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Tammie SaurBiology student Tammie Saur received course credit for her work experience as a veterinary technician.

Program credits students for life experience

The new Competency Based Learning Credits program can turn a future or former student’s life experience into course credits.

An applicant, either new to UWindsor or a returning student, can apply for credit for up to 10 semester courses.

“This is based on equivalent university-level knowledge acquired outside a traditional post-secondary classroom, through work and life experiences related to their discipline,” says Chris Houser, dean of science.

“Competencies may be gained in various capacities, including professional experience and training, independent study, self-teaching, non-credited coursework, volunteering, travel, hobbies, and family experiences.”

Integrative biology major Tammie Saur is the first student to receive credit through the program. The Faculty of Science undergraduate returned to school after working as a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.

“I think it is a very modern idea for schools to start acknowledging our history instead of having the mindset that if you weren’t spoken to by a professor, then it doesn’t count,” she says. “I wasn’t in a classroom, but I did everything in the hospital from preparing microscopic slides for exam, to collecting specimens from pets, assisting in surgeries and patient recovery, running bloodwork, prepping bloodwork, performing fecal tests, and X-rays.”

Saur, who is minoring in anthrozoology, earned credits for her work history.

“A lot of people may be afraid to do go back to school because they won’t have the edge over the younger students, but I feel like I have an edge because I have a long work history.”

While Saur is the first student to benefit from the credit policy, Dr. Houser says the program was inspired by a former UWindsor student named Darren Luck.

“Luck was two credits short of an economics degree when he left UWindsor in the 1980s and despite his very successful career, he always wanted to complete his degree and we helped him virtually cross the stage,” says Houser.

While originally attending the University, Luck competed in varsity athletics as an all-Canadian sprinter on the Lancer track team, and he ran two entrepreneurial businesses. He describes himself as a young man who was a motivated learner but not much of a student. He went on to a successful career as an economist, earning professional designations through programs at Harvard Business School and Princeton University in the United States.

“I’ve accomplished a fair bit in my life, and I attribute a lot of my success to what I learned and relationships formed during my time at UWindsor, but it was always on my bucket list to go back to university and finish that degree,” he says.

Luck returned to the Faculty of Science and completed the two credits he needed to graduate.

“I’d strongly encourage anyone to do this; I’m proud to have that degree on my wall,” he says.

“I’m very grateful to those who took me under their wing and helped me through this, Dr. Houser and Nurlan Turdaliev and Mitch Fields. They were gracious and patient.”

The burden of demonstrating the knowledge and skills for transfer credit will lie with the student and is subject to the assessment of the dean, or designate, of the faculty for which credit is sought.

The Competency Based Learning credits and edits to the bylaws were written in collaboration with the Office of the Registrar. For more information, contact Houser at

—Sara Elliott

Aspire logoA virtual engagement platform will consult staff and faculty on the University’s next strategic plan.

Virtual engagement opportunities available for staff and faculty looking to have their say on strategic plan

This spring, hundreds of staff, faculty, and students joined members of UWindsor’s Strategic Planning team during on-campus consultation sessions to have their say on the University’s next strategic plan. Continued participation in the Aspire: Together for Tomorrow consultations will help guide the University’s future.

As a next step in the planning process, the group has launched a virtual engagement platform for staff and faculty who were unable to attend an in-person consultation session.

“Feedback received from our faculty and staff during the first phases of consultation was critical to developing the next steps in this strategic planning process,” said Erika Kustra, co-chair of the consultation and community engagement team for Aspire and director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. “Some smaller, in-person events are being planned to focus on specific themes, but we are pleased to offer virtual engagement opportunities in case members of our faculty and staff weren’t able to join us in person.”

For more information and to engage, visit

downtown WindsorDebates hosted by the Centre for Cities on May 19 provide a forum for local candidates for provincial parliament to present their positions on issues affecting cities.

Provincial candidates to present visions for cities

The Windsor Law Centre for Cities will host local candidates for provincial parliament in debate today — Thursday, May 19.

Representatives of the major parties will discuss their positions on issues affecting cities: housing, climate action, active and public transit, mental health, infrastructure, municipal financing, as well as questions submitted by registrants.

Both debates will be moderated by journalist Rich Garton (BA 2008) of CTV News and conducted over the Zoom videoconferencing platform.

Click on the links below to register:

The Ontario general election is June 2.

Founded in November 2019, the Windsor Law Centre for Cities provides avenues for students, faculty, municipal governments, community organizations, and advocates to exchange ideas promoting sustainable and inclusive local governance.

awards trophyNominations for GA/TA awards for educational practice and leadership are open until May 27.

Awards to recognize graduate and teaching assistant contributions to educational practice and leadership

The Centre for Teaching and Learning has issued a call for nominations for awards recognizing contributions by graduate and teaching assistants to the University’s learning environment.

The GA/TA Awards for Educational Practice and the GA/TA Award for Educational Leadership aim to:

  • honour exemplary graduate and teaching assistants who contribute to a positive, learning-centred environment;
  • inspire graduate and teaching assistants to recognize their potential for excellence in educational practice and leadership; and
  • publicize examples of excellence in educational practice and leadership that can inform the practices of all teachers.

The deadline for nominations is May 27.

Find details of the criteria, eligibility, and process on the awards website.

Wen DoA free program offers training in self-defence to faculty and staff women May 21 and 22.

Self-defence spots still open

Spots are still available for this weekend’s Wen-Do self-defence training for staff and faculty women.

The Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, Resistance, and Support is hosting the program free on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22. The two-day course is an empowering opportunity for women of all ages and abilities to practise easy to learn, easy to remember physical and verbal techniques.

Staff and faculty are welcome to register and bring their daughters over 10 years old as well. Lunch will be provided both days.

Sign up using the online form. Direct questions to Anne Rudzinski at