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 Anoka Ramsey Community College 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.


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

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 

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 registration manual for details. 

Course opportunities

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

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 (see registration guide)
  • Emergency Medical Technician— between 3 and 9 credits, depending on college (see registration guide)
  • 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 (see registration guide)