Skip to main content

Background Screening

Cornell University is committed to providing a safe environment for children and youth who participate in covered programs.  In order to foster a safe environment for children and youth participating in covered programs, faculty, staff, students, and volunteers will have a criminal background check and sex offender search completed before beginning work or volunteering with children and youth.

CYS Background Screening Applies to

  • Program Staff (Cornell University staff member, faculty, student, and volunteer) who provides custody, care, and supervision with Minors (covered program) in a university-sponsored event, program, and/or camp either in person or virtually.

  • Third-party camps contracted through a Cornell Sponsoring Office.

  • Program Staff for children and youth programming that is considered a Covered Program.


  • New York State-defined camps require an annual background check for Program Staff.

  • When Covered Programs do not meet the NYS definition of a camp:

    • University employees will have an initial background check prior to working with minors

    • Volunteers in a covered program require a background check annually.

Background Check Completed By

  • University Program Staff background checks are completed by Cornell.

  • Third-party staff background checks are completed by the third-party.

  • For Camps (defined by NYS), New York State and counties may enforce and conduct their own requirements for background checks under the Public Health Law through NYS systems.  

Background Check Clearance

  • When there are no criminal convictions noted in the background check report, the Program Staff may proceed.

  • When a criminal conviction is noted, the Program Staff will be requested to complete the Conviction Related Questionnaire. The questionnaire responses and background check report will be reviewed with the appropriate university officials for participation decision.