Affiliation agreements for practical experiences

For credit-bearing practical experiences, individual faculty are the instructors of record and may at times have direct interactions with off-site entities where the students will be having the practical experience.

In most of these cases, the relationships between the external practical experience sites and the students do not involve formal contracts with the University.

In other cases, there are established formal channels (ex. practical experiences related to the SLCP program, which are handled by Dr. Mary Kay Biagini).

There are, however, a few ad-hoc cases outside of the norm (particularly when health care facilities are involved) where the external sites require a legally binding contract between themselves and the University of Pittsburgh before the students will be allowed to participate. The contracts are typically called affiliation agreements.

In such cases, because the University is brought into the equation, the affiliation agreement should be sent to the Manager of Student Services, Wes Lipschultz, as quickly as possible.

Wes will have the affiliation agreement vetted by the Office of General Counsel at Pitt and then work with both the external site and General Counsel until a document acceptable to both parties is crafted.

Then the document will be presented to the Dean of the iSchool to sign and any provisions in the agreement will then need to be enacted as outlined.

Note: if the external site requires criminal background checks and clearance for working with minors, that clearance will need to be obtained by the student, and the timing of this clearance can take 6 weeks or more. Below are guidelines for typical paths to clearance...


Criminal Record Check: Please see this Web site to complete the "Request for Criminal Record Check" from the Pennsylvania State Police. There is a $10.00 processing fee, and the request can be submitted online with fast results.

Child Abuse History Clearance: Please see this Web site to complete the "Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance form" from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. There is a $10.00 processing fee, and processing of this clearance takes 6-8 weeks.

FBI Criminal History Report:Please go to this Web site. The Web site has two different options to get the check done - either for the Dept. of Education or the Dept. of Public Welfare. If the practical experience involves a healthcare facility, the student should follow the instructions for the "PA Department of Public Welfare". The student must first register online with the Cogent System Web site (linked to above). There is a $36.00 processing fee. Please make sure to request that a copy of the report be mailed to you (additional fee of $2.50) at the bottom of the registration form. After registration, the student must be fingerprinted. The location of the fingerprint sites and days and hours of operation for each site will be posted on the website (there is a site here in Oakland). It should be noted that processing of this report takes 6-8 weeks.