Pilot courses in the new University of Wisconsin System flexible degree program are now accepting students with an incentive for the first 100 who enroll: free tuition.

Courses available now include college algebra and elementary statistics plus a no-credit certificate in business math and personal finance. To register, call 877-895-3276, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or visit il.wisconsin.edu/flex.

The flexible degree concept was introduced last June, with a follow-up announcement in November promising a more accessible, affordable path to a degree for working adults who can learn at their own pace and test out of units as soon as they've gained proficiency. The degrees are aimed at the estimated 750,000 adults in Wisconsin who have some college experience but no degree, which can stall professional advancement.

UW-Milwaukee will become the first Wisconsin university to offer degree programs in the flexible format next fall, with the following degrees available: bachelor's in nursing, diagnostic imaging and information science, a master's in nursing and a certificate in professional and technical communication. Other campuses are expected to follow with flexible degree offerings in 2013-14.

The degree offerings represent the first such effort in the nation by a statewide university system, according to UW System officials.

The new offerings differ from existing online courses by breaking down courses into smaller units that students can start and finish whenever is convenient without regard for the typical academic calendar. They also allow students to test out of material they already know.

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(1) comment


oh boy, free pound o' poop from coffee bean-gulping weasels! UW offers do-it-yourself kopi luwac kit. Is UW gonna act ;like a for-profit degree mill or remain a venerable institution of higher education? We gotta stop looking for gimmicky shortcuts, don't we? THis is not Fagen's IGY. We face a long slog of hard work and we're talking like hedge fund shamans who invented derivatives, puts and calls, risk-on and risk-off and various clevernesses to turn the quick trick. Here by the methane digestor, where is my breath of fresh air?!

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