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UWEC to offer new major in professional studies

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March 18, 2024

EAU CLAIRE – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) will offer a bachelor of science in professional studies major starting in fall 2024 to promote bachelor’s degree completion for students who have either earned an associate degree or have significant college credits.

Michael Carney, interim provost and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the major – which was approved by the Universities of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents last month – will provide a flexible bachelor’s degree option through fully online, face-to-face or a combination of delivery formats at the Eau Claire campus and UWEC–Barron County.

Carney said the degree program focuses on increasing the number of Wisconsin residents with bachelor’s degrees and providing educational opportunities to residents in the region and state. 

Program development is supported by UWEC’s $9.4 million Workforce Innovation Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

“The ability to complete courses in the major in-person or completely online is perfectly aligned with UWEC and Universities of Wisconsin strategic plans to address the needs of our region, especially the needs of working adult students,” he said.

UWEC projects the new program will have 65 new students within five years, with 33 graduating during that time.

The professional studies major allows students with a completed technical associate degree to apply a block of 60 credits from their degree toward the 120-credit bachelor’s degree requirement, Carney said.

Abbey Fischer, campus director, said some in-person courses will be taught on the UWEC–Barron County campus by its faculty and staff, which means students will not need to relocate to complete a four-year degree.

“The professional studies major exemplifies our institution’s commitment to ensuring the vitality of Barron County and surrounding region by significantly increasing the accessibility of a four-year degree,” Fischer said. “Students with associate degrees – from technical colleges or universities – can readily transition into this bachelor’s degree program.”

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