VIII.   Community Outreach Programs

As part of its mission of service to the people of Southwest Wisconsin, UW-Platteville has a commitment to carry out community outreach programs aimed at increasing educational and employment opportunities for women, minority group members and disabled persons. In addition, in its strategic plan (April 2002) UW Platteville states a commitment to recognize and encourage imaginative and innovative outreach programs designed to encourage women and minorities to pursue careers in programs in which they are under-represented.

The Distance Learning Center coordinates bachelor's degree programs in criminal justice and business administration delivered both online and in print-based formats. It also coordinates online master's degree programs in engineering, criminal justice and project management. Web resources have been developed to assist students with accessing general information, advising, instruction, educational resources, orientations, library, and graduation activities. The program maintains a toll-free phone line for students to consult with their instructors and advisors. A new set of technology enhancements have been incorporated into several online classes and are being evaluated for inclusion in additional courses. A virtual advisor function has been added to the website, which allows questions to be answered on an ongoing basis. In Fall 2009, there were more than 2544 enrollments in the online and print-based programs. Of these 55% were men and 45% were women. The enrollment of women is considerably higher than the on-campus enrollment of women, which is 36%. Of the 2544 distance learning students, 11% self-identified as minorities, more than the percentage of the students on campus which is 5%. Several on-line certificate programs in the areas mentioned above have also been developed to assist non-traditional students with professional development opportunities. The School of Education offers a Master's in Adult Education delivered in various locations around the state. This program was recently awarded the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents Diversity Award for March 2009.

The College of Agriculture/Business also sponsors an annual Small Business Symposium aimed at providing information, ideas and networking opportunities for current and potential business people of the area. The symposium regularly includes a session on issues regarding women and management, as well as sessions on the marketing, finance, personnel and legal concerns of small business.

The Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville contributes to educational and cultural diversity by providing non-credit instruction on Chinese language, history, and culture, including the business culture of China, to community members, businesses, and schools. As part of a network of over 200 Confucius Institutes worldwide and the only Confucius Institute in Wisconsin, the Institute at UW-Platteville is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of Chinese language and culture among the people of Southwest Wisconsin, the Tri-State Region, and the State of Wisconsin. The Institute is a collaboration between UW-Platteville, South Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China, and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in Beijing. Additional information is available on our website at http://www.uwplatt.edu/confucius/institute.html

The Office of Continuing Education offers a variety of credit and non-credit courses on the subject of diversity, and for diverse audiences include women. Examples of credit courses on diversity include “Teaching Diversity: Influences and Issues in the Classroom” and “Teaching about Native American Indians Today” for PK-12 educators, and “Educational Diversity” for technical college faculty.