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UW–Madison’s first online degree program celebrates 10 years of success

September 29, 2011

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Engineering in Professional Practice (MEPP) program celebrates 10 years of success this October.

As the first online degree offered by UW–Madison, the MEPP program has been recognized as an exceptional online education model earning several major awards from the United States Distance Learning Association, the Sloan Consortium and the University Continuing Education Association.

Launched in 1999, with the first class graduating in 2001, the MEPP program has nearly 400 students and alumni around the world from companies such as Google, NASA, 3M, Motorola, Intel, Qualcomm, and the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy. Distinguished alumni include Rudy Quiles, a civil affairs officer for the U.S. Marine Corps, who was named one of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s Forward under 40 for his impressive work rebuilding communities and local governance in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The caliber of MEPP alumni speaks to the quality of our program over the past 10 years,” says Wayne Pferdehirt, MEPP program director. “We are proud to have some of the most successful engineers and technical leaders in the industry among our alumni, and are looking forward to celebrating them this October.”

The MEPP program equips students, all of whom are full-time working engineers and technical professionals, with a combination of technical skills and leadership abilities that prepares them for engineering management and technical leadership across all industries.

Students participate in the program using interactive online tools including web conferencing and forums, allowing them to complete their coursework from anywhere in the world while working full time. Each new class proceeds through the two-year curriculum as a cohort, providing students with a high level of structure and support throughout the program.

Alumni consistently say that MEPP’s project-based curriculum and collaborative learning model created a more personally engaging experience than traditional, on-campus courses.

As part of the 10-year anniversary celebration, MEPP students and alumni will travel to Madison to join MEPP faculty and staff for several commemorative events during UW–Madison’s Homecoming weekend.

The MEPP program will also be featured in a seminar, “MEPP-A Proven, Better Mid-Career Alternative to an MBA for Most Engineers” during the UW–Madison College of Engineering Engineer’s Day at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, in 1800 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive. This session will feature MEPP alumna Tanya Higgins, quality deployment manager at John Deere, and Jeffrey Russell, MEPP faculty and UW–Madison vice provost for lifelong learning and dean of the Division of Continuing Studies.

More information about the MEPP program is available at

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