Preamble

Every effort should be made to meet the general education (GE), global perspectives (GLP) and racial and ethnic studies (RES) requirements. Due to the differences between institutions regarding degree requirements, credit values for courses, and other factors, there are invariably circumstances that require review for exceptions.

The following guidelines have been established to assist with initial and follow-up advisement for transfer students and to provide consistency in making exceptions (e.g., waivers, substitutions). Some of the guidelines clarify how transfer courses are being treated currently, the circumstances under which no exceptions are needed, and possible situations where exceptions may be considered. Because there is considerable confusion regarding "associate degrees," definitions are included.

Program directors should send requests for deviations from the university-wide requirements for GE, GLP and RES to the Associate Vice Chancellor for approval. In certain situations, the Associate Vice Chancellor will consult with appropriate department chairs on the exceptions. These guidelines will be used in considering the requirements for exceptions.


Categories:

Clarification of Associate Degrees

There are four basic types of "associate degrees" that transfer students coming to UW-Stout possess:

  • Associate of Arts (A.A.);
  • Associate of Science (A.S.);
  • Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.); and
  • Associate of Applied Arts (A.A.A.).

For A.A. degrees offered within the University of Wisconsin (UW) institutions, there is a standard structure. Earning this degree automatically waives university-wide GE/breadth requirements for a bachelor's degree offered in UW institutions. Breadth requirements denote a range of knowledge in several disciplines

The A.A. degree in Minnesota has a structure similar to the one in Wisconsin. Both require a minimum of 60 semester credits. All have credit requirements by category that equal or exceed the Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Science and Communication Skills categories at UW-Stout; their degree also requires diversity and global perspective.

The A.S. degree is 60-64 semester credits and is usually offered by community colleges in Minnesota. It differs from the A.A. degree in that there are about 40 credits in the general education area and 20-24 in a technical/vocational area. The distribution of the credits in the liberal studies area are about two-thirds Math/Science and one-third English, Social Science, and Humanities/Arts.

The A.A.S. degree is offered by the Wisconsin Technical colleges and requires a minimum of 60 credits, 15 of which are in GE and 45 in a technical/occupational area. The GE component includes courses in Writing, Speech, Psychology, Economics and Sociology. There generally are no Arts and Humanities in the GE component. Math/Science requirements parallel the level of need required for the technical area. Technical/Occupational courses are accepted on a course equivalency basis or by articulation agreements.

UW Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree students

(No exception needed)

In alignment with UW System policy ACIS 6.0 Undergraduate Transfer Policy, a student with an Associate of Arts degree from a UW System school automatically satisfies the following university-wide GE category requirements:

  • Natural Sciences w/Lab
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning
  • General Education Selectives

These requirements are satisfied whether or not students have the appropriate number of credits in each or whether they have the appropriate number of areas covered. This also means that a student might have only three credits in the Social/Behavioral Sciences, but the requirement will be met. It also means that a student might have only history courses but not courses from two areas in the Humanities and Arts, but the requirement would be met. A student might never have taken a contemporary issues course or a course in the social responsibility and ethical reasoning category, but because they completed the Associate of Arts degree they would have satisfied all of these requirements.

The student must complete program-specific required GE courses [e.g., Principles of Economics I (Macroeconomics) is required in Business Administration, or a literature course that is required in the teacher education program for certification purposes]. Students must also complete the level of math required for their program and take SPCOM-100 Fundamentals of Speech if it was not completed as a part of the Associate of Arts degree. Because of the structure of the UW Associate of Arts degree students do satisfy the minimum English requirement (ENGL-101 and ENGL-102) required by UW-Stout.

RES/GLP requirements are not automatically met unless the student has transferred in courses that equal any of UW-Stout's approved courses to meet this requirement or if the particular degree completed included a diversity requirement.

WTCS Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or University Transfer and Liberal Arts Degrees

(No exception needed)

In alignment with UW System policy ACIS 6.0 Undergraduate Transfer Policy, a student who has completed an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science degree, or University Transfer and Liberal Arts from any of the five (Chippewa Valley Technical College, Madison college, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Nicolet College, Western Technical College) liberal arts collegiate transfer programs, and that is specifically aligned with the UW System Associate Degree, has satisfied the following university-wide general education requirements:

  • Natural Sciences w/Lab
  • Humanities and Arts
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences
  • Contemporary Issues
  • Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning
  • General Education Selectives

These requirements are satisfied whether or not students have the appropriate number of credits in each or whether they have the appropriate number of areas covered. This also means that a student might have only three credits in the Social/Behavioral Sciences, but the requirement will be met. It also means that a student might have only history courses but not courses from two areas in the Humanities and Arts, but the requirement would be met. A student might never have taken a Contemporary Issues or Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning category course, but because they completed the appropriate degree they would have satisfied all of these requirements.

