Hamline to Hamline Collaboration




What is the Hamline-to-Hamline Collaboration?

Hamline University and Hamline Elementary have been partners in education for over 125 years.

In 1991, this partnership between Hamline University and Hamline Elementary officially became the first university-elementary partnership of its kind in the country.

The Hamline-to-Hamline Collaboration provides one-of-a-kind opportunities such as:

Tutoring Program: More than 50 university students work in classrooms to tailor instruction to small groups of students and create lower adult-to-student ratios.

Hand-in-Hand Mentoring: Hamline Elementary students build one-on-one relationships with university students.

Academic Pairings: University departments create enrichment programs for different grade and skill levels such as kindergarten gymnastics, gifted and talented math enrichment, swimming lessons, and mock trial for fifth graders.

Snelling Connection: Hamline Elementary student journalists create a newspaper with guidance from University students.

You can learn more about the history and structure of the Collaboration here.

What does the Collaboration look like on an average school day?

University tutors assist teachers in the classroom by working with individual students and small groups and it's not uncommon to see multiple tutors during math and literacy blocks supporting learners at all levels.

All tutors work closely with their assigned teachers and receive training through Hamline University and Hamline Elementary Teachers to provide high-quality and compassionate classroom support.

Because of the amount of time they spend in the classroom, tutors have the chance to build positive relationships with students and become an important and valued part of the classroom and school community. 

Hand in Hand is a volunteer mentoring program pairing Hamline University staff and students with Hamline Elementary students. University mentors meet with their elementary buddy once a week to hang out; you'll find them doing fun Inquiry exercises, sharing their favorite music, or talking about what's happening in their lives. Mentors and buddies participate in several special events on campus throughout the year designed to foster community and friendship. Some mentors and buddies forge strong bonds and remain paired for multiple years.

The Collaboration works hard to develop pairings between Hamline University academic/athletic departments and elementary classrooms. Some examples of long-standing pairings including Kindergarten/Gymnastics and 5th grade/Mock Trial and recent pairings include 2nd grade/Biology, 1st grade/Theater, and 3rd Grade/Physics. The nature of the partnership with the university is such that new pairings are always possible; this flexibility creates incredible opportunities for unique learning experiences.

Snelling Connection, a newspaper written by Hamline Elementary students under the guidance of University student editors, provides students the opportunity to learn the fine art of interviewing, researching, and writing. This weekly program is open to 4th and 5th graders.


A color photograph showing a group of kids outside on a field high-fiving with college students.


What special opportunities does the Collaboration provide?*

  • In the past, we have offered swim lessons Hamline Elementary 4th & 5th graders. These lessons are taught by YMCA-certified swim instructors during the school day using the Hamline University pool. 
  • Students attend literary, musical, theatrical, and cultural performances on the Hamline University campus and often host guest speakers and performers from the University in their own classrooms.
  • Every spring the Collaboration organizes a Hike/Field Day at Klas Field for students with the participation of several Hamline University athletic clubs and student groups.
  • Hamline Elementary "graduates" are eligible for a Hamline University scholarship. Learn more here.

*These pairings have been suspended to some degree during the COVID-19 pandemic.