MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System has launched UW Extended Campus to expand access to a quality UW education to working adults throughout Wisconsin.

“Expanding access to a UW education for adults and professionals is a major growth opportunity for all UW campuses across the System,” said Ray Cross, UW System President. “The UW Extended Campus represents a coordinated strategy to accelerate our ability to offer the degrees and certificates that adults and professionals demand, and in the formats that they most need.”

Aaron Brower, Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs in the UW System, will become the Executive Director for the UW Extended Campus. Brower has over 30 years of experience within the UW System as a professor, program developer, and administrator. The UW Extended Campus will report to the UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

Working adults have a variety of unique educational needs and requirements in order to continue their education, complete degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, and pursue non-credit professional credentials.

“The diverse curriculum in the Data Science master’s program, its flexible format, and the opportunity to learn from a wide array of instructors was very attractive to me,” said Halee Mason, 2017 MS Data Science student. “Since I was working full time, the online format was a pivotal part of my decision.”

“When I see someone with a degree from a University of Wisconsin System institution, I have confidence in their abilities and work ethic,” said Jeff Thomas, industry panel expert. “The Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing carries a reputation of quality and rigor because it comes from the UW. These students haven’t just gone through the motions for their degree; they’ve challenged themselves at every level.”

The UW Extended Campus is not a new accredited institution. Rather, it is a new enterprise that coordinates the UW System’s approach to online education and extends the reach of all existing UW institutions beyond their physical boundaries. All programs coordinated through the UW Extended Campus are partnerships: instruction and degrees come from the UW institutions while UW Extended Campus provides support to instructors and students, strategic marketing and student recruitment, and financial operations.

No new funds are used to create the UW Extended Campus. It builds on the successful partnership programs and operations of the former UW-Extension Division of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning (CEOEL). The 21 programs overseen and managed by the former CEOEL grew 49 percent over the past five years, generating four dollars in revenue for every state dollar expended.

“This is an incredible opportunity to help the careers and livelihoods of people throughout Wisconsin,” said Brower. “Surveys show that more than 400,000 Wisconsin adults express strong interest in furthering their education for work and continuing professional reasons. The UW Extended Campus now provides a coordinated and uniquely UW approach to give these students the education they really need.”

To view UW Extended Campus programs, visit


The University of Wisconsin System serves more than 170,000 students. Awarding 36,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Heather LaRoi UW System 608-265-3195