Tyler Coady earned his Information Science and Technology (IST) bachelor’s degree in only nine months. What made the UW Flexible Option so right for him? Here are three ways the unique format of UW Flexible Option fit Tyler’s life.
Online Education Meant No “Seat Time”
For many adult students who are balancing work, family, hobbies, or other priorities, a traditional, face-to-face college experience isn’t an option. With UW Flexible Option, the online format meant no commuting to campus and no sitting in class.
Tyler said, “At first, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to fit a degree into my life. My wife and I moved every year. But then I did some research and found UW Flexible Option and knew I could finally earn my degree online.”
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He Progressed at His Own Pace
The UW Flexible Option IST degree is offered through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. Tyler transferred into the school as an associate degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and was able to begin any month he chose without waiting for the next semester.
Tyler, who already had seven years of IT work experience, didn’t want to spend time or money sitting through lectures on topics he already knew. Through the self-paced, competency-based format of UW Flexible Option, he was able to leverage the knowledge he gained on-the-job to demonstrate mastery of many competencies without having to sit through entire classes or semesters re-learning the material.
UW Flexible Option students sign up for three-month subscription periods and can choose from a single competency set or an “All You Can Learn” option. Tyler chose the “All You Can Learn” option and earned 51 credits in nine months.
The day before Tyler started his courses, he began a new job as a network engineer at Baker Tilly, a top accounting and advisory firm. Since UW Flexible Option was designed for busy, working adults, the new job didn’t prevent him from getting started on his degree. In between designing and maintaining the IT infrastructure—servers, switchers, and routers—and planning the data center for a company with 2,700 employees, Tyler fit in his education.
“I cannot think of a better way for someone with a full-time job to complete coursework at their own pace than through UW Flexible Option.”
His Academic Success Coach Supported Him
“None of this would have been possible without the help of my Academic Success Coach, Danielle.”
For adult students, returning to college can be intimidating. Your Academic Success Coach is there to help motivate you, help you plan your course (known as competency sets) schedule, offer study tips, navigate the learning system, and more. They’ll also periodically check in just to see how you’re doing.
“Danielle was excellent at helping me plan my degree. She was always available when I sent her emails and was incredibly helpful in dealing with any issues that came my way.”
What’s Next for Tyler?
Tyler graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies with a Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology in July 2017. Earning his degree led Tyler to opportunities to advance his career in information technology at Baker Tilly.
“My bachelor’s degree in Information Science and Technology has opened the doors to software and web development projects I would have otherwise not qualified for.”
He was able to apply what he was learning right away at work. As a result his growing skills, Tyler was often selected to work on cross-functional projects.
“I’m already looking at master’s programs that will help me advance in my career to security engineer. I’m very happy with the UW Flexible Option experience. If UW Flexible Option had a graduate program, I would sign up today!”
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