Press Releases | General Education

ACTA Calls On U. of Minnesota Trustees to Review Taxpayer-Funded ‘College in the Schools’ Program

Classics Bumped Off the Bookshelf in Favor of Modern Works Focused on Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Class
May 20, 2013

Washington, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has called on the trustees of the University of Minnesota to examine the ideologically-driven curriculum of a taxpayer-funded dual-enrollment program intended to help students earn college credit as they complete their high school requirements.

The College in the Schools program allows Minnesota high school students to experience the “increased academic rigor” of a college course while earning college credit. However, the 86 titles on the pre-approved list for “Introduction to Literature” lack the foundational works one would expect in such an introductory course—especially one that should be aligned with the requirements of the public school curriculum.

Instead, the course contains mostly contemporary authors who largely focus on race, gender, sexuality, and class. A program based on classic works of American and European literature would almost certainly not be approved.

ACTA sent a letter to the trustees calling for an examination of the program.  The letter highlights the fact that approved courses do not align with state standards and questions the narrow and tendentious nature of the sample course syllabi.

“The College in the Schools program is designed to encourage Minnesota’s most accomplished, college-bound high school students to seek University of Minnesota credit and to gain a taste of a rigorous college experience,” said ACTA president Anne Neal.  “Surely, when state policymakers adopted dual-enrollment to provide students an affordable and expedited way to obtain a college degree, they did not intend it effectively to dictate the high school curriculum, to weaken schools’ commitment to existing state curricular standards, or to become a vehicle for coercion and political correctness.”


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

Discover More