Competency-Based Information Science and Technology Degree Delivering ROI for Student

Hard work and commitment are two qualities that have served Craig Kilgo well. Now, this aspiring college graduate is leaning on them more than ever as he completes his degree through a competency-

"Flex is one option that helps make a degree reasonable, especially if you go with the ‘all-you-can-learn’ model. The more you work, the more you get. You’re paying for what you need, nothing more."  Craig Kilgo, UW Flexible Option Student

“Flex is one option that helps make a degree reasonable, especially if you go with the ‘all-you-can-learn’ model. The more you work, the more you get. You’re paying for what you need, nothing more.” — Craig Kilgo, UW Flexible Option Student

based University of Wisconsin Flexible Option program.

“Flex is about work ethic,” says Kilgo. “This was exactly the program I needed, and I decided it was important to take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible.”

Kilgo’s journey to his degree began in Chattanooga, Tennessee as a member of the 2002 Junior National Rowing Team in high school. His talents landed him at Cornell, but the high cost of an Ivy League education soon took a toll. Not willing to walk away, Kilgo took a job as a student assistant in a Cornell-run research institute to help with expenses.

“As time went on, I found myself transitioning from being a student worker to a full-time Cornell employee,” Kilgo says. “I decided I wanted to get out of upstate New York, so I moved to Washington, D.C., and entered the workforce full time. Things were going well, so I didn’t think too much about the fact that I hadn’t completed my college degree.”Read more…

Why One Busy Nurse Chose the UW Flexible Option’s RN to BSN Program

“I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on the job. That’s valuable because Flex lets you earn credit for what you know. ” – Carla Lundeen, UW Flexible Option BSN Student

Self-motivation, organization, and a little flexibility can go a long way when it comes to earning your degree. Carla Lundeen knows this firsthand. As someone who is driven and organized, she was searching for that flexibility ingredient before heading back to school. Thanks to the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option’s RN to BSN program, Lundeen is now well on her way to completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“I started in February and my goal is to finish in 15 months,” Lundeen says. “So summer of 2015.” Read more…

Competency-Based Education Proving the Right Fit for Aspiring Working Adult


“The flexibility of this program helps tremendously.” — Norman Ramdohr, UW Flexible Option student

Norman Ramdohr wants to be in the driver’s seat of his future. After years of fine-tuning vehicles for others, the Audi technician says he’s ready to make a change and put his skills to use at a more advanced level. Now, he’s using the competency-based education offered by the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option to jump-start the future he wants.

“I have more to give,” Ramdohr says. “So often these days, you really need to have something to show as far as a degree is concerned. It’s not just enough to have skills. Going back to school was about combining my love of learning and wanting to do more with my abilities.”

Ramdohr, who received a degree in automotive technology from Wyo Tech (in Wyoming), started the online associate degree program through Flex in February with hopes of completing in early 2016. While Ramdohr considered several education programs over the years, funding and flexibility often became an issue.Read more…

Competency-Based Education: What It Is, How It’s Different, and Why It Matters to You

skillsEveryone is talking about competency-based education, and for good reason. New competency-based programs such as the UW Flexible Option have the potential to revolutionize higher education by personalizing student learning and making it possible for millions of adults to at last earn a college degree while balancing work and family.

But what is competency-based education, and how is it different from the traditional model? Most importantly, what does it mean to you?Read more…

“Fleet and Flexible”: UW’s Competency-based Degrees Help Working Adults Get Ahead

fleet and flexible

UW Flexible Option degree programs, the University of Wisconsin’s acclaimed entry into competency-based education, are back in the news—this time in a
feature article at
, the online news site of In Business magazine, south-central Wisconsin’s leading business publication.

The article points out the well-documented lifetime financial advantage of a bachelor’s degree and the challenge of earning one later in life as a working adult. The author sums up how this innovative, online, competency-based degree program helps adult learners overcome this challenge and meet their goals.

First of all, students learn at their own pace, and they aren’t limited in the number of credits they can earn during a given subscription period. For a flat tuition fee of $2,250, students sign up for a three-month subscription, and during that time they can advance through the program as quickly (or slowly) as they like—and they can do their coursework whenever they want to. That creates not only a high degree of flexibility for students who need to create a work-life balance, but also a greater degree of efficiency for students who are prepared to “show what they know.”Read more…

What’s the Key to Success in Competency-based Education? Ask a UW Flex Academic Success Coach to Find Out.

Mentor, coach, key navigator, academic adviser, all-around “go-to” person — in the new University of Wisconsin Flexible Option competency-based degree programs, this person is known as the Academic Success Coach (ASC). ASCs are assigned to every student admitted to the UW Flexible Option. They’re at the center of a support system designed to help students earn the degree they need to move ahead in their careers.

Competency-based academic success coaches

Mike Exum, Kristin Hoffmann, and Nadia Kaminski — UW Flexible Option Academic Success Coaches

So, just what are ASCs, what is their role in UW Flex, and most importantly, how do they help students? Our staff sat down with UW Flex ASCs Nadia Kaminski, Kristin Hoffmann and Mike Exum to find out.Read more…