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WKU launching competency-based program in Advanced Manufacturing

WKU launching competency-based program in Advanced Manufacturing

Distance learning model offers flexibility for adult learners

Adult learners in the region have an even more flexible option to expand their education in the advanced manufacturing area through a new model at WKU. The new model is a modularized competency-based distance learning approach, which measures learning rather than the amount of time students spend in a classroom.

The first competency-based program will be a bachelor of science degree in Advanced Manufacturing, which is a bachelor completion program for students with an associate degree in science from a Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) school. The program will officially launch Dec. 1.

“Through this program, students gain the tools necessary to apply basic engineering principles and advanced manufacturing skills to support industrial operations,” said Architectural & Manufacturing Sciences Department Chair Dr. Greg Arbuckle.

The program is offered through a partnership between the Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO) and the Department of Architectural & Manufacturing Services (AMS). WKU is part of Kentucky Commonwealth College, a consortium of public institutions dedicated to expanding opportunities for adult learners.

“This competency-based program enhances WKU’s distance learning opportunities,” said Julie Uranis, Director of Distance Learning at WKU. “We are committed to making higher education more accessible to everyone throughout the region, and this new approach provides an additional option for adult students.”

Students are able to complete coursework based on the timeline they choose. The program is offered through WKU On Demand, which means students can begin classes whenever they choose and complete assignments according to their own calendar.

“Through this approach, students progress through their program at their own pace, as they prove their knowledge and skills required for the course,” Arbuckle said. “It’s is not only flexible, but it’s ideal for students who want to increase employment opportunities within the advanced manufacturing industry.”

Students complete coursework online and gain practical experience through on-site labs at WKU.

“Degree completion combined with practical experience can open new job opportunities for students enrolled in this program,” Arbuckle said. “And the flexibility this type of format offers makes it more attainable for students who are juggling personal and professional commitments.”

To watch a video that explains competency-based learning or to learn more about this completion degree program, visit

Contact: Tanja Bibbs, (270) 745-5305

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 Last Modified 3/6/17