U of Wis. to offer online flexible-degree program - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: U of Wis. to offer online flexible-degree program

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WESTON (WAOW) -

There could be a new way to earn your college degree.

Governor Walker stopped in Weston on Tuesday to announce a flexible-degree program from UW System students.

Under the proposed program, students could earn college credit for experience in the workplace and in life.

 

 

"It will give students a chance to work at their own pace, to take the time to do what they need to do," Gov. Walker said.

 

But, some educators want to ensure the curriculum is just as rigorous.

"You have to be careful. Competency based learning in different than a 15 week course where you have interaction with faculty and students," UW Marathon County Dean Keith Montgomery said.

 

"I know we need more degrees in this state, but they have to be UW degrees and you have to make sure that quality is maintained." Montgomery explains.

For employees at Ministry St. Claire's, the program is a welcomed addition.

"This will let employees stay and accomplish their degree while they're still working so we won't lose our skilled workers," Mary Krueger, Ministry St. Claire's President said.

But, before anything can happen, a big question remains. Where will the money come from?

"We don't know yet," UW-extensions Chancellor Ray Cross said.

But, program leaders say they're working on it.

"It's impossible to say lets fund this without funding the foundation that this provides."

Until then, educators said they'll work with the schools and the state to make the program a reality.

It is still too early to tell how much it will cost to earn a degree through the program. But, educators hope things are up and running by next year and classes could begin as early as the fall.

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Gov. Scott Walker and others have announced a flexible-degree program for University of Wisconsin System students. The program aims to give college credit for knowledge that students have gained from the workplace or other life experiences.

Walker on Tuesday said the program provides a new model for delivering higher education. He says it will help the state give students necessary skills gap at an affordable price.

The classes would be conducted online, allowing students to work at their own pace and giving working adults easier access to higher education.

The program is being led by UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross.


(Press Release received from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction)

State Superintendent Evers applauds UW Flexible Degree proposal

MADISON — State Superintendent Tony Evers issued the following statement today supporting the development of a UW Flexible Degree through the University of Wisconsin System.

"Today's economy requires skilled workers who have the knowledge and experience to be adaptable in an ever-changing environment. The UW Flexible Degree proposal will allow many Wisconsinites to pursue a college degree at their own pace, allowing them to demonstrate knowledge and competencies in order to move forward.
 "This proposal complements many of the initiatives we have in place for our PK-12 students, and we look forward to exploring ways that the UW Flexible Degree can work with our dual enrollment partnership with UW Colleges. Keeping students engaged in their own learning through access to college courses and credits will help them get a jump start to completing a degree and entering the workforce.
 "Increasing more affordable options for the young people in our state to obtain a college degree is a good thing. I look forward to working with Governor Walker, UW System President Reilly, and UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Cross on this and other efforts that sustain a PK-16 education system that will benefit Wisconsin for many years to come.

"This isn't just saying you worked here, here's the credit, it's knowledge based competency," Gov Walker assured educators.

But, they say the reputation of a UW degree needs to stay the same.

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