Regents Vote To Avoid Accreditation Problems For Online Degree Programs

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has tweaked a plan to restructure the UW System in order to maintain accreditation of online and competency-based degree programs.

The plan to merge the system’s two-year colleges with its four-year universities would have put UW System Administration in charge of UW’s online associates degree program and its competency-based UW Flexible Option degree program. But UW System President Ray Cross says the Higher Learning Commission, which provides accreditation for UW said the online programs must be overseen by a four-year campus.

“We have determined these two delivery modalities should be aligned with an accredited institution to most efficiently and effectively maintain accreditation continuity,” said Cross.

Regents unanimously passed a resolution to move the online programs to a yet-unnamed four-year campus.

Cross said the leaders involved with the UW System restructure plan will carefully follow the Higher Learning Commission guidelines to avoid problems with accreditation.

“Going forward we will continue to work closely with HLC as we plan and implement this project, but I think we all know several pieces or full implementation will take several years,” said Cross.

Regents on Thursday got their first update on the major UW System restructuring plan. Cross also spoke briefly of athletics. He said athletic programs at UW’s two-year campuses would continue during the restructuring process under NCAA guidelines.