Have you taken the civic literacy exam yet? Newly introduced Florida Senate Bill 188 would require all students enrolled in Florida’s State University System to meet a certain level on a civic literacy practicum.
On the campus of Florida A&M, that criteria is already in place and it is a graduation requirement for all students.
The semester when a student enrolled will determine what type of civic literacy goal the student will need to satisfy.
Ivey Williams, coordinator at the Office of University Retention, is well versed in this requirement.
“Prior to 2018, students are waived from taking the civic literacy exam. Students who enrolled during the fall 2018 semester could satisfy the requirement by either taking an AP or CLEP course in lieu of the exam or take the exam itself. Students who enrolled from the summer 2021 semester and onward must complete both coursework and take the exam,” Williams said.
The civic literacy exam is a timed, 90-minute test that gauges students’ knowledge on government, notable Supreme Court cases and their overall understanding of the structure of the American democratic republic. The test is available via the LockDown browser or proctored exam in the computer lab of the University Commons building. According to library.famu.edu, there are a vast amount of study resources offered in preparation for the test, including: practice questions, study guides, flashcards and practice quizzes.
Data collected from the Test Service Bureau suggests that a helpful tool available on Canvas could be the reason for students’ success with taking the exam.
“We recommend that students take the tutorial on Canvas before taking the exam, because they usually pass the exam on the first try when they do,” Williams said.
As for SB 188, it has yet to be added on a committee’s agenda. The bill has a long way to go if it were to become a law. First, it must be voted on successfully and passed within Florida’s Senate. Meanwhile, a companion bill must be introduced in Florida’s House of Representatives, and both chambers must unify one bill together, where they agree on common language. Finally, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has the option to sign the bill into law, pass it without signature or veto it. The Florida Senate already has a targeted, effective date of July 1, 2022, should it become a law. Further updates on the bill’s status can be found on flsenate.gov.