Governor Dayton to sign bill making Minnesota national leader in providing high school students credit-earning opportunity at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
MINNEAPOLIS (June 12, 2015) – Once the 2015 Education Omnibus Bill (HF 1, 2015 Special Session) is signed into law, Governor Dayton will clear the path for 68 Minneapolis Public Schools high school students to acquire college credit through the Bilingual Seal legislation.
College credits are applicable to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) for students who demonstrate high-functional abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing in world languages in addition to English. The 68 students met high-proficiency standards through rigorous assessments to earn the Gold Bilingual Seal. Another 235 students earned the World Language Proficiency Certificate, which may also be eligible for college credit when MnSCU makes this decision later this summer.
Minnesota is the first state in the nation to legislate college credits to the Bilingual Seal, and MPS is leading the way as the first district in the state to assess students and expand the testing to Hmong and Somali languages. MPS students earned the Bilingual Seal in French and Spanish and students earned the World Language Proficiency Certificate in Arabic, French, German, Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
“At MPS, our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and speak over 100 languages and dialects,” said interim Superintendent Michael Goar. “We are taking one more step toward recognizing our multilingual students as being immensely skilled world citizens who are an asset to our global competitiveness.” This effort supports MPS’ Acceleration 2020 goal to ensure that all students graduate ready for college and career with global competencies for the 21st century. MPS offers coursework in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Dakota, French, German, Hmong, Japanese, Latin, Ojibwe, Somali and Spanish.
Last year, the state of Minnesota passed legislation to allow bilingual students in Minnesota to earn a Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma. However, the requirements of the seal were so high that very few students qualified. Students were expected to demonstrate a proficiency that went beyond what was required for teacher certification. MPS collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Education and MnSCU to craft legislation that awards students college credit for demonstrating proficiency in a world language.
The test that MPS is using, called the EMC Language Proficiency Assessment by CARLA (ELPAC), is available in French, German and Spanish. Hmong and Somali assessments have been developed by MPS for the proficiency certificate level. For a list of MPS students who earned the Gold Bilingual Seal and World Language Proficiency Certificate, visit http://bit.ly/1IvLu8U.