As part of UW-Milwaukee’s long-term strategic planning envisioned in the 2030 Action Plan, several UWM schools and colleges are being realigned. The realignment process is underway and will become effective July 1, 2023.
Some key facts about the realignment process:
- Majors and academic programs are unchanged.
- Faculty and instructors will continue teaching and supporting their existing majors/programs.
- Academic and student support services will continue as they do now.
- Diplomas and transcripts will show the school in which the student is enrolled except for students in programs within the Zilber College of Public Health.
- The realignment is administrative and will not affect majors/programs.
Benefits to Students
Although the realignment is administrative and no programs are impacted, student experience may be enhanced in several areas over the months and years ahead. This list of possible student benefits will likely vary for each student based on their individual needs, goals and the degree program and school/college in which they are enrolled.
- Highly specialized programs – Schools within the newly formed colleges will each retain their own identity and will continue to attract and retain faculty and staff known for their deep understanding of their fields of study. Students will learn from these experts as they follow a specific career pathway while at the same time realizing that their path exists in the context of related disciplines.
- More access to facilities – Many of UWM’s schools have innovative spaces used for hands-on learning, performances and/or social networking. Because of the realignment, students, faculty and staff in adjacent schools will have access to spaces that were traditionally used by a limited number of programs. Possible examples include the Peck School of the Arts’s 3D animation lab, the Jan Serr Studio, kitchens in the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and Enderis Hall, the James & Yvonne Ziemer Clinical Simulation Center and the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center.
- More opportunities for interdisciplinary research – As faculty from adjacent schools work together to address various challenges, students at the undergraduate and graduate levels could be part of these research projects, working alongside students, faculty and staff from other disciplines.
- More experiences that mimic real jobs – Professions don’t exist in a vacuum. That’s why interprofessional education has become so important in higher education institutions, including UWM. Through hands-on, team-based learning opportunities, students will experience how different professions work together from a variety of perspectives, including patient care, population health, entrepreneurship, creative design, educational access, data security and social welfare.
- More holistic approach to complex issues – As students take part in interprofessional education at UWM through hands-on learning, coursework and research projects, they will realize that complex issues facing Greater Milwaukee and the world beyond can’t be solved by one discipline alone. Instead, solutions will depend on multi-pronged approaches that can be better carried out in this realigned structure.
- Greater ability to find the right fit in terms of a major – With advisors trained in multiple areas (or access to advisors in adjacent schools), students can receive guidance on more than just one program. Students will be exposed to more options and therefore will be more likely to find the major that suits them best.
- More marketability within related fields – Seeing other professions in action, having advisors potentially aware of related programs, and being part of related courses can help students realize they have many more career options than they first thought. This could manifest by students finding a different major or by blending fields by choosing a major in one school and a minor or certification in another. This could make students more marketable as they seek employment.
- More flexibility in courses – Students may have more options in terms of prerequisites and/or electives as they cross over into other schools, expand their learning and discover different approaches to common problems.
Benefits to Donors, Alumni and Community Partners
- More opportunities to support interdisciplinary efforts – This realignment is resulting in new opportunities for collaboration among faculty, staff and students in related disciplines. Donors and community partners will have the opportunity to support research projects and hands-on learning that address community issues from a variety of perspectives.
- More well-rounded pipeline of talent – Experiential learning activities, research opportunities and coursework offered to students in adjacent schools all promote interprofessional education. For example, librarians, social workers and teachers work together in school settings, and nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and health care administrators work together in hospital settings. With this realignment, UWM students in a range of disciplines will get to experience more of these professional intersections before starting their first job.
- More access to facilities – Alumni are often most familiar with the physical areas of campus that housed their program of study. With the realignment, alumni, donors and community partners may be invited to experience physical spaces (such as the Ziemer Simulation Center, Jan Serr Studio, Zilber School kitchens and 3D animation lab) they wouldn’t have known existed otherwise.
- More reflective of trends in higher education – This administrative realignment is designed to make UWM more competitive in recruiting and retaining students, faculty and staff. Other higher education institutions have completed similar realignments, co-locating related schools within colleges to maximize strengths, increase recruiting and investment potential, and streamline administrative support.