PGCC Is Gateway to Bachelor's DegreeThe Professional Golfers Career College is thrilled to join the University of Wisconsin-Stout in offering graduates a unique chance to further advance their golf education. Through this partnership, golf college graduates have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Golf Enterprise Management, through UW-Stout’s online GEM program.
So why was PGCC selected to partner with UW stout in offering this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? The answer is simple, GEM Program Director, Kris Schoonover, notes that PGCC offers “excellent facilities with a very professional approach by faculty, staff, and students in an applied learning environment.” She continues, “The faculty and staff associated with PGCC, working professionals attached to the golf industry, provide excellent understanding of the challenges and rewards of the golf industry.” President and founder of PGCC, Dr. Tim Somerville shares in Schoonover’s excitement, “This is such a tremendous opportunity for our students. Because of this program they’re able to continue working, developing their career, and earn a Bachelor’s degree at the same time. It’s a win-win.”
Students can experience the program in two different spheres; on campus, which features a more traditional campus experience, or online. Those who choose to pursue their degree online can participate at the pace and schedule which best suits them, leaving room for work, family and other responsibilities. Distance learning also offers the chance to interact with classmates and faculty that span the globe, and bring along their unique backgrounds and experiences. All GEM students receive professional instruction from UW-Stout faculty, and financial assistance is available, including dedicated GEM scholarships.
Schoonover maintains, “The intention of the degree program is to provide skilled management leaders for golf businesses, in particular, management leaders for golf course facilities.” She also shares that “this four-year degree program was developed in close consultation with key leaders throughout the golf industry, to include representatives from the PGA, LPGA, GCSAA, and most importantly our own National Golf Course Owner’s Association.” It is worth mentioning that the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the development of this degree since its inception in 2005.
Schoonover’s vision and goals are clear, “The mission of the program is to provide students with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary education with emphases on business, marketing, customer service, food, beverage, and retail management, in addition to content specific to the management of golf facilities such as turf management and golf operations.” And has that mission been accomplished? In a word...absolutely.
The GEM program has been the fastest growing program in the history of the university, enrollment in the program quickly grew to about 200 students. To date, 74 students have graduated with the GEM degree, and 96% of those graduates are employed. PGCC has exceptional credit transferability; over 60 of our 72 credits are transferable. At the end of the program, students will receive a University of Wisconsin - Stout degree, and be further along on their quest to be a future leader in the world of golf.