Bristol Community College to recognize the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy as credit-bearing

Bristol Community College is proud to announce that it will now recognize the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy as part of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Equity Agenda. The State Seal of Biliteracy and State Seal of Biliteracy of Distinction are awards provided by state-approved districts that recognize high school graduates who attain high functional and academic levels of proficiency in English and a world language. Bristol’s World Language Department is honored to provide this opportunity to earn equitable college credits for language proficiency already achieved in high school.

“The college is very excited about the initiative's positive impact for heritage learners in our neighboring communities. To have students’ proficiency in a home language acknowledged with such esteem is needed and warranted,” said Sandy Lygren, Chair of World Languages, Bristol Community College. “More and more employers are looking for bi-lingual skills as our world becomes more connected through diverse peoples.”

Through Bristol’s Credit for Prior Learning program’s credit by credential process, students who have earned a Seal of Biliteracy will earn between six to nine credits toward their degree completion at the college, as well as fulfill, or partially fulfill, students’ world language or humanities elective credit requirements, depending on program of study.

Students who earn a Seal of Biliteracy at an intermediate to high level of proficiency will earn six credits, while students earning the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction at an advanced level of proficiency will earn nine credits in the world language assessed or in humanities electives, should the college not offer the language studied. Proficiency of the language is evaluated by testing all modalities of communication including listening and understanding spoken language, speaking with fluency, reading, and writing. Bristol currently offers American Sign Language, Cape Verdean Creole, Portuguese and Spanish, along with academic programming in Deaf Studies, Portuguese/English Interpreting and Spanish/English Interpreting.

The college’s recognition of the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy will also assist Bristol's goals of developing a college-going culture in our region, promoting linguistic equity and intercultural knowledge. The initiative aims to help Bristol students see the tangible benefits of being bilingual and recognize the value of their academic success. The State Seal of Biliteracy is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and college admissions. For more information about the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy, please visit

Bristol’s Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program provides students an opportunity to earn equivalent course credit by demonstrating knowledge gained through a variety of experiences, such as military training, corporate training, work or volunteer experiences, or other non-academic activities prior to enrolling at the college. Students can demonstrate that they have met course outcomes through acknowledged credentials, examination or by developing digital portfolios of college-level competencies for participating programs. For more information about Bristol Community College’s Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program, please visit or email

For more information about Bristol Community College’s World Language courses and programs, please email