SmartSTART Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Must I fill out the application in one session or is there a way that I can quickly get started?
A. You do not have to finish the application in one session. To get your application started quickly fill in the following information on the application: username and password, your entire name, social security number (with appropriate dashes), email address, and home address. Then click submit. Then revisit your application under our View and/or Update Application feature at any time and fill in the remaining information.
Q. Do I have to put my social security number on my application?
A. Yes, your social security number is one of the essential pieces of information needed to create your application. Be assured that the application procedure is confidential and protected against any unauthorized access of or disclosure involving your personal information.
Q. Some areas on the application do not have enough room for me to type my answers. What do I do?
A. The field lengths for typing answers are set at certain lengths to prevent application submission errors from occurring. School districts are aware that limits on the amount of information were placed on certain fields. Accordingly, the use of abbreviations is acceptable and recommended on the online standard application.
Q. How do I update my application after I have submitted it?
A. The website allows you to access your application and make changes as necessary. You must login using your username and password. Click on View and/or Update Application.
Q. Do I need to submit all my supporting documents at once or can I send them in separately?
A. You can send your supporting documents in separately or just bring everything with you if you plan on attending the orientation.
Q. What documents do I need to participate in the SmartSTART program?
A. We need a copy of your cover letter, resume, Act 34, 151, and Act 114 clearances (dated within one year), official transcripts, three current letters of reference, verification of completion of Act 126 Mandated Reporter Training, and essay. Additional documents will be requested, and provided at orientation.
Q. How do I get the forms for the Act 34, 151, and 114 clearances?
ACT 114 – FBI Clearance - Please submit your PAE Number after your prints are scanned.
Register with Cogent through the above site. Make sure you register for the Department of Education FBI clearance. Take your receipt and a valid photo ID to the fingerprinting site. (Call the site first to be sure they are still open.) Once you have registered and had your prints scanned, please return your registration id number (PAE number) to the email address listed below.
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit is a fingerprinting site. The Allegheny Intermediate Unit has extended its fingerprinting services to Monday through Friday from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Fingerprinting services will not be available on AIU observed holidays.
ACT 34 – Pennsylvania Criminal History Check - Please use the website for this clearance not the printed form.
Go to “New Record” and follow the instructions through to the Certification Page. Once the Search Results Table appears, click on the Control Number. (Hint: Write down the Control Number for future reference.) The Record Check Details page is opened. Click on the Certification Page to access your official Clearance. The Record Check Details page is only a receipt and not acceptable as a ‘clearance’. Print 2 Certification Pages, 1 for you and one for your Personnel File.
ACT 151 – Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance - Please use the website for this clearance not the printed form.
NOTE: Effective December 31, 2014 an electronic form will be available to apply for your Child Abuse clearance online at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS
Q. Where do I mail my supporting documentation?
A. You can mail your information to:
The Allegheny Intermediate Unit
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120
Q. What is the SmartSTART Program?
A. The SmartSTART Program gives individuals with a bachelor's degree, in any subject area, the opportunity to become day-to-day substitutes.
Q. How does the program work?
A. The SmartSTART applicant will be required to attend a one day orientation at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Central Office, and the applicant must take on-line Sub-Skills Courses, that would be assigned at the orientation. After successful completion of the on-line courses and submission of all required documentation, the SmartSTART applicant must interview and observe with the school district of choice.
Q. How long is an emergency permit valid?
A. An emergency permit is valid for one school year.
Q. What can I teach with the emergency permit?
A. An emergency permit will be issued in all subject areas and the holder will be able to be a day-to-day substitute teacher in any participating school districts.
Q. Will this experience lead to permanent certification?
A. Not at this time.
Q. What school districts are participating?
Q. What is the rate of pay?
A. The amount of pay ranges from $65 dollars a day to $85 a day depending on the school district.
Q. Why do I get an error message when I submit my application?
A. The most common error message is due to an applicant's answers being too long. Keep your answers short and brief. Always print a copy of your application before submitting it.
Q. Is there anything I should do before I submit my application?
A. Always print your application before submitting it.
Q. Why are you requesting our e-mail password?
A. We are not requesting your e-mail password. You need to choose a password in order to access your SmartSTART application.
Q. Is there a fee associated to the training?
A. Yes, there is a $125 fee that covers all materials and training. This is non-refundable.
Q. When is the next SmartSTART training class?
A. February 2, 2018, at the AIU's Central Office, 475 East Waterfront Drive, Homestead, PA 15120