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Two UW-Stout online undergraduate degree programs have been reviewed
and ranked by GedEducated.com as regional Best Buys for students seeking high-quality,
low-cost online degrees.
The online programs in management and in sustainable management ranked 25th and 37th, respectively.
The ranking is based on a survey of 69 regionally accredited colleges offering 165 online bachelor degrees in business management. The survey covers a wide range of business majors, including marketing, management, leadership, administration and accounting and highlights the 39 most affordable online degrees in a field.
UW-Stout's two ranked programs are designed primarily for transfer students wanting to build on previously completed technical education and to prepare for management and leadership opportunities.
The management degree, with a current enrollment of 440, has been offered online since 2006 in response to place-bound professionals' need for additional education, said Wendy Dittmann, program director. The program operates collaboratively with UW Colleges and Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
Dittmann says the ranking is important for prospective students. They are mostly working adults looking for degree programs that fit their schedule and budget. "Being a Best Buy implies value for the tuition — students are looking for that," Dittmann said.
Adrian Beard is one of those students who found the management program to be a good fit. Beard, who lives and works in Kenosha as an enrollment specialist at Gateway Technical College, is learning people and management skills.
The degree will help him "move up the ladder in my organization and lead a department to success," he said.
Beard said he chose the program because of its reputation. He also has co-workers who are program alumni and have had successful careers. "I truly do think that it was a Best Buy. This is a great opportunity at a low price," he said.
The sustainable management program, offered since 2009, applies sustainability theory to the business world. It's a hands-on, problem-solving degree. "By learning the fundamentals of the Triple Bottom Line, you can immediately start helping your company create profits, preserve the environment and improve the surrounding community," Dittmann said.
Dennis Weibel, director of the sustainable management program, says typical students are in their mid-30s, working at one or two jobs and raising families. "We have no stats to prove they shop around, but I find it inconceivable that someone in that position would not be looking for the best buy," Weibel said.
The sustainable management program is a collaborative project between UW-Extension and three other UW System universities, UW-Superior, UW-River Falls and UW-Parkside.