Special Programs and Centers




University of Wisconsin- La Crosse Alumni Association

Cleary Alumni & Friends Center: Toll free 877-UWL-ALUM


The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Alumni Association builds relationships with alumni, students and the university. These lifelong relationships are the foundation of our program.

When you graduate, you will join more than 56,000 alums, living in 59 different countries that have earned degrees from UW-L. One of the easiest ways to stay connected to the university is through the UW-L Alumni Association. The Alumni Association organizes events all over the world to bring alumni together. Our goal is to connect alumni to the university and to each other. Any graduate, former student, faculty and friend of the university is eligible to join.

The UW-L Alumni Association For you. For La Crosse. For a lifetime.

Educational Liaison Units Within the University

Office of Continuing Education and Extension (CEE)

205 Morris Hall, (608) 785-6500



CEE works with faculty and departments to extend the instructional, research and public service resources of UW-L to individuals and organizations in western Wisconsin communities and in other parts of the state. Some programs attract national and international audiences.

Graduate and undergraduate credit courses are offered off-campus for part-time students, primarily PK-12 educators and health and human service professionals. Some courses are offered in partnership with area school districts or the Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA) #4. Distance learning technologies are used for selected audiences.

CEE also administers the Master of Education – Professional Development (MEPD) Learning Community program in partnership with the educational studies department.

Conferences, workshops and other non-credit instructional programs are conducted for selected professional audiences, as well as for the general public. The Learning in Retirement programs are offered specifically for older adults. Continuing education units (CEUs), or health education continuing education contact hours (CECHs) are awarded when appropriate.

Science, humanities, and arts enrichment classes also are offered for upper elementary, middle and high school students.

Credit outreach courses and most non-credit instructional programs are offered in partnership with UW-Extension.

CEE staff work with faculty and off-campus individuals to host conferences and annual meetings of professional associations and other organizations.

Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC)

Archaeology Center & Laboratories Building, (608) 785-8463


MVAC is an archaeological research, preservation, and public education organization that conducts excavations, surveys, curates collections, presents programs and speakers, and works with archaeologists in the sociology/ archaeology department to provide opportunities for student participation in archaeological research. MVAC has its administrative offices in the Archaeology Center and Laboratories Building. This facility also is used to train students in archaeological methods. The Center also provides archaeological and historical consulting services for developers and governmental agencies. Field studies are conducted annually to learn about the prehistoric and early historic cultures of the upper Mississippi River. The MVAC Web site contains much information on the archaeology of the upper Mississippi River.

Summer Programs at Pigeon Lake Field Station

The University of Wisconsin System sponsors summer programs at Pigeon Lake Field Station near Drummond, WI. Appropriate course work successfully completed at Pigeon Lake is credited as resident study by the university.

Pigeon Lake Field Station is a natural laboratory in the heart of the Chequamegon National Forest. Sixteen rustic cabins (each accommodating eight students), a dining hall, recreation hall, and three classroom/ laboratory buildings are situated near the lake's 1,400-foot shoreline. Excellent facilities are available for boating, swimming and fishing.

Graduate and undergraduate courses are publicized in the early spring. For further details, contact the Dean of the College of Science and Health.


20 Cowley Hall, (608) 785-8669


The planetarium has served the university, area schools, private groups, and the general public since 1965. Several thousand people attend presentations at the planetarium each school year. Bright stars and major constellations are pointed out in the simulated sky at public programs on Monday evenings. Each program also includes a multi-media presentation on various subjects in astronomy and space science. A music, light and laser show, “Album Encounters,” features rock artists on Thursday evenings. For information on current programs, call 785-8669, or check the Web site.

The River Studies Center

4034 Cowley Hall, (608) 785-8261


The Center, created in 1972, is a non-curricular unit established to focus on research and informational programs pertinent to the Upper Mississippi River and its related resources. During the past 30 years, the Center has expanded its research program to other aquatic resources, including rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands across Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest, and the nation. The Center has extensive interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships with several state and federal agencies and with other universities, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the National Park Service, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Faculty affiliated with the Center are highly competitive and successful in securing financial support for sustained aquatic environmental research. Scholarly investigations by the Center have provided research opportunities to nearly 100 graduate students and more than 250 undergraduates. The research of Center faculty addresses resource issues and environmental pollutants and contaminants that have caused widespread degradation of our aquatic resources.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

120 Wimberly Hall, (608) 785-8782


The SBDC helps owners start and grow their business through research, on-site programs, advising and educational programming. The SBDC is located in 120 Wimberly Hall.

As one of Wisconsin's Small Business Development Centers, the SBDC uses a variety of resources to help business managers solve their management challenges. It provides clients with information and guidance in starting, maintaining and expanding a small business. Funding from the Small Business Administration supports no-cost advising services.

Case studies are sometimes conducted by advanced students under faculty supervision. There also are internship and independent study opportunities.

In partnership with UW-Extension, the SBDC provides non-credit continuing education programs for business people in the region. Topics include marketing, sales, new product development, finance, business plans, and other small business concerns. The Supervisory Management Certificate Program provides practical training for both new and experienced managers. In addition, the SBDC provides speakers, programs and trainers to individual firms and groups.

Some research, such as feasibility and impact studies, is conducted for area businesses. Other research includes regional economic indicators, demographic forecasts, and market research.

The La Crosse Exercise and Health Program

221 Mitchell Hall, (608) 785-8683


The program is comprised mainly of two community service units: Adult Fitness and Cardiac Rehabilitation. The Adult Fitness unit provides on-campus exercise programs for apparently healthy adults, while the Cardiac Rehabilitation program provides similar services to individuals with known cardiovascular disease. Both programs are staffed by students in the Clinical Exercise Physiology graduate program and volunteers from the undergraduate ESS-Fitness emphasis. UWL faculty and staff work in close cooperation with area medical facilities to ensure that programs are conducted according to the latest medical guidelines. In addition to exercise programming, participants in both programs are provided with a wide range of health and nutrition information. Other functions of the La Crosse Exercise and Health Program include providing workshops on cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation, and exercise physiology, as well as conducting exercise-based research.

The La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium, INC.

Health Science Center, (608) 785-5150


The La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium (LMHSC) is an alliance of two comprehensive medical centers and three higher education institutions: Franciscan Skemp Healthcare/Mayo Health System and Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center; and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College (WTC). The five partners formed the consortium in 1993 to address workforce issues; they incorporated as an independent 501(c) 3 a year later because pooling their resources achieved more than any one of them could do independently. Today, the collaboration is not only focused on creating a skilled healthcare workforce, but also on facilitating improvements in regional health and healthcare and supporting applied research in health and medically-related disciplines. It serves a multi-county area in Western Wisconsin, Northeastern Iowa, and Southeastern Minnesota.

The Consortium has had four major accomplishments during its short history:

  1. The Health Science Center, its first legacy project.
  2. A regional telehealth network.
  3. Collaboration to address health care workforce shortages.
  4. A research institute, its newest legacy project.

The $27.1 million Health Science Center (HSC) opened in 2000. It was funded from four primary sources: $13.7 million from WISTAR-Wisconsin Initiative for State Technology and Applied Research (through UW-L), $8 million in regional and national grants and charitable gifts (through all five partners), $3.65 million in local tax dollars (through a WTC-led referendum), and $1.75 million for the building site and equipment (through WTC). The HSC is located between the UW-L and WTC campuses.

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