Thank you for sharing your experience and skills with students! As a Pathful Connect participant, we wanted to give you our processes on how we vet professionals. School districts across the country have policies and expectations that we must meet which include the vetting of our participating professionals.
PART 1: Third Party Verification
We will ask for a third party to vet you after you commit to participating in a session but before you are able to present. Here are the options we provide:
- Standard background check
This is the quickest and easiest. Look for an email from Checkr coming from Checkr Background Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) on behalf of Pathful connect. Checkr is an FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) compliant site that does this for many organizations and has to follow strict protocols.
Information on their security can be found here. Their clients include companies such as Netflix, AirBnB, Lyft, and GrubHub to name a few.
Some additional background about Checkr can be found here.
More detailed information on how Pathful connect approaches these formal background checks can be found here.
- Organization verification
We work with employers and non-profit organizations to serve as a reference. If you have completed a background check for an employer or for a non-profit organization already, you can have someone from the organization (e.g. human resources or member coordinator) email us at email@example.com to verify your status in the organization as active and a statement describing or providing a link to their criminal background check policy for employees or volunteers. FCRA prohibits the sharing of background check information on an individual so that is not what we are asking for here. Rather, we are asking for verification that you are part of an organization that has clearly defined policies.
- Pathful Industry Partner
Many Pathful Industry Partners use a branded version of the Pathful Connect platform to build their community engagement and further their outreach mission. While we provide the technology, partners take the responsibility for the professionals they recruit to join the platform. As a trusted partner, they have committed to vetting the professional beforehand. Professionals identified as being recruited from the partner organization can present without any additional background check.
PART 2: Web Presence Search
We know teachers and students sometimes conduct web searches to learn more about the professionals who volunteer to present in their classrooms. In some instances, a teacher may give students an assignment to do a web search on the professional in order to prepare questions. The purpose of the web search is to find whatever information is easily accessible. If Pathful Connect can find it easily, others can find it, too. However, we do not conduct exhaustive and complete searches on social media sites. Context is everything but we will be concerned about R-rated language, positive references or use or promotion of illegal drugs, nudity, overtly erotic or sexual content, anti-school sentiment, racism, and xenophobia.
What we will not remove someone for:
Pathful Connect will not remove people who have been cleared by the background check but still show up with arrest records or news articles in general web searches. For example, there are predatory websites that keep arrest mugshots online to extort money from individuals (see article here).
A formal background check gives Pathful the opportunity to be fair and avoid contributing to this exploitative industry.
We also cannot rule out a professional necessarily due to their work product. For example, if we have a successful music producer sign up to present about the industry, some of their clients’ songs may be inappropriate for minors. Artists may have work product that is typical in their field, such as drawn nudes. An author may have a politically charged editorial in a local newspaper. In all of these cases, these successful professionals will be instructed to talk about their industry and share examples that are appropriate to the age level of the audience.