Embedded College


Embedded college exposes students to rigor and expectations of college and prepares them to succeed. 

Spring Lake Park High School offers college-level courses, taught on our high school campus by high school teachers, that result in transferable college credits. We offer a number of articulation agreements with colleges, Advanced Placement® courses and College in the School courses that allow students to experience the rigor of college and can earn them college credits. Our partnership with local colleges expands opportunities for each student to gain the necessary foundation and support to participate in, and benefit from, earning college credits while in high school.

Families can support their children by understanding each of the embedded college options below, talking to their child about future opportunities and encouraging their child to pursue their interests. Families and students can also partner with their Deans of Personalized Learning to see what courses will support their learning path.


Pathways environmental science students out doing field study

Bethel College Environmental Science students partner with the Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Pathways students at the U of M

Teacher Education students on site at the University of Minnesota as part of their CIS course

Embedded College Options

Advanced Placement® Courses

Advanced Placement (AP®) courses are designed by the College Board, which means AP® courses in any high school utilize a common set of learning objectives. This gives students the chance to tackle college level work while they are still in high school.  Students will see and feel what college work is like, while receiving the support to help them get there.  An AP® course is designed to help a student stand out in college admissions and skip introductory classes.  At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to take the AP® Exam, possibly earning college credit.

Students have the opportunity to dig deeper into subjects that interest them, develop advanced research and communication skills, and learn to tap their individual creative, problem-solving, and analytical potential.  Students will tackle concepts that will stick with them long after the class is over.  In AP® classes, learning means sharing ideas and adding unique perspectives — the dialogue and debate contributes to the knowledge that everyone shares.

You don't need to be top of your class to take an AP® course, but you'll want to be prepared.  Some AP courses have recommended prerequisites and all AP® courses ask that you come willing to do your best work.  You should expect rigorous coursework that will require high-level time management and study skills. 

To choose an AP® course that's right for you, talk to your dean for personalized learning or teacher about the subjects that interest you and ask about your options for learning the skills to help you succeed. 

Importance of AP®

What’s the importance of Advanced Placement (AP®) courses?
AP® courses allow high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. The classes provide challenging coursework for students who are eager to learn and develop college readiness capabilities. Colleges encourage high school students to take AP® classes as an indicator that students are challenging themselves and fostering the skills needed to succeed in post-secondary institutions. Admission offices value the experience of students who have been successful in the most rigorous courses during high school.

Research suggests that AP® students who have passed an AP® exam are significantly more likely to graduate from college than their matched non-AP® peers. The percent of a school’s students who take and pass AP® exams is a strong indicator of whether a high school is preparing its students to graduate from college (Dougherty, Mellor and Jian 2006). In another study Hargrove, Godwin and Dodd (2008) concluded that students taking AP® courses over non-AP® experiences realized benefits in their subsequent college GPA, credits earned and graduation performance.

Earning College Credit with AP®

AP® scores show how well students do on the AP® Exam. It's also a measure of achievement in the college-level AP® course. Colleges will use this score to determine if they will grant credit for what has already been learned, or allow students to skip the equivalent course once students get to college. Click here to find colleges and universities that grant credit for AP® Exam scores. The score is a weighted combination of scores on the multiple-choice section and on the free-response section. The final score is reported on a 5-point scale as follows:

5 = extremely well qualified
4 = well qualified
3 = qualified
2 = possibly qualified
1 = no recommendation

"Qualified" means that students have proven themselves capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject at college. Many colleges and universities grant credit and placement for scores of 3, 4 or 5; however, each college decides which scores it will accept. Always be sure to check the college website or go to www.collegeboard.org

Available Courses

The following Advanced Placement Courses are offered at Spring Lake Park High School.


  • AP English Language and Composition (Grade 11)
  • AP English Literature and Composition (Grade 12)


  • AP Calculus
  • AP Advanced Calculus
  • AP Statistics


  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics

Social Studies

  • AP Human Geography
  • AP U.S. History
  • AP Government & Politics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP World History


  • AP Spanish 5
  • AP Art Studio 2D
  • AP Art Studio 3D
  • Global Technology Communication – AP Computer Science Principles

Learn more about these courses in the registration guide

College in the Schools

Spring Lake Park High School students can earn college credit without leaving the SLPHS campus by taking introductory-level courses. The College in the Schools (CIS) program offers a high-quality partnership that bridges high schools with higher educational institutions, such as the University of Minnesota (UMN). Courses taught through CIS are the same courses that are offered on the university campus.

CIS alumni surveys have consistently shown that 89-95% of respondents who requested credit recognition from colleges and universities other than the UMN were successful at having some or all of their credits recognized.

In CIS courses, students can: 

  • earn free college credits that are highly transferable
  • demonstrate their learning on multiple and varied assessments throughout the course, rather than on a single, high-stakes test
  • experience the faster pace and increased rigor of U of M courses

Parent's Guide to College and Career Readiness

The College Readiness Consortium at the University of Minnesota works in partnership with Pre-K−12 educators and others to increase the number and diversity of Minnesota students who graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and habits for success in higher education. Click here to help your student determine if they are ready.

