All 13 Universities of Wisconsin universities are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer online programs, ensuring high–quality standards for online education and delivery. In addition, many other online programs have accreditation from specialized accrediting agencies, like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and many others. Accreditation ensures that Wisconsin Online programs meet standards of quality and ongoing improvement—the same standards as in-person programs at each UW institution.
Distance Learning Education – State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement
On August 25, 2016, Universities of Wisconsin universities were approved as participants in the National Council – State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) which allows universities to provide online distance learning to students who reside in other states without having to obtain that state’s authorization. Rather, universities must abide by the SARA Terms and Conditions and obtain approval each year to remain a part of SARA. Part of SARA’s requirements include the creation of a complaint process in accordance with Wis. Stats. Ch. 39.85, et. al. This state law provides that any current or former student who is enrolled in an online distance education program with a university that has been approved to offer distance education programs pursuant to the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) may file a complaint against the university. This complaint process shall only apply to the distance education activity of the university which is conducted across state lines. No other complaints shall be considered by the Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB). However, other resolution options may be available to the complainant as noted below.
For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of this agreement, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policies and Standards (SARA Policies and Standards) are being violated by a person, university, state, agency or other organization or entity operating under the terms of SARA. If you believe you have a complaint or dispute that fits under the terms of SARA, please complete the online form, and submit it within the time frames provided. There are also FAQs to assist you in answering any questions you may have about the DLAB complaint process. To file a complaint, please complete DLAB complaint form and by following the process provided at this link: https://heab.state.wi.us/dlab/students.html#file.
For additional information about the Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board, please go to the Distance Learning Authorization Board website.
For the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, please follow this link.