Policies

Taking a few minutes to get familiar with Independent Learning policies and procedures can help make your experience a smooth one. Learn more about time requirements, proctors, academic honesty, and other policies and procedures below.  For additional concerns or questions contact Student Services for at 1-877-UW-LEARN (895-3276), il@uwex.edu, or via Live Chat!

Time Requirements

All Independent Learning courses have an expiration date based off the date a student registers in the course. Students must complete and submit all course requirements, including any final exams or papers, on or before their course expiration date.

Policy in effect for students who register on or before April 9, 2018

All Independent Learning courses except U692-100 Medical Coding: Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Examination Prep: Students have 12 months from the date they register to complete their course, unless their home campus, school or employer requires a quicker timeline.

U692-100 Medical Coding: Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Examination Prep course: Students enrolled in our U692-100 Medical Coding: Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Examination Prep course have 6 months from the date they register to complete their course.

Policy in effect for students who register on or after April 10, 2018

All Independent Learning courses: Students have 6 months from the date they register to complete their course, unless their home campus, school or employer requires a quicker timeline.

Since students set their own pace in their course, many finish in advance of their course expiration, with the majority finishing in 4-6 months. However, most courses are set up to complete in as little as 3 months to align with a typical semester-based course. Students who wish to work at a faster pace are encouraged to communicate their plan to their Course Facilitator (Instructor) and our Student Services team before starting the course or as soon as possible after registering to ensure their plan is achievable. Students who need extra time—beyond their course expiration date—may request a course extension in accordance with our policy (learn more in the next section).

Back to top

Course Extensions

Policy in effect for students who register on or before April 9, 2018

For those students who register in their course on or before April 9, 2018, the maximum time to complete their course is 18 months from the date they registered for the course. This affords students who cannot complete their course within the 12-month limit, the opportunity to request a course extension. Course extensions are awarded in three-month increments, as long as the total time to complete the course with the extension does not exceed 18 months.

Policy in effect for students who register on or after April 10, 2018

For those students who register in their course on or after April 10, 2018, the maximum time to complete their course is 12 months from the date they registered for the course. This affords students who cannot complete their course within the 6-month limit, the opportunity to request a course extension. Course extensions are awarded in three-month increments, as long as the total time to complete the course with the extension does not exceed 12 months.

Course Extension Fee schedule for all students:

First 3-month course extension = $150; Second 3-month course extension = $250

Reach out to our Student Services team to request any extensions and submit valid payment.

Back to top

Grading Appeals

  1. To appeal a grade, send a written statement addressed to the instructor who assigned the grade. The instructor will then respond to you in writing.
  2. If a disputed grade is the result of a clerical or computational error, the grade may be changed by the Director of Independent Learning, after consultation with the chair of the academic department responsible for instruction of the course.
  3. If you are not satisfied with the results of your appeal to the instructor, you may make a written appeal to the Director of Independent Learning, the director will refer the matter to a hearing committee appointed by the Dean of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning, in collaboration with the academic dean of the UW institution having major responsibility for the Independent Learning course in question.
  4. The hearing committee will request relevant information from the instructor in response to your complaint, including the grading criteria used. The hearing committee will then forward its decision, which will be final, to the Dean of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning (or designee), who will share the decision with the chair of the academic department providing the instruction. The department chair will notify you of the decision.

Back to top

Pass/Fail

Students may elect to take any Independent Learning course on a pass/fail basis. Students must submit a request via email to il@uwex.edu at the time of registration or before submission of any course requirements. Requests will be reviewed and students will be notified in writing if the request was approved or denied within 3 business days.

Students who enroll in an Independent Learning course under the pass/fail option will receive a final grade of S in place of a final grade equivalent to an A, AB, B, BC, or C and a final grade of U in place of a final grade equivalent to a D or F. Students intending to transfer their Independent Learning course to count towards a degree program should seek consultation with their home campus academic advisor prior to switching their grading option to pass/fail.

Back to top

Refunds and Withdrawals

Students have the ability to request a withdrawal anytime after their date of registration in an Independent Learning course up until their course expiration date. In order to withdraw from a course, students must submit a completed Independent Learning Course Withdrawal Request Form to Student Services prior to their course expiration date via email at il@uwex.edu or via mail at CEOEL - Independent Learning, 5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 300, Madison, WI 53719.

