/ Articles / Nicolet to offer new, all-online University Transfer degree

Nicolet to offer new, all-online University Transfer degree

COVID-19 could keep Northwoods students closer to home

May 19, 2020

Northwoods students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree can now complete the first half of that credential entirely online with classes starting at Nicolet College this fall.

“We’ve been working towards this goal and now have all of the courses online that students will need to complete their two-year associate’s of arts degree,” Nicolet University Transfer Liberal Arts Dean Laura Wind-Norton said. “This is an excellent option for students who need the flexibility online classes offer and also for those who simply prefer online learning.”

The 60-credit college credential transfers to all University of Wisconsin campuses, including UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, as well as many other colleges, both public and private.

Wind-Norton also noted Nicolet also has an extensive history of delivering online instruction, going back more than 15 years, allowing the college to continually refine instructional methods and personalize the experience for each individual.

“That means we are at a point where we can continuously improve our online offerings and interaction rather than just learning to develop online courses,” she said. “Our instructors are committed to ongoing professional development in online learning. Students have direct interaction with their instructors, instructors who live in the same communities and know the unique challenges that sometimes come with living in rural areas. The college also has a dedicated team of Instructional Effectiveness professionals who work to support both students and instructors with online classes, as well as success coaches to help students with any other issues they may be facing.”

The college also has robust resources available to help students new to online education and assist them in getting up to speed with the learning format.

This combined level of online teaching and learning expertise became apparent earlier this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit and the college had to close its doors and quickly shift to an all-online format for all classes.

“It really was impressive to see how effectively we were able to make the shift,” Wind-Norton said. “I know of other colleges across the country that really struggled making the shift, but we had the staff with the experience necessary to make the move fairly seamlessly.”

While the pandemic has brought changes across society, college officials report that enrollment remains strong for both the upsummer and fall terms.

One dynamic starting to play out in the Northwoods is the wrench COVID-19 is throwing into college plans for some students who intended to head off to large, four-year campuses in the fall.

 “From what we’re hearing, there are students out there who are concerned about moving to a larger and more congested metro area to attend college,” Nicolet admissions manager Katie Ourada said. “With the coronavirus, we’re seeing a population of students who are now looking to stay closer to home, in the relative safety of the Northwoods, and work on their bachelor’s degree at Nicolet. The credits they earn will transfer to their four-year campus so they see Nicolet as their wisest, most cost-effective choice, considering the circumstances.”

Wind-Norton noted many of the online University Transfer classes also apply to the college’s associate’s of science degree and, at the moment, the college also plans to hold a full complement of face-to-face University Transfer classes in the fall.

“We’re monitoring the situation closely and we’ll adapt as conditions dictate,” Wind-Norton said. “There are a number of unknowns at the moment but one thing we do know for sure is that student safety is and always will be a top priority at Nicolet College.”

For more information about the University Transfer Liberal Arts program and all other academic offerings, visit nicoletcollege.edu or call the college at 715-365-4493.

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