The student must complete program-specific required GE courses [e.g., Principles of Economics I (Macroeconomics) is required in Business Administration, or a literature course is required in the teacher education program for certification purposes]. Students must also complete the level of math required for their program and take SPCOM-100 Fundamentals of Speech if it was not completed as a part of the Associate of Arts degree.

RES/GLP requirements are not automatically met unless the student has transferred in courses that equal any of UW-Stout's approved courses to meet this requirement or if the particular degree completed included a diversity requirement.

Minnesota Community College Associate of Arts Degree

(No exception needed)


The Associate of Arts degree from Minnesota is equivalent to the Associate of Arts degree from a UW System school regarding the GE requirements (except for the laboratory science requirement). We must verify that the laboratory science requirement was met. The university-wide six-credit writing requirement is met with completion of six equivalent writing credits. The RES and GLP requirements are automatically satisfied.
Equivalent of an Associate of Arts Degree (as identified in the University of Wisconsin Associate Degree Standards Working Group Report Executive Summary, February 2012) ñ to be used to determine eligibility of Associate of Arts degrees from non-WI/MN institutions.

Recommended minimum requirements for an Associate Degree granted by a UW System Institution, including GE/RES/GLP requirements:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 60 semester credit hours of college-level work
  2. Completion of a minimum of 40 semester credit hours fulfilling the University of Wisconsin System (UWS) minimum shared learning goals (see below)
  3. Achievement of a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 grading system

The Distribution of Credits Table below illustrates the groupís recommendation of credits for each UWS Shared Learning Goals, as differentiated by type of Associate Degree. The major difference between the original Regent Policy 4.4 (old policy of Associate Degree Standards) and the recommended changes is the adoption of a new framework in which to examine degree requirements and quality standards for the Associate Degree. Whereas the existing UWS model emphasized breadth as well as competency requirements, the revision emphasizes learning goals and outcomes, not merely distribution of credits. The Shared Learning Goal "Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Natural World" reflects a minimum and a maximum range of credits that reflect the need for institutional flexibility. Flexibility is provided by the ranges in electives and the total number of general education credits recommended. Currently, the total number of credits required for general education, for graduation, and the number of credits students may take as electives are within a range from institution to institution.

Table 3. Recommended Distribution of credits to achieve general education breadth in Associate degrees via the UW System Shared Learning Goals (adopted in 2009).

UW System
Shared Learning Goal
Associate of Arts Degree credits
Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Natural World18-20
Critical and Creative Thinking3
Effective Communication6
Intercultural Knowledge and Competence6
Individual, Social and Environmental Responsibility6
Total General Education Credits39-41
 
Electives leading to desired baccalaureate degree -- chosen with help of adviser19-21
Total Credits to Degree60

Notes:

Knowledge of Human Cultures typically includes coursework in social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and world languages.

Knowledge of the Natural World typically includes coursework in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and mathematics.

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills are typically included as learning goals in different disciplines throughout the university curriculum.

Effective Communication typically includes coursework in multiple communication modes, including Speaking/Listening, Writing, English, Communication, and Media Studies.

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence typically includes coursework that satisfies the UW System Diversity requirement, including coursework in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, foreign languages and ethnic studies.

Individual, Social and Environmental Responsibility are typically addressed in courses that employ high-impact practices such as internships, study abroad, and service learning.

 


 

Diversity Requirement

The diversity requirement is met for any student with an Associate of Arts degree from a UW or MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) institution. The requirement is not automatically met by an A.S., A.A.S., A.A.A., or A.A. degree from a non-UW or non-Minnesota institution, unless it was required as a part of their Associate of Arts degree.

Records of transfer students should be reviewed in their first semester regarding the diversity requirement. Advisement plans should determine how a student will meet the requirement. If after review it is determined that to meet the requirement as written will increase credits to degree, an alternative plan may be suggested. This plan must be reviewed and approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor.

  • Transfer courses that have course equivalents carry the same diversity designation as the UW-Stout courses (no exception needed).

  • Transfer courses that are not equivalent to UW-Stout courses but have diversity content are reviewed by the Associate Vice Chancellor and categorized for student exceptions (exception needed). 

