More than 50 years ago, the State of Wisconsin called for the establishment of open-admission educational programs in primarily rural areas to serve students who, for a variety of reasons, could not or did not want to go "away" to school. Out of this movement came the University of Wisconsin Centers, renamed the University of Wisconsin Colleges in 1998. While the number and organization of the two-year UW Colleges has changed during the past 50 years, their mission to be teaching, research and public service campuses has remained.
Today, the UW Colleges, an institution of the University of Wisconsin System, consists of 13 two-year liberal arts transfer campuses located throughout Wisconsin. Collectively, the 13 campuses enroll more than 12,000 students, with UW-Rock County enrolling more than 1,000 students each semester. Students at our campuses reap the benefits of a small liberal arts college and the standards of excellence identified with the University of Wisconsin. After beginning their studies at UW-Rock County, students transfer to other UW System institutions as well as to colleges and universities throughout the country to complete their bachelor's degrees. In fact, once a student has met transfer requirements, transfer throughout the UW System is guaranteed!
The UW Colleges is the perfect example of community collaboration. The campuses are owned by local governments, i.e. counties or cities where they are located, while the personnel and operating budgets are provided by the State of Wisconsin. The campuses are intellectual, social and cultural resources for the communities they serve.