Civics Literacy Initiative
WHAT IS THE CIVIC LITERACY INITIATIVE?
The 2017 Florida Legislature amended Section 1007.25, Florida Statutes to require students initially entering a state university in 2018-19 and thereafter to demonstrate competency in civic literacy. This means beginning in Fall 2018 students who are first enrolled in a Florida public institution in Fall 2018 or later must meet the new state civic literacy requirement regardless of residency or past post-secondary enrollment.
The goal of the civic literacy initiative is to ensure a level of understanding among all graduates in the principles and practices of American democracy through an understanding of the U.S. Constitutions and other founding document as well as landmark Supreme Court cases and legislation and their impact on law and society.
WHO IS IMPACTED BY THE CIVIC LITERACY REQUIREMENT?
All FTIC (first time in college) undergraduate degree-seeking students who enrolled at USF in Fall 2018 or later must meet the requirement.
Transfer students who entered USF (or another Florida public college or university) as degree-seeking in Fall 2018 or later must meet the requirement, including:
- Students with an AA degree.
- Student pursuing an additional bachelor’s degree.
- Students who transferred from out-of-state.
- Students who transferred from a private college or university in Florida.
Students who transferred to USF from another Florida public college or university who were enrolled as undergraduate degree-seeking students prior to Fall 2018 are not subject to the requirement.
HOW TO MEET THE CIVIC LITERACY REQUIREMENTS:
USF students can meet the new state mandate in the follow ways:
- Scoring 3 or higher on the AP exam for POS 2041: American National Government,
- Scoring 4 or higher on the AP exam for AMH 2020: American History II,
- Scoring 50 or higher on the CLEP American Government Exam, or
- Scoring 60% or higher on a test based on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Test with supplemental questions developed by the Florida Board of Governors.
Students who have not met one of the requirements above (and are not enrolled in POS 2041: American National Government or AMH 2020: American History II) are auto-enrolled into the Civics Literacy Prep and Test Canvas Course which provides:
- Preparation materials for the Civic Literacy Test and
- Access to the Civic Literacy Test
ABOUT THE CIVIC LITERACY TEST:
Universal among all Florida state university systems (SUS), the test spans 100 questions compiled by the Florida Board of Governors. Students must score 60% or higher and are allowed unlimited attempts.
WHEN DOES THE CIVIC LITERACY REQUIREMENT NEED TO BE FULFILLED?
The civic literacy requirement must be met in order to graduate. USF strongly encourages students to complete the civic literacy requirement within their first year to ensure timely graduation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Students transferring to a SUS institution in Fall 2018 or later who have never previously enrolled in a public Florida institution (SUS or FCS) must meet the requirement.
- Students transferring to a SUS institution after Fall 2018 must meet the requirement if their initial enrollment in any Florida public institution (SUS or FCS) was in Fall 2018 or later and they did not complete the Civic Literacy requirement at the prior SUS or FCS institution(s).
Your academic advisor can adjust your Degree Works audit once you provide transcript evidence that you have satisfied Civics Literacy by completing one of the four approved mechanisms listed on this webpage. Even if you completed the Civic Literacy test, your prior institution should have a record of that.
- No, because the initial enrollment in a Florida public institution (SUS or FCS) was prior to Fall 2018.
- Enrollment in a Florida public institution (SUS or FCS) prior to graduating from high school does not exempt a student from having to meet the Civic Literacy requirement.
- Board of Governors Office staff worked with the Department of Education Office of Articulation, and the Florida College System to ensure that the FASTER system has a common notation. Transcripts will have Yes/No/Exempt indictors to show whether the Civic Literacy requirement has been satisfied.
- If a student has never enrolled in an SUS or FCS institution prior to Fall 2018, yes.
- No. Although AICE and IB examinations may provide students with course credit aligning with course numbers identified as satisfying the Civic Literacy requirement, the content covered in the examinations currently does not align with the competencies identified in section 1007.25 (4)(b), Florida Statutes.
- If POS2041 or AMH2020 do not align with a student’s program of study, the institution should encourage the student to consider demonstrating competency through one of the approved assessments to avoid possible excess credit hours.
- There should be no cost to students for the test itself. The approved version of the U.S. Naturalization/Citizenship Test – Civics (U.S. History and Government) is available through Canvas. There is therefore no cost to the institution for the exam itself, beyond any institution-specific fees associated with administration of the exam.
- No. Students who took the U.S. Naturalization/Citizenship Test to become a U.S. citizen will not have met the Civic Literacy requirement, as that process only requires prospective citizens to correctly answer ten (10) questions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your academic advisor.