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Civic Literacy Graduation Requirement at Eastern Florida State College

The Florida Legislature wants to ensure graduates of the Florida College System and State University System have sufficient knowledge of America's civics, particularly the principles reflected in the United States Constitution. Lawmakers modified the existing Civic Literacy Graduation Requirement in fall 2021 and it now impacts many more students. The requirement initially applied to some students who first entered Eastern Florida State College in the 2018-2019 academic catalog year and it now covers additional students who started under the 2021-2022 catalog year and beyond.

The Civic Literacy requirements vary slightly for those two groups of students so carefully review the table and Frequently Asked Questions accordion below. Your academic advisor is also a resource to evaluate your specific situation and provide guidance on meeting the graduation requirement.

Current EFSC students can also find their Civic Literacy requirements listed in the myGPS Degree Audit tool in the myEFSC Portal. myGPS will list whether the requirements have been met and also indicates a student's official catalog year that governs their graduation requirements.

It's also important to understand the role that maintaining continuous enrollment plays in the Civic Literacy requirement. Continuous enrollment is defined as taking at least one course that earns a grade during the timeframe that spans three academic terms, such as spring, summer and fall. Students who have not met this continuous enrollment requirement, and then return to EFSC in fall 2021 or later, must follow the Civic Literacy requirements in effect when they return. For example, the student who started in 2014 and stopped attending until fall 2021 (or later), as well as the student who started in spring 2019 and stopped attending until fall 2021 (or later) must meet the new requirements for graduation.

Who the Civic Literacy Requirement Applies to & How it Can Be Met

Date Students Entered EFSC
Requirement Applies To: Programs Impacted Student Civic Literacy Requirements
Fall 2018 - Summer 2021 First-time-in-college-students (FTIC) maintaining continuous enrollment Associate in Arts Pass a course (AMH 2020 or POS 2041) OR pass an AP or CLEP assessment
Fall 2021 & beyond Students initially entering EFSC under the 2021-2022 catalog year Associate in Arts & Bachelor Degrees 1. Successfully pass either AMH 2020 or POS 2041 AND pass the Florida Civic Literacy Exam (FCLE) with a score of 60% or higher. (See the FAQ below for more on the FCLE, which may have been taken as a Florida high school student or is available at EFSC Assessment Centers).
2. AP and CLEP can be used to meet both the course and assessment requirement.
3. Note: AICE and IB programs can only be used to meet the course requirement.
2022-2023 & beyond Students initially entering EFSC under the 2022-2023 catalog year Associate in Arts, Associate in Science & Bachelor Degrees The same Civic Literacy requirements listed above for Fall 2021 & beyond apply to all three degree types. Please Note: This does include A.S. degree students starting their programs Fall Term 2022 and beyond.

 

Satisfying the Civic Literacy Requirement: Details, How to Register for the Exam & FAQ

Accordion FAQ Table

Question 1:  What are the approved ways to meet the Civic Literacy course requirement, including courses offered at EFSC?

Courses identified by the state to meet the requirement are:
• AMH 2020: United States History from 1877 to Present
• POS 2041: American Federal Government

The EFSC Class Schedule lists the available on-campus and online sections for AMH 2020 and POS 2041. Students must earn a grade of a "C" or higher in one of those to meet the requirement. The EFSC Catalog has course descriptions plus the official catalog version of the Civic Literacy Graduation Requirement.

An Advanced Placement course and exam or CLEP test can satisfy the course AND exam requirements. See question #3 for more on those options.

Credit earned through an International Baccalaureate (IB) or AICE program can only be used to meet the course requirement. Students with AICE or IB credit must also pass an approved assessment, such as the Florida Civic Literacy Exam (FCLE).

Question 2:  What are the passing scores for approved assessments, including the Florida Civic Literacy Exam (FCLE)?

Passing Score Requirements
• Florida Civic Literacy Examination (FCLE) - Score of 48 (or higher) out of 80 questions (60% correct)*
• AP Government and Politics: United States - Score of 3 (or higher) out of 5
• AP United States History - Score of 4 (or higher) out of 5
• CLEP American Government - Score of 50 (or higher) out of 80

* If you took an earlier version of the state exam that had 100 questions, the required passing rate is still 60%.

Question 3:  How can I use Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP to meet the course and/or exam requirements?

If you took an approved Advanced Placement course in high school from the list below and made the required passing score, that would meet both the course and assessment Civic Literacy requirements. If meeting the requirement through a CLEP testing record, that will also be applied in your student degree audit.

CLEP American Governement is available through the EFSC Assessment Centers.
See more about preparing for the CLEP American Government exam.

These three AP or CLEP options can meet the course AND exam requirement:
• AP Government and Politics: United States - Score of 3 (or higher) out of 5
• AP United States History - Score of 4 (or higher) out of 5
• CLEP American Government - Score of 50 (or higher) out of 80

This CLEP exam can meet ONLY the course requirement:
• CLEP History of the United States 2: 1865 to Present - Score of 50 (or higher) out of 80

Official AP and CLEP scores must be forwarded to EFSC for posting of earned course credits to meet Civic Literacy graduation requirements. Details on how to have score reports and/or transcripts sent to EFSC are available at the CLEP website and also at the Advanced Placement/AP website.

Question 4:  What are the Civic Literacy competencies required under Florida law and rules?

Senate Bill 1108 amended s.1007.25, Florida Statutes (F.S.) and as put into practice by the State Board of Education through Rule 6A-10.02413, students must develop and demonstrate civic literacy competency that includes:

• Understanding the basic principles and practices of American democracy and how they are applied in our form of government
• Understanding the United States Constitution and its application
• Knowledge of the founding documents and how they have shaped the nature and functions of our institutions of self-governance
• Understanding of landmark Supreme Court cases, landmark legislation and landmark executive actions and their impact on law and society

The rule also requires that institutions must ensure that they provide opportunities for students to engage synchronously in political discussions and civil debates with multiple points of view and to master the ability to synthesize information that informs civic decision-making. Examples include course lectures, discussion groups, registered student organizations (e.g., speech or debate club, student government association), guest speaker series, community partnership and civic engagement events, service-learning and internships, among others.

Question 5:  How can I register to take the Florida Civic Literacy Exam (FCLE) at Eastern Florida State College?

The FCLE is offered free for the first attempt for Eastern Florida State College students at the EFSC Assessment Centers on all four campuses. You must have an appointment to take the exam, which can be made through the RegisterBlast online system. The RegisterBlast link includes instructions for registering, including choosing an appointment day and time.

Schedule FCLE Using RegisterBlast

To be eligible to take an initial Florida Civic Literacy Exam, EFSC students must either have already taken POS 2041 or AMH 2020 and earned a grade of "C" or higher or be currently enrolled in either course.

The examination, which is proctored, is administered at the EFSC Assessment Centers via a computer-based testing platform developed for the state of Florida by Cambium Assessment, Inc. Currently, there is no remote option for the FCLE.

A score of 48 correct or higher out of 80 questions will meet the minimum required threshold of 60% correct or higher. If a passing score is not earned, FCLE retesting will require a 30-day wait period and a $30 Competency Test fee for attempts after the initial free exam.

See more about retesting, including how to request a waiver of the wait period, in Question 7.

Question 6:  How can I prepare for the Florida Civic Literacy Exam?

The required coursework will cover many topics included in the 80 questions on the test. It's also recommended students utilize the following free test preparation resources before taking the exam.

Florida Department of Education (FDOE) Supplemental Guide and Sample Test Items
Please Note: The purpose of these FDOE sample test materials is to orient faculty and students to the nature of the test content and test questions on the Florida Civic Literacy Exam (FCLE). The content included in the Supplemental Guide is not intended to replace associated coursework or other preparation methods required to demonstrate civic literacy, as described in Florida Statute. The sample questions and answers are not intended to demonstrate the length of the actual test. Student performance on the sample test should not be used as a predictor of performance on the actual test, and neither the sample test nor the supplemental guide should be used to guide classroom instruction.

⇒ Landmark Supreme Court Cases [Review of these cases is strongly recommended]

U.S. Citizenship Test Study Resources

⇒ Florida Department of Education's Civic Literacy web page [Additional resources list at DOE site to foster civic literacy and help with exam preparation]

Question 7:  What is the FCLE retake policy and is there a limit on how many times a student can retest?

The requirement allows an unlimited number of attempts, with a recommended 30 days between retakes. But under the state rule, a student can appeal for a waiver to the 30-day wait due to extenuating circumstances.

Students who fail to meet the required passing score of at least 48 correct out of 80 questions can retake the exam after the 30-day wait period for a $30 competency exam fee as outlined in the EFSC Fee Schedule. (The initial test is free; the $30 fee only applies to retest appointments).

