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UW-Milwaukee becomes 1st 4-year system school to offer flexible degrees

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University of Wisconsin System
University of Wisconsin System

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - UW-Milwaukee will become the first four-year school in the university system to offer flexible degrees – and the two-year UW Colleges will provide general and liberal arts courses in the new format.

The concept was first announced a few weeks ago – and the first campuses to take part were announced Wednesday morning by the UW System.

The flexible degree program is designed to let non-traditional adults get credit for what they’ve learned in life – and to work at their own pace for whatever else they need to complete their degrees.

It’s one of several efforts by the UW to increase the percentage of Wisconsinites with college degrees. Currently, 26 percent of state adults have diplomas, 2 percent below the national average.

But Governor Walker said the new program is not intended to make the UW a, “degree factory.” He said the main goal is to give non-traditional learners another chance to complete degrees they started earlier, but never finished for some reason.

UW System President Kevin Reilly calls it a “new direction in American higher education,” and he says Wisconsin is at the forefront of it.

The UW has asked for $3 million in the new state budget to start up the program in 2013. Walker promised the money would be provided.

The new degree programs will be offered mainly online. The first ones will deal with some of the areas in which skilled workers are needed the most – like health care, business, and information technology. 

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