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.

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 can submit them for your application. The hard 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 hard copies for your records.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS)

Steps to obtain CPS background check copies for GCOE admission
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 where you can now request copies of them free of charge. The email approval notice from CPS is not an adequate document to satisfy your fingerprint result requirement for admission application. The actual results are needed. Please note: retrieving copies from CPS may take up to four weeks. If this timeline is not sufficient for your application deadline, you have a choice of going through Scenario C, which has a turnaround time of 7-10 days.

Another school district or another institution/employer

You may submit results for your application as long as the hard 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 and keep the hard copies for your records. 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. 

(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. You will pay only once.

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. You will pay only once.

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

Please follow this process:

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

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

  3. A few days after your visit, ask CPS for free copies: CEST Pathway - Obtaining CPS Background Check Copies

(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.

Important Notes

  • 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 can check your Tk20 application under the “Feedback” tab to see whether they have been received. You can also confirm directly with Marlena Kruk, Admission Specialist, at m-kruk@neiu.edu or (773) 442-5509.

  • The Accurate Biometrics receipts or Chicago Public Schools Field Experience approval email notice are not adequate documents to satisfy your fingerprint requirement.

  • If you are contacted to meet with the GCOE Associate Dean regarding your fingerprint results, please be aware that you must additionally obtain a Certified Statement of Disposition if there are any offenses on your fingerprint report. 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 satisfactory 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.