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Engineers graduate from first internet-based program

The first graduates of the Master of Engineering in Professional
                        Practice program

The college's first MEPP graduates celebrate their academic achievement before the official ceremony. (31K JPG)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering recently honored the first graduates of the only campus degree program delivered completely via Internet.

All 22 students, who are engineers with employers across the United States, attended commencement May 20 as graduates of the Department of Engineering Professional Development's Master of Engineering in Professional Practice program.

The two-year degree is designed for early to mid-career engineers who are planning to continue working in a technical capacity and want to improve their professional skills. MEPP provides an effective alternative to an MBA for engineers. The program's independent-learning format gives practicing engineers the freedom to access course information at their convenience and take classes while continuing to work full time.

"Location, job responsibilities, travel demands and family needs often stand in the way of pursuing graduate education," says Faculty Associate and MEPP Director Wayne Pferdehirt. "To overcome these barriers, the program is designed to allow students to earn a top-quality master's degree from their location using time available in their schedule."

Pferdehirt says the program curriculum is based on an extensive needs analysis survey of practicing engineers across the United States. MEPP is unique because its courses have been specially designed for Web-based distance delivery, as opposed to on campus lectures subsequently adapted for the Internet.

The collaborative and supportive nature of the program's design has enabled it to achieve a course completion rate of over 99 percent.