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UW degrees made possible for working professionals

Thinking about going back to school while you work?

The University of Washington makes it possible for those wanting to complete the undergraduate degrees they started. UW Professional & Continuing Education is celebrating 20 years of the Evening Degree Program. More than 2,000 students have graduated from the program, and nearly half did so between the ages of 26 and 35. Some returned to school decades after starting and then suspending their studies.

And for professionals wondering how to fit grad school into their busy lives, the UW recently hosted a panel discussion featuring three professionals who earned graduate degrees while working full-time: Cyndy Clegg, assistant director of Ambulatory Pharmacy Services at Harborview Medical Center, earned an Executive Master of Health Administration in 2007; Jeremy Snook, senior business development & strategy manager for Microsoft Game Studios, completed a Master of Communication in Digital Media in 2009; and Kelli Bixby Bays, a construction project manager for REI, is a graduate of the Master of Science in Construction Management.

These alumni successfully went back to school while continunig to work their day jobs. That’s a hallmark of UW Professional & Continuing Education, which offers more than 125 certificate programs, dozens of graduate and undergraduate degrees and hundreds of courses—in the evening, on weekends and online. 

Here are 12 tips from those who survived the experience. Thrived in it, actually.

Alison Koop of PCE says, “What I found most inspiring: each grad rediscovered a hunger for learning. They called the experience ’empowering.’ It was a very satisfying experience, returning to school as an adult. And to their surprise, they found their professional skills (giving presentations, writing business proposals, etc.) really put them ahead in school. So, yes, you can teach an old Dawg new tricks! Even while he keeps his day job.”

Here are this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • After jumping 375 percent over the last 20 years, a report by the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations (IMHE) shows that global health funding slowed to just 6 percent.
  • From Time magazine, Dr. Wendy DeMartini of UW Medical Center reports that MRIs are an important tool in helping women detect more cases of breast cancer.
  • UW Provost Mary Lidstrom says more budget cuts are coming.
  • The UW’s Master of Communication in Digital Media (MCDM) hosted a rapid response public conversation on the Wikileaks debate. This is being called a defining moment for the Internet. Read an extensive post on the subject by Adjunct Professor Ken Rufo.
  • Matthew Nienow, a 2010 UW graduate, was selected from over 1,000 applicants as one of this year’s Creative Writing Fellows from the National Endowment for the Arts. The prize is worth $25,000.
  • Prosthetic limbs have come a long way. Might high-tech tentacles be next? That’s the vision of Kaylene Kau, a 2010 graduate of the UW’s Industrial Design Program who conceived of a motorized curling prosthetic arm as part of her senior project.
  • UW students took home first place at a prestigious international genetic engineering competition by developing an anthrax destroying protein.
  • UW researcher Jeansok Kim shows how animals overcome fear to obtain food in a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Photos of tiny blood vessels in the eye link air pollution to heart disease, says Sara Adar, who did the work while an assistant professor at the UW School of Public Health.
  • Ray Hilborn, UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, says the world is running out of places to catch wild fish.

Photo by Thomas L. Pratt.


3 Responses to “UW degrees made possible for working professionals”

  1. Linda Hanlon wrote:
    December 14, 2010

    Love the song clip here:

    We reserve the right to moderate and remove comments as we see fit (sorry Cougars!). Check out our comments FAQ to learn more or contact the UWAA if you’ve got a (dawg) bone to pick. And here’s a song.

    fun! Thanks.

    • Derek Belt wrote:
      December 14, 2010

      Hi Linda – Thanks for the comment. We’re just trying to keep things light around here. : )

      Happy Holidays!

      • Bima Naidu wrote:
        December 20, 2010

        UW, a great environment for independent doctoral research and education. Updated resources and meaningful professors.

        All the best,


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