A new proposal could make it easier to get a University of Wisconsin degree. The program announced Tuesday by UW officials and Governor Scott Walker would allow students take competency-based exams for certain course work, turning work experience into college credits.
Governor Walker says many people in the workforce have an interest in advancing their education, but don’t have the time or money needed to make that happen. The equivalency program would allow them to turn that work experience into college credits, without having to devote a semester to a class.
UW officials say it’s particularly aimed at non-traditional students, such as parents who don’t have the time to drop out of the workforce to return to school.
UW System President Kevin Reilly says the program will build on existing efforts, such as online course work and transfer policies that have made it easier for students to move existing college credits from one UW campus to another. He says the new offering should help students dramatically reduce the cost of earning a UW education and complete their course work in a shorter time frame.
Officials plan to have some limited course offerings available this fall. The initial focus will be on degrees related to manufacturing, health care, and information technology. Although, Governor Walker says the frameworks will allow for constant expansion to other areas of study.
The program will build on existing online course materials available from UW campuses with most costs tied to the administrative and testing portions. UW officials say some start-up funding will be needed from the state, although the exact price tag is not yet known.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)