Minors Policy

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Summer HSSP 2021 Teachers: Make sure to get your background checks started after you register your class(es)!

Minors Policy

Since mid-2017, MIT has outlined a minors policy, which provides requirements for all programs at MIT that minors participate in, with the intent of improving safety and protection of minors. For HSSP, the concrete requirements are as follows:

  1. Every class must have at least 2 adults present. All MIT students count as adults regardless of age. This policy still applies for virtual classes.
  2. All HSSP teachers must be background-checked by MIT. Non-MIT background checks do not fulfill this requirement.

These requirements are important—teachers who do not satisfy this requirement may not be allowed to teach for future ESP programs.


For your convenience, we've created a flowchart to help guide you through your requirements for the minors policy!

You may also download a PDF of the flowchart.

Two adults per room

If you're already planning to co-teach your class with others, you're good to go! If not, we strongly urge you to find a few friends to teach with. Not only is it the easiest way to satisfy MIT's policy requirement, it's also a valuable and worthwhile social experience to have.

There is no requirement that all registered coteachers of a class play an equal role in teaching. As far as policy requirements go, it is perfectly acceptable to get a friend to sign up as a teacher but only be present in the room.

What if I can't find any coteachers?

If you are unwilling or unable to teach with others, there exists an alternative arrangement. If you agree to observe (sit in) for a different solo teacher’s class, we can try to have another teacher observe your class. However, we cannot guarantee we will be able to match all classes up for observing each other, and you will not be able to teach if we cannot find you an observer.

Please keep in mind that observing will roughly double your time commitment for HSSP, and you must observe for every weekend of the program.

Background checks

There are two ways to satisfy the background check requirement.

  1. Prior background checks: If you are an MIT affiliate and have been background checked by MIT within the past four years, you are good to go! If you are not affiliated with MIT and have been background checked by MIT within the past one year, you are also good to go.
  2. Remote background checks: If you do not have a valid background check, you can get a remote background check.

Prior background checks

The validity of any prior MIT background checks depends on your status as a MIT affiliate or not. MIT affiliates are current students, staff, and faculty. Note that MIT alumni are not considered MIT affiliates.

If you are an MIT affiliate who has been background checked by MIT within the past four years, you are good to go! (Rarely, you may be required to do a background check on a case by case basis. We will let you know if this is necessary.) Similarly, if you are not an MIT affiliate but have been background checked by MIT within the last one year, you do not need another one.

If your prior background check has expired, you will need to obtain another background check to teach for HSSP. Read the below information to find out how.

Remote background checks

If you are unable to make it to MIT campus to perform a background check after you sign up to teach, there is a process for remote background checks available.

If you registered a class before May 13 and you need a background check, you should have received an email from Andrea Finnin with the background check process. If you registered a class after that date, please wait for an email about how to do the background check process. Please do not email Andrea yourself. Unlike previously, you will not need a notary for this process; you can instead confirm your documents through a video call with ATLAS.

If you are a registered MIT student, this background check is valid for four years for any MIT program involving minors as long as you remain a student. If you are not a registered MIT student, this background check is only valid for one calendar year. You will need to do another background check for future iterations of this program.

Last modified on May 07, 2021 at 03:45 p.m.