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Wisconsin DSPS Partners with State’s Private Colleges and Universities

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) today announced a collaborative effort to streamline the professional licensing of students graduating from health care programs at WAICU institutions, helping them into the workforce as quickly as possible.

“WAICU institutions graduate 24 percent of all the bachelor’s degrees in the state and 34 percent of all the advanced degrees. Nearly 30 programs offered at WAICU institutions require a professional license credential from the Department of Safety and Professional Services,” WAICU President Dr. Eric Fulcomer explained. “This new collaboration will allow us to better serve our students and the businesses that employ our students.”

During the announcement at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin DSPS Secretary-designee Dan Hereth pointed out this is just the latest step to bring more efficiency to the licensing process in Wisconsin.

“We switched to our online licensing platform, LicensE, roughly a year-and-a-half ago. Plus, the Governor allocated to us temporary federal relief funding, allowing us to hire more staff. As a result, we’ve reduced our time for reviewing application materials from several weeks to two to three days,” Hereth explained. “We’re now looking for opportunities and partnerships that further refine processes and can move Wisconsin from a leading state to THE leading state in licensing, giving Wisconsin an edge in the competition to retain talent trained in Wisconsin.”

The collaboration between DSPS and WAICU involves the LicensE Educator Access Portal (LEAP), Through LEAP, WAICU colleges will receive limited access to DSPS’s LicensE system. With that access, college and university staff will be able to monitor their respective students’ progress through the license application process and help guide any students having challenges.

LEAP will also allow participating colleges and universities to electronically notify DSPS when a student meets graduation requirements, as opposed to the previous process of manually uploading a statement of graduation for each individual license application.

“The common goal is clear: to guide, support, and empower students, ensuring they swiftly transition from academia to the professional realm,” said St. Norbert College President Dr. Laurie Joyner. “In the fast-paced landscape of education and workforce demands, time is of the essence. The partnership we celebrate today is a testament to the understanding that by working together, we can streamline processes and expedite the licensing journey for our students. By doing so, we are not only investing in individual success stories but contributing to the collective prosperity of the state.”

“Some of the students just need more guidance, and (before) we couldn’t help them,” said Heidi Monroe, Associate Professor of Nursing and NCLEX-RN Coordinator at Bellin College. “So, having more involvement and more access (to LicensE) just allows us to be able to guide them.”

Wisconsin DSPS announced a similar collaboration with the Universities of Wisconsin last month to offer LEAP to programs training health care students at the Universities’ 13 campuses. The department is also working towards an agreement to offer LEAP to programs in the Wisconsin Technical College System.