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UW-La Crosse

First and foremost, I wanted to advance my knowledge and get a Masters so that I could move forward in my career. Secondly, I wanted to grow personally within this field by being able to learn all I can while I am still in the school mind-set. I just recently finished my undergraduate work and just have a thirst for as much knowledge as this program can give me. Thirdly, I chose La Crosse due to its outstanding reputation. I have many co-workers that have recommended this program to me or have completed it themselves. I heard nothing but the best about the program, it's staff, and everything I would gain from it. Lastly, I too am a lifelong learner and want to absorb all I can. It just happens to work out great for me that this is something I am passionate about and I can see myself doing each and every day.

Katy Rand, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

Unlike the two of them, I am at a very different stage in my life. I spent the first twenty years after college as a mother, volunteer, and Army spouse as we moved around the country and world with different Army assignments. Never did I realize that my world experience would become the basis for an incredible opportunity in international education. I began working in VMI's international education office five years ago as a part-time assistant. I moved up to Study Abroad Advisor and now am full time and the International Programs Coordinator. However, I know my options are limited without a master's degree. I love my new career and it has really renewed my interest in learning.

As far as picking UWL, I did so based on reputation and the ease of fitting an online program into my work and family life. It was also important to me to be part of an accredited program. I really like the idea of a cohort group and look forward to working with all of you over the next two years. Sentimentally, even though I grew up in Virginia, my father is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, so it seemed like a natural choice.

Cynthia Irby, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

I have to be honest and I chose UW-Lacrosse because they had an online program and I had not missed the deadline to apply. I know that sounds really bad, but I kind of found this program by accident. Last January I had no plans on attending grad school in the near future. Only a couple months before I had finally gotten a permanent full time job, and I was content to spend the next year looking for the right program. My friend just happened to mention UW-Lacrosse's program, and it seemed like a perfect fit for me.

Kristan Bartley, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

When I was informed by my administration that UW-La Crosse was offering the on-line Graduate School opportunity I jumped on it. I think this is an excellent and unique opportunity for individuals to continue to work full-time while they pursue an advanced degree. I've been blessed to have 25 years of university experience but have never had the formalized training that I'll gain through the Graduate School experience. Most of my training has occurred on the job. I see the SAA program enhancing my leadership skills as well as providing me with additional tools in theory and applied practice. My goal is to advance in my career and become a much stronger leader. I welcome the challenge!

Melvyn Rousseau, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

The first reason that I chose SAA online, is a practical reason. I wanted to pursue a Master's degree in Student Affairs, while continuing to work full time. UW-La Crosse's program fit perfectly.

Secondly, the reputation of UW-La Crosse's SAA program (both on campus and online) is important to me. As an undergraduate I contemplated moving directly into grad school after graduation and had done quite a bit of research on degrees available across the country. Although I chose a slightly more alternative route – UW-La Crosse and this program have always been on my radar.

Lastly, I chose this program because of the support and suggestions from my colleagues and supervisors at UW-Stout. Some of my colleagues here at UW-Stout are recent and excited graduates of last year's cohort. The program couldn't have come more highly recommended.

On a less serious note – I am personally excited to give my dad a little more support our family as a UW-LaCrosse grad. My mom received her Special Education degree from UW-Eau Claire where both my sister and I have received our undergraduate degrees. My dad (who received his Business degree from UW-La Crosse) has been waiting for years to have another one of us on "his team" in the UW-System battle.

Emily Ascher, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

The first reason was because I started working at the College of Menominee Nation and I love it. This field is so interesting and fun. I also like the field because my days are never the same. My second reason is because of my best friend. She is also a very close co-worker of mine who is in this same program, but she has already finished her first year. She told me about the program and encouraged me to apply. She said that it is a really great program. She also told me that they really ease you into it and they walk you through it. So, I was very nervous about even applying to grad school, but I also knew that I had to do it someday!

Theresa Martin, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

When I decided to look for a master's degree program it was critical that I find one either completely online or offered nearby only on weekends. I am place bound not only because of my current job but my spouse's employment as well. This narrowed my search considerably. I was searching specifically for a degree that would allow me to continue working with students in higher education but I was not interested in a teaching degree.

