Education
4:33 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

UW System Among Those Piloting New Options for Working Students

President Obama made brief mention of Wisconsin Thursday, while speaking to students at the University of Buffalo. He outlined ways states are working to hold down the cost of higher education.

Students would study at their own pace

“Southern New Hampshire University gives course credit based on how well students master the material, not just on how many hours they spend in the classroom. So the idea would be, if you’re learning the material faster, you can finish faster, which means you pay less and you save money. The University of Wisconsin is getting ready to do the same thing,” the President said.

The President was referring to the U-W Flex Option. UW-Milwaukee and the system’s colleges will rollout the program late this year. It will award credits to students who prove they’ve mastered competencies.

UWM Provost Johannes Britz says higher education is evolving to meet the needs of the marketplace. Many employers want workers with degrees, while quite a few people in Wisconsin have college credits but no degree.

Britz says working adults often don't have the time or money to add classes to their lives, so educators are designing less expensive models that work around the student's schedule and allow the individual to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired.