This policy applies to UW System Board approval for liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs leading to the Associate of Art (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degree offered by Wisconsin Technical College System Districts.
This policy establishes principles and guidelines governing the development and expansion of liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs offered by the WTCS District and coordinated with the UW System. Wisconsin Statutes (Wis. Stat. §36.31) require that the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board, and the University of Wisconsin System (UW) Board of Regents approve the broadening of transfer programs in WTCS districts.
This policy is intended to expand and enhance credit transfer and expand the opportunities for Wisconsin residents to earn a baccalaureate degree, while promoting the active coordination, collaborations, and efficient delivery of higher education programs in the state.
The UW System Board of Regents adopts the provisions of this policy to guide the expansion of liberal art and pre-professional transfer programs coordinated with WTCS under s. 36.31, Wis. Stats and to foster efforts to streamline the transfer and approval process between the two systems.
The UW System Board of Regents recognizes that state higher education resources are best utilized by ensuring that newly created liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs do not unnecessarily duplicate existing programs and offerings.
In considering additional sites for new liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs, the UW System and WTCS shall consider all programs currently available through UW institutions and to promote closer cooperation and collaboration with the WTCS. Changes in labor market trends, the need for talent development, and more frequently occurring content updates and standards revisions necessitate this policy remain relevant.
Further, any proposed programs should:
- Meet a projected long-term need by students.
- Draw upon the existing strengths and resources of the WTCS and UWS institutions.
- Identify and justify sources and uses of new or reallocated resources necessary to support the program.
B. Liberal Arts Transfer Programs
WTCS liberal arts transfer programs generally offer the equivalent of the first two years of general education courses required by UW institutions, that meet UW System standards for an associate degree, and are designed for students planning to transfer to a baccalaureate institution.
Guidelines for Transfer Liberal Arts Programs
New liberal arts transfer programs may be considered for WTCS districts in which there is a demonstrated need on the part of existing and potential students for those programs and where it has been clearly demonstrated that UW institutions cannot accommodate that need. Opportunities to collaborate, including opportunities to offer distance education courses and programs, should be considered and utilized when feasible.
Criteria for Transfer Liberal Arts Program Approval
The Board of Regents’ approval of WTCS liberal arts transfer programs shall be contingent on criterion outlined in UW System Administrative Policy 110, “UW System Board of Regents Criteria for Approval of Wisconsin Technical College System Collegiate Transfer Programs” and UW System Administrative Policy 115 “ Associate Degree Standards.”
Transfer of WTCS Liberal Art Associate Degree Programs to UW institutions
Liberal arts transfer associate degrees offered by a WTCS institution shall meet minimum standards for an associate degree as established by the UW System Administration and to transfer WTCS students into the UW institution with junior standing.
UW institutions shall recognize a liberal arts Associate in Arts (A.A) or Associate in Science (A.S.) degree earned from a WTCS institution as having fulfilled the general education or breadth requirements of the receiving institution.
C. Pre-Professional Transfer Programs
Guidelines for Transfer Pre-Professional Programs
WTCS pre-professional transfer programs are A.A. or A.S. degrees offered by a WTCS district in a specified disciplinary area, e.g., engineering, business, and include liberal arts transfer credits, and transfer credits in the pre-professional core area.
A primary goal of a WTCS pre-professional program is to facilitate a seamless transfer between one or more WTCS and partner UW institutions, to increase the portability of credits and credentials, and to transfer WTCS into the UW System with junior standing. The Board will consider pre-professional programs from WTCS districts in which there is a demonstrated need for the program on the part of existing and potential students.
The Board may consider pre-professional programs from the following WTCS districts:
- A WTCS district that has been approved under this policy to offer liberal arts transfer programs.
- A WTCS district that does not have liberal arts degree authority may offer a pre-professional degree program if the program is offered in collaboration with a UW institution. This collaboration should draw on the respective strengths of the institutions. This collaboration may involve the development of a consortia degree, offered jointly by a WTCS and a UW institution.
- A WTCS district that does not have liberal arts degree authority and is not proposing to offer a degree in collaboration with a UW institution may offer a pre-professional degree if the Board concludes that such a collaboration is not practical, effective or efficient. The Board will make every effort, working with the System President and the UW Chancellors to ensure that the effective and efficient collaboration between the two systems occurs and that the proposed program is in the best interest of students and taxpayers before approving a degree.
Criteria for Pre-Professional Transfer Program Approval
The Board of Regents’ approval of a pre-professional program offered by a WTCS district shall be contingent on criterion outlined in UW System Administrative Policy 110, “UW System Board of Regents Criteria for Approval of Wisconsin Technical College System Transfer Programs” and UW System Administrative Policy 115 “ Associate Degree Standards.”
Transfer of WTCS Pre-Professional Associate Degree Programs to UW institutions
Pre-professional transfer associate degrees offered by a WTCS institution shall meet minimum standards for an associate degree as established by the UW System Administration and to transfer WTCS students into the UW institution with junior standing.
UW institutions shall recognize a Pre-Professional Associate in Arts (A.A) or Associate in Science (A.S.) degree earned from a WTCS institution as having fulfilled the general education or breadth requirements of the receiving institution.
D. Review and Approval Process for WTCS Transfer Programs
WTCS staff and UW System Administration staff shall coordinate the development of any proposed new liberal arts or pre-professional transfer program offered by WTCS and shall ensure that UW institutions are informed and consulted throughout program development.
Upon approval by the WTCS District and the WTCS State Board, a proposal for a new WTCS liberal arts or pre-professional transfer program shall be submitted for approval to the UW System Board of Regents through its Education Committee. The final authority for approving a WTCS liberal arts or pre-professional transfer program rests with the UW System Board of Regents.
OVERSIGHT, ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The UW System Office of Academic and Student Affairs will coordinate with Wisconsin Technical College System staff in developing and seeking approval for new WTCS liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs.
RELATED REGENT POLICY DOCUMENTS AND APPLICABLE LAWS
- Section 36.11 (3), Wis. Stats., “Admission of Applicants.”
- Section 38.04, Wis. Stats., “Teacher and course requirements.”
- Section 38.12 (8), Wis. Stats., “Cooperation with other state agencies.”
- Regent Policy Document 7-1, ““Transfer and Award of Credit for Extra-institutional Learning.”
- Regent Policy Document 7-3, “University of Wisconsin System Freshman Admissions Policy.”
- Regent Policy Document 4-6, “Granting of Degrees, Certificates, Honors and Awards.”
- Regent Policy Document 4-12, “Academic Program Planning Review and Approval in the UW System.”
History: Res. 9289, adopted 02/09/2007, created Regent Policy Document 4-16. Res. 11561, adopted 12/10/2020, amended RPD 4-16.
[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]