World Language Proficiency Certificates and Bilingual/Multilingual Seals

Are you proficient in a language other than English? If you are, you may be eligible to earn college credits and receive a World Language Proficiency Certificate or a Bilingual or Multilingual Seal on your Hopkins High School transcript when you graduate. Whether you have learned to speak another language in school or elsewhere, the Minnesota Department of Education has established a system for recognizing high school students for their language proficiency. Read our FAQ to learn more!

How did this come about?

The Minnesota legislature passed Statute 120B.022 subd. 1b, which states that school districts in Minnesota may award bilingual or multilingual seals and world language proficiency certificates to graduating high school students who demonstrate certain levels of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening in a language other than English as measured by an approved language proficiency assessment.

What are the benefits of earning a World Language Proficiency Certificate or Bilingual/Multilingual Seal?

  • Recognition

You have worked hard to develop a high level of proficiency in another language. This is your opportunity to highlight that accomplishment on your high school transcript. Earning a World Language Proficiency Certificate or adding a Bilingual/Multilingual Seal to your transcript shows colleges/universities and employers that you are proficient in a language (or languages) in addition to English. Because the assessments used to measure proficiency are based on the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning, the scores can be interpreted in a uniform way across institutions.

  • Earn college/university credits

You can earn free college credits from 30 colleges and 7 universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system by taking an approved proficiency assessment during grades 10-12 and demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English. You must request credits within three academic years of high school graduation and upon enrollment in a Minnesota State college or university. Credits are awarded as follows:

World Language Proficiency Certificate: 2 semesters of college language credit per language
Gold Bilingual or Multilingual Seal: 3 semesters of college language credit per language
Platinum Bilingual or Multilingual Seal: 4 semesters of college language credit per language

Colleges outside of the Minnesota State College and Universities system (e.g., the University of Minnesota, private colleges, and institutions in other States) will use their own institution’s criteria for awarding credits for language proficiency seals.

How can I earn a World Language Proficiency Certificate or Bilingual/Multilingual Seal?

You will need to complete one of the qualifying assessments and receive a score that meets the criteria for a certificate or a seal, as shown in the chart below.

Students must also successfully complete all English Language Arts credits required for high school graduation and demonstrate mastery of Minnesota’s English language proficiency standards.

 Proficiency Level RequiredQualifying Proficiency Assessments and ScoresAward TypeMinnesota State College and University Credits
World Language Proficiency CertificateIntermediate-Low in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening

STAMP 4S [Intermediate low]

AP Language Exam [Score of 3]

Transcript notation

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]

2 semesters of credit


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]
Bilingual Gold SealIntermediate-High in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening

STAMP 4S [Intermediate high]

AP Language Exam [Score of 4]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


3 semesters of credit


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


Bilingual Platinum SealAdvanced-Low in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening

STAMP 4S [Advanced]

AP Language Exam [Score of 5]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


4 semesters of credit


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


Multilingual Gold SealIntermediate-High in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening in 2 languages other than English

STAMP 4S [Intermediate high]

AP Language Exam [Score of 4]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


3 semesters of credit in each language


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


Multilingual Platinum SealAdvanced-Low in all 4 skills: Reading, writing, speaking, listening in 2 languages other than English

STAMP 4S [Advanced]

AP Language Exam [Score of 5]

Transcript notation and seal

[for assessment taken in grades 9-12]


4 semesters of credit in each language


[if assessment is taken in grades 10-12]


What languages are currently available for assessment?

Hopkins offers the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Students in the Juntos Spanish Immersion program or the XinXing Chinese Immersion program take the AP language exam in grade 9.

We can assess students using the STAMP 4S for the following languages: Arabic, Cantonese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish. Students may register to take the STAMP 4S in the spring of their senior year. The assessment is offered in April during the school day.

We can assess students for Czech, Hmong, Somali, Tamil, and Vietnamese using the STAMP World Speak Assessment for speaking and writing combined with a listening and reading assessment developed by the Minnesota Department of Education.

For all languages, students must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking in order to be eligible to receive a world language proficiency certificate or a bilingual/multilingual seal.

What if I took the AP exam in grade 9 as part of my Juntos or XinXing immersion program?

If you took the AP language exam as part of your 9th grade Juntos or XinXing immersion class, you will be recognized for this accomplishment by receiving a World Language Proficiency Certificate and transcript notation for an AP score of 3, a Bilingual Gold Seal notation on your transcript for an AP score of 4, or a Bilingual Platinum Seal notation on your transcript for an AP score of 5 upon graduation from Hopkins High School. You will not be eligible to receive credits at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities based on an AP exam taken in grade 9; credits are only awarded at these colleges and universities for assessments taken during grades 10-12. However, AP credits are accepted by many other colleges and universities. In addition, if you continue on the immersion track, you will be taking University of Minnesota College in the Schools language courses, which will earn 4-5 U of M credits each that can be used at the University of Minnesota or may be transferred to other colleges and universities in Minnesota or to colleges and universities in other States.

What if I am taking College in the Schools courses? Will I need to take an assessment to earn a certificate or seal?

Yes, a separate assessment will be required if you are a College in the Schools student and you want to earn a certificate or seal on your transcript. The University of Minnesota College in the Schools courses do not include one of the State of Minnesota’s qualifying language proficiency assessments. However, you may choose to take the STAMP 4S assessment or AP language exam in the Spring of your senior year to demonstrate your language proficiency level and earn a certificate or seal. Whether or not you choose to take an assessment to earn a certificate or seal, you will earn 4-5 U of M credits for each College in the Schools course that you complete. Those credits can be used at the U of M or may be transferred to other colleges and universities in Minnesota or to colleges and universities in other States.

How do I know if I am ready to take an assessment?

Take a look at the STAMP 4S Benchmark and Rubric Guide to see what you need to be able to do at each level of language proficiency. The first section of the page describes benchmarks for reading and listening. The second section describes benchmarks for writing and speaking.

How much does the assessment cost?

The STAMP 4S is available at no cost to students. The cost for AP exams is the responsibility of the student.

When can I take the assessment?

AP is offered every Spring. Students may register here to take the STAMP 4S in the spring of their senior year. The assessment is offered during the school day.

This year's STAMP 4S assessments will take place on April 8 from 7:50-10:50 a.m. at Hopkins High School.
 
For more information, contact Molly Wieland, World Language and Immersion Coordinator: molly.wieland@hopkinsschools.org