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Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch

The Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch Program (WESL) is an 8-week online program that allows incoming first-year UW–Madison students to take courses and engage with fellow incoming students during the summer before their first fall semester.

Get an early start on building your Badger community with opportunities to connect with faculty, other students and campus resources. Students will learn more about the Wisconsin Experience and what it means to be a student at UW-Madison.

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Launch your UW–Madison academic career.
Experience college courses and earn five credits towards your degree, before the start of the fall semester.

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Participate online.
All coursework for the program will be online. You can complete them from home, or wherever you spend your summer.

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Build your Badger community.
Connect and engage with other incoming students, faculty, and staff. Dedicated seminar courses support your transition to college.

Program Details

Applications for WESL 2021 are closed.

Students will have an opportunity in their program application to indicate if they are interested in being considered for additional scholarships.

The program course dates fall between June 14 and August 6, 2021.

Over eight weeks in the summer, students will complete three online courses:

  • A 3-credit course which fulfills common requirements (June 14, 2021 – August 6, 2021) See Course Options tab for more information
  • A 1-credit seminar, How to Succeed in College,  focused on learning techniques (June 14, 2021 – July 9, 2021)
  • A 1-credit seminar, The Wisconsin Experience Seminar, to learn more about UW-Madison (July 12, 2021 – August 6, 2021)

The 1-credit seminars will be comprised of only incoming first-year students participating in Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch.  Together, the cohort will take the 1-credit course covering learning techniques for academic success and the 1-credit online Wisconsin Experience Seminar to learn about UW–Madison.

The courses included in this program are standard UW–Madison courses, and are taught at an accelerated pace for summer session. These courses will appear on students’ UW–Madison transcripts and their grades from these courses will be included in their GPA. Student’s participation in welcome Canvas components and engagement in their coursework is mandatory. Students can be withdrawn from their classes if they are not actively participating.

To be successful, students should plan to spend on average 20-25 hours each week on course work and will need to balance summer activities with the program.
Students will need to have access to a device that has microphone and video capabilities and will need access to the internet for the full 8-week program

Students will complete a comprehensive questionnaire to determine which 3-credit courses could be most appropriate for their academic goals. If they have additional questions not answered by the questionnaire they will be given the opportunity to request to connect with an advisor.

Below is the list of three credit course options for summer 2021. These popular, high-demand courses have been selected as appropriate for incoming students and fulfill common requirements. Program participants will enroll in general sections of these courses with other UW-Madison students.

  • Art 100: Introduction to Art*
  • Communication Arts 100: Introduction to Speech Composition
  • Counseling Psychology 225- Intersectionalities, Self-Awareness, and Social Actions for Change
    • (Course lecture is Asynchronous with synchronous weekly 50 minute discussion sections offered at various times)
  • Counseling Psychology 230: Race and the Developing Child
  • Educational Policy Studies 140: Introduction to Education
    • (Synchronous Course- Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
  • English 145: American Dreamers
  • Food Science 120: Science of Food
  • Gender & Women’s Studies 103: Gender, Women, Bodies, And Health
  • Genetics 133: Genetics in the News
  • Geoscience 140- Natural Hazards and Disasters
  • Human Development and Family Studies 174: Introduction into Cultural Diversity of Families
  • Inter-HE 201: Belonging, Purpose and the Ecology of Human Happiness: EcoYou
  • Journalism 162: Mass Media in Multicultural America
  • Kinesiology 150- Foundations of Health Behavior and Health Equity
    • “(Synchronous Course- Monday and Wednesday 2:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.)
  • Life Sciences Communication 251: Science, Media and Society
  • Nutritional Sciences 132: Nutrition Today
  • Philosophy 210: Reason in Communication**
  • Plant Pathology 123: Plants, Parasites, and People
  • Psychology 202: Introduction to Psychology
  • Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education 100: Disability and Society
  • Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education 125: Health and Rehabilitation Professions

This list is subject to change

*Art 100- If a student is interested in pursuing an art major it is not recommended that they take this course.