In the months that followed, I learned that a co-worker at another two year UW college just completed the UW-L program. I spoke with her about her experience. She had positive things to say about all aspects of the online program and encouraged me to apply.

The SAA program was my first choice because it is convenient and has an excellent reputation. The classes appeal to my interest in student affairs in general and I believe upon completion of the program, I will be qualified to apply for a variety of jobs in higher education.

Jen Johns, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

I chose the SAA online program for several reasons. First, the University of Wisconsin system is well-known and well-respected. Secondly, the SAA program curriculum and competencies matched what I wanted out of a Masters program. Lastly, the online format is flexible and allows me to do homework at night and on the weekend so I am able to work during the day.

Brittany Bontekoe, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

I chose this program after years of searching for the right one. Working at the University of Minnesota, I have a tuition benefit that allows me to take courses for free. I took several master's level courses and gained a lot from them. However, when it came time to concentrate and begin working towards the fulfillment of a program, I ended up under-whelmed with many options available to me. Also, those that did appeal to me were not flexible enough for my demanding travel schedule. So I found this program's content and online format an ideal fit.

Because I have worked in a higher education setting for these past 10+ years, I knew that I wanted to make a career out of working with student affairs and higher education and this program has a solid reputation.

Bradley Stepan, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

When I first began to look into going on to graduate school, I must admit I was not sure exactly what type of program I wanted to get in to. I knew I had come to love my job in higher education because of the relationships I was building and the people I was helping. So I began to search for counselor programs, administrative programs, etc.

I also had been thinking about getting my MBA for years. Previous to working in higher ed., I was with UW Medical Foundation as the main HR contact for all nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

But through the past couple years, I never saw a curriculum that made me want to start asap....until the SAA program.

Jenna Becker, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

I love Cornell and really did not want to leave to go back to school, so the idea of online courses was very intriguing to me. I chose UWL's program for three main reasons. First, I know people that have completed both the online and on campus programs and have heard great things. I also wanted a school that was easily accessible and close to home even though I may never have to step foot on campus in the next two years. Just the idea of having something tangible that I could visit within a few hours if I felt the need to is comforting. Another big seller for UWL was their class schedule. Cornell is known for their "One-Course-At-A-Time" so I had experienced one class for 3.5 weeks all through undergrad. UWL's schedule is like an extended block plan having 7 weeks for one class. I found this to be one of the biggest factors since I haven't experienced a semester program since high school and absolutely fell in love with the block plan at Cornell!

Jill Hopper, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

I chose this program for many of the same reasons that most of you did - the relevant topics, the flexibility, etc. I spent years telling myself that I would get my master's degree when I figured out exactly what it was that I wanted to do with my life and where my passions were. They were right in front of me all along! I love working with students and I find it very exciting to see the development they go through as a study abroad returnee.

I think what drew me to this program the most was its relevance to me in my position. While I enjoy working with students, there are certainly days when I feel that our 10 year age difference is much larger - I just don't understand where they are coming from and why they make the decisions that they do. I hope that this program will help me understand student development and help me to see students and their choices and decisions in a different way.

I also travel a great deal for my job (or at least I did prior to my pregnancy) so the flexibility that this program offered was a key component.

Kari Thiel, UW–La Crosse Graduate
Master's in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

UW-River Falls

The online format allowed me to pursue graduate level courses and course work in a convenient and flexible learning format.

Christy Lewis, UW–River Falls Graduate
Certificate in Community Education

The UW–RF program provides the fundamentals, as well as a wealth of information through online studies, without compromising commitments for your work or community. It allows a practitioner like me to extract sharing and learning moments and implement them in my own community.

Wilson Ang Wee Tong, UW–River Falls Graduate
Certificate in Service-Learning


Well, for me the online program was what I needed. I work full time, I have 3 kids, I needed the flexibility to be able to work at 2:00 in the morning or work at 6:00 in the morning, or work whenever on my schoolwork. The online program you know was so flexible. But yet structured enough with a calendar and the same semester set as a traditional college. That you feel like you're accomplishing things as you're going along.

