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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - November 2021

By Mary Jane Chew

Students begin fulfilling Civics Literacy requirement

The team implementing the new Civics Literacy Proficiency graduation requirement reports that by mid-November, 47 students had completed the requirements for civics literacy proficiency. Organizers say the completion group consists of four continuing students and 43 new fall 2021 beginners.

In June 2021, the Purdue University Board of Trustees adopted a civics literacy graduation requirement for undergraduates, including all transfer students.  This requirement applies to all undergraduate students  - on the West Lafayette campus - who enter Purdue in the fall of 2021 or any subsequent semester.  The regional campuses will implement the requirement starting in the fall of 2022.

To complete the requirement, students select and complete one of three civics literacy pathways and then pass a civics knowledge test.  David Reingold, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, leads the implementation team.

“We are pleased with our progress to date,” he said. “We anticipate as more new beginners adjust to campus life; they will turn their attention to selecting a path to meet this new requirement.”

In addition to the students who have already met the requirement, 180 students have registered to access the civics knowledge test resources and more than 3,000 beginners have established credit in one of the approved courses.

Elizabeth Rowan, a freshman studying art education and art history, was able to fulfill the pathway requirement by having credit for a college-level U.S. history course taken in high school. 

“I’m glad that when I got to Purdue I only had to take the civics knowledge test to complete the requirement,” said Rowan. “Even though I didn’t have to complete one of the pathways before I took the test, it was helpful to go back and study the constitutional amendments and landmark court cases. My advice to students is to start early to make sure you know that part of U.S. history.”

The civics literacy proficiency activities and requirement were created to enhance the educational experience of Purdue students and graduate a more informed citizenry.

The hiring process is underway for a full-time director to oversee the Civics Literacy Proficiency program.

More information on the Civics Literacy Proficiency requirement can be found here.