The University of Wisconsin (UW) is creating a competency based model for online degrees that will allow students to receive credit for what they already know.
According to a news release, the new competency based model, called the UW Flexible Degree, is designed to assist older students, who may already have higher education credits, in completing their degrees.
Currently UW is planning on offering degrees in three critical needs areas—business and management, healthcare, and information technology—however, the university has said that it will work with employers, faculty, and students to determine what other courses of study should be offered.
The courses that will be offered will use shortened modules designed to contain the knowledge required within a specific competency, instead of designed around a set time frame. By utilizing the competency based model, UW hopes to reduce the time it takes students to complete a degree. By accelerating the completion time UW also hopes to be able to reduce the cost of obtaining a college degree.
While competency based programs have been offered for years by other schools—most notably by Western Governors University—UW will be the first publicly funded state institution to use this model.
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