(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that eligible postsecondary students be offered an opportunity to perform public service by serving as volunteer tutors for adults who do not possess basic or functional literacy skills.
(2) There is created a Florida Literacy Corps to be administered by the Department of Education pursuant to this section and rules of the State Board of Education. Participating students earn college credit for tutoring adults who do not possess basic or functional literacy skills pursuant to an agreement between the institution in which the student is enrolled and the district school board, 1community college board of trustees, public library, or nonprofit organization offering literacy instruction to adults pursuant to s. 1004.94. The district school board, 1community college board of trustees, public library, or nonprofit organization is solely responsible for providing literacy programs and instructing participating postsecondary students. (3) In order to be eligible to participate in the Florida Literacy Corps, a student must: (a) Be enrolled in an eligible state university or 1community college at least half time and be in good standing, as defined by the institution.
(b) Have completed at least 12 semester hours of college-level coursework that applies toward an associate in arts or baccalaureate degree.
(c) Have attained a passing score on one of the postsecondary entry-level examinations approved pursuant to State Board of Education rule, be exempt from the administration of such examination, or have successfully completed any required college-preparatory instruction.
(4) In order to be eligible to participate in the Florida Literacy Corps, a state university or 1community college must:
(a) Establish one or more undergraduate or graduate courses, or both, in which participating students may earn a maximum of 3 credit hours per semester, and a maximum of 6 credit hours over two or more semesters, by tutoring adults who do not possess basic or functional literacy skills. The institution shall establish such courses in the common course designation and numbering system. The courses must require students to complete instruction for prospective tutors, tutor adults for at least 25 hours per semester for each hour of credit awarded, and satisfy any other requirements imposed by the institution.
(b) Submit a proposal to the Department of Education for review and approval. The proposal must include, but is not limited to: 1. Identification of the school district, 1community college, public library, or nonprofit organization with which participating students will be working. 2. Demonstration of the need for literacy tutors by the school district, 1community college, public library, or nonprofit organization. 3. Demonstration of commitment by the public school, 1community college, public library, or nonprofit organization to provide instruction for tutors.
4. Description of the literacy program.
5. Demonstration of student interest in program participation.
6. Designation of one or more faculty to conduct the Florida Literacy Corps course and identification of the qualifications of such faculty.
(5) From funds appropriated for the purposes of this section, the department shall allocate an amount for each approved proposal based on the number of students approved for enrollment and subsequently enrolled in Florida Literacy Corps courses.
(6) Each participating state university and 1community college shall submit an annual report to the Commissioner of Education which includes, but is not limited to:
(a) The number of hours of tutoring conducted by participating students.
(b) The number of students enrolled in the courses.
(c) The number of students who successfully complete the courses.
(d) An evaluation of the tutors’ effectiveness as judged by the participating school district, 1community college, public library, or nonprofit organization. The department shall develop a common evaluation form for this purpose.
(e) The number of full-time equivalent enrollments generated by the participating students.
(7) The department shall compile the annual reports into a single, annual programmatic report to be submitted to the State Board of Education by December 1 of each year.