Minnesota Bilingual Seals Program

Minnesota Bilingual and Multilingual Seals were legislated in the Learning English for Academic Proficiency and Success (LEAPS) Act in 2014.  Minnesota public school districts, charter schools, and non-public schools may award Minnesota bilingual and multilingual seals to graduating high school students, in grades 10, 11, or 12, who demonstrated the required levels of language proficiency on languages other than English, including American Sign Language (ASL) and Indigenous American Indian languages. The required proficiency levels are ACTFL Advanced Low for Platinum Seal; ACTFL Intermediate High for Gold Seal in all of the four modalities - listening, reading, speaking and writing.
 
Gold Bilingual Achievement SealPlatinum Bilingual Achievement Seal

Minnesota World Language Proficiency Certificate, legislated in 2009, is an award given to students in any grade level who demonstrate ACTFL’s Intermediate Low level in all of the four modalities - listening, reading, speaking and writing in languages other than in English. *Note: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities award college credit when the test was taken in Grades 10, 11, or 12.

Minnesota World Language Proficiency Certificate

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, a statewide system of 30 colleges and seven universities with 54 campuses across the state, compiled a report that provides findings and recommendations for the granting of college credit for the bilingual and multilingual seals and world language proficiency certificates.

Award levels and the number of college credit

The actual number of college credits may vary depending on an institution. Each institution has a different number of credits per a semester course.

Award Criteria in all four areas: listening, reading, speaking, and writing Number of college credits earned
Bilingual Platinum Seal ACTFL Advanced Low 4 semesters
Bilingual Gold Seal ACTFL Intermediate High 3 semesters
World Language Proficiency Certificate ACTFL Intermediate Low 2 semesters

In order to qualify for a bilingual seal, a student must also demonstrate proficiency in English by having met the required English Language Arts credit for high school graduation.  The World Language Proficiency Certificate does not have English Language Arts credit requirements.

How to access college credits

  • Students must be enrolled in a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institution.
  • Students must make a request for college credit. Students should work with the admission office or advisor. In some cases, scholarship may be impacted by receiving extra credit. Therefore; students should consult with appropriate personnel or offices at the institution.
  • Students have taken a test when in Grades 10, 11, or 12.
  • Students may be required to submit an official high school transcript.
  • There is a three year window to make a request after a high school graduation.

Approved Assessment for Minnesota Bilingual Seals

Students must demonstrate proficiency through assessments. Bilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificate are tied to college credit; therefore, the integrity of the assessment administration is important. These assessments should be treated as such where the students could demonstrate their language proficiency on their own without any assistance. There are a number of assessments that are qualified for earning Minnesota Bilingual, Multilingual Seals, and World Language Proficiency Certificate.

Responsibilities of Districts and Schools

Minnesota Bilingual and Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificates are voluntary programs. Schools and districts are strongly encouraged to develop infrastructure to support the implementation of Bilingual and Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificate. Implementation of the Bilingual Seals program demonstrates the commitment for equity by elevating the status of linguistic assets other than English that many of our Minnesota students and families possess.  Simultaneously, it encourages monolingual English speakers to learn languages other than their own. Biliteracy and bilingualism are for everyone. Strategic implementation of the Bilingual Seals program will bring all learners together for the common goal of biliteracy and bilingualism where learners could develop not only the valuable linguistic skills but also characters and dispositions that are so necessary to live and work with people who are different from their own.   

School districts and charter schools have the following responsibilities in the implementation of the Bilingual Seals Program.
  1. Student recruitment and identification
  2. Assessment administration
  3. Awardee identification
  4. Seals and proficiency certificate request to MDE
  5. Record keeping
  6. Transcript notation
  7. Informing families and students

Requesting Bilingual Seals, Multilingual Seals, and World Language Proficiency Certificate

Bilingual Seals, Multilingual Seals and World Language Proficiency Certificates are the state’s official awards. Schools are required to submit a request form for qualifying graduating students each year.

Resources and Guides:


  • Dakota-Lakota and Ojibwe Seals Flyer - 5/7/21
    Assessments in Dakota/Lakota and Ojibwe are now fully developed and available for the first time this year. Circulate the information with this flyer.
  • Guidelines for Bilingual Seals Implementation Spring 2021 - 3/15/21
  •  - 12/7/20
  • Transcript Notation for Seals and World Language Proficiency Assessments  - 11/24/20