What type of institution is the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County?

Most states in

the USA have community colleges. Traditionally, comprehensive community colleges offer two-year programs in vocational and college transfer courses. Wisconsin does not have a community college system, rather it has two systems of public higher education: The Wisconsin Technical College System and the University of Wisconsin System.

The Technical College System started as a system of vocational schools that later evolved into technical institutes and in the 1990s were renamed technical colleges. The majority of the technical college campuses continue to focus on vocational training with three offering liberal arts courses and associate degrees that in essence make their campuses similar to community colleges in other states.

The University of Wisconsin System consists of two doctoral universities (UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee), 11 comprehensive universities offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees, 13 two-year liberal arts campuses called the UW Colleges, which includes UW-Baraboo/Sauk County, and the statewide UW-Extension that includes the Sauk County UW-Extension Cooperative office. Collectively, the UW System serves more than 175,000 students on 26 campuses and has UW-Extension offices in all 72 counties. Detailed information on the UW System can be found at: http://www.wisconsin.edu/about/

Wisconsin is unique in that it has 13 public liberal arts two-year campuses like UW-BSC that are part of the state’s university system. These campuses only offer UW courses that are fully transferable within the UW System. Their tenure-track faculty are specialists in teaching the first two years of a UW four-year degree and hold a doctorate or other similar degree in their field. The UW Board of Regents must approve all tenure and promotion decisions at all 26 UW campuses whether the professor is from UW-BSC or UW-Madison.

The UW Colleges two-year campuses including UW-BSC are also unique in that they represent collaborative partnerships with local governments. In the case of UW-BSC, the City of Baraboo and Sauk County own the grounds and buildings. The UW provides the movable equipment including library materials, science laboratory equipment, information technology and the faculty and staff to deliver the programming. The city and county each contribute $78,800 annually to maintain the buildings. The UW provides all of the other costs associated with the programming including the salaries and benefits for the faculty and staff. Approximately two-thirds of the UW’s contribution comes from student tuition and one-third comes from state taxes. We truly are your local UW!

UW-BSC’s primary degree is the associate of arts and science degree. This is the UW System’s two-year liberal arts degree that, when completed, satisfies all general education requirements at all UW campuses. These "gen ed" requirements are the foundation of any bachelor’s degree. Additionally, we have guaranteed transfer agreements with all of our 13 sister four-year UW institutions, ensuring college credit transfer. UW-BSC students may begin virtually any major offered in the UW System. UW-BSC also offers a number of collaborative four-year (and one graduate) degree completion programs in partnership with several four-year UW campuses. UW-BSC was founded on the Wisconsin Idea, the philosophy that UW resources should be accessible across the entire state. Consequently, we offer a robust continuing education program and cultural enrichment opportunities in our communities.

To summarize, the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County is a two-year liberal arts public university campus that provides access to the world class University of Wisconsin System. The UW provides the programming and the City of Baraboo and Sauk County own and maintain the buildings and the grounds. Students coming to UW-BSC are expecting to ultimately complete UW four-year degrees. The faculty (assistant, associate, and full professors) at UW-BSC are UW professors who hold the highest degrees possible in their fields, and they are specialists in effectively teaching UW liberal arts courses. In fact, students who start with us and stay two years before transferring later graduate with bachelor’s degrees at a higher rate than students who transfer from other UWs or the technical colleges. UW-BSC also provides opportunities to complete four-year and some graduate degree options on campus by working with other institutions in the UW System.

For more information on the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County, please visit: www.baraboo.uwc.edu


Thomas Pleger, Ph.D. is Campus Executive Officer and Dean and Associate Professor of Anthropology/Archaeology at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County

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