Looking to increase your outreach in Minnesota high schools? Expand equity, access, and interest in your academic field by partnering with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (U of M) College in the Schools program (CIS).

CIS is a concurrent enrollment program that partners with U of M faculty and departments to provide a bridge between high school and college. The program connects instructors with discipline-specific communities of practice and students with U of M course experiences at partner schools throughout the state.

This dynamic alliance cultivates interest in academic areas of study and contributes to the growth of college- and career-minded students, many of whom go on to enroll at the University. Read on to learn about the departments who partner with CIS and how the program works. Then, join us! 

U of M Freshmen took a course through CIS
Department partners
Faculty coordinators

How Does it Work?

Concurrent enrollment is one model of dual enrollment—an umbrella term used for various models of early college programming—in which high school students take college courses in their high school classrooms. In the case of CIS, students get a jump start on their college careers by taking U of M courses taught by high school instructors who also are U of M teaching specialists. 

As students experience the pace and challenge of U of M courses, they earn both high school and college credit. 

What's Involved in Partnership?

Departments agree to offer and sustain U of M introductory courses at partner high schools through CIS. Department personnel work with CIS to identify a faculty member interested in the alignment of P–20 education to serve as CIS faculty coordinator, guiding and mentoring high school educators in the teaching of the U of M courses. These are the same courses U of M faculty teach on campus. 

CIS administers and supports all aspects of the program with the CIS faculty coordinator, who serves as department liaison. 

The Faculty Coordinator Leadership Role

CIS faculty coordinators provide meaningful professional education for high school teachers and enable U of M outreach and collaborations with high schools. Faculty coordinators are key to the development of respectful, dynamic, discipline-specific cohorts of teachers who teach U of M courses. In turn, they build academic momentum for diverse and curious students through a U of M course experience.

Faculty coordinators:

  • Select and prepare new CIS instructors to teach the U of M course
  • Develop and lead CIS instructors in required ongoing professional education in the discipline.
  • Ensure equitable U of M teaching and learning experiences for CIS instructors and CIS students through site visits and ongoing support
  • Serve as a liaison between the U of M department and the CIS team. 

You can learn more about the Faculty coordinator role in the CIS Faculty Coordinator Handbook, which also includes a job description. 

The Benefits of CIS

The research is clear. Dual enrollment, including opportunities offered by concurrent enrollment programs like CIS, “improves academic outcomes for students, including completing high school, enrolling in college, and completing college degrees.” 

Additionally, dual enrollment “has great potential to help make the high-school-to-college transition more effective and equitable—and to do so on a large scale.” (Policy Fact Sheet, Teachers College, Columbia University)

Timothy R Johnson and CIS partners stand before a large tree and much greenery on the U of M Twin Cities campus
L-R: Professor T. R. Johnson with instructors K. Wendling, R. Janikula, L. Kane, and assistant faculty coordinator D. Anderson

“College in the Schools is a great recruiting tool; it shows students just what an amazing University we have and what great teachers we have. It’s clear that a good number of CIS students matriculate to the U of M for college," says Timothy R. Johnson, a longtime CIS Faculty Coordinator and Horace T. Morse Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law. 

"CIS has also made me think much more clearly about curriculum development and pedagogical tools to help students learn best," he adds. 


Partnership makes CIS possible! CIS partners with the following U of M colleges, departments, and faculty, to help deliver these U of M courses to more than 8,000 high school students each year.

College of Biological Sciences

Biology Teaching and Learning

  • BIOL 1015 – Human Physiology, Technology, and Medical Devices | Murray Jensen

College of Design

Graphic Design, Apparel Design, Retail Merchandising, and Product Design

College of Education and Human Development

Curriculum and Instruction

Educational Psychology

  • EPSY 3264 – Introduction to Basic and Applied Statistics | Andrew Zieffler

Family Social Sciences

College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences

Animal Science

Applied Economics

College of Liberal Arts

African American Studies

  • AFRO 1011 – Introduction to African American Studies | Rose Brewer

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

  • CHN 1011–3022 – Beginning, Intermediate, and Accelerated Modern Chinese | Yao Tu
  • JPN 1011 & 1012 – Beginning Japanese | Fumiko Matsumoto

Classical and Near Eastern Religions and Cultures

  • LAT 3003 & 3004 – Intermediate Latin Prose and Poetry and GRK 1001 & 1002: Beginning Classical Greek | Charles McNamara

Communication Studies

  • COMM 1101 – Introduction to Public Speaking | Diane Odash


  • ENGL 1001W – Introduction to Literature: Poetry, Drama, Narrative | Katherine Scheil

French and Italian

German, Nordic, Slavic, and Dutch

  • GER 1003 & 1004 – Intermediate German | Helena Ruf


  • HIST 1307 – Authority and Rebellion: American History to 1865 and HIST 1308: Global America: US History since 1865 | Katharine Gerbner

Political Science


Spanish and Portuguese

  • SPAN 1003 & 1004 – Intermediate Spanish | Liz Lake

Writing Studies

College of Science and Engineering

Electrical Engineering

  • EE 1301 – Introduction to Computing Sciences | David Orser
  • EE 1701 & EE 1703 – Climate Crisis: Implementing Solutions | Bill Robbins


Physics and Astronomy

  • PHYS 1101W – Introductory College Physics I | Jon Anderson

Faculty and Departments Help

Emily Hanson photo

Emily Hanson

Director of Dual Enrollment
[email protected]

Jan Erickson photo

Jan Erickson

Associate Director
[email protected]