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Students observing in K-12 schools as part of a UW Oshkosh COEHS program or course must have completed a recent background check. In addition, all students applying for admission to Teacher Education Programs at UW Oshkosh, or in courses that involve school observations must complete either the Department of Children and Families (DCF) background check or the standard background check through CastleBranch.  See below to determine which background check you should complete.

NOTE: Ed Foundations 235 students must complete one of these background checks if observing in a K-12 school setting.  If the appropriate background check is completed as part of this course and apply to a UWO teacher education program within one year of completion you will not need to complete a second check as part of your application. 


If you have questions about which background check is appropriate, contact Tammy Mastey in the COEHS Administrative Offices (


Early Childhood Centers & 4K classroom settings.

Complete the DCF check for the following programs: Early Childhood, Special Education Early Childhood, HKHE / Physical Education.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) background is federally mandated for any employee, contractor, practicum or clinical student in an Early Childhood (including 4K) setting. If you are doing observations for Ed Foundations 235 in an Early Childhood Center or 4K classroom, you may be required to complete a background check through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Please check with the site before you visit.  If you are required to complete a DCF background check it will also count as the check for your Admission to the Teacher Education program at UW Oshkosh.

To begin the DCF background check process, visit the ichildcare portal and click on the “Create a Logon” link in the blue box.  The fee for this background check is $40 and is payable when you get your fingerprint taken. There is also an automatic annual renewal check each year.  The $10 renewal fee will be paid by you through NelNet.  We will notify you when this is due.  If you do not need your background check renewed, please contact to be removed from our portal.  The background check fees are not refundable.

Once you have completed your fingerprint appointment, complete the Teacher Education Criminal Background Check Form.  Please contact Tammy Mastey at for any questions regarding this form.

K-12 Settings.

Complete the CastleBranch background check for teacher education programs not listed above.

If you are observing in a K-12 classroom setting, you need to complete a background check through CastleBranch.  This background check may also be used for your admission to the teacher education program for any major except early childhood, early childhood special education, and health and human kinetics. Those major should complete the DCF fingerprint background check described above.

The CastleBranch background check has a $33 fee paid directly to CastleBranch.  The fee is not refundable. *Please note the Wisconsin BID (Background Information Disclosure) form also needs to be completed at the same time on CastleBranch.  To begin the background check process, visit

Please contact Tammy Mastey at for any questions regarding this form.