Adult Degree Completion Program Finishes Successful First Year

By Kelly Sather

April 29, 2011--As spring semester comes to a close, so too does the first year of the Adult Degree Completion program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

With the chaos of balancing work, family, and other life responsibilities, completing or finishing a bachelor’s degree may seem unattainable for some. At UW-River Falls, the College of Business and Economics is trying to make it possible.

The program is geared specifically towards adults and offers them a bachelor's degree in business administration. UWRF's College of Business and Economics is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, a ranking of which fewer than five percent of colleges receive.

At the start of the program last fall, 23 students were enrolled. This semester, enrollment has increased to 41. The goal for the upcoming fall semester is 60-65 students and the program is in hopes of expanding to about 110 students within the next four to five years. 

“I have helped set up programs similar to this in the past and have also been working with adult students for 10 years. I enjoy being consistent with what the adults want and need,” says Michael Bilden, Adult Degree Completion program coordinator. 

Flexibility is essential in such a program. The Adult Degree Completion program offers classes on campus, at the UW-River Falls Hudson Center and online. 

The Hudson Center, which opened Sept. 2, 2010, offers non-traditional students living in the St. Croix Valley area an opportunity to complete their baccalaureate degree.

“This convenient location is often appealing to adults living in the Twin Cities area, who are interested in getting back in the classroom,” says Bilden. 

This program provides courses offered one evening per week for eight weeks. Students may also schedule general education and additional business courses during the evening, online or during the day on campus.

The program's faculty strive to help students develop a personalized completion plan that will fit almost any schedule.

“I know these students appreciate personal advising and that sometimes condensed evening courses are just easier to fit into their schedules,” says Bilden.

A helpful component of completing the degree requirements is that courses may also be taken at other institutions and then transferred to UWRF. This program is particularly beneficial for students who have completed an associate's degree and wish to continue their education.

Whether college courses have recently been completed, or if it's been many years since a student has even been in the classroom, UW-River Falls can create an attainable plan for all students.

“At UWRF, we make it happen. We know how important it is to achieve a bachelor’s degree and also know that many people would like to do it here. We help the student make their plan, show them how they can achieve their goals, and then assist through the entire process,” says Bilden.

For more information, contact Bilden at 715-425-0697 or by email at to schedule an individual appointment or to reserve a spot in an upcoming information session.

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