MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Many bilingual high school graduates in Minnesota will be crossing commencement stages this spring with a distinction honoring their proficiency in another language beyond English.

Students must pass a test to receive a biliteracy seal from the state's Department of Education. The award also qualifies students to earn up to four semesters of college credit recognized by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Marni Ginther teaches Spanish at Edison High School in Minneapolis. Ginther says officials are using the seal to give academic recognition and possibly college credit to students "who are often viewed as being at a deficit."

Edison senior Salah Mohamed was awarded a biliteracy seal after passing the Somali test. He says it encouraged him to keep investing in the language.