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South Dakota Board of Regents explore Civics Literacy Requirement to encourage engaged citizenship

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Regents is proposing to add a comprehensive Civics Literacy Requirement at the state’s public universities in order for students to graduate.

Regents President Tim Rave says they recognize the importance of preparing students to be engaged and informed residents. He says not only do they want to help prepare the state’s workforce, but they also want to take it a step further by cultivating civic engagement in future generations of lawmakers, city council representatives, school board members and more.

Regents Executive Director Nathan Lukkes (lucas) says civics literacy is a non-partisan issue that includes enhancing both knowledge and practical application. He says institutions of higher education need to provide a solid framework for students to develop the necessary skills in critical thinking, civility and dispute resolution, while enhancing their understanding and engagement in issues of local, national and global importance.

The BOR’s Fiscal Year 2025 System Center for Civic Engagement budget request serves as the cornerstone for the programming and engagement envisioned for the civics literacy requirement, allowing the BOR to enhance activity in this area without passing the cost on to students. A strong civics literacy program helps prepare students to engage in their local communities through service-learning projects, internships and partnerships with civic organizations.

More information concerning the details on the programming and associated requirements will be available in the coming months.

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