The purpose of the California State Seal of Civic Engagement (SSCE) is to recognize young people who demonstrate civic engagement and action in democratic governmental institutions at the local, state, and national levels. The seal is applied for and earned by high school juniors and seniors across the state of California.
Implementation of the SSCE started after September 10th, 2020, when the State Board of Education unanimously approved it to enable California school districts to recognize graduating high school students who have demonstrated civic excellence.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, over 10,000 students across 65 school districts and 181 schools received the SSCE on their diploma or transcript. The gold seas were affixed to diplomas, transcripts, certificates of completion and general educational certificates.
The full list of schools and districts can be found at https://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/hs/documents/sscedata2021-22.xlsx.
To qualify for the State Seal of Civic Engagement in CA, a student must:
- Be a junior or senior in high school engaged in academic work in a productive way;
- Participate in one or more informed civic engagement project(s) that address real-world problems and require students to identify and inquire into civic needs or problems, consider varied responses, take action, and reflect on efforts;
Demonstrate a competent understanding of U.S. and California constitutions; functions and governance of local governments; tribal government structures and organizations; the role of the citizen in a constitutional democracy; and democratic principles, concepts, and processes;
Demonstrate civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions through self-reflection; and
Exhibit character traits that reflect civic-mindedness and a commitment to positively impact the classroom, school, community and/or society.
See the California Department of Education (https://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ca/hs/hssstateseal.asp) for additional implementation guidance for each of the criteria.
HOW TO APPLY
Since the program is relatively new, each school district or school may have a slightly different application process or might not have one at all. For example, students within the Sacramento City school district could visit the district’s dedicated SSCE website, while other districts don’t have a program set up yet.
That is partly the reason this portal exists. We’re aggregating a list of school districts/schools and contact information or resource links.
If you don’t see your school in the list above, submit this information for your school or district.
If your school or district doesn’t have a program in place, you can use our portal in the meantime to create an application and manage recommendations/notifications.