As part of your coursework, you will be working within schools to learn about teaching and learning and apply what you learn in class. As part of being a teacher candidate and working within schools, you will need to complete a NJ DOE Criminal History Review using the William Paterson University identification code before being permitted to participate in any clinical experiences

Beginning fall 2017, all teacher candidates will need to have an approved criminal history background check, completed through the NJ DOE using the WP registration code, before participating in any clinical experience including, observation hours, on-site courses, early clinical experience and/or clinical practice.

Click here for the instructions to complete your criminal history background report. Reports can take up to one month to be completed.  (Please speak with Margaret Renn, director, Office of Field Experiences (Valley 3108), before completing the criminal history background report if you are concerned that you may not be able to receive an approved status.)

Any teacher candidate who does not receive an approval from the Criminal History Review Unit of the NJ DOE using the WP registration code, will not be permitted to participate in any clinical experience until receipt of approval status.  

If William Paterson University is notified that a teacher candidate’s approval status has changed due to a disqualifying offense he/she will be removed from the clinical setting immediately. The teacher candidate will be able to continue in clinical experiences once a new approved criminal history background report using the WP registration code.

Please note that you will also need to acquire a substitute teaching license from a school district before you participate in Clinical Experience (practicum)/Clinical Practice I. You may apply for your substitute license through your local school district, the WP and Passaic County partnership workshops, or Source4Teachers.  Please note that you will need to request that your finger prints be archived to complete the substitute license application.

Legal Responsibilities When in the Classroom


The policies for clinical experiences are designed and written to provide all candidates with the appropriate clinical experiences and protocols.