Blog

 
     

Potential Students May Need to Pass Criminal Background Check during UW Admissions Process

By Michael Klazema on 3/7/2013

After discovering that they had admitted Level II and Level III sex offenders, the University of Washington (UW) officials are now debating whether they should include criminal background checks on their college applications. Vice provost of UW Eric Godfrey states, “We have a high obligation to ensure that this campus is safe.” If UW does include criminal background questions on its application, it will join around 64 percent of other schools in the nation.

Godfrey notes that the disclosure of a criminal past will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being granted admission to the college. Only those who note a violent crime or a high-level sex offense would potentially be weeded out. Even then, a group of mental and health experts as well as the police would evaluate applicants. Those who are deemed too unstable will be denied admission to the university. The ACLU will also take a close look at any decision about applicants getting accepted or denied based on the criminal background check. The organization noted that a person’s criminal record “does not mean that he or she should be denied the opportunity of a college education. Nor does a record alone mean that a person will be a safety problem on campus.” Among current students, the idea of implementing these criminal background questions is split in half. Some students agree with these measures, while others believe that it could keep talented student from receiving an education. Godfrey notes that the decision is a difficult one as the college wants to keep the campus safe but does not want to deny anyone an education. The other issue UW will have to deal with is the fact that the college is state-funded, which could mean potential legal liability and discrimination lawsuits if they deny an applicant admission because of the criminal history.

As of 2012, the incidents of on campus violence have compelled many parents of students and colleges to call for background checks on applicants. As stated previously, around 64 percent of colleges have a section in the application that asks potential students to divulge any criminal history. Around half of these colleges actually follow up on the information they receive. A smaller amount, around 7 percent of colleges, performs actual criminal background checks on all applicants. Most colleges prefer to keep the criminal history on the applications, because checking criminal history records of all the applicants would be a useless expense for universities. Even if there was some useful information, college officials cannot control human behavior. Aside from the expense, many colleges avoid detailed criminal history records, as they do not want to become embroiled in the middle of a discrimination lawsuit. UW is discussing the pros and cons of adding this new measure to protect the students on their campus. Should they decide to move forward with the decision, the criminal history questions will appear on their Fall 2014 applications.

When it comes to either employee or students applications, organizations who decide to use background screening need to use a professional and reputable company like backgroundchecks.com. This way, although more than 400 million criminal records across the state would be searched with tools like US OneSEARCH, they could be sure that the records are secure and the staff will only release the appropriate information to officials. Colleges might also be interested in using the Reference Verification tool, in order to make sure the students they are admitting have the personal qualities described on their applications.

About backgroundchecks.com -

backgroundchecks.com - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and cofounder of the Expungement Clearinghouse - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., backgroundchecks.com is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit www.backgroundchecks.com.

Source: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/UW-may-soon-use-criminal-history-in-admissions-decisions-191510771.html

Author:


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.