UW Flexible Option: Admissions Brief
Describes the Admissions process for the UW Flexible Option program
University of Wisconsin Flexible Option Admissions
A single Admissions function for UW Flexible Option programs provides one point of contact for prospective students and helps to ensure the consistent policies, procedures, and communications essential to creating a positive and seamless admissions experience for students (including non-traditional students, who are the primary target audience for UW Flexible Option programs). A single Admissions function also provides institutions and programs the ability to focus their resources on the areas of the UW Flexible Option where academic and program-specific expertise is critical. The single Admissions model has demonstrated these benefits through the UW System collaborative degrees.
Admissions is a central function housed within UW-Extension Continuing Education Outreach and E-Learning (CEOEL). The Admissions team, including UW Flexible Option Admissions Specialists, and the Director of the Office of Student Success, is responsible for maintaining admissions criteria, application processing and review, and admission decision-making. Members of the team also work closely with students throughout the application and review processes to ensure strong support and seamless transition and launch.
There are general and program-specific criteria for admission to UW Flexible Option programs. In accordance with UW System guidelines and Board of Regent policy, the Admissions staff endorses a comprehensive review, considering such things as academic profile and readiness, test scores, prior college performance if applicable, and potential for success. Members of the Admissions staff work closely with program faculty to determine program-specific criteria for admission to each UW Flexible Option program, including licensure requirements (if applicable), academic prerequisites, etc. In cases in which an applicant is denied admission and appeals the decision, the Admissions team may request a review by program faculty or staff to determine if reconsideration of the denial is warranted.
The role of the Admissions staff includes:
• Assisting students in evaluating the suitability of UW Flexible Option programs for them, including acquainting them with online introductions of readings, videos or exercises to assist students in determining their readiness for the UW Flexible Option modality. All students are required to complete a “Flex Fit” self-evaluation, an online, self-paced survey designed to provide both student and Admissions Specialists with information to best advise and guide the student to make appropriate choices.
• Counseling and guiding students through the admissions process
• Connecting students with institution and program faculty, their assigned Academic Success Coaches, and other resources
• Working closely with applicants to ensure that all application materials are submitted, processed, and recorded
• Reviewing applications• Determining admission into UW Flexible Option programs• Contacting students about the results of their applications
If a student is not admissible to a UW Flexible Option program, a member of the Admissions staff helps the student understand alternative UW System programs that might better fit the student’s needs. If a student is interested in another program, the Admissions Specialist assists the student in moving to a more appropriate program.
Once a student is admitted to a UW Flexible Option program and notified of the admission decision, the Admissions Specialist assists the student in transitioning to his/her Academic Success Coach, providing a personal and positive experience as the student moves to a new support system within the student’s chosen field of study.
The Admissions staff tracks the success and persistence of admitted and enrolled students to measure the effectiveness of admissions criteria. To ensure that students who are admitted to the UW Flexible Option are poised and prepared for success, data analytics will be used to inform and refine the “Flex Fit” exercise as appropriate, and/or make modifications to the admissions process as needed.
The sharing of applicant information across the central Admissions team and with UW Flexible Option programs is vital to ensuring that prospective students are effectively guided through the application process. A Customer Relationship Management tool will help ensure that Admissions staff can provide applicants with the information they need to select the best program for them. The UW Flexible Option Admissions staff share data on admitted students with staff at the students’ home institutions so that program staff are aware of and prepared for incoming students. In addition, central Admissions staff work closely with program faculty and staff on complex admissions decisions or appeals to ensure that student issues are properly addressed and resolved.
The Admissions team leads joint efforts to continuously refine admissions criteria. To maximize student success, beginning with the selection of qualified students, program faculty and staff and the central Admissions team participate in ongoing conversations about the quality of students admitted to the program and their success once enrolled.
The Flexible Option Knowledge Base will provide a central repository of information about all aspects of the UW Flexible Option initiative and will serve as a 24/7 resource for students, staff, and faculty.
Connections to Other Briefs
Once a student is admitted, the Registrar staff is responsible for transfer credit evaluation and equivalency determination as detailed in the Registrar Brief.
Further, upon admittance, the Admissions staff arranges a transition to the Academic Success Coach as described in the Advising Brief.