The baby boomer generation is responsible for today's record number of college age applicants. As a result, admission into universities has become more competitive than at any other time in history. The highly selective admission process has become even more challenging, as colleges and universities have begun running criminal background checks on their applicant pools.
The idea of doing criminal history checks at the admissions level has been gaining increased popularity in light of the Virginia Tech tragedy and the recent death of a star player for the University of Virginia Women's Lacrosse team who was allegedly murdered by a classmate. Other incidents adding fuel to the fire include a murder committed by a student at the University of North Carolina and a University of Florida student who was shot by campus police during a standoff involving a metal pipe and knife.
A Momentary Lapse of Good Judgment
The practice of requiring criminal background checks on students is not without controversy. Many admissions officials have no way of distinguishing between students who present a true threat from those students who may have simply done something stupid when they were young and naive. Nevertheless, from the standpoint of an admissions counselor, "accepting a student with a criminal record is an unnecessary risk when so many applicants come to us with a 'clean slate.'" Thus, having a criminal record is likely to greatly increase an applicant's chance at being denied admission.
In a recent survey conducted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers , sixty-six percent of responding institutions reported having methods designed to discover criminal justice information about students. Private and four-year institutions were more likely than public or two-year institutions to conduct some kind of screening for criminal history.
Other New Technologies to Identify Problem Students
Criminal background checks are not the only way colleges are utilizing new technologies to spot problem students. There is an increased temptation to cheat in this age of cell phones and Internet access. As a result, universities have been taking drastic measures to reduce academic dishonesty facilitated through high tech devices.
The University of Central Florida is pioneering the use of video and computer surveillance to catch students who attempt to cheat during exams. A secure testing site is designed to record student's real-time work at a computer. If a student's behavior raises suspicions, a proctor can direct an overhead camera to zoom in over the student's shoulder. The images are then burned onto a CD for evidence that can be more closely reviewed at a later time.
At UCF, the increased security seems to be working. Cheating has dropped significantly, to just 14 suspected incidents out of 64,000 exams administered during the past spring semester. However, critics worry that universities are creating adversarial learning environments where all students are presumed guilty, starting with that first criminal background check during the admissions process.
Record Sealing & Expungement Prevents Access to Criminal Records
-- Put Your College Application on an Even Playing Field --
Students should not let a momentary lapse of good judgment stand in the way of their college application or obtaining a scholarship. Except in a few narrow circumstances, Florida law permits a person who successfully seals or expunges a criminal record to lawfully deny that he was ever arrested or charged with a criminal offense. In addition, sealed or expunged records are no longer accessible to college admissions officers, employers, licensing authorities, or the general public.
Having a record sealed or expunged results in the removal of all information pertaining to an arrest and prosecution, including those records held by the:
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (NCIC);
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FCIC);
- Online Consolidated Justice Information System (CJIS);
- Pinellas County Clerk of Court;
- Pinellas County Sheriff's Office; and
- The Law Enforcement Agency that Arrested You
The official court order sealing a criminal record likewise directs any other agencies to whom information regarding the arrest was disseminated to remove them from public view. Accordingly, a university that conducts an official background check on an applicant with a criminal past would be told that no record of arrest exists.
Learn more on the subject of sealing and expunging your Pinellas county criminal records by watching our video.
You can also read more details about the remedy of sealing or expunging your criminal history record at our website.
Our law office has significant experience in sealing and expunging Pinellas County criminal records. If you have been previously arrested or charged with a criminal within Pinellas county we can help. We can often determine your eligibility to have your record sealed or expunged right over the phone.
Visit: www.defensehelp.com for possible solutions to criminal charges.