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Social Sciences

2021-22 Reference Guide: Tribal History/Shared History, Holocaust and Other Genocides, and Ethnic Studies and Inclusive Education

Social Sciences Overview

Social Sciences education aims to help students develop as rational, humane and productive citizens in a democratic society. Social Sciences Curriculum and Assessment materials provide information for districts, schools, teachers, parents, and students about instruction and assessment in Civics, Economics, Geography, History, and Social Science Analysis.

SB 513 High School Civics Credit Requirement

In the 2021 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature adopted Senate Bill 513 requiring students to earn 0.5 civics course credit to fulfill graduation requirements, beginning with the class of 2026 (current 8th-grade students). 

This new law ensures that all students in Oregon graduate with the civic knowledge to be empowered, engaged, and informed members of a democratic society. The purpose of this message is to:

  • Describe Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) changes;
  • Offer considerations for school districts to support planning for the implementation of SB 513 to inform course offerings and four-year plans.

How Civics Credits Can be Earned

The total number of high school credits (24) and social science credits (3) remains unchanged, but at least 0.5 of the three social science credits must now include civics.  U.S. civics and/or government courses that incorporate all high school civics and government standards will meet the requirements of the proposed new rule. Some schools may already offer a civics course aligned with Oregon's high school civics standards, others may need to review their social science offerings to create a course that meets this requirement.  Schools without a qualifying civics course will need to develop a course to meet this new civics graduation requirement. 

Current 8th-grade students need a four-year graduation plan that includes a 0.5 civics credit. This information should be included on forecasting documents and planning tools for the class of 2026.  Official adoption by the State Board of Education of 581-022-2000: Diploma Requirements, the rule specifying these changes, is scheduled for the spring of 2022.  Updates will be shared through the Oregon Department of Education's Social Science webpage and Social Science Newsletter upon State Board adoption.

Course examples and non-examples include:


Note that this is not an exhaustive list of courses. 

For questions regarding the ODE Social Sciences program, contact Amit Kobrowski, 503-947-0601.