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

You are allowed 12 months from your registration date to complete your course. Adjustments/extensions may be granted for additional fees, but students must contact Student Services for approval.

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How quickly can I complete a course?

While Independent Learning courses operate at your pace, it is not a good idea to rush through a course. We recommend taking a minimum of three months for a course, since many students take IL courses concurrently with their semester schedule. If you have a more pressing deadline, however, be sure to contact your instructor and keep in contact with the Student Services team to ensure that you can make the target date.

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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.

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Students who prefer to take a course on a pass/fail basis must request to do so in writing at the time of registration or before the first assignment is submitted. For courses taken on a pass/fail basis, a grade of C– or better is passing, and a grade of D+ or lower is failing.

Students must request to take a course pass/fail in writing by sending their request to il@uwex.edu. Requests will be reviewed and students will be notified in writing if the request was approved or denied within 5 business days.

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Refunds and Withdrawals

To withdraw from a course and receive a course refund, you must submit a withdrawal request in writing to the Student Services office within 45 days of course registration. The refund schedule is as follows:

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

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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.

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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.

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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 consent-to-disclose 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.

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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 Policy F44, A.15, 1 http://www.uwsa.edu/fadmin/fppp/fppp44.htm

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Transfer Information

You can transfer from one Independent Learning course to another. Only one transfer per registration is allowed, and your course completion date will remain the same as your original course completion date. If you choose to transfer to another course, you will be charged:

The administrative fee from the original course will not be refunded. The original course tuition you paid will be applied to your new registration.

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To transfer credits to your home campus, submit your signed transcript request form to the Student Records Office. Their contact information follows:

UW-Extension Student Records
702 Langdon Street, Room 139
Madison, WI 53706
Fax: 608-265-3163
Phone: 608-262-1953
Email*: studentrecords@ecc.uwex.edu

You may order copies of your transcript for $8.00 each. If you provided us with a tuition waiver from a UW campus when you registered, complete and return the transcript request form and we will send your transcript to that institution at no charge. *If you choose to scan and email your form, please do not include your credit card information on the form. Instead, call Student Records directly to pay over the phone.

Please note: If you are a current student looking to earn credit toward your degree, please talk with your campus adviser to confirm that credits for your chosen course will transfer toward your degree.

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Proctors and Proctoring Exams

You are required to take exams under the supervision of an approved proctor. It is up to you to request an exam and find a qualified proctor. A proctor is a supervisor or monitor specially appointed to give exams to students.  Some proctors or proctoring services charge for their time. Any fees associated with securing a proctor or taking exams is your responsibility.

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Who Are Acceptable Proctors?

Proctors must have academic responsibility in a university/technical college or school setting. Acceptable proctors for most Independent Learning courses include:

If the student is an employee at a K-12 school, then no one from that school would qualify as a proctor.

Military personnel

Military personnel 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. Nonmilitary personnel are not eligible for this proctor selection.

Incarcerated students

Incarcerated students may use qualified correctional facility personnel, for example correctional institution education services staff. Students who are not currently incarcerated are not eligible for this proctor selection.

Who are not acceptable proctors?

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

Proctors must receive the exam at the location they teach or supervise and must be identifiable as employees there. The exam must be administered at the proctor's place of professional employment during regular work hours and under the nominated proctor's personal supervision. Proctors cannot have any vested interest in the outcome of the student's exam. There can be no conflict of interest for the student and proctor.

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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

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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.

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