HLC FAQ: 6. Implementation: Effective Dates and Affected Students FAQs

HLC

a. When do the new requirements take effect?  Do the new policies apply to continuing students, or just incoming students after the requirements take effect?

b. What happens to master’s and doctoral students enrolled prior to Fall 2014 that have a break in enrollment?  Are they then under new policy requirements?

c. There are some students completing master’s degrees in Summer 2014 and continuing as doctoral students for Fall 2014.  Are these new doctoral students under the new requirements?

d. How are degree completion fee students, re-entry students, compensatory master’s students (those unsuccessful obtaining their doctoral degree), or students who add/change a program impacted?  Are these students under the new requirements?

e. How do new policies impact double degree students?

f. How do new policies impact joint degree students?

g. How do new policies impact dual degree students such as undergraduate/graduate dual degrees (or accelerated degrees) and graduate/professional dual degrees?

h. Master’s students enrolled prior to 2014 must maintain continuous enrollment and graduate BEFORE Fall 2016 to be under old policy requirements. What happens when a continuously enrolled master’s student with a start date prior to 2014 uses the Fall 2016 degree window period for graduation?  Is the student under the old or new policy requirements?

i. What is the process for appeals?

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a. When do the new requirements take effect?  Do the new policies apply to continuing students, or just incoming students after the requirements take effect? 
The new policies approved by GFEC become effective at the beginning of Fall 2014.

The new policies apply to all incoming students beginning in Fall 2014. 

Master’s students enrolled prior to Fall 2014 have the option to complete under the old policy requirements if they can complete all degree requirements and graduate BEFORE Fall 2016.  Students enrolled in a MFA, specialist certificate, or doctoral degree prior to Fall 2014 have the option to complete their degree under the prior policy requirements.

A student who chooses to discontinue their degree program for a semester or more (and thus, is not continuously enrolled) must return under the new policy requirements.  A student who advances from the master’s level to the doctoral level beginning Fall 2014 is subject to the new requirements. Summer enrollment is not required for meeting the standard of continuous enrollment.
Appeals are considered in exceptional cases. 


b. What happens to master’s and doctoral students enrolled prior to Fall 2014 that have a break in enrollment?  Are they then under new policy requirements?
All doctoral students enrolled prior to Fall 2014 must maintain continuous enrollment to have the option to complete their degree under the old policy requirements.  The same holds true for master’s students as well with the added caveat that they must also complete all degree requirements and graduate BEFORE Fall 2016.  Summer enrollment is not required for meeting the standard of continuous enrollment. 


c. There are some students completing master’s degrees in Summer 2014 and continuing as doctoral students for Fall 2014.  Are these new doctoral students under the new requirements?
Any degree/program started or added on or after Fall 2014 is under new policy requirements.  This includes those continuing on from a master’s degree to a doctoral degree, all types of add/change programs, and re-entry students.  Continuing from a master's program to the doctoral program is considered adding a program/degree.  In these instances, the doctoral program is added effective the term after the master’s degree is awarded.

d. How are degree completion fee students, re-entry students, compensatory master’s students (those unsuccessful obtaining their doctoral degree), or students who add/change a program impacted?  Are these students under the new requirements?
Degrees added on or after Fall 2014 are under new policy requirements.  This includes students who add/change programs, re-entry students, and compensatory master’s students.  Effective Fall 2014, degree completion fee students are under new policy requirements.


e. How do new policies impact double degree students?
Degrees added on or after Fall 2014 are under new policy requirements.  It continues to be true that double degrees (two degrees, two programs) should have no more than 25% credit overlap between degrees, based on the lower credit requirement of the two programs.  It is possible that a student could have one of their double degrees under old policy requirements and the other under new policy requirements.

Given the nature of new institutional accreditation standards, any historical double degree arrangements that do not adhere to the 25% standard will no longer be honored.  Double degrees are reviewed manually during the degree clearing process.

For a definition and other details regarding double degrees please refer the following policy:  https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/#doubledegrees


f. How do new policies impact joint degree students?
Doctoral joint degree students (one degree, two programs) who add the second program prior to fall 2014 and maintain continuous enrollment have the option to complete their joint degree under the old policy requirements.  The same holds true for master’s joint degree students as well with the added caveat that they must also complete all degree requirements and graduate BEFORE Fall 2016.  Summer enrollment is not required for meeting the standard of continuous enrollment. 

Joint degree students who add a program on or after Fall 2014 are under new policy requirements – even if the original program was added prior to Fall 2014.  Since joint degrees represent a single degree, the additional program added on or after Fall 2014 triggers new policy requirements for the single degree award.  

Joint degrees are reviewed manually during the degree clearing process.  For a definition and other details regarding joint degrees please refer the following policy:  https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/#jointdegrees


g. How do new policies impact dual degree students such as undergraduate/graduate dual degrees (or accelerated degrees) and graduate/professional dual degrees?
Given the nature of new institutional accreditation standards, undergraduate/graduate dual degrees (also known as accelerated degree programs) or the senior-grad category no longer exist as formal structures.  However, the spirit of these arrangements is operational within the new prior course work policy. More specifically, programs may allow up to seven credits of UW-Madison undergraduate course work numbered 300 or above to count toward graduate degree requirements.

Graduate/professional dual degree students who add a graduate program/degree prior to fall 2014 and maintain continuous enrollment have the option to complete their graduate degree under the old policy requirements (if the graduate degree is a master’s degree they must also complete all degree requirements and graduate BEFORE Fall 2016).  Summer enrollment is not required for meeting the standard of continuous enrollment.  Graduate/professional dual degree students who add a graduate program/degree after fall 2014 are under new policy requirements for their graduate degree. 

Dual degrees are reviewed manually during the degree clearing process.  For a definition and other details regarding graduate/professional dual degrees please refer the following policy:  https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/#dualdegreesgradprof


h. Master’s students enrolled prior to 2014 must maintain continuous enrollment and graduate BEFORE Fall 2016 to be under old policy requirements. What happens when a continuously enrolled master’s student with a start date prior to 2014 uses the Fall 2016 degree window period for graduation?  Is the student under the old or new policy requirements?
Students using the Fall 2016 degree window period receive their degree award effective Fall 2016.  Thus, these students would be under new policy requirements given their degree is not awarded BEFORE Fall 2016.  Students using the Summer 2016 or earlier degree windows receive their degree award prior to Fall 2016.  Thus, a continuously enrolled master’s student with a start date prior to 2014 who uses the Summer 2016 (or earlier) degree window would be eligible to complete the degree under old policy requirements.

For additional details regarding degree deadlines and degree windows, please refer to the following policy:  https://grad.wisc.edu/currentstudents/degreedeadlines/


i. What is the process for appeals?
Appeals are considered in exceptional cases.  For example, a program may wish to appeal on behalf of a part time student, and in that case, the specific plan of study developed early in the program for this student would need to accompany the request.  All appeals must be made by the program on behalf of the student.

The request should come from the student’s advisor and/or program chair and be sent to the Graduate School’s Assistant Dean of Admissions and Academic Services.  The appeal should include sufficient justification for the request and any supporting documentation.  Please note submission of an appeal does not provide assurance of its approval.

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Keywords:HLC   Doc ID:41520
Owner:Michelle H.Group:VCRGE and Graduate School
Created:2014-06-30 14:49 CDTUpdated:2016-12-19 16:08 CDT
Sites:VCRGE and Graduate School
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