Criminal Background Check
Pursuant to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organizations, (JCAHO) Standard HR 120, each hospital will verify the criminal backgrounds of all who provide care in the institution, including students. Given this information Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, (RowanSOM) will obtain a criminal background check on all applicants upon their conditional acceptance to our medical school. The purpose of conducting a criminal background check prior to admission is to ensure the health, welfare and safety of patients and others at RowanSOM.
This policy shall apply to all applicants conditionally accepted to, and students enrolled in or visiting educational programs that may include clinical experience in any facility that requires or may require a criminal background check to be performed on students as part of their educational program.
Process for Conducting and Reviewing Background Checks
Individuals to whom this policy applies must sign a form authorizing RowanSOM to have a criminal background check performed on them by a consumer reporting agency engaged by RowanSOM to conduct such checks and complete an Accepted/Applicant/Enrolled Student Disclosure Form requiring information about previous convictions and/or guilty or no contest pleas to crimes, misdemeanors or other offenses including military dishonorable discharges. Failure to submit to the background check will disqualify the students from acceptance to the medical school.
RowanSOM may request that the consumer reporting agency conduct background checks on a limited number of applicants in a Select Pool, who have not yet been offered admission, but may be offered conditional admissions just prior to the start of classes. The results of the background checks on applicants in the Select Pool are not released to RowanSOM unless and until a conditional offer of acceptance is issued. In the event that the applicant is not accepted, RowanSOM will neither receive nor review his/her background check.
Deferred applicants will be required to undergo two background checks. The first will be conducted after the initial, conditional offer of admission. This check MUST be successfully complete and the admissions offer finalized prior to the Admissions Committee considering a request for deferment. Assuming the deferment request is granted, the student will be required to undergo a second background check as part of the application cycle for the class in which the applicant intends to matriculate.
Occasionally, criminal background checks may be required by some hospitals just prior to a clinical rotation. If that occurs, students will be responsible for the cost of additional background checks.
Internal Process for Evaluation of Criminal Background Checks
After receipt of the student authorization form and Disclosure form, the Admissions Office will process the criminal background check to be conducted by the consumer reporting agency engaged by RowanSOM. An ad hoc committee will be formed in the event of a finding of the review. If there is a finding, applicants will have the opportunity to submit written comments to the Admissions Office within five (5) calendar days of the date the Office notifies the applicant that his/her file is being referred to the Committee.
The Ad Hoc Committee will be established by the Dean and will include the Director of Enrollment Services, Chair of the Admissions Committee, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and any others deemed appropriate by the Dean. An attorney from the RowanSOM Legal Management Office may serve as counsel to the Committee. The Committee shall meet on an as-needed basis to review applications referred to it by the Admissions Office. As necessary, Committee members may participate by telephone. The Committee will review the background check report, any additional information provided by the applicant, and any other information it considers relevant. RowanSOM may independently seek additional information about the incident that is the subject of the report. If it does so, it will share any additional information obtained with the Committee and the applicant.
Each case will be considered on an individual basis. Offers of admission will not be considered final and enrollment will not be permitted until the background check, with results deemed favorable by RowanSOM. If the results of the background check(s) are not deemed favorable by RowanSOM, or if information received indicates that the student has provided false or misleading statements, has omitted required information, or in any way is unable to meet the requirements for completion of the program, the admission may be denied or rescinded, or the student may be disciplined or dismissed. Student must also agree to notify the RowanSOM of any convictions, guilty pleas or no contest pleas to any crime, misdemeanor or other offense and of any arrest, charges or investigations by any law enforcement authorities or professional licensing authority, which occur subsequent to the applicant’s/student’s submission of the Accepted Applicant/Enrolled Student Disclosure Form. Notification is required the next business day following the reportable event. If next day reporting is not feasible, the student must notify RowanSOM as soon as possible, and in no event later than ten working days following the event.
If an accepted applicant’s admission is denied or rescinded, or an enrolled student is subject to an adverse action, or a visiting student refused based on information obtained from a criminal background report, the accepted applicant or enrolled student will be advised of the name and address of the consumer reporting agency that furnished the report, and of the right to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the report by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly.
For students who matriculate at RowanSOM, the portion of the admissions file that is forwarded to the Registrar’s Office to begin the student’s academic file will include a notation that a pre-admission background check was conducted and reviewed, and that a final offer of admissions was made after that review. Records related to background reports for applicants who do not successfully matriculate, but for whom a background check is released to RowanSOM, shall be maintained with the applicant’s admissions file for (1) year in the Admissions Office.