Scheduling an FCLE retest is a two-step process through the EFSC Assessment Center's RegisterBlast system: the first submission requests students enter details to determine eligibility and then the Assessment Center staff sends approval to retest and an Access Code to the student's Titan email account. When students return to RegisterBlast the second time, they will be prompted to enter the Access Code, pay the $30 retest fee, and choose and schedule an appointment day and time at an EFSC Assessment Center.

Schedule a Retest Using RegisterBlast

Appeals related to the 30-day wait between retest attempts should be sent to the Director of Testing and Assessment via email at testingassessment@easternflorida.edu with "FCLE Retest 30-Day Waiver Request" as the email subject line. The Director of Testing and Assessment will review the information and coordinate the appeal with the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs who has the authority to waive the retest wait policy in certain situations. 

Question 8:  What testing accommodations will be available for the FCLE?

Accommodations will be available for the Florida Civic Literacy Examination, some beginning in fall 2021 with more available in spring 2022. The Florida Department of Education plans to announce a timeline for implementation and a description of allowed accommodations later. In the meantime:

  • EFSC Assessment Centers are prepared to provide test accommodations for those with disabilities.
  • The test software will allow all students to choose the print size, background color, and mouse pointer for their test.
  • The FCLE is an untimed test, but all students must end their test sessions when the Assessment Center closes. We recommend those who require extended time consider making an appointment earlier in the day to ensure plenty of time to complete the test.
  • Students who use assistive technology may contact an Access Specialist in the SAIL department with any concerns regarding compatibility with the testing software

Question 9:  How does the Civic Literacy requirement apply to high school students?

Students enrolled in a U.S. Government course as part of their high school coursework must take a civic literacy assessment and that assessment may be the Florida Civic Literacy Exam. Students who have passed the FCLE in high school will be exempt from the civic literacy competency assessment portion of the requirement when they enter a Florida College System (FCS) or State University System (SUS) institution. However, these students will still need to fulfill the post-secondary civic literacy course requirement.

Question 10:  How does the amended rule apply to bachelor students who are entering with an associate degree?

Baccalaureate students who enter EFSC under the 2021-2022 catalog year or beyond are required to meet the civics course and assessment requirement. If the student previously demonstrated civic literacy competency based on the previous civic literacy requirement through a course or an assessment under their Associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program, those passed courses or passing scores could also be used toward demonstration of civic literacy competency for baccalaureate completion. The student would then just need to fulfill the missing requirement, if applicable, via an assessment or course.

Question 11:  How does the Civic Literacy rule apply to transfer students?

The civic literacy requirement applies to students who are entering into A.A. and baccalaureate (bachelor) programs under the 2021-2022 catalog year, regardless of prior postsecondary coursework. This includes transfer students and students entering with prior postsecondary coursework. Students who have previously achieved a passing score on an approved assessment or passed an approved course will have met the assessment requirement or coursework requirement, respectively, and will not need to re-take assessments or courses. EFSC will now this information because the postsecondary FASTER electronic transcript will be updated to reflect if a student met the course requirement and assessment requirement.

Question 12:  How does the updated rule apply to out-of-state students?

The civic literacy requirement applies to students who are entering into A.A. and baccalaureate programs under the 2021-2022 catalog year and beyond, regardless of prior postsecondary coursework. This includes students from out-of-state.

Question 13:  If a student changes their major, what is the impact related to the Civic Literacy requirement?

If the change in major occurs in Fall Term 2021, or any term after that, the updated Civic Literacy requirements that took effect in Fall 2021 will apply. A change in major switches the student's guiding catalog to the academic year catalog in effect when the major change took place. For example, if a student had started at EFSC in 2017 under the 2017-1018 academic catalog, before there was a Civic Literacy requirement, and then requested and received a major change in Fall Term 2021, the catalog guiding their program and graduation requirements would have changed to the 2021-2022 academic year and they must meet the new Civic Literacy requirement prior to graduation.

Question 14:  If I have questions about the Civic Literacy requirements who should I contact?

Your academic advisor can answer questions about the Civic Literacy requirement and your particular situation. Make an appointment with your advisor by logging into the myEFSC Portal and using the link in the Student Services Appointments area or call 321-433-5512.

For questions about the exam, contact an EFSC Campus Assessment Center.