This graduate certificate program offers a unique opportunity for professionals interested in online student support in higher education. Prospective professionals venturing into today’s higher education environment would benefit from an understanding of teaching and learning and student support service theory, research, and effective practice. Successful professionals require many tools to educate, motivate, and support online students, as well as the wisdom to know when and how to apply those tools. This wisdom comes from a critical, reflective understanding of the research and theory behind teaching, learning, and student support. The 15-credit certificate program draws upon current coursework in Adult Education, Higher Education, Education Technology, and Distance Education.

Admission Requirements 

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to admission, and must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average. Applicants must also complete the reason statement in the application.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

Core (select from the following):6
Leadership Ethics in Multicultural Organizations
Decision Making in Multicultural Organizations
Resources for Self-directed Learning
Technologies for Online Student Support
Online Support Services in Adult, Continuing, and Higher Education
Introduction to Higher Education Administration
Independent Reading
Electives (select from the following):6
Principles and Foundations of Adult Education
Leadership in Multicultural Organizations
Introduction to College Student Personnel Administration
Human Development: Theory and Research
Introduction to Reference Services and Resources
Library Services and Resources for Adults
Practicum 1,23
Internship in Administrative Leadership
Total Credits15

NOTE: These credits should not be taken before completion of at least 9 credits of coursework.


This practicum would require students to complete an internship (a total of 150 hours) by enrolling in AD LDSP 750.

Descriptions of required and elective courses offered at UWM as part of the Certificate in Student Success Advising and Technology-Based Services in Higher Education can be found under the respective curricular areas (see below).

  • Administrative Leadership (Ad Ldsp)
  • Educational Psychology (Ed Psy)
  • Information Studies (Info St)

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. Courses will be considered for transfer into the certificate program only if the applicant can provide ample, acceptable evidence that the course taken is substantially the same as one of the five courses that constitute the certificate. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

  • 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
  • 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.