** Philosophy 210- All students interested in taking this course must have completed their math placement exam by April 16, 2021. Students must place higher than math 96 on their placement exam to be eligible for Philosophy 210. All students who apply after April 16th will not be considered for this course. Get more information regarding placement tests.

Most courses will be offered asynchronously so students can complete their work on their own time, following the pace set by the instructor and syllabus. If a course is offered synchronously, course dates and times will be noted.

Domestic students who have accepted an offer of admission to UW–Madison for fall 2021 are eligible to participate. Students who are eligible for other early start programs at UW–Madison can contact WIExpSummerLaunch@wisc.edu to verify whether they are eligible for Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch.

Students must complete high school prior to the start of the program on June 14, 2021 to be eligible to participate in WESL. Students will be required to submit their final high school transcript to Admissions before June 8, 2021 or they may not be able to participate in the program. If your final high school transcript is not ready by the June 8th deadline Admissions will request proof of graduation and successful progress in course work be provided from a school official prior to the first day of the term.

Summer 2021 Program Costs:

  • Wisconsin Resident: $2,552.57
  • Minnesota Reciprocity: $3,395.22*
  • Nonresident: $8,362.52

Costs are subject to minor changes as final tuition, fee, and other cost information is released in late spring 2021.

Summer Tuition for WESL students will be due on June 18, 2021. If a student needs to drop or withdraw from the program for any reason, contact the program as soon as possible.

Scholarships:

Students who apply by the May 1 deadline can also choose to be considered for additional scholarships awarded based on financial need. Students can indicate on their program application that they want to be considered for these additional scholarships. To be eligible for these awards, students must have a 2021-22 FAFSA on file with UW–Madison. Students will be notified in their participation letter whether they have been awarded a scholarship.

Some students may be eligible to receive additional aid through the Office of Student Financial Aid. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid  to discuss options outside the program scholarships.

*Minnesota students must be approved for reciprocity for the Summer term to pay at the Minnesota rate. Since Summer is the last term of the academic year, students must submit a reciprocity application for the academic year prior to their Fall enrollment. For example, if you applied to start as a Freshman in Fall 2021 and you want to enroll in Summer 2021 courses, you will need to apply for reciprocity for the 2020-2021 academic year – even if you have already completed a Minnesota Reciprocity application for the 2021-2022 academic year. You can apply for Minnesota Reciprocity here.

Is Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) included in Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch?

  • No, students will register for and attend SOAR whenever works best for them. More information is available on the SOAR website.

Is placement testing included in Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch?

  • Placement testing is not included in the program program but we encourage WESL participants to complete their placement testing as soon as possible in case test results are needed for your placement into your WESL 3 credit course. For information about placement testing, please see the Testing and Evaluation Services website.

Can I take another class during Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch?

  • It is not recommended for students to enroll in additional courses. Five credits is a substantial amount of work, and online courses require a high degree of independent time management.

Can I participate in more than one early start program throughout the summer?

  • We appreciate your enthusiasm to get your Wisconsin Experience started, but we encourage you to pick one early start program to focus your time on.

How much time should I plan on spending on my classes?

  • To be successful, students should plan to spend on average 20-25 hours each week on course work and will need to balance summer activities with the program.

Are all classes for credit?

  • Yes, WESL students will be enrolled in one 3 credit course and two 1-credit seminars. These courses will appear on your UW–Madison transcript and your final grades from these courses will impact your GPA.

Are Minnesota students eligible for reciprocity tuition rates during the Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch?

  • Minnesota students must be approved for reciprocity for the Summer term to pay at the Minnesota rate. Since Summer is the last term of the academic year, students must submit a reciprocity application for the academic year prior to their Fall enrollment. For example, if you applied to start as a Freshman in Fall 2021 and you want to enroll in Summer 2021 courses, you will need to apply for reciprocity for the 2020-2021 academic year – even if you have already completed a Minnesota Reciprocity application for the 2021-2022 academic year. You can apply for Minnesota Reciprocity here.

Your Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch Path to Fall 2021

 

Contact

If you have additional questions about the program, please contact us at WIExpSummerLaunch@wisc.edu.

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