Lancaster resident earns online master's degree

September 2, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-Lancaster resident Bill Haskins did not have to travel far to earn his master's degree in project management. Haskins decided to take a combination of online and on-campus classes at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to further his education.

UWP has been offering distance education since the 1970's to students residing in Wisconsin. In 1996, the University extended its reach to students throughout the United States. By 1999, UWP reached out worldwide and both print-base and online courses for the business administration program were offered, along with three 100 percent online master's degree programs in criminal justice, project management and engineering.

Haskins, who has lived in the area for the last 13 years and grew up here as well, found the UWP distance learning program well-suited his needs as a non-traditional student.

"UWP is an influential and compelling presence in the area," Haskins said.

Haskins knew he always wanted to be at "the big table" or in a position to influence what happens there. He says he likes the learning and personal development process, and he hopes always to be able to assist others in reaching their objectives.

Haskins was fortunate enough to have to work only part-time while being a full-time graduate student.

His advisor, Tony Munos, and instructors have substantial practical knowledge of the subjects they taught. Virtually all the instructors in the program have PhD's and years of academic experience as well, Haskins said.

"For the most part they treated me as a peer. I have now what I consider to be long-term relationships with many of them," Haskins said.

Haskins credited UWP with providing advice on scheduling time for studying, finding a quiet place, adequate resources, application skills and a good computer.

"With the UWP distance education program, nowhere else can one be exposed to such a wide range of life and professional experiences over a long period of time. Though one cannot get to 'know' classmates online in the traditional sense of the term, it is amazing how much we can learn, even in this asynchronous environment," Haskins said. "The classroom experience, of course, adds to the interpersonal dynamics which are completely absent from the online environment. It is invigorating to participate both as a student and as a 'mentor' of sorts for the younger people in the live classroom."

Those interested in learning more about distance education at UWP can visit the website (www.uwplatt.edu/disted) for a complete list of degree programs and available courses. You can also call 608-342-1468 or toll-free 800-362-5460 to request an informational packet about UWP distance education.

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