Ford, Cross talk flexible degrees on “Ed. Matters”
The University of Wisconsin System's proposed flexible degree program has generated considerable excitement statewide. The possibility of students being able to complete their degrees online, especially working adults with some college credits, has educators and potential students buzzing.
During a recent appearance on WGTD-FM's "Education Matters" program with host Dwayne Olsen and UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford, UW Extension and UW Colleges Chancellor Ray Cross said the UW System is working to take traditional degrees and re-format them into competency-based, self-paced degrees.
"So...the content is identical in terms of what a [tradition and online] student is expected to know; what they are expected to do," something Cross called levels of proficiency. "Once those are established, the question then is: how do you prepare students to best be successful with those competencies in an assessment or evaluation model?"
Chancellor Ford said UW-Parkside faculty and administration are exploring the flexible degree program to determine how it can be used to meet the needs of Wisconsin students.
"This is new territory," Ford told Olsen and his listeners. "As we look at the future of higher education and we look at the needs of students--particularly adult learners--we think is an option worth exploring."
UW-Parkside currently offers three consortial online degrees: sustainable management, a master of business administration, and coming this fall a health information management and technology degree. And Ford said faculty wants to know more about the subject.
"Our faculty is interested in learning how to develop and deliver courses online," Ford stated. "Our commitment is that they have the right tools and that we are delivering our online programs with the same quality as we deliver our other programs."
During the program, Chancellor Cross strongly agreed with President Kevin Reilly that the UW System has "...a moral obligation to do everything we can to serve the public and bring the resources of the university to" serve potential adult and traditional students through online degree programs.
The entire "Education Matters" program with Chancellors Ford and Cross is now available online.