HLC FAQ: 7. Implementation: Degree Clearing and E-Warrants FAQs

HLC

a. How does the degree-clearing and e-warrant process work with the new policy requirements?

b. How does the e-warrant process check for the minimum graduate residence credit requirement?

c. How does the e-warrant process check for the minimum graduate degree credit requirement?

d.  How does the e-warrant process check for the minimum graduate course work (50%) requirement?

e. How does the e-warrant process check for prior course work requirements?

f. The new policy allows for the transfer of up to 15 UW-Madison University Special Student credits (numbered 300 or above) if difference in tuition is paid.  How does the request and payment process work? 

g. How does the e-warrant system know if I have a student under new or old policy requirements?

h. Do the other Graduate School requirements for graduate degrees remain the same? 

i. How do we handle minors with respect to these new policy requirements?

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a. How does the degree-clearing and e-warrant process work with the new policy requirements?
A series of new steps are built into the e-warrant process to reflect new policy requirements.  Some of these steps are based on the manual review of information entered by the program and others are automated audits.  Programs should be prepared to provide the necessary details for how each of their students has met the new policy requirements.


b. How does the e-warrant process check for the minimum graduate residence credit requirement?
This is an automated audit within the e-warrant system.  The audit checks that students have met the graduate residence credit requirement with credits earned throughout their graduate career. The graduate resident credit minimums are 16 credits for a master’s degree, 24 credits for a MFA/specialist certificate and 32 credits for a doctoral degree.

As an example, if a student earns 30 credits for a master’s in Sociology and continues for a doctoral degree in Sociology, all 30 credits from the master’s degree count toward the 32 credit graduate residence requirement for the doctoral program.  The same would be true if a student earns 30 credits for a master’s in Sociology and continues for a doctoral degree in Population Health.

Please note that meeting the graduate residence credit requirement is a requirement for achieving dissertator status.


c. How does the e-warrant process check for the minimum graduate degree credit requirement?
This is an automated audit within the e-warrant system.  The audit checks that students have met the minimum graduate degree credit requirement with credits earned throughout their graduate career.  The graduate degree credit minimums are 30 credits for a master’s degree, 42 credits for a MFA/specialist certificate and 51 credits for a doctoral degree. 

This means all credits earned while enrolled as a graduate student may count towards the minimum graduate degree credit requirement.  If there are not enough credits earned throughout a student’s graduate career to meet the graduate degree credit minimum, it will need to be addressed in the prior course work section of the e-warrant. 


d.  How does the e-warrant process check for the minimum graduate course work (50%) requirement?
This is a step where programs need to enter information within the e-warrant system. 

It is expected that programs have structured their curricula in ways that are aligned with the related criteria/courses programs supplied to the Graduate School, and in turn, ensure their students meet the 50% graduate course work requirement.  Programs are asked to identify how their students have met this requirement in the e-warrant system by plan, and can consider any credits earned while enrolled as a graduate student or accepted as prior course work (as long as they meet related policy requirements). 

Please see FAQs in the minimum graduate course work (50%) section for further details on this requirement as well as future plans on creating a graduate course attribute/flag.


e. How does the e-warrant process check for prior course work requirements?
This is a step where programs need to enter information within the e-warrant system. 

All programs have supplied their prior course work requirements to the Graduate School.  It is expected that programs have structured their administrative processes in ways that are aligned with the prior course work information they supplied to the Graduate School.  In addition, programs should always check to make sure their students actually need prior course work credits for graduation.  It could be the student already has sufficient credits to achieve the Graduate School minimum degree requirements without the need to provide evidence of prior course work.  As needed, programs are asked to provide details for each prior course work category of their students:  

  1. Other Graduate Course Work from Other Institution(s) – If applicable/needed, enter name(s) of institutions, years taken, and number of credits allowed for each student.  
  2. UW-Madison Undergraduate Career Course Work – If applicable/needed, enter subject name(s), course number(s), number of credits, and year taken allowed for each student (up to maximum of 7 credits).  These credits count toward program/degree course work, but not toward the Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement.
  3. UW-Madison Special Student Career Course Work – If applicable/needed, enter subject name(s), course number(s), number of credits, and year taken allowed for each student (up to maximum of 15 credits).  Please see other required processes for University Special student credits.

Please see FAQs in the prior course work section for further details on this requirement including the time limit on eligible courses and how each of these prior course work categories fulfill Graduate School minimum requirements.


f. The new policy allows for the transfer of up to 15 UW-Madison University Special Student credits (numbered 300 or above) if difference in tuition is paid.  How does the request and payment process work? 
Please refer to the following policy for details on the transfer process for University Special Student credits:  https://grad.wisc.edu/acadpolicy/#specialstudentstatus

Of course, to the degree possible/appropriate, it may be helpful to encourage prospective students to apply to the program instead of enrolling in UW-Madison University Special Student courses and/or to be mindful of which courses are best for prospective students to take as UW-Madison University Special Student.


g. How does the e-warrant system know if I have a student under new or old policy requirements?
Each warrant request is for a specific plan (such as M.S. in Computer Science or Ph.D. in Geography).  The e-warrant system will look at the most recent start date of the plan to determine if a student is under new or old policy requirements. 
Some programs have chosen a more rigorous “effective date” for their continuing students.  For example, some programs have determined that all continuing graduate students are under some or all of the new policy requirements (with no “grandfathering” of policies).  In these cases, programs will need to locally monitor and enforce these more rigorous effective dates. 


h. Do the other Graduate School requirements for graduate degrees remain the same? 
The following items in the current Graduate School policy have not changed: 

  • Courses must be taken as a graduate student
  • Courses must be 300 and above
  • Course grades must be A, AB, B, or S
  • Course grades of BC or C only count if there are equal credits of AB and A respectively in non-research courses
  • Course grades of P only count for research courses
  • Students must maintain a 3.00 GPA
  • Students absent for 5 or more years lose all degree credits earned before absence (for master’s students only)

For a student to be awarded a graduate degree, the Graduate School’s e-warrant system and degree coordinators complete a series of automated and manual audits.  However, the programs also play a role confirming compliance with Graduate School policy prior to and during the e-warrant request process so that the process proceeds smoothly.


i. How do we handle minors with respect to these new policy requirements?
For doctoral programs satisfying the breadth requirement with a minor, students need to complete both a program and a minor and there should not be any overlap in credits between the two (as is the expected practice now).  In addition, as is stated in current policy, students must complete minor credit requirements before achieving dissertator status. 

However, assuming the observance of all other Graduate School requirements, credits for the minor may be allowed to count towards the minimum graduate residence requirement, the minimum graduate degree requirement, or the minimum graduate course work (50%) requirement.  Put another way, doctoral degrees have distinct program and minor requirements and combined they constitute the degree; and many of the new policy requirements are reflective of minimums for the degree as a whole (inclusive of both the program and minor requirements).

Programs that are interested achieving breadth in ways other than through a minor requirement can seek approval to opt-out of the minor requirement through the process described here:  https://kb.wisc.edu/gsadminkb/page.php?id=31615

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Keywords:HLC   Doc ID:41521
Owner:Michelle H.Group:VCRGE and Graduate School
Created:2014-06-30 14:50 CDTUpdated:2017-01-10 11:30 CDT
Sites:VCRGE and Graduate School
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