In order to make college more accessible and affordable, as well as to boost the state’s economy, University of Wisconsin officials and Gov. Scott Walker announced a new program that will allow students to finish up postsecondary degrees in a self-paced, competency-based online initiative, according to this article in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Slated to be available this fall, the UW Flexible Degree will allow students to enroll in courses they can complete on their own schedule, making it easier for working adults to finish up their degrees. Students will also be able to earn credit for skills they have already mastered either on the job or in their previous academic pursuits, says the article.
To kick off the program, UW officials will determine which degrees and courses are in the most demand statewide. Although many adults in Wisconsin are currently looking for work, businesses are also struggling to find qualified workers to fill certain skilled positions. Those in-demand degree programs will be broken down into smaller chunks that students can complete on their own time, says the article.
Other details yet to be determined. Officials have not announced the program’s cost for students will cost or the level of demand for state funding, at time when almost $300 million has been cut from the UW budget. How students will prove competency in order to earn credits also needs to be hammered out, the article says.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.