MILWAUKEE, Wis. – As a next step for one of the University of Wisconsin System’s most innovative programs, the UW System Board of Regents today approved giving UW-Extension authority to implement an online, competency-based Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) degree.
The baccalaureate degree program – the first to be developed and offered directly by UW-Extension – will be part of its groundbreaking UW Flexible Option program.
“We proposed this program to address a clear demand, and we are grateful for the Regents’ continued support,” said UW-Extension and UW Colleges Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. “We aim to serve students who want to build their careers and earn a quality University of Wisconsin degree, all while balancing job, family, or other responsibilities.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a bachelor’s degree in business is the most popular postsecondary major in the United States, with twice as many degrees conferred in this area than the next nearest degree.
“UW-Extension’s BSBA program opens a new door for nontraditional and place-bound students, and helps the UW System further develop the talent base of Wisconsin,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “UW-Extension is leading the way with an innovative, new pathway that aligns with one of UW System’s core goals to expand college access.”
The Regents approved a revised mission statement for UW-Extension in December 2015, giving UW-Extension authority to serve the professional development needs of working adults within and outside of the state in the area of business and management.
For the BSBA in the UW Flexible Option format, students will demonstrate mastery in over 100 skills and knowledge sets by drawing on what they learn in the program, as well as knowledge they acquired from previous academic study, work, military service, or other experiences. Program graduates will have shown competency in business functional areas including accounting, finance, human resources, operations, sales, marketing, supply chains, information systems, and other business areas.
“University of Wisconsin-Extension is leading the charge to build a new kind of institution of higher education through the BSBA,” said Aaron Brower, vice chancellor and provost for UW-Extension. “This kind of opportunity meets the needs of millions of individuals across the country who want to better themselves and their families but, for a variety of reasons, are unable to participate in a traditional brick-and-mortar program.”
The BSBA degree program will be developed collaboratively, with UW-Extension offering the degree, along with instructional support and back-office operations. Faculty from other UW institutions will be involved in the development of the curriculum and assessments, and participate in grading and student feedback.
“The Board of Regents has strongly supported the goals of the UW Flexible Option and the new, valuable opportunities it offers to students,” said Regent President Regina Millner. “The BSBA program is designed to meet an area of strong student demand, economic growth, and workforce development needs.”
Enrollment in the program begins in December 2016. UW-Extension expects to enroll more than 700 students and graduate nearly 100 by the end of the program’s fifth year.
Find UW Flexible Option FAQs at http://flex.wisconsin.edu/faqs/.