I’m confused as to what your beef is with, the fact that there IS a course in brewing, or that there is a designation they give after taking it? Or both?
I am by default weary of educational institutions, because tenured profs, exorbitant tuitions and the like are a big problem in our system, but I don’t really understand an objection to a TECHNICAL school offering a course in something that is indeed, quite technical. But yes, the school is going to charge for it, as they have to have someone to teach the class, keep the lights on, pay the janitor, insurance and all the other expenses associated with running a business. Oh yeah, and they like to make money just like you with the not too shabby stock market.
I am personally a visual learner, and will learn way more by brewing with someone, or in a classroom setting than reading the material in a book. Further, I think offering this type of content through an established institution may automatically give it some credibility to some that are equally weary of a “Learn to Homebrew!” Day at an industrial park-based LHBS.
With respect to your point on internet forums, there is some good information out there, but as with other things on the internet, there is also a lot of HORRIBLE information out there. I grant you yes, the credibility of the instructors should be vetted by anyone taking the course, but that holds true with any educational product…or any product at all for that matter (?)
Bottom line, if it gets more people interested in the subject and promotes ACCURATE beer/brewing knowledge, then its a good thing. If there is not demand for it, the school and the partner will stop offering it. I suspect, however, that there will be demand for it, especially in a beer town like Madison.