Credit for Military Service

If the student has served in the military and minimally completed basic training, that person will receive credit HWF-340 Community CPR, Automatic External Defibrillation and First Aid. Their Joint Services Transcript or other military documentation will verify active duty and training completed. Additional credit may be awarded based on documentation received, recommendations from the American Council on Education and applicability to student's major.

No Exceptions Needed

Students Earning a Second Bachelor's Degree

(No exception needed)

Students who hold a bachelor's degree from any institution are exempt from the diversity requirement and non-program-specific GE requirements. Proficiency requirements, i.e., Communication Skills and Analytic Reasoning, must be met, and all program-specific GE requirements must be met.


General Education Electives

(No exception needed)

Often transfer students bring in courses not comparable at UW-Stout, and these are listed as HIST-GXX, LIT-GXX, BIO-GXX, etc. These can be treated as general education courses and meet a category requirement. There may be courses that transfer in as HUM-GXX or SOCS-GXX that can be treated as an "area" under that category. For example, if a student has taken a LIT-GXX literature course, and has another course noted as a HUM-GXX Humanities elective, then the student would have satisfied the "areas" requirement under the Humanities and Arts. Science courses that had laboratories are usually designated on the equivalency evaluation such as BIO-GLX, CHEM-GLX and PHYS-GLX. If a specific natural science is not required, these courses may meet that requirement.


Exceptions Needed

Math Electives

(Exception needed)

Math courses that meet a minimal level of mathematics content to satisfy the GE requirement are transferred in as MATH-GXX and coded with the attribute of UW-Stout's MATH-010. If a student wishes to apply MATH-GXX towards MATH-118 or higher, this requires an exception by the Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC), determined in consultation with the chair of the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Sciences department. 


Credit Distribution Exceptions

(Exception needed)

There are occasions when the number of credits required within a category is not met, but an exception might be warranted. Some examples are as follows:

  • A student completes a five-credit composition course (e.g., from UW-Eau Claire) or meeting the "proficiency" level in writing from the sending institution (e.g., ENGL-101 from the UW Centers). In these cases, the typical ENGL-101, ENGL-102 or ENGL-111, ENGL-112 requirement would be met, even though the students only have three or five credits in writing.

  • The student meets the requirement for that area but must still make up the credits to make up the needed GE total. The student may request an exception from the Associate Vice Chancellor.

  • A student completes the equivalent of College Math I for three credits (e.g., UW-River Falls) rather than four credits. The student should be advised to take a 3-credit course if possible to satisfy the 6-credit requirement. If the student, for some reason, takes a 2-credit statistics course and is one credit short of the requirement, the student may request an exception from the Associate Vice Chancellor.

  • A student meets the distribution requirement for a category (i.e., 2 areas) but not the credit requirement (i.e., 5 credits rather than 6), because some courses transferred as 2 credits rather than 3 (converting from quarter credits), the student may request an exception from the Associate Vice Chancellor.


Area Requirement

(Exception needed)

If the student does not have an Associate of Arts degree and does not meet the distribution requirement across areas listed under the Humanities and Arts and/or Social/Behavioral Sciences categories, then the full range of courses taken by the student should be reviewed. An exception would usually be considered only for transfer students. Students should have at least two areas in each category and an overall "strong" liberal arts background as evidenced by depth in at least one area to be considered for an exception.



GE at Transfer Institution but not UW-Stout

(Exception needed)

There are occasions where courses were GE at a transfer institution but do not have that designation at UW-Stout. In some cases this is because the course had not been taken through our approval process for GE courses. 



Other General Criteria for Requesting Exceptions (Substitutions/Waivers)

  • To avoid unnecessarily increasing credits to degree (some increases may be necessitated by student choices)

  • To verify that proficiency/competency is met but credit requirement is not

  • To correct serious advisement errors that would add credits to degree and/or additional tuition cost

  • To minimize any negative impact caused by the exception towards achieving the overall goal of GE or diversity requirements

  • To adjust for curricular changes made at UW-Stout which hamper students from satisfying the requirement within the credit limitations

  • In alignment with UW System policy ACIS 6.0 Undergraduate Transfer Policy, UW-Stout should provide transfer students the same opportunities as continuing students to demonstrate their competence through the use of internally and/or externally developed tests, portfolio assessment procedures and/or other competency-based alternatives to provide credit for prior learning. If a transfer student would like to seek credit for prior learning, please visit the Prior Learning Assessment website for more information.