Carnegie Mellon University

Programs Involving Minors and Child Protection Clearances

The Policy on the Protection of Children in Carnegie Mellon Programs, Activities and Facilities details the requirements for programs and activities that involve minors, in order to satisfy the requirements of the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law as amended by Pennsylvania Act 153. All members of the Carnegie Mellon community, including faculty, staff, students, contractors and volunteers, are expected to act in accordance with this Policy, which includes the following requirements:

  • Program Registration — Programs, activities, events, research, and academic courses involving minors must register with the Office of Human Resources before beginning interactions with minors.
  • Child Protection Clearances  Employees or volunteers who have direct contact with minors (i.e., the care, supervision, guidance or control of children, online interactions, or routine interaction with children) in person or via remote/virtual platforms must obtain Child Protection Clearances prior to interacting with any minors. These clearances must be renewed every 60 months (five years), including FBI fingerprinting, as per the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.
  • Additional Requirements  Programs involving minors must also meet requirements based on program format:
  • Must follow the university's current COVID-19 Protocols.
  • Must provide a detailed plan including an arrival and dismissal protocol.
  • Programs planning on transporting minors must use a university-approved transportation vendor.
  • Must have a sufficient ratio of employees, students, staff and volunteers to minors participating in the program. Recommended ratios are as follows:
    • Minors under the age of 8: 5 to 1
    • Minors age 8 to 14: 8 to 1
    • Minors over the age of 14: 10 to 1
  • If providing food, programs must consider allergies and food sensitivities.
  • If the program will include minors working with or around hazardous materials or equipment (e.g., within CMU labs, shops, work areas, maker spaces, etc.), Responsible Parties must contact Environmental Health & Safety to ensure that programmatic operations comply with university safety regulations.
  • Carnegie Mellon University's requirements apply to all university-sponsored programs, regardless of location. Please note that programs occurring off campus may need to follow additional requirements specific to the program location. 
  • Must use the Canvas platform with Zoom integration, in consultation with Eberly Center and Computing Services.
    • Program directors must request sponsored Andrew IDs from Computing Services through the Request Accounts Portal or via email
    • Program directors can set up Canvas course(s) using CMU's Canvas Online course request form.
      • Once programs have the participants'/students' Andrew IDs/email addresses, they can enroll them in Canvas course(s). Only those enrolled in each course (via sponsored Andrew ID/email address) can access the course.
    • Use of additional software and/or platforms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the University Contracts Office. CMU programs must use FERPA compliant tools (e.g., Canvas with Zoom integration); third party programs are not possible.
  • Enrolling minor participants under the age of 13 is discouraged.
  • Minors residing abroad are discouraged from participating in virtual CMU programs. Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Review available information on managing the safety and security of minors online.
  • Contact Child Protection Operations with questions related to these program requirements.
Hybrid Programs must follow both the online and in-person program requirements as detailed above.