Background Check FAQ

What is the process for completing a background check through the CCE?

Step 1: A CCE staff member will submit your name for a background check after you either: A. signed up for a position with a youth serving-organization for a service-learning class or B. you signed up for a volunteer position with the schools in the Seattle University Youth Initiative.

Step 2: You will receive an email from SterlingONE, our background check vendor. Please provide the requested information and submit via the unique link provided to your email. If you do not receive an email, contact

Step 3: If you are volunteering with the SUYI K12 program, the program staff will confirm with you when your background check is complete. If you are volunteering with an outside organization, there will be no confirmation. Note: Outside organizations may have separate background check protocol for you to follow. This background check is to meet the university’s liability obligations.

I’m having issues with SterlingONE. What do I do?

If you are having trouble logging in, check to make sure you used the temporary password issued by SterlingONE and not your SU password.

Make sure they have checked their spam folder for emails from SterlingONE.

If you are having further problems, you the will need to contact SterlingONE via phone at 877-982-9888. The company is on east coast time, therefore business processes and phone lines are open until 2:00pm pacific time. Additionally both the CCE and SterlingOne are closed on weekends so they should not expect something submitted on a Thursday to be completed by Monday.

Background Check Requirements for Service-Learning Students

The Center for Community Engagement is committed to the broadest possible access to service-learning for SU students. Many service-learning positions require a background check, which may spark questions for students in various circumstances. The specific background check that is run and the specific criminal convictions that could disqualify you depend on the site and the requirements of the community organization.

What kinds of service-learning positions require a background check?
Service-learning positions where the student will be working with youth or vulnerable adults usually require a background check. In some cases, this background check will be initiated by CCE staff. Some organizations opt to run their own background check as part of their application process.

If I am an undocumented student, am I eligible for service-learning?
Yes, undocumented students are eligible to serve in many service-learning positions supported by the Center for Community Engagement. Undocumented students should take care to review the list of items required to complete the background check for each service-learning position (ex: full legal name, birth date, social security number or fingerprinting). Each service-learning course should also be matched with opportunities that do not require any background check.

If I have a past conviction, am I eligible for service-learning?
Each service-learning position has its own unique background check requirements. Some service-learning positions do not require a background check at all. If you have any questions about the background check requirements for a specific service-learning position, or if you have questions about whether a specific past conviction would disqualify you for a particular service-learning position, you are encouraged to contact the CCE. We will ask the community partner organization on your behalf and share the information back with you. Student questions about background checks will be kept confidential by CCE staff.

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