, 2011. Candidates pursuing a GCOE teacher licensure program must provide current FBI and State of Illinois fingerprint background check results as part of their GCOE application.

  • Both results must be on file with the GCOE Office of Admissions by the application deadline in order for your admission application file to be considered complete. You may check your Tk20 application under the Feedback tab to see whether they have been received. You may also confirm directly with Marlena Kruk, Admissions Specialist, using the gcoe-admissions@neiu.edu email address.

  • The receipts from Accurate Biometrics (the fingerprinting service provider) are not adequate documents to satisfy your fingerprint results requirement. Please do not submit the Accurate Biometrics receipts.

  • If you are contacted to meet with the GCOE Associate Dean regarding a record on your fingerprint report, please be aware that you must additionally submit a Certified Statement of Disposition addressing that record. You must contact the courthouse of the county in which the offense occurred to obtain a medallion-stamped Certified Statement of Disposition. Note: this adds additional time (up to three weeks) until your fingerprint results are considered satisfactorily cleared for the admission application.

  • If you are having problems with the regular fingerprint, the ink and roll fingerprinting process may be a solution. Read more about the ink and roll fingerprinting process.

  • If you are a DACA student, we recommend going through Scenario B exclusively. Please contact Luvia Moreno at l-moreno@neiu.edu or Associate Dean of College of Education at gcoe@neiu.edu for more information.

Please choose your scenario.

(SCENARIO A) I had my fingerprints taken within the last 12 months.

(SCENARIO A) If your fingerprint results are not going to be older than 12 months at the time of your admission session, you may submit them for your application. The copies of your results need to be retrieved from the institution for which you originally had them taken.

After obtaining the results, you may submit them electronically to gcoe-admissions@neiu.edu and keep the possible hard copies for your records.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Note: Neither the CEST Office nor the Goodwin College of Education had received copies of your background check results when you had them taken for Field Experience. Your results were sent directly to CPS.

Use the following steps to retrieve your fingerprinting results:

  1. Email CPS Background Department at backgroundcheck@cps.edu.

    Include your formal name and specify that you are a NEIU student. State that you have been cleared at CPS for Field Experience, and you are now politely asking to be given the actual records of your fingerprint results via email, which are necessary for your admission into the NEIU Goodwin College of Education.

  2. CPS will email you instructions on how to view your actual results. FOLLOW CPS INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY and PROMPTLY. There is a time limit to complete them.

  3. After you download the actual fingerprinting results (both FBI and Illinois), please forward that two-page document to gcoe-admissions@neiu.edu.

Another school district or another institution/employer

You may submit results from your employer as long as the copies of actual Illinois State Police and federal results are given to you. After obtaining the results, you may submit them electronically to gcoe-admissions@neiu.edu. Please note: an employer confirmation letter is not an adequate document to satisfy your fingerprint result requirement for admission application. Please contact your employer directly to request your fingerprinting results. 

(SCENARIO B) I have not had my fingerprints taken in the last 12 months. The GCOE application deadline is more than two months away.

(SCENARIO B) This is the recommended pathway for procuring your fingerprint results: with one visit to Accurate Biometrics you will satisfy the requirement for EDFN courses/CPS, and will also get free copies from CPS for GCOE admission. With Scenario B, you will pay only once.

Additionally, Scenario B is the pathway recommended for DACA students and undocumented students.

Please follow this process:

  1. Register: CEST Pathway - General CPS Registration Process Instructions - Do Step 1 only.

  2. Visit Accurate Biometrics with these forms: CEST Pathway - CPS Field Experience Fingerprinting Forms

  3. A few days after your visit, ask CPS for free copies by emailing CPS Background Department at backgroundcheck@cps.edu.

    In your request, include your formal name and specify that you are a NEIU student. State that you have recently been fingerprinted for CPS, and you are now politely asking to be given the actual records of your fingerprint results, which are necessary for your admission into the NEIU Goodwin College of Education.

  4. CPS will email you instructions on how to view your actual results.
    FOLLOW CPS INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY and PROMPTLY. There is a time limit to complete them.

  5. After you download the actual fingerprinting results (both FBI and Illinois), please forward that two-page document to gcoe-admissions@neiu.edu.

(SCENARIO C) I have not had my fingerprints taken in the last 12 months. The GCOE application deadline is less than two months away.

(SCENARIO C) This scenario is helpful if you need to satisfy the GCOE application requirement promptly.

Note: This scenario will result in separate fees, and will require that you take another fingerprinting for CEST experience. Since the fingerprint results from this method are requested specifically for GCOE, they cannot be given to Chicago Public Schools (CPS). (Since CPS will only accept results requested on the forms intended for CPS directly, through Scenario B.)

This method might not be suitable for DACA students.

You will have your fingerprinting conducted at Accurate Biometrics for both state and federal fingerprints. Please note that starting May 4, 2020, Accurate Biometrics requires visitors to have a personal protection mask in place before arriving at their location. Read more. When ready to visit Accurate Biometrics, you must bring with you:

  1. Payment of $30 (for State of Illinois) and $45 (for federal). Credit card or money orders only.

  2. Your state-issued identification 

  3. Two filled-out forms:

Accurate Biometrics will provide you with receipts at the time of this service. Please keep them and refer to them for instructions on how to retrieve your actual results. Please do not submit the receipts to GCOE, as they are not sufficient for your application; the actual results of fingerprinting are required.

How results are received:

  • The Illinois State Police result will be provided directly to the Goodwin College of Education. It typically arrives at GCOE within two to five days. You may call the GCOE Admissions Office to check if it has arrived.

  • The federal result will NOT be provided directly to GCOE. Instead, within several hours of your fingerprinting visit it will be available to you for download from the link you will receive via an email from Accurate Biometrics. Please forward the downloaded document as an email attachment to gcoe-admissions@neiu.eduDo not forward the email from Accurate Biometrics that contains the link.