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Jeff Berryman and Jennie AtkinsActing provost Jeff Berryman and Jennie Atkins discussed a new mandate in continuing education at a reception Thursday for members of the Chamber of Commerce.

University opening to new opportunities in Continuing Education

The University will develop a greater number and diversity of continuing education programs under a new mandate that grew out of community consultations conducted in early 2017, says acting provost Jeff Berryman.

A series of meetings with more than 300 individuals representing industrial, creative, and service sectors provided insight into how the University can contribute to a thriving future for the Windsor-Essex region and the world.

“We heard a need for our mission to extend beyond the campus,” Prof. Berryman says. “We are repositioning to build not-for-credit programs for delivery to the general public and specialized audiences.”

He points to skills development for practising professionals in law, engineering, social work, and business as examples of areas that might warrant investment.

“Right now, we are reaching out to community partners to determine their needs,” says Berryman. “We hope to serve wherever there is an opportunity.”

The umbrella of Continuing Education will subsume the Centre for English Language Development and the Centre for Executive and Professional Education, says executive director Jennie Atkins.

“We hope to operate on many different levels, from micro-credentialing that helps people stay abreast of the most current developments in their fields to lifestyle interest type courses,” she says, offering examples as varied as painting and sculpture to Six Sigma training.

“We are looking at branching out to engage in more community outreach and offer programming that is accessible and not for academic credit.”

A reception Thursday, October 25, in Windsor Hall showcased some of the new mandate, bringing members of the local Chamber of Commerce to meet with faculty and officials of Co-operative Education and Workplace Partnerships, the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre), and the School of Social Work, as well as Continuing Education.

“It was a chance for us to begin the work of seeking individuals with ideas — both for courses they would like to take and those they might be interested in leading,” says Atkins.

To suggest an idea for Continuing Education, email continue@uwindsor.ca.