Regents Approve 'MAPS' degree program

Published: February 9, 2018

At the February UW Regents meeting Friday, board members approved a new master of arts in applied professional studies (MAPS) at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. MAPS will be offered online through the UW-Parkside Center for Professional Studies in the university’s College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies.

MAPS focuses on professional skills development serving graduates throughout their careers and across employment sectors to meet emerging talent demands. MAPS features three areas of concentration:

  • leadership and public service;
  • data visualization; and
  • content expertise for professional educators.


According to Dr. Peggy James, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Professional Studies, high school educators teaching concurrent enrollment courses – where high school students earn university credit – are required to have 18 graduate credits in their content area.

As business, industry and community organizations continue to more actively rely on data to make effective long- and short-term decisions, demand is increasing for talent and expertise able to analyze and present data in a way that is easy to understand.

Economic trends indicate that Wisconsin has shifted its statewide focus on economic development to one that includes workforce development. Support for a master’s program of this type has been expressed by business leaders in southeastern Wisconsin during quarterly roundtable discussions with UW-Parkside faculty.

Dr. Christopher Hudspeth, director of the UW-Parkside Center for Professional Studies, noted the importance of the program’s online format. “Folks all over Wisconsin will be able to take advantage of our new applied program to develop their skill set in ways that enhance their career advancement,” Hudspeth said. “I’m excited about MAPS because it is a skills-based program that gives students the flexibility to complete their degree while continuing to pursue their professional careers.”

Dr. James said MAPS also provides millennials with “transferable skills.”

“A majority of millennials tell us that they expect to be promoted during the first two years of a job,” James said. “And 25 percent say they will have six different positions in different organizations over the course of their careers.

“Millennials are looking to move up, and they are looking to move across. That means they need to develop transferable skills. We believe the master of arts in applied professional studies will help them do that.”

MAPS is the fourth new master’s program added to the UW-Parkside curriculum in less than two years. In October, the Regents approved a master of science in clinical mental health counseling. In August 2016, the Regents approved a UW-Parkside master’s in sport management. And in April 2016, the Regents approved an online master’s in health and wellness management offered by UW-Parkside in collaboration with five other UW System institutions.

“Our economy increasingly rewards ‘brain power’ so advanced degrees are valued for the preparation they offer and prestige they afford graduates,” said UW-Parkside Provost Dr. Rob Ducoffe. “We know that advanced degrees offer graduates greater and more sustainable earning power. The technology and advanced-manufacturing revolutions we’re seeing today will demand new levels of talent and expertise in the coming decades.”

For more information on the new master of arts in applied professional studies at UW-Parkside, contact the Center for Professional Studies at 262-595-2162.



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