Original Issuance Date: September 01, 1988

Last Revision Date: December 09, 2019

1. Policy Purpose

This policy sets forth the expectations of the UW System related to the offering of college credit courses in Wisconsin high schools by university-authorized high school faculty.

 2. Responsible UW System Officer

Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Vice President for Finance

3. Scope

This policy establishes academic and financial parameters for the UW System institution and participating high schools when offering college credit courses taught by high school faculty that have been authorized to do so by a UW System institution.

4. Background

High school to college transition programs demonstrate the UW System’s commitment to maintaining access and affordability in higher education and advancing the Wisconsin Idea through collaborative efforts with Wisconsin high schools. UW System courses offered for credit at Wisconsin high schools provide an opportunity for academically-qualified high school students to engage in a special college-level learning experience. High school and college faculty forge strong working relationships as they cooperate to develop curricula and assessment instruments, infuse technology into instruction, and create a better understanding of the respective disciplines and pedagogy; such working relationships benefit both faculties, their institutions, and their students. These programs provide an opportunity for students to pursue rigorous advanced subjects sometimes available only at the college level and assist school districts in supporting gifted and talented education programs. Students may benefit from accelerating completion of a  college degree  reducing the cost of their college education, and entering the work force sooner.

This policy addresses college credit courses offered in Wisconsin high schools by university-approved high school faculty. It is important to establish standard policies and guidelines for such courses to help ensure that college credit is being awarded on the same basis across participating institutions.

5. Definitions

No definitions listed

6. Policy Statement

A. Quality Assurance

I. Courses

Courses must meet the standards for instruction, content, student work expectations and evaluation that exist for the same course work offered within the UW System institution’s on-campus degree programs. University departments are primarily responsible for assuring equivalent quality for these courses. Implementation of course standards should include at least the following:

  1. Course Syllabus. The appropriate academic department, or its designee, will approve the syllabus for each course prepared by the adjunct instructor each semester.
  2. Examinations. The appropriate academic department, or its designee, will review in- term examinations and grading criteria each semester. Final examinations, or an
    equivalent assessment instrument, shall be developed in close consultation with the appropriate academic department, or its designee, and a copy of each final
    examination shall be placed on file in the department.


High school faculty who teach UW courses at participating high schools must have at least a master’s degree in the discipline in which the course is offered and shall have the specific approval of the appropriate university academic department. The UW System institution’s academic department responsible for the course may make an exception if the high school faculty member’s master’s degree is in another related discipline. High school faculty selected shall meet all institutional and appropriate university departmental standards to qualify as an adjunct instructor.

UW System institutions should encourage regular professional interaction between university faculty and high school faculty involved in offering college courses in the high school. Such interactions may include:

  1. (1) regular, on-site visits by university faculty to review student work and ensure comparability of course work and grading standards;
  2. professional development seminars for university and high school faculty in the content area;
  3. training and preparation of high school faculty prior to the initial offering of a college-level course; and
  4. encouraging high school faculty to enhance their academic preparation by, for example, taking additional graduate course work and joining professional organizations.


Enrollment in college courses offered in high school should be limited to students seeking college credit. Student eligibility criteria for participation in college credit courses will be determined by the UW System institution in collaboration with the participating high school. Examples of such eligibility criteria include passing a proficiency exam within the content area, having earned a particular grade point average, successfully completing prerequisite courses, demonstrating exceptional talent in the content area, or submitting validation from a high school faculty member that the student is qualified to take college course work in a content area.

Students who have completed UW courses taught in their high school will be considered for admission to UW System institutions on the basis of the same criteria as other high school students.


UW System institutions offering college courses in high schools are expected to evaluate the effectiveness of those courses. Such evaluation may include gathering various types of data, including whether the credits earned by students participating in the program are accepted by other colleges and universities, and whether students who successfully complete those courses are successful in the next level of college course work in that content area. In addition, those institutions that offer an extensive array of college courses in high schools should conduct periodic program reviews, including evaluation by external reviewers.

B. Student Records

All student enrollments should be reported in the UW System Central Data Request (CDR) and reported in such a way that they may be uniquely identified (for more detail refer to CDR reporting guidelines in the CDR Manual, vol. 1, pg. 1410).

C. Tuition

UW System institutions will assess the full per credit, resident, undergraduate tuition rate for college credits in high schools less a reimbursement to the school districts for costs incurred by the districts in providing instruction for these courses. After this reimbursement, at UW System four-year institutions students will pay no less than 50% of the full per credit resident undergraduate tuition rate of the lowest UW System institution and no more than 50% of the full per credit resident undergraduate tuition rate of the UW System four-year institution offering the course.  For branch campuses, students will pay no less than 50% of its full per credit resident undergraduate tuition rate and no more than 50% of the lowest full per credit resident undergraduate tuition rate of UW System comprehensive institutions. This policy does not pertain to dual enrollment programs taught by UW faculty or staff members in high schools.

D. Transfer of Credit

Credit received for UW courses taught in the high school will be subject to the UW System Undergraduate Transfer Policy.

E. Coordination with the Local School District

System provisions must be made. Each UW System institution with a College Credit in High Schools program should develop specific procedures and programs in conjunction with local high school districts and in compliance with the policies, procedures and contractual arrangements of the districts.

The UW System institution will work with participating high schools to provide in-service training of teachers before the program begins, and for instructional materials and laboratory resources.

7. Related Documents

Section 118.55, Wis. Stats., Early College Credit Program

8. Policy History

Revision 5:                  12/09/2019

Revision 4:                  09/16/2016

Revision 3:                  06/13/1998

Revision 2:                  09/01/1988

First approved:          01/01/1986

 9. Scheduled Review

May 2021