• GER 1003, 5 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Ginny Steinhagen
  • Faculty Coordinator Assistant: Kathleen Berube
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch
  • Fulfills U of M Requirement(s): Meets U of M degree credit requirements, such as departmental major, minor, or elective requirements
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

Course Information

Students in this course continue to improve their ability to communicate in German, deepen their understanding of German culture, and explore how their study of German language and culture relates to other subject areas and their own personal interests. Topics discussed include: 1) Social Life: where we live and what we like to do; 2) Travel: how, where, and why we travel; 3) School and how young people decide what to do after high school.

Each chapter includes a brief investigation into how the topic of sustainability relates to the unit content. By following this common thread throughout the semester, students will consider how German perspectives regarding the environment, economic justice, and social issues are reflected in daily life. So that students can read or listen to authentic texts about German culture as well as talk about their own experiences, this course helps students review and expand their knowledge of and ability to use vocabulary and grammar structures.

Students participate regularly in conversational activities, small-group work, Internet research of cultural topics, interpreting video clips and short stories, and writing in various genres, such as a résumé, travel report, and personal history. Grading includes an integrated performance assessment, class participation, quizzes, and an in-class presentation.

Other Considerations

The collegial atmosphere fostered by our German teachers is a real strength of our program. CIS teachers work together and share materials and ideas regularly.

Class size limit: 26

Sample Syllabus

U of M Catalog Description

Listening, reading, speaking, writing. Contextualized grammar/vocabulary. Authentic readings. Essay assignments.

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in GER 1003 must be juniors or seniors in high school who have completed two or three years of high school German, or have instructor approval. Qualified ninth- or tenth-grade students may apply if they have instructor approval.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 


German 1003 and 1004 use course packets created by members of the Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch. Interested teachers can get information by emailing Ginny Steinhagen, faculty coordinator of the CIS German program, at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all of the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are some of the choices?
German teachers offering U of M courses through College in the Schools use the same materials as their counterparts teaching on the U of M campus. Teachers have choices in the supplementary materials, such as readers, films, and internet exercises.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
Teachers are required to teach the material, but they have flexibility in how they do this. Individual teachers adjust the syllabus to fit their school’s schedule.

Who creates the exams?
Quizzes, exams, exercises, and classroom activities for each course are posted on a secure website. Teachers are free to modify the materials to fit their teaching styles and program needs.

Is there a training and mentoring system for German teachers new to CIS?
Yes. Experienced instructors help new teachers get accustomed to the system. Teachers frequently email one another with questions and share materials with the whole group. New teachers also benefit from workshops that focus on course content and University processes, as well as an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS and prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach U of M German?
Yes. Although the fast pace is a challenge, several teachers offer German on the block schedule and can provide insight into how to make the course a successful learning experience for the students. All CIS courses have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include sharing best practices, discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; planning field days; receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus. The German fall field day includes classroom visits, campus tours, and panel discussions with undergraduate and graduate students majoring in German. A highlight of the German spring field day is the video competition; each CIS class enters one video in the competition and everyone enjoys viewing the winning videos.

High Schools Offering This Course

  • Apple Valley High School
  • Buffalo High School
  • Cambridge-Isanti High School (Cambridge)
  • Eagan High School
  • East Ridge High School (Woodbury)
  • Eastview High School (Apple Valley)
  • Eden Prairie High School
  • Eden Valley-Watkins High School
  • Hinckley-Finlayson High School
  • Mora High School
  • New Prague High School
  • Pine City High School
  • Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School
  • Prior Lake High School (Savage)
  • Red Wing High School
  • Rosemount High School
  • Simley High School (Inver Grove Heights)
  • Spring Lake Park High School
  • Two Rivers High School (Mendota Heights)
  • Watertown-Mayer High School