CIS Courses

 German 3 – U of M Intermediate German 1003

Was? Ganz Deutsch? Wirklich? This is the year things will really be coming together! You will take your German to a whole new level when you communicate almost exclusively in German. It may be frustrating at first, but once you realize how many things you can say and do in German, you’ll be very proud! We will go much more in-depth in all aspects of learning German. CIS is a partnership program between the U of M and area high schools. It delivers regular University introductory level courses to advanced high school students. CIS students study the same curriculum that U of M students do on campus. SLPHS juniors and seniors can apply to take this course and should be in the top 30% of the class.

Note: This course is a recommended prerequisite to German 4 (College in the Schools German 1004). It is recommended students earn a grade of C or higher to register for the next level.

Grades: 11, 12

Credits: 3 SLP elective credits; 5 UMN semester credits College in the Schools (CIS)

Type: Honors credits; Full Year; Register for all three trimesters

Prerequisite: German 2; “C” or higher recommended 

German 4 – U of M Intermediate German 1004

Course Numbers: 1729/1730/1731
Grade: 12
Credits: 3
Type: Honors credits; Full Year; register for all three trimesters.
Prerequisite: German 3; “C” or higher recommended.
Post-secondary Connection: College in the Schools, five UMN semester credits College in the Schools (CIS)

German 4 is a continuation of German 3. It is similar in set- up, where you continue to improve your reading/writing/ listening/speaking proficiency. Many students who complete this course will have completed foreign-language requirements toward college degrees, all while still in high school! If you continue with German, you will likely be able to use your U of M transcript and/or test out of lower-level courses and be placed into 3rd-year college courses. Wunderbar!

Note: SLPHS juniors and seniors can apply to take this course and it is recommended that they earn a C- or better in German 3 (U of M Intermediate German 1003). Students should be in the top 30% of the class per U of M CIS recommendations. Exceptions can be made by instructors and for younger transfer students who have strong German skills/background. Please contact an instructor if you have questions.

Teacher Education I: Exploring the Teaching Profession

The course is designed to give students an entry point into pursuing a career in education by providing both content knowledge and field experiences. Students explore the self as a teacher, the culture of teaching, student learning and the sociocultural and political influences on teaching and learning. Students will consider the role of equity in working with diverse students and develop reflective practices. In addition, students in the course will participate in discussions, write reflective papers and engage in small group activities. Throughout the year, students will work with younger students as an intern in a local elementary, middle or high school classroom, under the supervision of a mentor teacher.

**This course is the first in a sequence of two year-long courses offered by the University of Minnesota. While this course is open to any junior or senior, it is highly recommended to take this course as a junior so that you can take the second class as a senior.

Grades: 11, 12

Credit: 3 elective credits, includes 2 college credits through University of Minnesota

Type: Full Year; Elective

Concurrent Enrollment

Spring Lake Park High School has partnered with Anoka- Ramsey Community College’s (ARCC) and Bethel University's Concurrent Enrollment Programs. SLPHS students have the opportunity to start their college careers early by taking rigorous, college-level classes in their high school. Eligibility varies depending on the course. Please see the registration guide for details or click below for specific course descriptions.

Course opportunities

  • College Algebra (ARCC)
  • College Writing and Critical Reading 12 (ARCC)
  • Intro to Communication, offered through Business & Innovation Pathway course (ARCC)
  • Wellness for Life, offered through Health & Sport Performance Pathway course (ARCC)
  • Hybrid College Environmental Science (Bethel University)

Concurrent Enrollment (Embedded College) Courses

College Algebra

Prerequisite: Algebra 2 + Trigonometry with a recommended grade of B or better, or with math teacher recommendation. Student will also need a minimum score on the Accuplacer (50), ACT (20), or MCA (1158).

Post-Secondary Connection: This is an Anoka Ramsey Community College course taught at Spring Lake Park High School. Students will earn three credits for MATH 1200 -- College Algebra I, upon successful completion. This course helps fulfill Minnesota Transfer Curriculum 4, Mathematical/ Logical Reasoning. Students may enroll for both high school and college credit. If students want to earn Anoka Ramsey Community College credit, they must meet concurrent enrollment eligibility standards to take this class.

Topics include functions and function inverses; exponential and logarithmic functions; polynomial and simple rational functions; introduction to linear programming; systems of equations and inequalities; sequences and series; probability; and modeling. Recommended skills, abilities, or coursework: The completion of two years of high school algebra and one year of high school geometry is recommended.

College Writing & Reading

Prerequisite: This class is for seniors only – Class rank in the upper one-half of their class or 3.0 GPA and score of 18 on the English portion of the ACT or 78 on the Accuplacer Reading assessment are required for enrollment.

Post-Secondary Connection: This is an Anoka Ramsey Community College course taught at Spring Lake Park High School. Students will earn four credits for 1121 College Writing and Critical Reading upon successful completion. This course helps fulfill Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal 1a and 2, Communication and Critical Thinking. Students must enroll for both high school and college credit. Students must meet concurrent enrollment eligibility standards to take this class.

