Adult education: State rolls out first online degrees

The University of Wisconsin System has rolled out its first set of competency-based online degree programs for working adults, starting with UW-Milwaukee and the two-year UW Colleges.

The Flexible Option degree initiative, announced earlier this year, will focus on closing skills gaps in health care, information technology, and business and management with programs that allow adults to earn online degrees at their own pace.

Wisconsin is trying to increase the percentage of its population that earns bachelor's degrees. That segment of the state population now stands at 26%, two percentage points below the national average.

UW System President Kevin Reilly said that over the next few years, the program would be expanded to other UW campuses.

The UW System already offers 4,600 online courses, but until now the system had not offered a flexible option.

The cost of the flexible degrees has not been determined.