1. Policy Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance and principles for the establishment, review and approval of Wisconsin Technical College System Collegiate Transfer programs in fulfillment of Wis. Stats. 36.31.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
This policy affects all UW System institutions and all Wisconsin Technical College System institutions as well as their governing Boards. This policy applies to liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs leading to the associate of Art (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees offered by Wisconsin Technical College System Districts.
Section 36.31, Wis. Stats., requires that the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board, and the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) Board of Regents (BOR) approve the broadening of collegiate transfer programs in WTCS districts. The goal of expanding opportunities for liberal arts programs and creating pre-professional programs in the technical college system is to enhance the portability of credits and programs between the two university systems to expand the opportunities for Wisconsin citizens to earn baccalaureate degrees.
Liberal Arts Transfer Program: WTCS liberal arts transfer programs generally offer the equivalent of the first two years of general education courses required by UW institutions, meet the UW System standards for an associate degree as described in SYS 115, Associate Degree Standards and are designed for students planning to transfer to a baccalaureate institution. Upon transfer, student would obtain junior level standing.
Pre-Professional Transfer Program: WTCS pre-professional collegiate 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. Upon transfer, student would obtain junior level standing.
6. Policy Statement
A primary goal of liberal arts and pre-professional transfer programs is to facilitate a seamless transfer between one or more WTCS and partner UW institutions and to transfer WTCS students into the UW System university with junior standing. State higher education resources are best utilized by ensuring that additional liberal arts and pre-professional programs do not unnecessarily duplicate existing programs and offerings. In considering additional sites for liberal arts programs and new pre-professional programs, consideration must be given to all options currently available through UW System institutions. Approved programs should:
- Meet a projected long-term need by students;
- Draw upon the existing strengths and resources of the WTCS and UW System institutions;
- Identify and justify sources and uses of new or reallocated resources necessary to support the program; and
- Reflect the market demand for workforce development.
The WTCS Liberal Arts Program offers an Associate in Arts (A.A.) and an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree. The degrees are designed for students planning to transfer to a baccalaureate institution in the UW System. By completing one of these degrees, the student will generally satisfy the first two years of general education requirements for various majors in UW System baccalaureate institutions and obtain an educational foundation in languages, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and the social sciences. Similarly, the WTCS pre-professional transfer programs are also offered as an Associate in Arts (A.A.) or an Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees consisting of a disciplinary area as well as liberal arts courses. Upon transfer, WTCS students should have junior level standing at the UW university.
Additional transfer programs will be considered for WTCS districts in which there is a demonstrated need on the part of existing and potential students and where it has been clearly demonstrated that UWS institutions cannot accommodate the need. Collaboration opportunities, including distance education, offered by UW System institutions should be considered and utilized when feasible.
All liberal arts and pre-professional transfer associate degrees offered by a WTCS institution shall meet the minimum standards for an associate degree as established by the UW System Administration Policy (SYS) 115, Associate Degree Standards. WTCS liberal arts and pre-professional A.A. and A.S. transfer students will transfer with junior level status.
UW institutions shall recognize a transfer liberal arts associate in Arts (A.A.) or Associate in Science (A.S.) degree earned from a liberal arts WTCS college as fulfillment of general education requirements at the UW System institution as outlined in SYS 115.
A. Guidelines for Transfer Liberal Arts Programs
The Board will consider liberal arts programs from WTCS districts in which there is a demonstrated need for the program on the part of existing and potential students. The WTCS degree must meet the UW System associate degree standards as articulated in SYS 115, Associate Degree Standards and should be designed for students to transfer to a baccalaureate institution.
B. Guidelines for Pre-Professional Collegiate Transfer Programs
The Board will consider pre-professional transfer 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 for the following WTCS districts:
- A WTCS district that has been approved under this policy to offer liberal arts collegiate 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. The collaboration should draw on the respective strengths of the institutions. The 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.
C. Criteria for liberal arts and pre-professional /A.A. or A.S. Transfer Programs.
The Board of Regents’ approval of WTCS liberal arts collegiate transfer programs shall be contingent on the following criteria.
- Collaboration with existing UW System or WTCS programs has been investigated and when appropriate, initiated.
- Formal review and approval of the curriculum for course transfer is obtained from at least one UW institution to which students are likely to transfer following completion of the Liberal Arts degree.
- The proposed program meets UW System Administration’s associate degree standards as stated in SYS 115.
- Approval is granted by the appropriate WTCS District Board and the WTCS State Board.
- The program meets a demonstrated long-term need that is not currently served by a WTCS or a UW institution and where it has been clearly demonstrated that UW System institutions cannot accommodate the need.
- Any concern raised by the WTCS or UW System institutions has been considered and addressed.
- The program meets appropriate accreditation standards.
- The program is an efficient and effective use of state higher educational resource.
D. Additional Criteria for Pre-Professional A.A. or A.S. Transfer Program Approval
- Approval of the program is obtained from the WTCS and a UW System partner institution or institutions, including approval of transfer of courses toward a specific degree program.
- The UW System partner institution offers a major or program in a related disciplinary area.
7. Related Documents
- 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 4-6, Granting of Degrees, Certificates, Honors and Awards
- Regent Policy Document 4-12, Academic Program Planning Review and Approval in the UW System
- Regent Policy Document 4-16, Criteria for Approval of Wisconsin Technical College System Collegiate Transfer Programs
- Regent Policy Document 7-1, University of Wisconsin System Undergraduate Transfer Policy
- UW System Administrative Policy (SYS) 115, Associate Degree Standards
- UW System Administrative Policy (SYS) 135, UW System Undergraduate Transfer Policy
- UW System Administrative Policy (SYS) 140, UW System Templates for Articulation Agreements Between UW System Institutions and WTCS Districts
8. Policy History
Revision 1: August 31, 2021
9. Scheduled Review