Required Background Check
Maintaining the vision of the founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University develops Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world. Through its residential and online programs, the University educates men and women who will make important contributions to their workplaces and communities, follow their chosen vocations as callings to glorify God, and fulfill the Great Commission.
The University’s mission to develop “Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world” is achieved, in significant measure, through offering rigorous academic programs. Consistent with the mission of the institution, the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies seeks to educate the whole person within a framework of a reasoned Christian worldview.
A new background check policy is being implemented as a requirement for students entering the program and for students entering the practicum/internship phase of Liberty University’s Graduate Counseling degree programs. Background checks have become a requirement in our partnerships and affiliation agreements with practicum/internship sites. Because of this change in climate, background check receipts from ADB (American Data Bank) will now be a required part of the application process for the practicum and internship. In order to be eligible for practicum or internship application, please submit your application now to ADB.
Additionally, some state licensure boards require background checks and have stringent background requirements that determine an individual’s eligibility for licensure. Therefore, the Leadership Team of the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies believes it to be unethical to allow students through the Graduate Counseling licensure degree programs to later find they would be ineligible to become licensed or find employment in their state.
We pray that you will view these changes as a personal benefit to you. These improvements will help to enhance the value of your degree and ultimately contribute to increasing the quality of the program.
- In COUN 500, all students are required to complete the background check as part of their course work. Failure to complete the background check within COUN 500 will result in a hold being placed on the student’s account which will prevent future registration.
- All licensure-track Graduate Counseling students are required to complete the background check prior to practicum/internship approval. Students must submit a copy of background check receipt as part of the application and approval paperwork process.
- Candidates are responsible for any fees that are associated with any of the available background packages. Please note that full background checks take approximately 12-16 weeks from submission of forms to receive a report (clearance/non-clearance). This service is supported by American DataBank (ADB). All fees associated with any of the available background packages will be paid directly to ADB.
- Students who wish to pay for their background check with a book voucher may do so through MBS Direct. For COUN 500 and for students applying for a spring 2014 practicum/internship, you will select the "Counseling Initial Background Check" package listed under COUN 500 on the MBS Direct website. Please note that MBS charges a processing fee, so the cost is higher to purchase the background check package through MBS Direct instead of purchasing it directly from the American Databank website.
- If a student orders a background check for another program at Liberty (e.g. Education, Master of Public Health, etc.), the Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies will review an appeal on a case-by-case basis. Students may appeal to COUNbackground@liberty.edu.
- For practicum/internship application, students must submit a copy of the receipt from ADB as proof of purchase of the background check package. The criminal background check portion of the package must have been completed within one calendar year of the first day of the academic semester in which the student is applying for practicum or internship. If the criminal background check was completed more than one calendar year from the first day of the academic semester in which the student is applying for practicum or internship, then the student must order a background re-check through ADB.
- Some practicum/internship sites may require students to undergo a drug screen as part of that site's screening process. If this is the case for your potential practicum/internship site, then ADB has an option drug screen packet that may be purchased if your site requires a drug screen. Please note that Liberty University does not currently require the drug screen as part of its practicum/internship application process.
Questions concerning the background check may be sent to COUNbackground@liberty.edu.