UWP Distance Education makes master's degree possible for Treuden

July 30, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - For Jefferson School District director of student nutrition Doreen Treuden, working full-time and taking care of three children leaves little time for study.

But with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Distance Education program, Treuden made it work and graduated this summer with a master's of science in project management degree.

"Without the online format, I wouldn't have gotten a master's degree," Treuden said.

At her home in Madison, Treuden was able to take UWP classes in topics like quality management, human resources and labor relations.

"It's very similar to traditional college classes," Treuden said. "All of the classes pertain to my current position for sure, and probably to any management position you could hold."

She was able to correspond with her professors by email and over the phone, and said communication is key when taking an online class.

"If you're not good at it when you start, you will be when you finish. You are very conscious of what you say, how you say it and that it is accurate," Treuden said.

She said professors expect just as much out of distance education students as they do students in a traditional classroom setting.

"The flexibility of an online class is great, but don't think it's going to be easier," Treuden said.

Treuden was able to take the courses when her employer offered her full reimbursement for the program course fees. She said her degree in project management has a broad array of applications.

"All of the topics in project management can relate to any field, anybody who is going to manage," Treuden said.

She said a master's degree is necessary for someone seeking career advancement in her field.

"Food service is becoming more and more specialized. You would need a master's degree to move any higher than I am now," Treuden said. "If I ever wanted to move to a biggest district, now with my degree, I'm ready."

Treuden began the master's program in 2000 and graduated this summer, to the gladness of her family.

"They were almost as excited as I was," Treuden said.

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