Background checks enable education institutions to conduct due diligence while hiring academicians, administrators and support staff. The goal being to preserve the safety of the students and reputation of the organization.
In 2007, MIT Dean of Admissions, Marilee Jones, stepped down from her post after she was found to have misrepresented her academic degrees to the institute.
Jones had started her career at MIT as an entry-level employee that didn’t require a college degree, so no one verified her credentials. The mistake subsequently led to the institute promoting her to the position of Dean of Admissions in 1997.
She claimed to have received degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union College, and Albany Medical College. After an investigation a decade later, MIT confirmed that Jones has not graduated from any of these schools.
It was indeed an unfortunate incident for America’s most prestigious school. But the action was swift. After all, the integrity of the organization was at stake.
With scandals like this combined with a growing concern about student safety in the education industry, it is evident that they need to ensure that their employees are adequately screened.
In this blog post, we will discuss 4 reasons for performing a pre-employment screening in the education industry.
1. Student safety
Comprehensive background checks are an integral part of educational institutes because the safety and welfare of the students is of utmost importance. Incidents of inappropriate or questionable staff and academicians can lead to a widespread negative impact on the institute. As schools, colleges and universities are built on the reputation of their staff, the credentials of the staff are of primary consideration when it comes to attracting prospective students.
2. Education quality
The quality of education imparted depends on how knowledgeable and well-equipped are the teachers. Validating credentials is an important step in making sound decisions for hiring educators. A thorough background check for them provides detailed information about employing individuals with appropriate training and certification required. This is a must for schools, universities and any educational institute.
3. Staffing woes
Each year, 15% of teachers quit because they find another job, retire, or leave the profession altogether. That means research institutes need to hire a new fleet of teachers to replace the ones that go. However, that also allows them to increase the quality of the teaching staff.
Conducting a background verification on potential candidates will help you find out if they have the required degree or licenses to do their job. It makes the hiring process transparent for not just the employer but also the job applicant in the education industry.
4. Financial issues
Educational institutes are legally bound to do certain background verifications on teachers, admin personnel, janitorial staff. Failing to perform the task can put the management in a tight spot. Either the organization losing its funding or some of the staff getting fired from their jobs.
Staying legally compliant
Most background checks screen past employment and education credentials, teaching license, and criminal records. As an employer, they can ask for specific documents or run additional tests if necessary, depending on location and the type of institute.
Due to the sensitive information involved in background verification, they are regulated by federal and state laws.
In 2015, Target came under the scanner when its criminal background verification process was found to be racially discriminatory. The retail giant was asked to pay a fine of $2.8 million. Therefore, it is crucial to perform background verification within compliance.
Background verification provides the detailed information required for the educational industry to make sound decisions about job applicants in the education industry.
It is necessary to maintain the institute’s reputation. Incidents of violence, negative publicity, or assault can hamper the future student enrolment, and alumni and parent donations. It is best to take your time before hiring than be sorry at a later stage.
Use SpringVerify to run checks smoothly.
When reputed schools can make a mistake by not verifying the credentials, it only makes sense for others to take precautions when hiring new teaching staff.
You must make sure your background verification process is done within rights and doesn’t threaten or harm any potential staff. This is for the benefit of the students who are the future of the world.
Need help in running a background check? SpringVerify can help! Contact us today to learn more.