The UW Flexible Option is an online, self directed, competency-based education format designed for busy adults – like you – who want the freedom and flexibility to complete a degree or certificate on their own terms. Curious how the UW Flexible Option can help you take control of your education? Let’s break it down!
Upon completion of your program, you will graduate with a respected, accredited degree or certificate from a University of Wisconsin campus—just like students who attend class on campus. These programs are created by UW faculty using the same rigorous standards as traditional programs.
Our programs are a style of learning called competency-based education – or ‘CBE’ – which focuses on demonstrating what you know and what you can do. You are assessed on your ability to demonstrate mastery over a particular topic or skill – not based on how much time it takes to you achieve that mastery.
In traditional education, you register for 15 week semesters and even if you know the material and want to go faster, or you feel you don’t quite grasp it and need extra time, you are stuck to the professor’s timeline. In CBE, you control the pace you move and it is entirely based on your ability to show you’ve mastered a topic. That’s where your prior experience comes in handy – if you already know something, you can demonstrate mastery on the assessments much quicker!
Choose to master one or several courses during a twelve-week subscription period. The pace you learn is completely up to you. You’ll progress through your program by demonstrating what you know through assessments—the tests, projects, and other activities used to measure your knowledge. Once complete, you move on to the next one.
There are no academic deadlines, and no groupwork. And, since there are no live log-on times required, you take the assessments to prove you’ve mastered the material when you’re ready! If you are really struggling with a concept, take the extra time you need to study it without the pressure of a looming exam deadline. If you already have the skills mastered because of your work experience, then jump right into the assessment.
New subscription periods—the period of time in which you complete your courses—begin every month. No need to wait for a ‘semester start.’ Our subscription periods last approximately 12 weeks, and you can enroll in as few or as many courses as you want in that period.
Have a lot of extra time? Maximize our flat rate tuition by taking 3, 4, 5 or more courses! The more courses you take, the lower your cost-per-course becomes.
Looking for a program that you can move through at a slower pace? Most UW Flexible Option programs offer a “single course” rate, where you’ll master just one course at a time.
Best of all, you can take breaks when you need. Since new subscription periods start every single month, you can take time off in between terms without having to wait an entire semester, or year, to get back in.
Even though you move through your UW Flexible Option program independently, you are not alone. When you begin, you’re paired with an Academic Success Coach who serves as your main go-to person as you move through the program. They’re your mentor, adviser, and general sounding board to help you earn your degree or certificate. Your coach will answer questions, offer advice, and connect you with any resources you may need.
Furthermore, you can expect to get to know your faculty. They are available for any academic questions you have about the content, and can help point you in the the right direction for academic resources. You can also access tutoring resources for your classes, and some UW Flexible Option programs have additional specialized support services like a writing coach.
The UW Flexible Option requires a lot of self-study, but you will be surrounded by faculty, staff, and resources to ensure you are best setup for success.
For more information about the program you’re interested in, contact an Enrollment Adviser by email or call 608-262-2011 to answer any remaining questions about the UW Flexible Option and see if it’s a good fit for you. During the application and admission process, your Enrollment Adviser will help you every step of the way.