Earning a degree online just got easier for University of Wisconsin students. Wisconsin Radio Network reports that the Badger State’s higher-ed system recently introduced eCampus, an online learning platform. University president Kevin Reilly hopes that eCampus will help “increase the number of degree holders in the state by 30% by the year 2025.” Reilly believes that eCampus’ state of the art learning platform and the University of Wisconsin’s “world class academic reputation” will make for such an unbeatable combination that the state is sure to meet its goal.
The report goes on to discuss how “unlike the rash of fake online degrees being promoted to potential students … eCampus students can be confident they are receiving a credible education.” Indeed, eCampus puts an awesome number of educational resources at students’ fingertips: the system is designed as a gateway to more than 70 online degree and certificate programs across the university’s accredited campuses.
The diversity of eCampus’ offerings make it easier for the nontraditional student to pursue a degree, Reilly commends his university’s resolving to provide higher education to people other than typical coeds. He is quoted as saying that
“online learning presents an opportunity for nontraditional students to access college courses and degree programs that might otherwise be difficult, due to jobs, family obligations, or other life commitments.”
Most schools now have their sights squarely set on these so-called nontraditional learners. MinnPost.com reports that nontraditional learners are hoping more universities will accept life and work experience as a means for earning credit toward degrees. “Universities and colleges are being pressed to increase graduation rates and speed up the time it takes for students to complete degrees by awarding college credit for their life and work experience,” the article reports. “[A] national campaign that starts Friday will promote the sometimes-derided practice with a nationwide program to help adults prepare portfolios of their job experience online that will be evaluated by independent faculty for academic credit.”
One hundred institutions in thirty states are already on board with the initiative.
Whether nontraditional learners will succeed in convincing institutions of higher education to award credit for life and work experience remains unknown, but the movement does point to a growing interest in online education and its role in increasing the number of college graduates in the United States.