National Criminal Background Check
By law, certain agencies have the right to require a criminal record check on any student affiliated at their institutions.
College of Health Sciences students are advised that any course-work, placement, community service, voluntary activity or service learning related to the University may require direct and unmonitored access to children, elderly, patients, disabled or other at risk populations and therefore you may be required to undergo a national CORI check (Criminal Offender Record Information) and/or SORI (Sex Offender Record Information).
Depending on agency policy, students may be expected to pay for the cost of the CORI or SORI check. Students who refuse to submit to a CORI and/or SORI will be deemed ineligible for placement and continued matriculation in their program may be jeopardized. Failure to pass a CORI and/or SORI check may also jeopardize continued matriculation, clinical placements, and state licensure.
The process and standard of review for determining a student’s eligibility for engagement in covered activity based on the CORI and/or SORI report, including whether any criminal offenses may disqualify an individual, is outlined in the UMass Lowell Human Resources CORI Policy for Students
(pdf). This policy also identifies personnel who are authorized to request, access and review CORI and/or SORI reports.
If a Health Sciences student is cleared for a clinical practicum experience but the College or Department subsequently discovers a violation on the student's CORI (from any state) or a violation of any criminal background check required by an agency, the student will immediately be removed from their clinical practicum experience pending further investigation, which may include a delay in a return to the practicum experience or possible academic probation or academic dismissal from the program or from the College of Health Sciences.
Health Sciences students who receive a new violation on their record while in a clinical practicum experience but do not notify the Assistant Dean of Health Sciences within 5 business days of the violation may be subject to additional disciplinary actions. These may include, but are not limited to, academic probation or academic dismissal from the program or from the College of Health Sciences.
The purpose of the CORI check is to ensure public safety and to avoid unacceptable risk to vulnerable populations. As most agencies sponsoring a clinical/practicum experience require CORI, SORI or other background checks prior to offering a practicum experience to students, Health Sciences cannot guarantee a practicum experience to a student if a sponsoring agency refuses to accept the results of any CORI/SORI or other criminal background check required by the sponsoring agency. Students found to have criminal convictions or pending actions which represent unacceptable risk to vulnerable populations will be presumed ineligible for practicum experiences.
Clinical Affiliate Random Drug Screening
Students enrolled in Health Sciences programs may also be required to undergo and pass a drug screening analysis in order to be eligible for placement in an off-campus learning experience.
Per contractual obligations with external agencies, students assigned to clinical educational experiences at some facilities may be required to undergo and pass random drug screening analysis in order to remain at that clinical facility. Test results obtained during testing will be held in confidence and treated as medical information.
If a student tests positive and further action is required, only those personnel with a need to know will be provided access to test results.
Depending on agency policy, students may be expected to pay for the cost of drug screening. Students who do not have a negative drug screen or refuse to submit to a drug screen analysis, will be deemed ineligible for clinical placement which may affect their ability to progress in the program.
College of Health Sciences Social Media Policy
The College of Health Sciences recognizes that all involved in health care have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to maintain individual’s rights to privacy. HIPAA protects patient privacy by law and includes any individually identifiable patient information in oral or recorded form where the information could identify an individual by name, medical condition, demographic data or other means. Students in the College of Health Sciences are expected to act with honesty, integrity and respect the privacy rights of others. All students in the College of Health Sciences are expected to meet their professional responsibilities when using social media and other electronic networks including but not limited to blogs, instant messaging, social networking sites, email, public media sites and photographs. This policy prohibits posting written material or photographs that identify patients, health care agencies, educational institutions or other students in clinical sites or patient related activities. This policy applies whether using University devices and computers or personal equipment. In addition, all College of Health Sciences students are required to abide by clinical agency policies related to the use of social media and technological resources.
Failure to adhere to this policy may result in probation, suspension or dismissal from the College of Health Sciences and/or legal prosecution under the requirements of HIPAA.