The UMass Amherst University Without Walls was featured in this week's print and online editions of BusinessWest. In the January 28 article, Opening Doors: University Without Walls Offers Alternative Option for Adult Students, reporter Elizabeth Taras highlighted the convenience, flexibility, cost savings, support and credits for experience offered by this over forty year old UMass program.
Interviewed in the article were 31 year old UWW student and Springfield, MA City Councilor Orlando Ramos, 47 year old UWW student, mother and teacher in training Angie Boris of Grafton, MA, and UWW faculty member Cynthia Suopis.
Excerpt: "As the nation pulls out of the Great Recession, President Barack Obama recently challenged colleges and higher-education leaders to adopt promising practices that include functions like ‘competency-based learning’ and ‘experiential learning.’ Such practices award college credits based on what students have learned in life and work experience, and offer more opportunities for adult students to get financial aid based on how much they learn, rather than the amount of time they’ve spent in class.
As one of the oldest alternative adult-education programs in the country, UWW is already at the forefront of meeting Obama’s challenge. Serving students in most fields available at the university, the unique program offers individualized degrees or course plans, 100% online, on-campus, or blended. UWW students earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of sciences degree depending on the program they personally design, based on what credits they are able to transfer and what credits are attributable to experiential learning."