Background Checking and Drug Screening Policy for Fieldwork Placement

Drug Screening Policy for Fieldwork Placement

Springfield Technical Community College is committed to providing high quality education and excellent fieldwork experiences to students. Students are expected to perform at their highest functional level during all educational and fieldwork (a clinical affiliation, internship, externship, or field placement) experiences in order to maximize the learning environment and ensure patient/client safety. Thus a student's performance at all times must be free of any impairment caused by prescription or non-prescribed drugs including alcohol, marijuana, and cannabis-derived products. Many College programs require students to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible for fieldwork placement. STCC student program fees cover the cost of this screening. Additional scheduled and random drug and/or alcohol screenings may be required depending upon facility and/or program guidelines.

Students who are notified of a negative-dilute result will submit to an observed urine drug test within 24 hours of the previous test (or soonest appointment made available to STCC Health Compliance by the testing agency) in order to confirm the negative or positive finding status of the drug screening. If a student continues to receive a negative-dilute or inconclusive drug screening result, the subsequent drug test will be of the hair collection method until a conclusive negative or positive result is confirmed.

Students with a positive drug screening may challenge the results by filing a written appeal to the College's Director of Health Compliance within five (5) business days of notification of the test results. An appeal by a student who claims that the positive test was due to a prescription drug and was unable to clarify this matter with the medical review officer (MRO) from the drug testing lab shall include evidence from a health care provider of the type of prescription, dates of permissible use and dosage amounts. Students may be responsible to pay for additional drug screening conducted as part of an appeal. Students excluded from a program due to a positive screening, failure to submit appeal, denied appeal, or refusal to submit to a screening may re-apply for re-entry into a program after one year. Requests for re-admission will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with the program criteria.

Student Background Record Check Policy

Background record checks are required for College programs involving potentially unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly, including fieldwork (a clinical affiliation, internship, externship, or field placement) with a private or public healthcare provider or daycare provider. Such checks include data provided by the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS); the Office of Inspector General/General Services Administration (OIG/GSA); the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF); the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB); the state and national fingerprint databases; as well as all relevant state and national criminal history, child welfare and sex offender registries, databases, and repositories. The purpose of the background check is to ensure a safe and protective environment for all clients, particularly members of vulnerable populations.

Students choosing not to consent to the required background checks will be ineligible to participate in fieldwork involving vulnerable populations. Ineligibility to participate in fieldwork may affect a student's ability to successfully complete the program.

Based upon the results of the background record check, a student may be deemed ineligible to participate in academic or fieldwork activities, which may impact a student's ability to successfully complete program requirements. Background record checks are reviewed by the College’s CORI Board. The CORI Board determines eligibility to participate in academic and/or fieldwork activities.

Furthermore, please be advised that eligibility to participate in College academic and/or fieldwork activities following a background record check does not guarantee eligibility to sit for a professional credentialing examination(s) or for employment upon program completion. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the certification or licensure board for a particular healthcare or other service profession to determine the standards that must be met for credentialing, licensing and/or employment in that field.