Scott Walker Seeks Efficient Higher Ed with ‘Flexible Degree’ Program
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker triumphed in his recall election primarily because the public sector reforms which he initiated worked.
Now, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Walker is seeking to make higher education in Wisconsin more efficient and accessible with the “UW Flexible Degree,” which is a “new path to a degree” that “will allow adults to start classes anytime, work at their own pace, and earn credit for what they already have learned in school or on the job once they prove college-level competencies.”
According to officials in the University of Wisconsin education system and Walker, the UW Flexible Degree will help “a range of students, especially adults already in jobs, adults caring for children, and soldiers deployed overseas.”
In fact, according to the Journal-Sentinel, Walker said he could relate to adults seeking to finish a college degree because he, too, had left Marquette University his senior year to take a job with the American Red Cross and hasn't finished his degree.
The Journal-Sentinel said the "Flexible Degree" program could be a win-win for those looking to finish degrees and businesses in Wisconsin:
While many residents are looking for jobs, many Wisconsin businesses are struggling to find qualified workers with the specific knowledge and skills they need to fill tens of thousands of available positions, Walker said.
The UW System will work with faculty, students and employers to identify which courses of study Wisconsin needs most. Current workforce data identifies strong needs in business and management, health care and information technology.
To prioritize course offerings, the UW Flexible Degree will focus on knowledge and competencies that make students employable now and adaptable to whatever the future market may bring, UW officials said.
According to the Journal-Sentinel, "nearly 700,000 Wisconsin adults (about 20%) have some postsecondary credit but lack complete degrees,” and this program will allow these adults to be more qualified for various jobs, including those in the trades.