The University of Utah has adopted a Safety of Minors Policy (1-015) to help ensure that all minors who participate in University programs have a safe and meaningful educational experience.
This policy, administered by Youth Protection and Program Support, also applies to all community-engaged learning (CEL) courses that have interactions with children under the age of 18.
The policy went into effect for CEL courses at the beginning of Spring semester 2017.
If you plan to have your students interact with minors (such as at an elementary school) or work with community partners where there may be children, you will need to do three things:
- register your CEL course by the first day of the semester;
- schedule for you and your students the mandatory “Code of Conduct and Reporting” training (also called OEO Minors Safety training on the registration form);
- coordinate the background-check process for all students enrolled in your community-engaged learning course.
Course registration: Youth Protection and Program Support classifies classes as “programs.” To successfully register your CEL class, go to the YPPS “Program Registration” page and enter specific details about your class. Please refer to the sample registration form for directions.
Code of Conduct and Reporting training: All authorized adults, including faculty, teaching assistants, and U students, must receive this training prior to participating in a community-engaged learning class that has interactions with children under the age of 18. To schedule a training for your class, call YPPS at 581-4444.
- Any adult who will interact with, supervise, chaperone, or have access to or contact with a minor during the community-engaged learning class is considered an “Authorized Adult” and must have a background check that includes a criminal background check and sex offender registry screening. The background check must be repeated every three years. Faculty who have completed the University New Hire background check within the last three years are covered. Otherwise, the cost to staff and faculty is $19.75. Background checks can be requested through your Human Resources representative. Staff or faculty who do not pass the background check are ineligible to work with minors and cannot participate in any activities with minors.
- All University of Utah students who are enrolled in community-engaged learning courses that have interactions with minors must have a criminal background check. The background check must be repeated every three years. The cost to students is $8.00. This link will direct students to University of Utah Human Resource Management and this explanation: “To request and pay for a background check associated with your coursework, please select the ‘Criminal Background Check’ link on the left and follow the instructions.”
- Human Resources will process the background checks and provide Youth Protection and Program Support a list of the students who have passed. YPPS will check that list against your class roster and share their findings with you.
- It may take a week to process background checks. Be sure that you do not schedule any interactions with minors until you hear from YPPS.
- You may wish to contact enrolled students via Canvas before the beginning of the semester and let them know the following: This Community-engaged Learning course involves working with minors. Due to University policy, this requires passing a state and federal background check prior to beginning the CEL experience. Please follow the hyperlink to submit your information for a background check: https://umarket.utah.edu/um2/HR1/index.php?storecookie=1
- You also may wish to include the above language in your syllabus.
- Some departments and programs already require their students to obtain background checks. Faculty still must register their CEL course by the first day of the semester and schedule the mandatory “Code of Conduct and Reporting” training. YPPS also may require your class roster; check with Marci Hutchinson, YPPS education coordinator.
- Students who do not pass the background check are ineligible to work with minors and cannot participate in any activities with minors. If this occurs, it is up to the department to determine whether accommodations will be made for students. Such an accommodation might include allowing them to take and get credit for the class without participating in the CEL component, or offering an alternative CEL experience.
- In the future, the Scheduling Office may identify in the Class Schedule those courses that will require students to pass a background check. The note would include the URL directing students to University of Utah Human Resource Management.
Additional things to note:
- If you are teaching a CEL course that will not have any interaction with minors, you do not need to register your class.
- If you decide to engage with minors during a future CEL course, you will need to follow these guidelines to ensure your class is in compliance with the Safety of Minors Policy. Each semester is treated as a new “program” by YPPS.
- For specific questions related to your community-engaged learning course and work with minors, please contact Nate Friedman or Marci Hutchinson at 581-4444.