More than 20 Years After Leaving College, Gov. Scott Walker Aims for Degree Through Online Courses

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who left Marquette University without graduating more than twenty years ago to work for the Red Cross, intends to get a college degree through an online program. 

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Walker "wants to finish his college degree through the University of Wisconsin-System's innovative online course offerings," which is part of the "UW FlexOption" program that Walker has touted. 

His spokesperson said that Walker was just waiting for the program to "expand the degree offerings."

Walker, who is up for reelection this year against Democrat Mary Burke, announced his "UW Flexible Degree"program in 2012 and said it would provide a “new path to a degree” and “will allow adults to start classes anytime, work at their own pace, and earn credit for what they already have learned in school or on the job once they prove college-level competencies.”

The Journal-Sentinel noted then that the "Flexible Degree" program could be a win-win for businesses and adult students: 

While many residents are looking for jobs, many Wisconsin businesses are struggling to find qualified workers with the specific knowledge and skills they need to fill tens of thousands of available positions, Walker said.

The UW System will work with faculty, students and employers to identify which courses of study Wisconsin needs most. Current workforce data identifies strong needs in business and management, health care and information technology.

To prioritize course offerings, the UW Flexible Degree will focus on knowledge and competencies that make students employable now and adaptable to whatever the future market may bring, UW officials said.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, "nearly 700,000 Wisconsin adults (about 20%) have some postsecondary credit but lack complete degrees."

Walker's pursuit of his degree at a time when Americans are gaining more confidence in online degree programs may indicate that he is seriously considering running for president. 

The issue came to the fore last week in Georgia when a video surfaced that showed establishment Republican David Perdue denigrating and mocking U.S. Senate candidate and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for being unqualified to serve in Congress because she lacked a college degree. Handel, as Breitbart News reported, left an abusive home and ended up finishing high school before going into the workforce. 


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