Senator Greg Clausen: Finding Ways to Improve College in the Schools

(SAINT PAUL-MN) Minnesota State Senator Greg Clausen, along with members of the Senate Education Policy and Finance Committees, are visiting a number of Minnesota high schools this fall for input on legislation to expand the University of Minnesota’s College in the Schools (CIS) program.

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CIS allows high school juniors and seniors to take college-level courses through partnerships between high schools and the University of Minnesota. High school teachers receive training and teach the college courses right at the high school. The courses and college credits are free and students can maintain their involvement in school activities, athletics, music, theater and art.

Sen. Clausen notes students can save thousands of dollars in tuition by earning college credit during high school and many participating students feel more equipped to succeed in college following graduation.

“When I was a principal at Rosemont, we had a very successful dual enrollment program that provided students with college credits and skills for a successful transition to post-secondary education,” Sen. Clausen said. “This program kept our students on the high school campus while earning college credits. I’m hopeful these hearings will help us find ways to improve the CIS program so we can expand it to more schools around the state.”

Another advantage of CIS is school districts do not lose state funds for students participating in the program. When high school students take classes at the college, the higher education institution receives most of the state funding the school district would otherwise have received. Some schools face financial hardship when large numbers of their student attend college during their junior and senior years of high school. Expanding CIS may help alleviate that problem.

There are currently 126 Minnesota high schools offering courses through CIS. Acceptance and transfer of credits varies by college, but many colleges accept credits earned through the program. The CIS-focused Education Committee meetings will run through the end of November. For more information on the current CIS program, please see:

http://www.cce.umn.edu/college-in-the-schools/

 

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