Note for All Applicants Regarding Criminal History
Several states have passed “Ban the Box” laws for higher education, which prohibit post-secondary institutions from asking applicants about their criminal history during the admissions process. The law further prohibits offering an applicant provisional acceptance to a program subject to a criminal background check. In 2020, California became the fifth state to enact this type of law (Cal Educ. Code 66024.5).
As a result, criminal history questions have been removed from the Centralized Application Service (CAS). However, institutions that grant professional degrees are exempt from this law. MBKU requires a criminal background check prior to matriculating into the program because of the following:
- An admitted student’s ability to complete the program successfully and gain the appropriate licensure could be negatively impacted by their criminal history.
- Clinical experiences are a critical part of the program’s requirements for graduation. Many clinical sites will not place a student on a clinical rotation unless they have successfully passed a criminal background check. Background check results that limit the program’s ability to secure supervised clinical practice experiences may prevent a student from progressing or graduating from the program.
- As a part of the licensing process, many states require that graduates undergo a comprehensive background investigation. This process requires the applicant to disclose all past criminal convictions, even if they have been set aside or expunged.
If you have any questions, please email us at StudentAffairs@Ketchum.edu.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are the exceptions to the “Ban the Box” Law?
California SB-118 was approved by the Governor of California and Chaptered by the Secretary of State into Chapter 29, Statutes of 2020 on August 6, 2020. This law “prohibit[s] a postsecondary educational institution in this state, except as provided, from inquiring about a prospective student’s criminal history on an initial application form or at any time during the admissions process before the institution’s final decision relative to the prospective student’s application for admission.” However, there is an exception to this prohibition which states “Except for purposes of an application for a professional degree or law enforcement basic training courses and programs, a postsecondary educational institution shall not inquire about a prospective student’s criminal history on an initial application form or at any time during the admissions process before the institution’s final decision relative to the prospective student’s application for admission.”.
Because MBKU only offers professional degrees, all programs fit within the exception, and are not expressly prohibited from inquiring about a student’s prospective criminal history on initial application or at any time before the final decision related to a student’s admission.
Will I be required to complete a background check?
Complete confidence in the honor and integrity of health professions students and health care professionals is essential, and students must exhibit honesty and integrity in all aspects of their life. Any prior criminal record of an applicant will be evaluated by the University as part of its determination that the applicant meets the standards outlined in the MBKU Code of Conduct and the professional ethical codes. In addition, a prior criminal record may negatively impact a student’s ability to participate in the University’s curriculum. To meet State regulations and hospital accreditation requirements, clinical facilities require students to complete criminal background checks prior to beginning clinical education experiences. Some clinical facilities require a urine drug test as well. Because of this regulation to assure patient safety, students admitted to the program will be required to complete a criminal background check upon acceptance into the program. Certain convictions may prevent students from entering clinical facilities, which may hinder a student’s ability to successfully complete the program. If a criminal conviction or other relevant sanction is shown on the background check, clinical sites may choose not to allow a student to utilize their facilities. If applicable, we encourage you to check with the appropriate State licensing board(s) to determine whether your background may be a barrier to future licensing.
Does the program require any additional background checks or drug screening tests?
Yes, you may be required to complete an additional background check. Urine drug screens may also be required if needed for clinical education experiences or any sentinel acts.