Two things initially attracted Jackie deWerff to Concordia University Wisconsin: the campus’ quality, Christian education program and the chance to play collegiate softball.

A new program launched last fall—a year into deWerff’s time at CUW—further solidified her decision to enroll.

The program, called Route 38, allows students at the traditional undergraduate level to customize their academic schedule and maximize their budget by paying the regular, full-time tuition rate for up to 38 academic credits across fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Students can leverage the opportunity, for example, by shifting some of their course load from the fall or spring semesters to the summer.

For deWerff, Route 38 meant that she was able to take 32 credits during the fall and spring 2017-18 semesters and didn’t have to pay extra for her six credits taken in person during the summer.

As a result, she’s on track to graduate early from Concordia. The Lake Country Lutheran High School alum also came into Concordia with some dual and AP credits under her belt.

“I was hoping to graduate in three years, but I wasn’t sure if I could,” deWerff said. “I was thinking I would have to take a summer class along the way and just pay extra for it, but Route 38 has allowed me to stick to my original schedule and budget.”

The program is geared toward nursing and education students because of the formats of each. In order to complete a nursing or education degree within four years at any university is challenging. Students are required to take some summer courses, and the programs are also heavy on internship/clinical experiences, which can be harder to complete during the fall or spring semesters.

As with deWerff, Route 38 also provides a convenient path toward early or on-time graduation. While students are allowed to take up to 18 credits a semester at the traditional tuition rate, the average student ends up taking closer to 15, which can put them off-course for a four-year graduation, says Robert Nowak, assistant vice president of enrollment.

“At Concordia, we value providing a high-quality educational experience that doesn’t place an undue financial burden on them,” Nowak said. “Route 38 has allowed students to stay on track or even ahead without getting overwhelmed or feeling like they had to give up certain activities that added to their Concordia experience.”

To learn more about Route 38, contact or 262-243-5700.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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