Wisconsin's online tool reduces complications of credit transfer

By Susan Pohorski

Your child wants to get a degree from a University of Wisconsin campus, but you want him or her to stay home for a few years to save money. So what are the options for students who start out at a Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) school and transfer to a UW System school?

Good news! There’s a wizard for that! Well, not like Gandalf or Harry Potter. The Credit Transfer Wizards at Wisconsin.edu/transfer will show you what courses from Wisconsin technical colleges will transfer to various UW campuses. You simply type in the college you plan to attend first and the college you will transfer to and the wizard tells you which courses will transfer.  Screenshot of Transfer website

There is a wizard for general education and universal credit transfers, and a course wizard for specific courses offered at tech colleges and UW campuses. Let’s say your student is attending Lakeshore Technical College and wants to eventually get a bachelor’s degree from UW-Oshkosh. In the General Education and Universal Credit Transfer Wizard, enter the two colleges and select a general education category such as Math. The transfer report shows six different math courses that will transfer to UW Oshkosh.

From associate degree to bachelor's
If your student knows his or her intended major, you can use an articulation agreement that guarantees credit transfer from a WTCS campus to a specific university major. For example, Northcentral Technical College has a transfer agreement with UW-Stevens Point that allows graduates of the associate degree program in Early Childhood Education to transfer to the Elementary Education – Early Childhood Education bachelor’s degree program.

The Reverse Look-Up Wizard is useful when your student knows the course he or she wants to take at the transfer school and needs to know what course will fit that requirement at the current college. This is also helpful when students want to take summer courses that will transfer when they enroll in the fall.

One agreement applies to all
Also, the fairly new, Universal Transfer Agreement between University of Wisconsin System and the WTCS includes a set of core courses within 11 main subject areas that are transferable to all UW and WTCS campuses. These courses vary, depending on equivalencies between the transfer-out college and the transfer-in college.

The website also has a check list that provides a step-by-step process for you to plan a smooth transition and earn a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin System. Visit this site before making your college plans.

Human helpers essential to your journey
In addition to the online wizards, you can get help from college advisors who will help you get the most from technical college credits. Make sure your student takes the right courses to help accomplish his or her degree goals. You will also want to talk with the transfer coordinator at the university where your student plans to finish their degree.

Even if your student doesn’t plan to finish a degree at a technical college before transferring, he or she should be sure to find out the course requirements for their intended major before registering for courses at a technical college. The Credit Transfer Wizards and transfer guides will help with this. It’s always advisable to print off a copy for your records.

When you are considering transfer from a technical college to a UW campus get to know your Transfer Wizard. You'll be glad you did.

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