Introducing the New Flexible Degree

Like DSST, the University of Wisconsin has made the success of non-traditional students a serious priority. In fact, Gov. Scott Walker recently announced a new program for the entire UW school system that would allow students to earn college credit for the knowledge they already have. Currently referred to as a flexible degree program, the initiative involves an effort to eliminate unnecessary coursework, and make it faster, easier, and cheaper for non-traditional students to graduate.

"In a process of assessment for prior learning, individuals might submit a portfolio, for example, that might include actual work samples. Faculty then would review the materials and through those various processes then, be able to award credit for learning that had already occurred,” said UW-Stout Interim Provost Mary Hopkins-Best. "Instead of individuals enrolling for example in a 3 credit course that would need to be completed over sixteen weeks, courses would be broken down into smaller units or modules and the individual would be able to progress through those modules at their own pace.”

More and more, undergrads are working, raising a family, and attending school at the same time. As the college student demographic shifts and those considered to be non-traditional students become the new norm, programs like these continue to be increasingly important in allowing students to earn a college degree.

Alone, this new program stands to help non-traditional students at UW graduate college faster. Combined with DSST exams for college credit (UW both delivers and awards credit for DSST tests), undergrads trying to juggle it all can earn a degree without breaking the bank or losing their sanity. DSST tests (formerly known as DANTES exams) let students earn three college credits in a single sitting and for just $80 (plus a sitting fee) - approximately $750 less than the average 3-credit university course.

Which subjects would you like to be able to earn credit for via an exam? Tell us in the comments!

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