HLC approves plan to join Waukesha, Washington County campuses with UWM

UW-Waukesha and UW-Washington County joined UWM on Sunday after the Higher Learning Commission approved a plan to restructure the University of Wisconsin’s two-year colleges.

The HLC gave its approval Thursday to the plan announced last fall by UW System President Ray Cross.

“We are thrilled the Higher Learning Commission has examined, reviewed and approved our restructuring plan,” UW System Board of Regents Vice President Drew Petersen said. “This decision – pivotal to our future success – will pave the path forward toward systemwide implementation efforts. By providing more class options, varied scheduling, and an increased programming array, access to world-class educational resources will be even closer to our students, driving high-impact outcomes and student success.”

More than 160 faculty and staff members from UW-Waukesha, UW-Washington County and UWM have been working for months on restructuring plans. The three campuses will operate largely as they do now during the upcoming school year, with no changes in tuition or course schedules. The freshman-sophomore campuses will integrate more fully with UWM in 2019-20.

“I am excited about the tremendous opportunities ahead,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “We will continue to provide access to high quality academic programs, while also delivering seamless transfer to a four-year degree, offering more academic and career options to students, and addressing local needs and strengthening partnerships in our region and Wisconsin.”

One of the first changes students, faculty and staff may notice will be new names for the two-year campuses. Under UW System direction, UWM will ask the Board of Regents for permission to have the campuses be known as University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Washington County. The board is expected to vote on new names for most of the system’s two-year colleges in August.

UW-Waukesha has nearly 1,500 students, while UW-Washington County has about 650. More than 25,000 students attend UWM.

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