The refund schedule is as follows:

  • Withdrawal requests submitted within 14 days of registration date: 100% of tuition
  • Written Withdrawal requests submitted within 15–30 days of registration date: 50% of tuition
  • Withdrawal requests submitted after 30 days of registration date: no refund

 Note: Refunds are for tuition only and will not include any administrative fees.

Back to top

Academic Honesty

Students enrolled in Independent Learning courses must observe the same strict codes of academic honesty required of classroom students. Failure to do so will result in various penalties ranging from resubmission of assignments or reexamination to immediate expulsion from or failure in the course. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, submitting another's work as your own, using a solutions manual, cheating on examinations, plagiarizing in any way, and helping other students commit these or similar acts. If you have any questions as to what is acceptable, ask your instructor before submitting the work in question.

Back to top

Student Accessibility Services

Support services are available for qualified students with approved individualized accommodation plans. Please contact student services for more information.

If you are planning to visit the Independent Learning/Student Services office and have access issues, please call us at 1-877-UW-LEARN (895-3276). We will be happy to assist you.

Back to top

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) / Consent to Disclose

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended governs and protects your rights to your individual educational records. The primary rights protected under FERPA are:

  1. Students’ rights to review and inspect their educational records

    Educational records are all the records about you that are maintained by the University of Wisconsin Independent Learning program in which you are or have been enrolled, with seven exceptions:

    • Personal notes of faculty and staff
    • Employment records
    • Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment
    • Campus Security records
    • Financial records of a parent or spouse
    • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in your records before January 1, 1975
    • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment or honorary recognition placed in your records after January 1, 1975, for which you have waived the right to inspect and review
  2. Students’ rights to have their educational records amended or corrected

    If you believe that your educational record is inaccurate or misleading, you may request that the University amend that record.

  3. Students’ rights to control disclosure of certain portions of their educational records

    Directory Information (Public Records)

    In accordance with FERPA, Independent Learning has designated the following categories of information about you as public, or directory information. This information will be routinely released to any inquirer unless you specifically request that all of the items on the following list be withheld:

    • Student name
    • Address
    • Email address
    • Telephone number
    • Date of birth
    • Designation of school/college (year in school)
    • Enrollment status (part/full time)
    • Major field of study
    • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
    • Height and weight of members of athletic teams
    • Dates of attendance
    • Degrees and dates of graduation including anticipated graduation dates
    • Awards received, including academic awards
    • Previous institutions attended

    Non-Directory Information (Private Records)

    Many categories of information are considered private, or protected, by the University of Wisconsin Independent Learning program. For example, information such as social security number, campus identification number, place of birth, marital status, or academic actions is restricted unless you grant permission to release.

    Who Can Request Access?

    Under FERPA, prior written consent must be obtained before your educational record may be disclosed to a third party, unless they are exempted from this provision.

    If you need us to disclose information from your records to a third party, please submit a IL Release of Information Form by email to il@uwex.edu, fax to (608) 262-4096, or mail to Student Services, 5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 300, Madison WI 53719. You may also request this form from our office by calling 1-877-UW LEARN (1-877-895-3276) or by emailing il@uwex.edu.

    Information will be released without your prior written consent to certain groups or individual. Instances in which prior written consent is not required may include:

    • Requests in connection with an emergency, if such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of you or another person.
    • Requests in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order.
    • Requests for public records information (see above), if not restricted by you.

    You May Choose to Restrict Information

    To request that items be restricted, you must submit a written request by email to il@uwex.edu, fax to (608) 262-4096, or mail to Student Services, 5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 300, Madison WI 53719.

  4. Finally, students have the right to notify the U.S. Department of Education concerning an academic institution’s failure to comply with FERPA regulations.

    The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    600 Independence Ave., SW
    Washington, DC 20202-5901

    Notification of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    All institutions of higher education are required to notify our enrolled students at least annually of their rights under FERPA.

Back to top

Concurrent Enrollment

If you are currently enrolled as a full-time student at any UW System institution (other than UW-Stout), you may be eligible for enrollment in an Independent Learning course without paying additional tuition.

