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PreK-12 Engagement in the College of Liberal Arts (1)

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) at the University of Minnesota recently compiled a list of the PreK-12 engagement activities of its students, faculty, and staff. It's a remarkably diverse list, and long enough that I'll divide it in half. I'll post the second half tomorrow.



  • CLA leads TEAM-UP (Targeted Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs) –a partnership between the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota. TEAM-UP is dedicated to inspiring fifth graders from North Star School to pursue academic excellence and higher education through early awareness programs. In partnership with CBS and IT, our faculty, students, and staff make in-class visits to North Star, as well as accompany the fifth graders and their teachers on two campus visits that engage the students in the academic, cultural, and social life of the campus through mini-courses, tours, and other specially tailored learning experiences
  • The Department of American Indian Studies teaches native languages in joint programs with K-12 institutions, provides students internships to practice teaching native languages in the schools and maintains websites devoted to native languages.
  • The English as a Second Language Program trains students to teach English as a Second Language in community centers around the Twin Cities area.
  • English Composition students work with various local organizations, tutoring immigrant and at-risk students.
  • Specialists in behavior analysis and autism train and supervise interns for frontline behavior therapists for children with autism. Working with different service providers, the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences places students in family homes each year where they work one-on-one with a young child with autism.
  • The Minnesota Writing Project works to improve literacy in Minnesota. It helps schools identify their needs and supports them in staff development. K-12 teachers participate in a three-week, intensive summer institute held at the University of Minnesota.
  • Minnesota History Day, among the largest in the nation, is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Minnesota Historical Society. It engages middle- and high-school students who conduct research about a historical topic and present their results in writing, on video, or in other formats. Our faculty and students run an undergraduate mentorship program that places mentors in metro area high school classes to work with History Day contestants
  • The St. Paul Public Schools “Historians in the Schools? program is a 3-year federal grant-funded partnership between the University of Minnesota History Department and the St. Paul Public Schools. It entails a professional development program for St. Paul K-12 public school teachers in which they work with professional historians, learn more American History content, enrich their teaching to meet the new Minnesota State Social Studies Standards and, at the same time, improve the quality of teaching and student achievement
  • The Center for Austrian Studies sends representatives to international fairs at middle schools to present information about Austria and Central Europe.
  • The Center for Medieval Studies supports an interactive program that introduces K-12 students to the bound book, a medieval invention, and to the book’s history and uses. The program broadens students’ understanding of the Middle Ages, makes teachers aware of the Center as a portal to resources at the University, and provides University graduate and undergraduate students with an opportunity for work with K-12 students and teachers.
  • The Asian American Studies Program offers several service-learning courses that include opportunities to work with tutors, non-profit organizations, schools, and other community organizations. Faculty have also established a K-12 curriculum development project
  • Jane Addams School for Democracy brings college students together with children, youth and adults from new immigrant communities, especially Hmong, Somali, and Latino, at Humboldt High School.
  • CLA faculty work with preschool and school-age children who learn either Hmong or Spanish as a first language at home and English as a second language.
  • Public History students work with community partners in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood to develop history-based projects aimed at community development. Some of these projects involve neighborhood youth
  • Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences partners with community non-profit organizations to work with charter schools that serve children with special needs who live in single-parent families from culturally diverse populations
  • Faculty collaborate with the BioInvestigators Camp of the Science Museum of Minnesota to provide workshops to introduce middle-school children to archaeological artifacts.