Your criminal conviction doesn't have to prevent you from pursuing education and a career. The majority of CSI programs are open to you, and jobs in these fields can (in general) be obtained regardless of most types of convictions. Prior to starting an educational program you should thoroughly research the hiring policies of target employers and/or the governing agency/entity about potential barriers to licensing and/or certification in the state in which you intend to work.
You will find three lists below:
1. The following programs DO NOT require a background check. A felony conviction will not necessarily be a barrier to employment. Some employers may have restrictions depending on conviction or job duties.
MATH, ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
Students entering Health Science/Human Services programs EXCEPT Addictions Studies and Human Services must: Not have a history or criminal record (including conviction, plea agreement, withheld judgment, or pending charges) concerning any of the following crimes (felony or misdemeanor): 1) sexual assault, rape, indecent exposure, lewd and lascivious behavior, or any crime involving non-consensual sexual conduct; (2) child abuse or neglect, sexual exploitation of children, child abduction, contributing to the delinquency or neglect of a child, enticing a child for immoral purposes, exposing a minor to pornography or other harmful materials, incest, or any other crime involving children as victims or participants; 3) vulnerable adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation; (4) homicide or manslaughter;. (5) assault or battery occurring within the prior seven years; 6) drug trafficking or other offenses involving narcotics, alcohol or controlled substances during the prior five years; 7) theft, embezzlement, fraud, or other crimes involving dishonesty committed during the prior five years; (8) driving under the influence during the prior two years if the Student's duties in the Program may involve driving.
In most cases your access to federal financial aid and scholarships is not affected by your conviction. The major exception is for people who have been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs while receiving federal student aid (grants, loans and/or work study). Convictions that have been removed from your record or that occurred before you turned age 18 (unless you were tried as an adult) do not affect your eligibility. A conviction for possession of illegal drugs can cause a delay of one to two years from the date of your last conviction. A conviction for sale of illegal drugs can create a delay of two years from the date of your last conviction. More information can be found at http://www.odos.uiuc.edu/sls/brochureAds/downloads/DrugsFinancialAid.pdf and http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/attachments/011311DrugWorksheet
www.fafsa.gov is the website for free application for federal financial aid. Even if you are not eligible for federal financial aid at this time, you should complete the FAFSA, as you may be eligible for state or other assistance.
Scholarships can be another source of assistance for school. Check out CSI's scholarship web page, http://scholarships.csi.edu/ . Pay particular attention to the boxes at the left, where you can learn more about outside scholarships, state scholarships and scholarship search engines, which help to match you with appropriate scholarships. Please visit the CSI Career Center in the Evergreen Building room 89 to learn about more resources. There are many free resources for finding financial assistance for your education. We do not recommend services that charge fees of any kind for finding or getting scholarships or other financial aid. You may also be a good candidate for a federal grant program called WIA (Workforce Investment Act). This program is income-based and targeted to individuals with a barrier to educational success, such as a felony conviction. In the Magic Valley area, two agencies distribute these funds.
Magic Valley Youth and Adult Services
734-4435 Susan Baca 1869 Addison Ave. East
Idaho Department of Labor
You are welcome to visit the CSI Career Center! We have free online assessment tools to help you choose the best career for you, and can help you create an individual plan for your education and career success. We are in the Taylor Building, Room 174, just around the corner from the Eagle's Nest Café, and we're open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can contact us at 732-6259.