Unlocking New Opportunities

Many professionals today need a flexible, affordable and accelerated path to master in-demand skills and earn career-advancing credentials.

Two new and unique Alverno programs are ready to meet this need. One offers professional certification in less than nine months; another provides an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or less.

Both programs, open to women and men, represent an important strategic priority for the College and are grounded in the strong foundation of Alverno’s 8 Abilities.

“Our goal is to prepare highly skilled, critical-thinking, mission-centered professionals ready to fill the region’s employment and leadership needs,” says Kate Lundeen, vice president for Enrollment and Student Success. “Alverno pioneered adult learning more than 40 years ago, so we’re well-positioned to re-imagine the ways in which we offer opportunities for meaningful experiential learning.”


In Wisconsin, more than 660,000 adults have earned college credits but have not completed their degrees, according to a 2019 report from the National Student Clearinghouse. Additionally, many haven’t earned any college credits. Completing college would unlock new opportunities for these professionals as well as increase their earning potential.

Designed with the adult learner in mind, Alverno Accelerate is an affordable and flexible pathway to earning a bachelor’s degree in three years or less.

Alverno Accelerate integrates the principles of an Alverno undergraduate education — namely, the 8 Abilities and assessment-based curriculum. Learning takes place in students’ communities, incorporating experiences from their careers and daily lives.

Students work at their own pace and use online tools to share their work with faculty, who guide students through outcome-based learning experiences.

“By centering learning upon activities that are connected and immediately applicable to the real world, students will be intellectually engaged and professionally challenged,” says Patricia Lewis, director of Alverno Accelerate. “Graduates of Alverno Accelerate will be designers of and leaders in a complex and evolving world.”

The program is accepting applications now. To learn more, visit alverno.edu/accelerate.


The job market has seen a significant gap between the skills that organizations require and the skills that employees possess. This is especially true in a job market disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, which has put millions out of work.

While many uncertainties remain about how people will go back to work, this much is clear: many workers will require new skills.

“To meet these needs now and for the future, Alverno is partnering with industry professionals to design and deliver specialized learning paths that are relevant, flexible and in high demand,” says Linda Olszewski ’98 ’08, director of the Pivot Your Skills Pathways program.

Through this program, women and men will develop a mix of technical knowledge and invaluable interpersonal skills, earning professional certification in less than nine months.

Classes are taught by industry professionals and Alverno faculty, and the cohort model allows for strong connections to form. An important component is face-to-face learning and collaboration, which can happen in person or via a digitally connected classroom.

Alverno currently offers certification in nonprofit management, managing operations and leveraging the power of data, with a leadership pathway in development.

The next session begins September 9. To learn more and to register, visit alverno.edu/pivot.

This article appears in the spring/summer 2020 issue of Alverno Magazine.

%d bloggers like this: