Academic Credit for the Nontraditional Market (Other than Correspondence Courses) Regardless of Funding Source


This document provides the broad parameters for credit courses that are offered through the University of Wisconsin System and intended to serve the nontraditional student market. (See definition of the nontraditional student in Appendix A, Section F.) This document sets forth the principles that guide the determination of funding, and describes budget policy. A glossary of terms is included in Appendix A.
Nontraditional students are a fast-growing segment of learners served throughout the UW System, a
trend that will continue into the future. It is important for campuses to meet the needs of nontraditional
students as campuses chart their own futures.

The University of Wisconsin System has had a long history of providing on- and off-campus credit courses for nontraditional students. Historically, credit-granting programs for nontraditional students at UW institutions were segregated using the Extension Credit Fee fund designation. By segmenting these course offerings into a self-supporting program revenue fund, UW institutions could provide service to nontraditional learners without diluting the support for traditional campus based students, even if traditional campus-based students enroll in nontraditional student-aimed courses. Service to the nontraditional student has been managed within the missions, resources, and academic policy framework of the University of Wisconsin System and each of its institutions.

Additionally, UW System has established a nontraditional-student pricing structure, called Service-Based Pricing (described in this document), that allows courses and programs to be built for nontraditional students that can more quickly respond to market demands while including additional instructional and student support services dedicated to the success of these students.

In the 1999-2001 biennial budget (1999 Wisconsin Act 9) the state of Wisconsin provided the University of Wisconsin System with the ability to expend all revenues on the Academic Tuition appropriation as received. This continuing appropriation authority for Academic Tuition allowed the University to begin to recognize as part of its core mission the education of nontraditional students at alternative times and locations. Consequently, programs developed for the nontraditional market could also be provided through designated tuition funds, as well as the Extension Credit Fee fund designation. With the 2017 UW System restructure, the four units with statewide outreach authority and responsibility were placed
in new administrative homes, as detailed in SYS 125, Maintaining Continuity of Extension, Statewide Outreach and Public Service Following the 2017 University of Wisconsin System Restructure. However, it was the Board of Regents’ intent to preserve and affirm the partnership model of statewide outreach through the new administrative structures created via the 2017 restructure.* The actions of the Board of Regents, as embraced by SYS 125 and the policy herein serves to affirm the importance of statewide outreach as a core component of the Wisconsin Idea within the UW System’s responsibilities as a public university system for the entire state of Wisconsin.

The policy herein applies to all four statewide outreach entities. Specific authorities and responsibilities are detailed in System Policy 125.

*Resolution 10956: Approval of Restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension. This resolution was amended by Resolution 10961: Amendment of Resolution 10956, “Approval of Restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension”.

I. A Note on the Role of Each Campus’s Professional and Continuing Education Unit and The Role of The Continuing Education Executive Council

As each campus increasingly incorporates nontraditional education into its core strategies, program array, and operations, it is important for each campus to utilize the expertise of those who have knowledge of the nontraditional market – such as, its professional and continuing education unit. This unit, therefore, can be a vital resource in that campus’s overall strategic planning and program array. Each institution has traditionally sent its dean or director of Continuing & Professional Education as representative to the Continuing Education Executive Council (CEEC; formally the Continuing Education Extension Committee). Supported by UW Extended Campus, CEEC has historically been, and will continue to be, integral to the systemwide coordination of credit and noncredit programming to nontraditional students.

II. Types of Programming and Funding sources to be Used

Institutions are encouraged to develop innovative programs to serve nontraditional students (see Appendix A, Section F for the definition of nontraditional students).

  1. Fund 101-103 are intended to fund programs to be incorporated into the institution’s main mission.
  2. Fund 104, which generate Fund 189 activity, is intended for statewide outreach and public service activities, as described in SYS 125. These funds are also intended to augment and expand institutional offerings including, but not limited to, experimental and innovative efforts, individual and periodic courses, and collaborative programming through UW Extended Campus.

See Appendix A for more detail.

III. Pricing Policies Related to Nontraditional Markets

Service-Based Pricing. Programs that are offered for nontraditional students should use the service based pricing guidelines. Because these programs must incorporate additional services designed for these students such as flexible scheduling packages, flexible course delivery options, evening and weekend academic advising, registration, financial aid, free or special parking rates, etc., they can be priced to reflect the additional resources provided and the market in which these programs are offered. Service-Based Pricing guidelines are attached as Appendix B.

Service-Based Pricing is intended to simplify and shorten the process for developing and implementing new programs for the nontraditional market. Requests related to service-based pricing are approved by the President of the UW System within one month of submission. Service-Based Pricing is distinguished from Differential tuition because service-based pricing is for programming directed at the nontraditional market.

Distance Education. Programming that is provided exclusively by distance education, (whether to traditional or nontraditional students) falls under the distance education pricing guidelines. See Appendix C for the distance education guidelines. Contract Instruction. Institutions are encouraged to work with businesses to develop programming specifically designed to meet the needs of their employees. This programming may occur on site at the business, at the institution or another alternative site. These programs fall under Service-Based Pricing guidance.

IV. Responsibility for Credit Courses

The institution’s Provost/Vice Chancellor has final approval for all course offerings of the institutions, including those offered in collaboration with UW Extended Campus.

Fund 189 is intended for use in developing programs of an innovative or experimental nature for nontraditional students.

This collaborative effort assigns to each party distinct and identifiable roles and responsibilities which can be found in Appendix A.


Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C