Doreen Trueden
UW–Platteville Graduate

It was an outstanding program. It really fit into my schedule, working a full time job and raising two kids. It was nice to be able to do the schoolwork at my convenience, as opposed to taking off at specific times and going to a classroom.

Steve Madsen
UW–Platteville Graduate

I think it was outstanding. I don't think I would have been able to pursue a Masters degree any other way. Given my location and busy work schedule it just wouldn't have worked out for me. When I found out Platteville offered it online and started going through the course. I really think it's the wave of the future, especially for the people who are working.

Mike Snow
UW–Platteville Graduate

I was able to apply my coursework directly to my job as I progressed through the MSPM degree program. In almost all classes, I was adding tools and skill sets from the classes to my job as a lead project engineer on a daily basis as I learned about them through reading and assignments. My managers have recognized and acknowledged the new perspectives I have brought to my job as I have gone through the MSPM program.

Rick Verhagen
UW–Platteville Project Management Graduate

Online learning is great, especially for non-traditional students. If I wanted to work on a class at 0600 I could, if I knew I was going to be out of town for a week I could work ahead on my assignments. The flexibility of online learning is its biggest selling point. Also, I had federal correctional officers, juvenile workers, probation officers (both State and Federal), FBI agents, police officers and private security officers in my classes. Distance learning is the only way this diverse population would be in your classroom.

Deb Rice
UW–Platteville Criminal Justice Graduate


Thanks again for your help. I am also very excited to complete my degree this year. I would like to share with you that because I am working on my degree and almost finished, I was promoted to a position in my company that I would not have been considered for otherwise. I think I am proof that it is never too late to complete a degree!

JoAnn Walker
UW–Whitewater Online BBA Student, Arizona

After some additional research, I found my pot of gold - the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. From the beginning, the link between UW–Whitewater and myself was a perfect fit. Here, I could obtain my MBA completely online from an accredited university that was well known, at a comparable cost, fitting my schedule, and without having to travel and put my career on hold.

Charles Neal
UW–Whitewater Online MBA Graduate, Louisville, KY

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Tom Gonzalez will receive a master of business arts degree today from UW–Whitewater—and he never set foot on campus. Gonzalez did all his course work over four years while on active duty in Saudi Arabia.

Gonzalez, 38, is one of 21 MBA candidates to finish the program exclusively through online classes.

"It was a great experience, a tough course, especially with the tempo my work brings," Gonzalez said. "It's made a big difference in everything that I do."

Chris Clements, dean of the College of Business and Economics, said the program's flexibility is attractive to members of the military who can take online courses anywhere in the world.

"We've had some that started in the military and finished when they got out," she said.

Gonzalez, from San Antonio, joined the military right out of high school and earned a bachelor's degree in management from Regis University while serving in Denver.

Gonzalez said that in anticipation of his retirement from the Army he wanted to further expand the professional opportunities available to him.

"My future goal is to stay in civil service with the federal government," Gonzalez said in an interview with the UW–Whitewater public relations office. "I would like to make it to the senior executive service. They are the top managers in the government, equivalent to CEOs in the private industry."

Sgt. Maj. Tom Gonzalez, U.S. Army
UW–Whitewater Online MBA Graduate
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

This program has allowed me to achieve my lifelong goal of obtaining a master's degree from a well-respected, nationally accredited, institution. As a result of this program, I was able to work full time and receive a promotion, as well as serve my town as a Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief, first responder, emergency management officer.

Nathaniel Melby
UW–Whitewater Online MBA Graduate, La Crosse, WI

The Online MBA program offered by the UWW was exactly what I needed. With the ability to access coursework from my laptop I was able to participate anywhere at anytime. The flexibility was a Must! My overall experience was extremely positive and in three years I was able to complete all of the requirements.

Ryan Krier
UW–Whitewater Online MBA Graduate, Fort Worth, TX

When I decided to pursue an MBA degree, there were several programs from which to choose; several traditional on-campus programs and distance learning options were available. The On-line MBA program at UW–Whitewater was my first choice for several reasons. My primary considerations included the accreditation by AACSB International, the excellent reputation of the Whitewater business programs, and most important, the degree which is offered on-line is the full MBA degree, with the same requirements and benefits as provided on campus - not an abbreviated or compress substitute.

