The University of Wisconsin Flexible Option officially opened its admission process this week as prospective students began submitting applications for its new, self-paced, competency-based degree programs.
During a special press event celebrating the program’s milestone moment, UW System President Kevin Reilly highlighted the UW Flexible Option program’s goal of opening the door for more people to have access to higher education.
“UW Flexible Option is about making higher education available and accessible to a broader swath of the population at a time when it’s more needed than ever,” Reilly said. “It’s about offering the door of opportunity to more people, different people, people who may not have come knocking unless we provided this new pathway.”
“The Flex Option breaks down the traditional barriers of education and focuses on what individuals already know,” said UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross. “Essentially, if you know it, and can do it, and can prove it, then you can earn a UW degree.”
One of the highlights of the Flexible Option admission launch was provided by new Flex student, Aaron Apel. He became the first official applicant to the UW Flexible Option as he submitted his application live in front of UW administrators and the press. Apel, who works in the UW-Madison Registrar’s office, is a married father of three who often helps his wife with her business. He said he decided to go back to school to help advance his career, but he needed a program that would allow him to work at his own pace, on his own time, so he could continue to keep up with the current demands of his job and family.
“To finish my degree and progress my career, I need the flexibility the Flex Option provides to work at my own pace,” Apel said. “And it allows me to use what I’ve already learned from my job.”
The UW Flexible Option is designed to help students like Apel find a realistic way to earn their degrees from a distinguished and recognized public institution. In a state where only 39 percent of residents hold a college degree, the UW Flexible Option aims to increase the number of college graduates, close the skills gaps that have left so many open positions unfilled, and prepare qualified graduates to succeed in demanding fields. Students can receive degrees that include: Associate of Arts & Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN completion, Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences Diagnostic Imaging degree completion, Bachelor of Science in Information Science and Technology, as well as a Business and Technical Communications Certificate.
As participating degree programs gear up to offer competency sets in January 2014, Flexible Option Enrollment Advisers are eagerly working to help students apply and prepare to take the next big step in their lives.
“It’s time to open the door and let the future in,” Reilly said.
Be sure to check back every week for more posts about UW Flexible Option degree programs, as well as stories from our faculty and students.