Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WSJ Wednesday - Changes in Higher Education

I found a fascinating article in the Friday, January 25, 2013 edition of The Wall Street Journal. My one big regret is never getting my college degree. Though a book I read on the current job market said experience trumps college degrees any day (unless you're talking Ivy League), during my job search, I've discovered even clerical and administrative jobs have a college degree listed as a preference or requirement.

According to "College Degree, No Class Time Required" by Caroline Porter, the University of  Wisconsin is offering a Bachelor's to students who take online competency tests about what they know. Like the man featured in Porter's article, I have several credits toward my degree. But as my family and responsibilities grew, time to dedicate to my education dwindled. After more than 20 years in business, it wouldn't surprise me if I could pass some of these competency tests and make obtaining my degree easier, and perhaps, cheaper.

The University of Wisconsin plans to launch the program this fall. Prices haven't been set for their Flexible Option program, but university officials say it should be "significantly less expensive." The goal of the program is to strengthen the state's workforce; it's not to dumb down education and just make it easy to get your degree.

If a program like this came to Massachusetts, I would sign up right away. I'm tired of not having my degree. I don't want it holding me back. It would even be helpful to me in my writing, so there's really no reason not to do it, unless it was cost prohibitive, which doesn't seem to be the case.

What do you think of this idea? Would you try to earn your degree this way if it was available in your state?

1 comment:

Patty Woodland said...

Not at this stage in my life. I have an AA, one year towards a BA, then I went back at night to finish and I was something like 6 credits short when I got sick. I suppose I was not destined to finish....