Mary Willman
UW–Whitewater Online MBA Graduate, Santa Ana, CA

UW Colleges Online

I completed the majority of my degree credits by attending classes at the University of Wisconsin campuses in Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. After moving out of state, I appreciated the opportunity to take the last few classes online, which enabled me to obtain this degree from my home state of Wisconsin.

Suzanne Kindler Enz
UW Colleges Online, Richfield, WI

I chose to take online courses because I'm a single parent who works full time. Online classes made it possible to go to college while keeping my full-time job. It has been very convenient to keep up with my work on my own schedule. I am very happy I had the opportunity to get my degree this way.

Julie Malchow
UW Colleges Online, Crivitz, WI

My requirements with the Wisconsin Army National Guard have made getting my education a challenging task. The best solution I found was UW Colleges Online so I began the enrollment process. I was attracted to the idea of "attending" classes when it was convenient to me, but I was unsure that online courses were the route I wanted to go long-term. After dealing with the staff at UW Colleges Online the first semester I found that flexibility from an educational institution allows me to pursue my education no matter where my military obligations have taken me.

Lucas Gordon
UW Colleges Online, Wausau, WI

I chose to take classes online because of the flexibility. My schedule constantly changes, as it does with everyone, so it's really nice to log on and complete assignments as I choose, as long as they are turned in on time. My experience with UWC Online was amazing. They made everything so easy, and I never had to step on a campus!

Lara Ewing
UW Colleges Online, Bellevue, NE

Working online allowed me to meet my initial educational goals while continuing to work and parent four teenagers.

Deirdre Schneider
UW Colleges Online, State College, PA

I chose online courses because of the flexibility. With working full-time hours with shifts that vary from week to week, it was imperative to me that my schooling endeavors could work with and around the rest of my life. I had to learn to be self-disciplined and self-motivated in order to succeed in the online environment, but the rewards were well worth it. I'm immensely proud to be receiving my associate degree, and I know it's only the first stop in my education journey!

Taja Sumpter
UW Colleges Online, Oakland, CA

Business Administration (UW Consortium)

As a working mother and wife my time is extremely valuable. The UW Consortium online MBA program allows me to work classes around my schedule, advance in my career, and still have time for my family.

Suzanne, RN, BSN, Manager - Sales Performance Improvement
Clinical Services GE Healthcare

Without my MBA I would never have been offered my current position. This program gave me a great deal of flexibility. I liked the module format which allowed us to change focus every two or three weeks. It was very challenging and required a high level of commitment.

Aaron, Healthcare Administrator
Medical Service Corps
United States Air Force

Thanks to the flexibility of the Consortium online program, I have been able to work full time, have time for my children, and still complete the credits necessary to sit for the CPA exam and move toward my MBA.

Mary, Auditor
Bauman Associates, Ltd.
Certified Public Accountants & Advisors

The program provided me with the flexibility to advance my education, while focusing on my family, and career. The education was relevant and challenging, and provided me with the tools to be successful throughout my career.

Mike, Senior Systems Engineer
Target Corporation

The MBA Consortium is a challenging program that discusses a wide variety of business topics and helps you apply them to your career. Even though the program is challenging it is also flexible. I was able to work the long hours my work schedule demands, start a family, and go to school part-time.

Mina, Sr. Plant Accountant
Del Monte Foods - Plover

Even before graduating, I was offered a great position as a Regional Sales Representative with Procter & Gamble. Without a doubt, this MBA program not only provided me with the qualifications but also with the knowledge to excel professionally and personally in such a demanding position.

Andres, Regional Sales Representative
Proctor & Gamble Professional

I am thrilled that I was able to complete the MBA program while living in my rural hometown in Nevada. I made life long friends in the program, and was very impressed with the high levels of interaction and the challenging course materials throughout the program.

Amanda, Quadra Mining Ltd.
Ely, NV