Flex Option Certificate Programs Announced
In a presentation to the Board of Regents meeting in Madison Friday, Dec. 6, UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross announced that UW-Parkside and three other UW institutions have committed to offering certificate programs in the new Flex Degree Option.
UW-Parkside faculty members are developing two new certificate programs - one in sales and another focused on global skills. The campus has plans to develop four additional Flex Option certificate programs - leadership; project management; professional writing; and public relations.
Although start dates were not announced, UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford said the university is firmly committed to the Flex Option. It is central to our mission to be responsive to the needs of our region, Ford said. We are eager to advance our participation in the Flex Degree Option and create new pathways for those who see the University of Wisconsin as a key element in their long-term success.
The UW Flex Option is an innovative way to make UW degree and certificate programs more convenient and affordable for adult and nontraditional students. In this self-paced, competency-based model, students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they know, whether that knowledge was gained through prior course work, military training, on-the-job training, or other learning experiences.
The UW-Parkside certificates address areas of expertise and learning that align with the needs of southeastern Wisconsin. According to a recent study, 82 percent of all marketing majors and 60 percent of all business school graduates are headed for a sales-related job. UW-Parkside's current sales certificate program is one of only two programs accredited in the state of Wisconsin by the University Sales Education Foundation, and one of just 55 programs nationwide.
Employers have come to us seeking information on our sales certificate program, said UW-Parkside Provost Fred Ebeid. The Flex Option directly aligns with what employers in the region tell us they need.
The global skills certificate is designed to help students become familiar with the numerous international connections that exist between countries through trade, diplomacy, international organizations and communication technology.
These certificates, combined with others the university plans to develop, could form the basis of a new degree completion baccalaureate program designed for students with some university credit.
Last year, UW System announced that the first Flex Option degrees would include three bachelors degree programs and one certificate from UW-Milwaukee, along with an associate of arts and science degree and certificates offered by the UW Colleges. In November, the UW Flex Option application process officially opened, and students will begin working on their degree programs in January 2014. Before admissions opened, 4,000 people already had expressed interest in the UW Flexible Option.
On Nov. 11, an online self-evaluation opened to help potential students determine whether the UW Flex Option would be a good fit them. Since then, more than 2,500 have begun that assessment.
Campus developments announced Thursday:
· UW-Parkside faculty members are developing two new certificate programs - one in sales and another focused on global skills. The campus plans to develop four additional Flex Option certificate programs - leadership; project management; professional writing; and public relations.
· UW-Stevens Point is working on a certificate in geographical information systems (GIS) to provide skills needed for geospatial technology professions.
· UW-Stout is assessing market demand for a certificate program, possibly at the graduate level, in project management.
· UW-Madison will offer a certificate in alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) counseling, coordinated through its Division of Continuing Studies, with support from the School of Social Work.
For more information, visit www.flex.wisconsin.edu.