As Aaron and Valerie Homolka advanced through their careers, they felt the time was right to return to school for their Master of Business Administration degrees.
The couple from Marshfield researched their options and felt drawn to Lakeland University. The flexibility of online classes, coupled with the convenience of sites in Central Wisconsin, were major factors, Aaron Homolka said.
"With having a family, it wasn't going to be convenient to have to travel to class," he said. "It's very easy for us to make night classes after work and still make that balance between family and school. Flexibility was critical."
It's that flexibility that has students like the Homolkas excited. Lakeland is taking its BlendEd feature within its adult education program to another level this spring with several new ways to take a class.
Lakeland launched BlendEd in 2005 with classes that allowed students to seamlessly transition from week to week between the traditional classroom and online. Now, the institution has developed three more ways for students to take classes.
Learn more about the additional class options with the new BlendEd.
Working adults want quality academic programs offered in flexible formats and it is forcing higher education to be creative in the ways classes are available to students.
Lakeland piloted the expanded BlendEd in the spring of 2013, and the feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive. Students really love the opportunity to attend a live class without having to leave home.
Students also like getting live, online access to classes that, in the past, might have been only offered at a center in another part of the state. The features of BlendEd are stripping away the geographic barrier for students. Students have said the savings in time and money are much appreciated.
Count the Homolkas as being appreciative. Valerie attended one of her classes remotely and "still got the feel of being in a classroom and got that personal attention," Aaron Homolka said of his wife. "It was certainly a successful way of getting that education."
Lakeland's programming for working adults began in 1978 with the creation of its Lifelong Learning Program, the state's first evening degree-completion program for working adults. Lakeland created one of the nation's first complete online degree programs in 1998.
Lakeland also has centers in Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Neenah, Sheboygan and Wisconsin Rapids.