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UW-Extension Launches Online Classes Aimed At Working Professionals

Project Is A Collaboration Between Six Public Universities Across Country

Joelrivlin (CC BY)

The University of Wisconsin-Extension is one of six public universities around the country that came together to create the University Learning Store, a program geared towards helping working professionals prepare for their next career move.

Instead of counting toward a degree, the Learning Store specializes in testing students for skills certificates.

David Schejbal, dean of Continuing Studies at UW-Extension, said the University Learning Store is geared towards working adults looking to beef up their resume. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American changes jobs every 4.4 years.

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“Many of those job changes require additional knowledge and additional education and the ability to prove what they know,” Schejbal said.

He compared the University Learning Store to a department store.

“Just like when you would go to a department store and buy a jacket from one manufacturer and slacks from someobody else and a shirt from a third. Same idea here. Individuals can get content for what they need to learn and take assessments to verify they have the knowledge and competencies in those particular areas,” Schejbal said.

The coures are offered by the six participating universities — UW-Extension, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Washington and University of California’s Davis, Irvine and Los Angeles campuses — allow students to earn credentials for prior experience by testing out of classes.

The current course offerings all focus on business communication. Courses range in price from $25 to $100.

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