Student Course Options

Student Course Options

Course Options Introduction


The Wisconsin 2015-17 State Budget Bill, ACT 55, made changes to the Course Options statute (s. 118.52 Wis. Stats.). The Course Options Statute and its changes took effect upon passage of the bill and are in effect for the 2015-16 school year.

Course Options law allows a pupil enrolled in a public school district to take up to two courses at any time from an educational institution. Wisconsin Educational institutions are defined under the Course Options statute as:

A public school in a nonresident school district;
the University of Wisconsin System;
a technical college;
nonprofit institutions of higher education;
a tribal college;
a charter school; and
a nonprofit organization that has been approved by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Course Options webpage.

Two resources of particular note:

Frequently Asked Questions (in revision by DPI) (to hyperlink when available)

Comparison Between Course Options and Youth Options Comparison (August 28, 2015).

Wisconsin's Youth Options Programs

Wisconsin's youth options program allows public high school juniors and seniors who meet certain requirements to take post secondary courses at a UW institution, a Wisconsin technical college, one of the state's participating private nonprofit institutions of higher education, or tribal-controlled colleges. Approved courses count toward high school graduation and college credit.

The program opens the door to greater learning opportunities for motivated students considering a technical career, wishing to begin college early, or preparing themselves to enter the workforce immediately after high school graduation.

Under youth options, a student does not pay for a college course if the school board determines the course qualifies for high school credit and is not comparable to a course already offered in the school district. If approved by the school board, the student can receive both high school and college credit upon successful completion of the course. A student who successfully completes their high school graduation requirements earns a high school diploma regardless of whether the requirements were met while attending a high school or college.


The Youth Options Program is available to Wisconsin public school juniors and seniors who meet the following requirements: Have completed the 10th grade. To attend a technical college, are in good academic standing and have an acceptable disciplinary record. Apply to the postsecondary institution in the school semester prior to the one in which the student plans to attend the postsecondary course. No later than March 1 for a course to be taken in the fall semester or October 1 for a course to be taken in the spring semester, submit form PI-8700-A notifying the school board of the student's intention of enrolling in a postsecondary institution. Maintain satisfactory attendance and comply with the compulsory school attendance law under §118.15(1)(a), Wis. Stats.

Additional information regarding Youth Options information and documentation necessary to application forms to participate in the program.