Criminal Background Checks
Downers Grove, IL Campus
Due to growing nationwide concerns regarding the background of today's healthcare professionals, many hospitals, healthcare systems, clinics, physician offices, or pharmacies providing healthcare services require disclosure of an individual's criminal history. In addition, many state statutes also require disclosure of an individual's criminal history in order to apply for certain health professional certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license to practice in a clinical setting or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. In response to this growing trend, Midwestern University requires students to submit to criminal background checks.
It is the policy of Midwestern University that all accepted students must submit to a criminal background check prior to matriculation. In addition, students who remain enrolled must submit to a criminal background check as needed to remain eligible for continued participation and/or to participate in clinical rotations. In accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois, CCOM students are required to undergo fingerprinting as part of the criminal background check process. Some students in other programs may also be required to undergo fingerprinting.
The criminal background check involves obtaining an authorization from a matriculating or current student that allows the University to obtain the student's individual criminal history. The results of the background check are reviewed by the Dean of Students to determine whether or not there is a record of misdemeanor and/or felony convictions. If there is a positive record, the Dean of Students will inform the appropriate College Dean and the Director of University Risk Management so the University can make a determination whether the criminal history will negatively impact the student's admission status or ability to complete the practical training/rotation requirements of the degree program.
Criminal background checks are conducted through the Office of Student Services as part of the initial student matriculation process and on an as-needed basis thereafter while a student is actively enrolled at Midwestern University.
- All matriculating students must complete the Criminal Background Release and Consent Form to conduct the criminal background check. All newly admitted students who have submitted a matriculation deposit are provided with access to a copy of the University policy and the Criminal Background Release and Consent Form. By going to the Midwestern University website (http://www.midwestern.edu) and selecting MWUNET, the student can find the Student Handbook and consent form.
- The Office of Student Services will contract with a professional service to conduct the criminal background check.
- The Dean of Students will review all criminal background reports and determine whether or not a misdemeanor or felony conviction record exists. If a felony or misdemeanor conviction exists, the Dean of Students will conduct a criminal background investigation. The investigation may include any of the following components:
Following the criminal background investigation, the Dean of Students, in consultation with the College Dean (or their designee), will determine whether or not the student should be disqualified from matriculation or continued enrollment. Criminal convictions will not automatically disqualify a student from enrollment or continued enrollment. The University will consider such factors as (but not limited to) the nature of the crime, the age of the individual at the time the crime was committed, length of time since the conviction, the nature of the clinical program and the relatedness of the conviction, and whether the University will be able to provide appropriate professional clinical training to the student.
- Request for additional detailed information about the positive criminal background check report. This may entail one or more meetings with the student.
- Collection of additional data, e.g., Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprints and report, concerning the positive criminal background check report.
- Failure to disclose a conviction or material misrepresentation of information by an incoming or enrolled student is deemed to be falsification of the application and may result in denial of admission, matriculation and/or dismissal from the program and University. Students must disclose any misdemeanor or felony charge/conviction.
- Failure of the student to present appropriate forms to the Office of Student Services for the purpose of conducting criminal background checks when requested will bar the student from initial matriculation and/or continued enrollment.
- Students with a positive criminal background check are individually responsible for checking the licensing and certification requirements in any state other than the home state of their college where the student is interested in participating in a preceptorship, internship, clinic or other rotation to determine whether or not their conviction may be a barrier to participation.
- Students are required to disclose to the Dean of Students and appropriate College Dean any arrests, criminal charges, or convictions against them during their entire period of enrollment as a student at Midwestern University. Such arrests, criminal charges, or convictions may negatively impact a student's ability to obtain and/or complete clinical rotations or preceptorships.
- Midwestern University does not guarantee clinical rotations for students who have a history of felony or misdemeanor charges/convictions. In such cases, the University confidentially shares information about the student's positive criminal background history with potential preceptors and practice site representatives as necessary and on a need-to-know basis. This may include releasing a copy of the original Criminal Background Check report for their review. This gives the preceptor and site representatives an opportunity to decide whether the student is acceptable to the site. For this reason, scheduling and completion of practical training/rotations and graduation may be delayed. In some instances, it will not be possible to arrange for practical training/rotations at specific sites.
- If this information is known by the University prior to the student's matriculation, the Dean of Students and/or College Dean (or their designee) will meet with the potential student to discuss the consequences of the positive criminal background investigation on the student's ability to complete degree requirements so that appropriate action can be taken.
- If this information is known by the University after the student's matriculation, the Dean of Students and/or College Dean (or their designee) will meet with the student to discuss the consequences of the positive criminal background investigation on the student's ability to start/resume practical training/rotations and the student's ability to graduate so that appropriate action can be taken.
- Records concerning a student's positive criminal background check are stored in a confidential file in the Office of Student Services and Office of the College Dean.
- In the event that a student is assigned to a practical training/rotation site that requires a copy of the original Criminal Background Check report prior to a student's placement at the site, the student's criminal background check report and cover letter will be scanned into an encrypted password protected PDF file. The encrypted PDF file will be forwarded via email to the rotation site coordinator.