This fall, SoHE will welcome the first cohort of students to its online undergraduate degree in Consumer Behavior and Marketplace Studies through UW–Madison Online. Following years of planning, this new online option equips graduates with the rigorous analytical, human-centric, and creative skills that are the trademark of human ecology disciplines, while also providing a robust and flexible option for students who can’t attend in person and want to balance work, family or other obligations. The new offering is the second online degree option from SoHE, after it launched UW’s first ever fully online undergraduate degree this past fall, in Personal Finance.
“We know there are many driven and accomplished individuals out there ready and eager to undertake a Badger education, but who for one good reason or another can’t do so with us full-time on campus,” says Dr. Nancy Wong, Chair of SoHE’s Consumer Science department, who helped develop the degree. “The UW–Madison Online option means we can serve more of them, and our experience at SoHE has shown us that doing so benefits not just those students, but our overall academic programming and excellence across the school.”
Chancellor Blank emphasizes the importance of strengthening educational outcomes and increasing access to underrepresented populations with UW–Madison Online degrees, adding that the university must meet the needs of a growing nontraditional student audience in Wisconsin.
Provost Scholz adds that the addition of online degrees not only removes barriers to a college education for more Wisconsin students, but the degrees carry the university’s excellence in teaching and learning.
UW–Madison is not new to the online and flexible learning arena. For more than 20 years, the university has offered master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates through the Professional Degrees and Certificates program, such the MS in Design + Innovation or a Capstone Certificate in Community and Nonprofit Leadership, also from SoHE. The two undergraduate degree options from SoHE build on this legacy of success and will aid the university in its goal to enroll several thousand nontraditional undergraduate students in the next decade.
SoHE Dean Soyeon Shim praises her SoHE colleagues for paving the way to fully online degrees that will help more students gain valuable skills and knowledge from a UW–Madison education: “We are thrilled to lead this effort by our university to grow opportunities here for nontraditional students. With our second fully online degree through UW–Madison Online, our expert instructors will continue to prepare students to address complex problems in an evolving world.”