Testing and Assessment

Foreign Language Competence and Equivalence

Beginning with students initially entering a Florida College System institution or state university in 2014-2015 and thereafter, coursework for an associate in arts degree shall include demonstration of competency in a foreign language pursuant to s. 1007.262, Florida Statutes.  The statute includes the following: A student who demonstrates proficiency in a native language other than English is exempt from a requirement of completing foreign language courses at the secondary or Florida College System level.

Rule 6A-10.02412 of the State board of Education defines foreign language competency as follows:

1. Successful completion of two (2) credits (i.e., the equivalent of two years) in one (1) foreign language at the secondary (high school) level.


2. Successful completion of a postsecondary course at the elementary 2 level in one foreign language (1121) or American Sign Language (1150C). *Please see tab below (MDC Elementary Level 2 Offerings) for additional information.


3. Students may demonstrate completion of the elementary 2 level through standardized examinations that document the required foreign language competency. Examples of such examinations may include College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Institutional Credit-by-Exam. For more information, please visit the College's Credit-by-Exam web page.

  1. Students may earn college credit based on obtaining a specified minimum score on nationally standardized general or subject area examinations. Based on students' standard examination scores, MDC will award credit(s) for approved course equivalents, which will appear on students' official MDC transcript as earned credit with Satisfactory ("S") grades. However, neither quality points nor duplicate credit will be awarded for credit(s) earned.
  2. MDC uses the minimum scores, credits and guidelines for awarding credit for exams established by the State of Florida's Articulation Coordinating Committee (ACC). For additional information please visit the Accelerated Credit Options Web page from the Florida Virtual Campus Web site, and click on Credit-by-Exam Scores and Credit Awarded (PDF).
  3. Students who completed ONLY one (1) credit of a foreign language in high school must successfully complete the 1121 course in the same foreign language or pass one of the approved equivalency exams.
  4. Demonstration of a minimum of novice-high proficiency in all four skills in the foreign language on an MDC-approved assessment of proficiency, such as the AVANT STAMP 4S (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency) or BYU FLATS (Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service)Note: Passing BYU FLATS courses 101, 102, and 201 are used for meeting the minimum requirement.

Students admitted to MDC with a valid non-English high school diploma (including but not limited to students who have earned a GED in Spanish) or higher credential from a foreign country are deemed by MDC to have met the Foreign Language Competence requirement.

Students whose native language is not English may demonstrate proficiency in their native or other foreign language. A student who demonstrates proficiency in a native language other than English is considered by MDC to have met the Foreign Language Equivalence requirement. The mechanism by which foreign language equivalence may be demonstrated for students in this category is as follows:

  1. Meeting the criteria established in the Foreign Language Competence section above, or
  2. An EAP student who has successfully satisfied the Level 6 MDC EAP (English for Academic Purposes) program requirements by courses or placement test has met the foreign language competency, or
  3. As determined by an MDC World Languages Department Chairperson, Academic Dean or higher-level academic authority. The academic authority must document foreign language equivalence for each eligible student, notify an Advisement and Career Services Director to mark the foreign language requirement as met on the degree audit, and provide the documentation to the Admissions and Registration Department to be imaged to each student's educational record individually.

MDC currently offers the following languages at the elementary 2 level:

  • American Sign Language – ASL1150C
  • Chinese (Mandarin) – CHI1121
  • French – FRE1121
  • German – GER1121
  • Italian – ITA1121
  • Japanese – JPN1121
  • Portuguese – POR1121
  • Russian – RUS1121
  • Spanish – SPN1121

In addition to meeting the Foreign Language Competency AA graduation requirement, students transferring to a four-year institution should verify the foreign language requirements with the receiving or transfer institution. Specialized programs at those institutions may require a level foreign language competency higher than that required by Miami Dade College and/or may not accept American Sign Language (ASL) or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) as languages to fulfill these requirements.

Can a high school equivalency exam, such as GED, TASC, or HiSET in a foreign language (Spanish or French) be used to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language for AA degree completion?

  • Yes. Passing a high school equivalency exam in a foreign language can be used to document foreign language equivalence for each eligible student.

Does a student who completed high school in a non-English speaking foreign country meet the foreign language competency requirement?

  • Yes. The foreign language milestone will be added immediately after the foreign high school transcript is processed by the Admission and Registration office.

Does a student who has the following on his high school transcript: Spanish l = 'B' in 7th grade and Spanish ll = 'D' grade in 11th; meet the foreign language AA degree requirement?

  • Yes. The student completed two (2) credits (i.e., the equivalent of two years) in one (1) foreign language at the secondary (high school) level. Therefore, the student has met the requirement.
    Note: Students take high school courses as early as 6th grade. If a course is on a student's high school transcript, it is a high school course.

Does a student who has the following on his high school transcript: Spanish l = 'no grade and 0 (zero) credits' in 7th grade and Spanish ll = 'D' grade in 10th; meet the foreign language AA degree requirement?

  • Yes. Students who have completed the second level of a foreign language course or higher during high school with a passing grade ('D ' or higher) have satisfied the foreign language requirement, even if they did not complete a lower level course in the same language.
    Note: Since the student was able to complete the next higher level in the foreign language sequence, it is evidence that the student achieved mastery of the competencies in the previous course regardless of the credits indicated on the transcript.

Does a student who has been certified in American Sign Language meet the foreign language competency requirement?

  • Yes.  Especially since American Sign Language 2, ASL 1150C, is listed among the languages that a student can take at MDC to satisfy the foreign language competency requirement.

For more information please contact the MDC World Languages Department via the Partner Department Directory webpage.