BOSTON (AP) -- The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education has adopted a policy to make civics a key component of every undergraduate student's education at all state universities and community colleges.
The board said the policy announced Thursday is the first of its kind in the nation.
Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland said civic learning is "essential if students are to meet their future responsibilities as citizens."
Under the policy, each campus will be encouraged to develop its own program and curricula to foster civic learning.
The board defined civic learning, as among other things, an understanding of the U.S., including its history and governmental traditions, as well as the intellectual skills to engage in civic activities.
The policy takes effect in the academic year that starts in the fall.