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UW's Cross wants 4-year school to handle online degree

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross wants to tweak his plan to merge the system's two- and four-year schools to bring online degrees under the auspices of a four-year institution.

The Board of Regents adopted a Cross proposal last month to make two-year schools regional branches of the four-years. The plan called for system administration to oversee an online degree program currently run by UW Colleges Online.

But UW staff wrote in a memo to the regents that the Higher Learning Commission says only institutions accredited as degree-granting authorities to offer such an online degree. System administration lacks such accreditation.

Rather than have the system go through the accreditation process, Cross plans to ask the regents Thursday to let a four-year campus administer the UW Colleges Online associate degree and allow him to pick the school.

This story has been updated to correct that system administration would oversee the UW Colleges Online degree program, not issue the degree, under the original plan, and that Cross' proposal calls for the four-year school to administer the program, not issue the degree.

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