Like many universities, UW–Madison delivers some courses and programs at additional locations that are geographically separate from the UW–Madison campus. This policy is intended to support the planning and implementation of such programs, to ensure that they are equivalent in quality to the UW–Madison distance and campus-based programs; and to comply with accreditation and federal regulations.
This document covers academic activities that students take for credit and result in the conferring of a for-credit UW–Madison credential – degree, major, certificate or other formally documented credential. As such, this policy does not apply to non-credit activity.
Distance education programs are required to have governance approval under other policy but they are not considered additional locations.
Study-abroad, field trip courses, internships, externships, or practica are not considered academic activities at additional locations under this policy because they do not typically total 50 percent or more of the courses leading to a for-credit UW–Madison credential.
This is the definition of additional location per Higher Learning Commission, December 2017.
As an alternative to establishing an additional location, credit transfer agreements, field trips, internship arrangements, and study abroad may be built into programs to increase students’ opportunities for off-campus experiences. Study-abroad, field trip courses, internships, externships, and practica are not considered additional locations under this policy because they do not typically total 50 percent or more of the courses leading to a for-credit UW–Madison credential.
It is a *federal regulatory requirement* that additional locations be reported to our regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The U.S. Department of Education relies on the information reported by universities to the HLC to assure compliance with the federal financial aid regulations. Students seeking federal financial aid for off-campus programs and courses trigger a compliance check from the Department of Education, and may trigger an audit. UW System Administration policy also requires that such activity be reported to them and that, for additional locations in Wisconsin, other UWs be notified of this activity.
In summary, delivering academic activities at an additional location that result in the conferring of a for-credit UW–Madison credential – degree, major, certificate or other formally documented credential – require University Academic Planning Council (UAPC) review and approval for implementation and prior notification to UW System Administration, the HLC and other agencies.
Off-campus academic activities that are delivered outside the State of Wisconsin will also require the approval of the agencies that govern higher education in those out-of-state jurisdictions. Off-campus academic activities that are delivered outside of the United States require additional documentation and approval steps.
Distance education programs are not considered to be additional locations, but they are required to have governance approval covered under different policy provisions.
The main purpose of the governance approval process is to assure good communication among the University groups and offices that need to be aware of additional locations, to assure that the programs are appropriately administered to support student success, and to comply with accreditation and federal guidelines.
The program faculty and staff should prepare a short proposal that describes the academic activities at an additional location using the outline below.
The proposal is to be endorsed by the school/college faculty through the Academic Planning Council or according to established school/college practice. Subsequently, the proposal should be forwarded to the provost with a supporting cover memo from the dean. If the program is a graduate-level program, the dean of the Graduate School should also be copied. The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee will be asked to consider proposals that relate to graduate programs prior to consideration by the UAPC. Proposals will be considered by the UAPC. After a proposal has been endorsed by the UAPC and supported by the provost, it will be reported to the appropriate University offices and to the necessary agencies.
UW System Administration, the HLC, out-of-state agencies, or international agencies may require additional approvals. The program faculty may need to prepare additional documentation to advance those approvals. The provost’s office will assist program faculty and staff with the process for working through all necessary approval and reporting requirements for these other agencies.
The program and/or sponsoring dean’s office will need to prepare materials if an HLC site visit is required and may need to support additional costs. A program review will be required five years after implementation.
Program faculty should prepare a proposal in Lumen Programs. The following questions will be need to be answered in the form.