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Friday, October 31, 2014

UW System offers flexible degree option

Published December 13th, 2012

The UW System is now offering the option of a flexible degree to students. A flexible degree means that students who cannot physically come to campus can take their courses online in order to earn their college degree. This initiative was  put in motion by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in June of 2012.

The plan of flexible degree has a set up that is based on competency, which means that students start one topic, and when they have mastered the material, they move on to the next topic. The plan also includes traditional classroom learning. Currently, no other colleges have a set up of competency learning.

More than one fifth of adult students in the UW System are estimated to have attended college, but not obtain a degree. With a flexible degree the UW System gives those individuals the opportunity to get their degree online.

As a result of people not having a degree, employers in certain fields are not hiring because the potential employees do not have the accreditations they need in order to succeed at their jobs.

Meeting in a classroom and having tight deadlines for homework and tests can be stressful for students. The students may not be able to keep up with their fellow classmates or their professors.

Online learning allows adult students to get a college degree in the field of their choice because they gain the knowledge they need.

This education plan can allow students to work on their courses at their own pace in order to earn the credits they need for their degree. As a result of not having to come to campus, students can keep their schedules and not have to worry about missing classes.

However, because obtaining a flexible degree means  completing online learning, or what could be considered an online classroom, students still need to complete their course work on time and earn grades.

This could be a drawback to online learning as opposed to meeting with a professor in a classroom. But as long as students keep up on the course work, they can go to school and still be able to work and because they do not have to accommodate time for meeting in a classroom.

Approximately 181,000 students in the system are taught by about 32,000 faculty members across the UW System. A flexible degree is also cheaper for students, staff, and faculty than in-person classes. This program can help accommodate professors’ schedules as well; they are able to teach wherever they are.

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