UWP alumnus returns to Platteville via virtual classroom

September 21, 2005
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PLATTEVILLE - Mike Roegner, Sheboygan, earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, so when he decided to continue his education it seemed only natural to return to his alma mater. He'd acquired a family and career since his campus days, so he decided to take advantage of UWP's online graduate program in project management.

Learning online might be more convenient than traditional classes, but Roegner now knows that it isn't any easier than campus programs. "Distance courses require more individual commitment and time management," he says. "With on-campus classes, you always had a fixed schedule where you attended class and there were always other students to help with motivation and coursework. In online classes, you're more on your own because you determine your schedule."

Learning to budget his time between school, work as a senior process improvement engineer and family obligations was the greatest obstacle Roegner faced as a distance student. "My family and work always came first," Roegner explains, "but I found enough available time in a week to do my coursework at a high quality level. The sacrifices usually came in the form of delayed home improvement projects or less social life, but the key to achieving anything is persistence. It took me almost seven years to get my MS-project management. I took one class a semester to minimize the burden on my work and family life. Devoting 10-12 hours per week per course is a good estimate towards getting a good grade, so take a good look at what you really spend your time on (watching TV, social life, etc.) and you will recognize where you can find time to apply yourself to coursework." Having earned his degree in spring 2005, Roegner now plans to spend more time with his wife and young son. He also intends to pay back his wife for her support while he was studying by helping her reach her goal of earning her undergraduate degree in teaching.

UWP offers four degrees at a distance: an undergraduate degree in business administration and graduate degrees in criminal justice, project management and engineering. For complete information, visit www.uwplatt.edu/disted, call 800-362-5460 or e-mail disted@uwplatt.edu.

Contact and prepared by: Ellen McFall, mcfalle@uwplatt.edu

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