Criminal background checks will be conducted on all employees as part of the hiring process at East Central College.
At their Oct. 7 meeting, college trustees approved a policy stipulating that background checks will be conducted on all new full-time employees and, as deemed necessary, for part-time employees.
“This policy clarifies some of the practices we were already following,” noted ECC President Jon Bauer. He noted that mandatory criminal background checks have been required in the past for full-time employees and coaches.
For the 2014 fiscal year ECC requires new adjunct instructors and any new or current employees performing college work at a site located in a public school district facility to be screened.
“No policy or practice is fail-safe, but this policy will provide a means by which we can exercise due diligence in our hiring process and perhaps avoid the employment of someone who would otherwise be in a position to do harm,” Bauer said. “We are committed to providing a safe environment for our students, employees and the public.”
According to the new policy, a criminal background check includes, but may not be limited to, investigating criminal history for misdemeanors and felonies on the county, state and federal levels. The background check will also include reviewing sex offender registries nationwide.
Trustees were also presented with a draft of revisions to board policies related to personnel. Board members will have a month to review the changes. Adoption of the policies is slated for the Nov. 4 board meeting.
Board members also approved the establishment of a student ambassador scholarship program.
Ina Hays, vice president of student development, outlined the leadership program designed to assemble a group of students to represent the college at orientations, tours, recruitment activities and Patrons of the Arts events.
“The goal is to award 10 to 12 $1,000 scholarships each semester,” said Hays. “We hope to start on a small scale this winter with several ambassadors who will be hand-picked based on recommendations from ECC faculty and staff. Next spring we plan to promote the program through area high school counselors and teachers so they can identify good candidates who will be attending ECC in the fall.”