MILWAUKEE — University of Wisconsin System regents have been presented with two choices for working adults hoping to finish college degrees with the systems' new Flexible Option program.
The flexible degree program being introduced in the fall will allow students to earn college credit by demonstrating knowledge on tests. That knowledge may come from on-the-job training, military experience or coursework.
Under a proposal the UW Board of Regents discussed at its Thursday meeting, students would be able to learn as much as they could in three months for $2,250. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (http://bit.ly/13FxKTv ) it would likely include two to four classes, depending on how quickly students worked and passed the tests.
Assuming students completed three terms per year, the $6,750 cost would be comparable to undergraduate resident tuition at UW system four-year campuses, system officials said. The all-you-can-learn option would include access to financial aid, advising, tutoring and other support services.
The fee for the second option, an assessment for college credit, has not yet been set. It would not include financial aid or student services.
"The beauty of the program is it could cost them very little if they take the pretest and test out of coursework," said Ray Cross, chancellor of UW Colleges. "When they are admitted, they work with an admissions adviser to sort out the exact competencies where they may be deficient, and work only on those."
Wisconsin lags the national average in the portion of its residents with a college degree. Currently, 26 percent of Wisconsin adults have one, compared to 28 percent nationally. The flexible degree program is aimed at boosting that number and, in turn, improving the state economy.
The first Flexible Option degrees will be offered in areas where officials say skills are most needed: health care, information technology and business.
The program will start this fall at UW-Milwaukee and the two-year UW colleges. It will expand to other UW campuses over the next several years.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com