Suitability Determination

Students should know that the MA fingerprint requirement includes a provision called Suitability Determination, which replaces the need for a teacher candidate to be fingerprinted again provided that certain conditions have been met.

As a first step, teacher candidates who were fingerprinted in the past should ask Human Resources in their new district if a Suitability Determination letter will be acceptable and whether other conditions of acceptance apply (e.g., if the fingerprint needs to be within the past year). Pending the new district’s decision, the teacher candidate needs to then request the Suitability letter from Human Resources in the district where the fingerprint check was previously completed. In the letter, the district verifies that the teacher candidate was fingerprinted and deemed suitable to student teach during a given time period but cannot share the results. Once the letter is received by the new district, the teacher candidate will have satisfied the requirements per MA regulation (click here).

In addition, please note the following:

  1. Boston University does not keep fingerprint results and therefore cannot furnish this letter;
  2. Not all districts accept a suitability letter and in these cases the teacher candidate needs to abide by the new district’s policy and as a result must complete the fingerprint again;
  3. It is the teacher candidate’s responsibility to confirm whether the Suitability letter will be acceptable in the new district and accordingly to follow up with the past district to request the letter.