Registered nurses in Illinois now have a more flexible option to meet the growing demand for nurses with bachelor’s degrees. The University of Wisconsin Flexible Option has begun to admit registered nurses licensed in Illinois to its competency-based education program. The format enables busy registered nurses to save time and money by applying the knowledge and experience they already have. [Read more…] about The UW Flexible Option Opens Admissions to Registered Nurses in Illinois
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As a next step for one of the University of Wisconsin System’s most innovative programs, on June 10 the UW System Board of Regents approved giving UW-Extension authority to implement an online, competency-based Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree. The Regents approved a revised mission statement for UW-Extension in December 2015, giving UW-Extension authority to serve the professional development needs of working adults within and outside of the state in the area of business and management.
The baccalaureate degree program – the first to be developed and offered directly by UW-Extension – will be part of its groundbreaking UW Flexible Option program.
New program addresses the growing demand for certified substance abuse counselors in Wisconsin
Substance abuse counseling is a field in high demand. The need for substance abuse counselors has increased rapidly in recent years, driven largely by requirements for substance abuse treatment in Affordable Care Act-compliant insurance policies.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth in the substance abuse counseling field to grow 31 percent through 2022—much faster than the average rate for all occupations. However, the supply of certified professionals isn’t keeping pace, and traditional educational programs can last up to two years—too long to address today’s growing need.
As competency-based education gains favor with educators and adult learners, many fields of study not typically associated with the approach are embracing it.
So says U.S. News & World Report in its November 24 article that features the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Imaging program.
The article, titled “Competency-Based Online Programs Address Needs in New Industries,” looks at a handful of online programs that are bringing competency-based learning to a variety of disciplines from health care to specialized engineering fields.
By Lisa A. Eramo
Supply and demand. In the business world, this is a fundamental concept and the backbone of a market economy. Ideally, supply increases commensurate with demand, creating a stable equilibrium. In other words, as demand for “widget A” increases, businesses produce more of “widget A” to keep consumers happy. This relationship continues as long as consumers continue to demand and purchase “widget A.”
In the world of education, however, this isn’t always the case. With the rising cost of obtaining a college degree, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the demand for college-credentialed individuals in the workforce is quickly surpassing the supply. In simplistic terms, employers want college-educated employees, but it seems as though there just aren’t enough of them to go around.
On March 2, WisconsinEye’s Newsmakers segment featured an interview with two prominent figures in University of Wisconsin continuing education:
- Aaron Brower, provost and vice chancellor of UW-Extension
- Jeffrey Russell, dean of Continuing Studies at UW-Madison
In the interview, Steve Walters, a senior producer at WisconsinEye, discussed the purpose and goals of the continuing education programs offered by UW-Extension and UW-Madison as well as how they will fare with the recently proposed state budget cuts. [Read more…] about UW-Extension Provost Says Competency-Based Learning Supports Wisconsin Idea
Janet Boomer is looking to reinvent herself.
The lead computed tomography (CT) technologist at a satellite hospital within a large hospital system, Janet aims to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option Diagnostic Imaging program offered by UW-Milwaukee in the spring of 2017.
“I graduated from the X-ray program back in 1994 and I still have a lot to offer,” said Janet, who lives and works in Michigan. “My goal is to get to grad school—I want to become a physician’s assistant.”
Editor’s note: For returning adult learners, a major benefit of the competency-based UW Flexible Option is the ability to accelerate progress using existing knowledge. Flex student Dan Fitch is an exceptional case. Having completed a whopping 33 credits in a single three-month subscription period, he saved an estimated $7,500 in tuition and 9 months’ time (compared to traditional programs) in just his first subscription period alone. This is his story.
When Dan Fitch took a temp job with the Wisconsin Legislature in 1998, he thought it would be just that: temporary. Now, 16 years later, Fitch, a software developer, has worked his way through the ranks from a general software administrator to a senior programmer. He handles everything from creating websites with custom developments to apps for various departments around the legislature. While the lack of a college degree hasn’t held Fitch back, he says it’s time to take that next step, earn his degree, and broaden the opportunities to use his talents.
Everyone 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…] about Competency-Based Education: What It Is, How It’s Different, and Why It Matters to You
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.