UW-Platteville Online earns 2013 Award for Excellence

Media Contacts
Karen Adams | Marketing Director || 608-342-1984
Thomas Jensen| Communications Specialist | | 608-342-1468

Platteville, Wis., July 3, 2013 – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Distance Learning Center (DLC) and its staff have received the University of Wisconsin System’s highest recognition. The UW System Board of Regents presented its Academic Staff Award for Excellence to the DLC on Thursday, July 11. The award includes $5,000.

“As we celebrate 35 years of providing rigorous programs, flexible completion schedules and service to non-traditional students, I commend the staff of the DLC for their hard work and dedication,” said Dennis Shields, chancellor of UW-Platteville. “Their efforts allow students the opportunity to pursue and attain career opportunities that ultimately strengthen our local, regional, state, national and global economy.”

UW-Platteville Online focuses on creating online degree programs and services flexible enough to match the needs of non-traditional students, mostly working adults with families. The results: a retention rate that is substantially higher than the national average. In addition, its programs and students have been recognized nationally and internationally for outstanding achievement. (Please see sidebar below.)

“Among our accolades, this might be the most rewarding because it comes straight from our peers and partners,” said Dawn Drake, executive director of Alternate Delivery Systems for UW-Platteville. “The contributions and recognition distance education have brought to UW-Platteville in the past 35 years are a fraction of what the future may bring.”

More than 1,200 students have graduated from UW-Platteville Distance Education programs. The Distance Learning Center has served students from all 72 counties in Wisconsin, all 50 states, and 42 countries. Interest in the online programs has boomed. In 2000-01, it logged 185 course registrations; in 2012-13, there were 3,400. And its online, “one-stop shop” approach to meet the needs of online students serves as a model throughout the nation. Students can apply for admission and financial aid, register and pay for classes, order textbooks, access library resources, receive grades, and more, all online.

“We’ll continue to draw on our past, be innovative in the present, and provide visionary leadership as distance education continues to evolve,” Drake said.

Perhaps the most notable accomplishment, according to Drake, is that all of the Distance Learning Center’s development and growth has come without state funding. The cost-recovery unit’s programs were started with grants and the understanding that they would become self-sufficient. Today, it not only covers its own costs, but provides funding for campus initiatives.

For specific information regarding UW-Platteville’s online degree programs, visit, call (608) 342-1468, or email

About University of Wisconsin-Platteville Online 
UW-Platteville, a pioneer in distance education for 35 years, provides eight degrees entirely online: master’s degrees in organizational change leadership, project management, criminal justice, engineering, distance education leadership and integrated supply chain management along with bachelor’s degrees in business administration and criminal justice. Among its many accolades, the university has been named Best School for Online Education three years running by Corporate Magazine. For more information, visit

Dawn Drake (left center), executive director of Alternative Learning Systems for University of Wisconsin-Platteville receives the UW System Board of Regents Academic Staff Award for Excellence from Regents member Tracy Hribar on behalf of UW-Platteville’s Distance Learning Center (DLC). Also pictured from the DLC (left to right): Dan Avenarius, director of the DLC; Christine Hawkinson, communications manager; Amy Griswold, advising manager; Karen Adams, corporate marketing manager, and Michelle Zasada, student services manager. 

The Distance Learning Center has been recognized by:

  • – with five programs designated a Best Buy; indicating high quality degrees offered to a national audience with tuition and fees below the national average (five years)
  • G.I. Jobs Magazine and Military Advanced Education Magazine as military-friendly (three years)
  • Corporate Report Wisconsin – as the Best School for Online Education (three years)
  • Project Management Institute® – with Global Accreditation. The project management program was accredited in 2008, and is one of fewer than 25 accredited programs worldwide. Several students in the project management program have won awards from Project Management Institute®, including the prestigious Kerzner Award.
  • Twelve distance education students have been recognized with the Lifetime Pioneer Award.