To enroll in an Independent Learning course without paying additional tuition:

  1. Ask your adviser how to verify your eligibility for concurrent enrollment in a UW Independent Learning course and where to obtain the required approval form to include the course as part of your full-time load.
  2. Go to the UW Independent Learning website (il.wisconsin.edu/catalog/index.aspx) and pre-register for the course you would like to take. When you reach the Payment Options page, choose the "mail/fax/purchase order" option and click "Submit Registration."
  3. Once you pre-register for the course you will receive an automated confirmation email from Independent Learning letting you know we received your pre-registration. You can scan and email (il@uwex.edu) the completed approval form to UW Independent Learning Student Services by attaching it to the confirmation email.
  4. Call UW Independent Learning Student Services 1-877-UW-LEARN (895-3276) and pay the $75 administrative fee over the phone or pay by check. If the total number of credits you are taking in a semester (including credits through Independent Learning) exceeds 18, you will also be responsible for the cost of the additional credits.

Once we receive your form, pre-registration, and payment, we will complete your registration.

For general information about multiple-campus enrollments, see UW System Administrative Policy 805, section 6, A, A.15.

Back to top

Transfer Information

Students can transfer from one Independent Learning course to another Independent Learning course anytime on or before their original course expiration date. Only one transfer per registration is allowed, and your course completion date will remain the same as your original course completion date. There are no fees for transferring to another course. The original course tuition payment you paid will be applied to your new registration. You will be charged for any portion of tuition that remains. Refunds for any surplus tuition are issued in accordance with the Refunds and Withdrawals policy.

Reach out to our Student Services team to request a course transfer.

Back to top

Transcripts

Official academic transcripts are available for Independent Learning courses completed with published final course grades. Our transcript service is included as part of the course administrative fee you paid up front at the time of registration and covers the lifetime cost of all requested transcripts sent via regular mail.

Additional Information

Transcript Request Process

STEP 1: Complete the Transcript Request Form and follow the submission instructions included on the form.

OPTIONAL STEP 2: For overnight service only. Review the Overnight Transcript Payment Information Form and follow the payment submission instructions included on the form.

Back to top

Student Record Update Request

Need to update your name, birthdate or social security number with us? Simply fill out our Student Records Update Request form and provide any supporting documentation a required on the form to our Registrar team. 

Back to top

Proctors and Proctoring Exams

Many Independent Learning courses require you to take exams under the supervision of an approved proctor to ensure the security and validity of exams. Some courses utilize a remote proctoring service called Examity while others require students to identify a qualified proctor within their community to administer and submit completed exams to our offices. All proctors must be verified and approved by our Independent Learning Student Services team prior to taking any exam. Once approved, proctors can administer exams for any Independent Learning student or the same student on multiple occasions (e.g. for subsequent exams in the same or different course). Some proctors or proctoring services charge for their time. Any fees associated with securing a proctor or taking exams is the student’s responsibility.

Students can find information about a specific course’s exam policy in their course syllabus.

Back to top

Who Are Qualified Proctors?

Students in courses requiring a proctor must identify an individual in their community who holds academic responsibility in a university, college, K-12 school or other education institution setting. Proctors cannot have any vested interest in the outcome of the student's exam and must administer the student’s exam at their place of professional employment during regular work hours.

Qualified proctors for Independent Learning courses include:

Qualified proctors for students active in the military

Students active in the military while taking their Independent Learning course may use qualified military personnel, for example, any commissioned officer of higher rank than the student, a base commander, a noncommissioned officer in command of a military post, or a base librarian. The proctor nomination must include a letter on official letterhead verifying the proctor's position.

Qualified proctors for incarcerated students

Students who are incarcerated while taking their Independent Learning course may use qualified correctional facility personnel, for example correctional institution education services staff.

Back to top

Who Are NOT Qualified to Serve as Proctors

The following individuals do not qualify as proctors:

Any requested proctor who does not meet approved criteria must be authorized by the director of Independent Learning.

Back to top

United States Department of Education's Program Integrity Rule

Contact information for outside state complaints relating to distance learning or correspondence education

Notification of UW System complaint process for program integrity

Back to top

Registration Disclosure

UW Independent Learning is a part of UW-Extension, a member of the University of Wisconsin System, and is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.

UW Independent Learning is not regulated in Texas under Chapter 132 of the Texas Education Code.

UW Independent Learning partners with campuses in the University of Wisconsin System. Every campus in the system is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent corporation and one of two members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Back to top

Live Help

Student Services Person

You may ask your questions through online chat Monday–Thursday 8:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m. (CST) and Friday 8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. (CST).

View Our Course Catalog

Choose from nearly 100 courses in a wide range of subjects.

View Course Catalog