The New Jersey Department of Education offers support and resources for local educational agencies that want to recognize students fluent in at least one language in addition to English by high school graduation.

The NJDOE, pursuant to  P.L. 2015, c. 303 enacted by the state’s Senate and General Assembly, established the State Seal of Biliteracy program in 2016 to help students recognize the value and the tangible benefits of bilingualism. Since its inception, a total 39,008 Seals of Biliteracy have been awarded.

This designation on a student’s high school diploma also provides employers and universities with a method of identifying bilingual candidates, students with 21st century skills, and those who have prioritized the study of other languages and cultures. Moreover, the State Seal of Biliteracy emphasizes the importance of both bilingualism, which facilitates improved communication and boosts the local economy, and cultural understanding, which promotes social acceptance.

Participation in the Seal of Biliteracy program is voluntary and at the discretion of each LEA. For students to be eligible to receive the Seal of Biliteracy, the school district they attend must participate in the Seal of Biliteracy program. By participating in the Seal of Biliteracy, LEAs:

  • Determine who will pay for the costs associated with assessments for the Seal of Biliteracy. LEAs may elect to pay the assessment costs or pass the costs onto families. Depending on the approved assessment selected, costs range from $10 to $273.
  • Select, order and administer NJDOE approved world language assessments.
  • Maintain appropriate records to identify students who have earned the Seal of Biliteracy.
  • Provide the NJDOE with information regarding students who qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy.
  • Present each student who qualifies with an NJDOE-issued certificate.
  • Include “New Jersey State Seal of Biliteracy” on the student’s transcript.

Learn more.