This course provides extended practice in critical reading, writing, and thinking. Course content includes the writing process, essential composition skills, and critical reasoning in various rhetorical situations. The course requires effectively reasoned and supported essays including an argumentative research paper. Students in this course will explore fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will be expected to think critically and respond in both formal and informal modes of expression. Students will be required to complete much of their work independently in order to meet deadlines.

Introduction to Communication

This course is part of the Business & Innovation Pathway Course

Grades: 11, 12 Credits: 3 credits of required English Language Arts; 3 credits of business elective; Option for 3 college credits in CMST 1110 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College Type: Full Year, two-hour block

Students will earn a full-year of elective business credit and required English Language Arts credits. The class will operate in a double-block to allow flexibility for each day so students can engage in company projects, travel to local businesses, and participate in field experiences. This past year, students worked on company projects with partners such as National Sports Center, Urban Air, Infinite Campus and Rise nonprofit. Students will be contacted after registration for an interview.

In Business Entrepreneurship, students will learn elements of business and management including leadership, operations, ethics, marketing, and finance in both local and global markets. In the first half of the year, students will work in teams on real consulting projects for local companies. In the second half of the year, students will create a business plan and participate in a shark-tank style entrepreneurship competition for an idea, product, or service.

In English Research & Communication, students are introduced to fundamental elements and models of communication, basic theory, interpersonal communication, small group communication and public speaking. Students will study persuasion, cultural competency, professional communication and read both fiction and nonfiction texts relevant to global communication, research and leadership.

If taking the course for college credit, eligibility requirements are as follows:

11th grade: Top 1/3 in class rank or 3.5 GPA plus 1047 on MCA reading OR 54 on Accuplacer Reading Assessment OR 21 on ACT Reading

12th grade: Top ½ in class rank or 3.0 GPA plus 1047 on MCA reading OR 54 on Accuplacer Reading Assessment OR 21 on ACT Reading

Wellness for Life

This class is part of the Health & Sport Performance Pathway Course

Grades: 11, 12 Credits: 3 high school credits; Option for 4 college credits for HPER 1120 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College Type: Year-Long; Health credit, two PhyEd credits Prerequisite: Foundations of Fitness

This year-long course is designed for students who may want to pursue a career related to health, wellness, or sports. It includes high school requirements for health, one requirement for physical education and one elective option in physical education while also allowing students to gain 4 college credits in health and physical education. The course will cover content in individual and community health, including nutrition, healthy sexual development, mental/emotional health and addiction. Students will work toward achieving individual fitness goals and must be able to participate in regular aerobic exercise. Students will develop skills to assess their current wellness levels and be able to develop a plan to positively enhance their personal health and fitness status.

Students will have shadowing and other opportunities in sport and health-related fields, such as physical therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, sports management, and sports psychology. Fitness labs will take place at the high school and National Sports Center.

*This course can be taken to meet the required Health and PE credits but is also open to students who have already met those requirements.

If taking the course for college credit, eligibility requirements are as follows:

11th grade: Top 1/3 in class rank or 3.5 G.P.A. plus 1047 on MCA reading OR 54 on Accuplacer Reading Assessment OR 21 on ACT Reading

12th grade: Top ½ in class rank or 3.0 G.P.A. plus 1047 on MCA reading OR 54 on Accuplacer Reading Assessment OR 21 on ACT Reading

Hybrid College Environmental Science

Grades: 11, 12 Credits: Type: Full Year; honors credits Prerequisite: 3 years of high school science completed with a recommended minimum of a B average in the most recent or cumulative.

This college course is an introduction to environmental studies, including interrelationships and interactions of humans with the natural environment in which they live. The focus will be the causes of and potential solutions to environmental problems like overpopulation; pollution of water, air, and soil; extinction of wildlife; and degradation of natural and human ecosystems are examined, using the science of ecology as a knowledge base. Many of the topics studied will revolve around the use, abuse, and care that we provide our earth. Students will develop a deeper understanding of their own responsibility towards stewardship of the earth through discussions and activities within this course. Students will employ their knowledge of foundational biology, chemistry, and physics to explore the factors effecting natural cycles, species interactions, populations, pollution, climate change, and the role that alternative energy plays in helping us move closer to being a green planet. The Hybrid Biology format will have two-three days a week of independent class work, with students working through lessons and activities on their own with the teacher available for help.

This course is worth four credits (course is three and lab is one) and both components are taken together. The grades from both portions will be averaged into one grade. Successful completion of this course will result in four college credits from Bethel University.

Articulation Agreements with Colleges

Some courses are taught at Spring Lake Park High School offer students both high school and college credit. Students are expected to perform at the college levelStudents will receive a Certificate of Credit if they meet the college credit requirements.

Articulation Agreements in the Opportunities in Emergency Care (OEC) Program:

  • Emergency Medical Responder—3 credits at qualifying colleges 
  • Emergency Medical Technician— between 3 and 9 credits, depending on college 
  • Nursing Assistant-Registered— 4 credits through Century College articulation

Articulation Agreements in the Family and Consumer Science Program:

  • Child Development 2—3 credits at qualifying colleges 

Learn more about these courses in the registration guide