Work: Goodbye Credentials Accreditation, Welcome New Degree

by Butch Bascombe

In 1970, the School of Computer Science at Windsor University numbered only four faculty members, running two initial programs (bachelor in Computer Science both General and Honours.) Their “Digital PDP-11 mainframe, which ran on punch tape” may sound like a dinosaur today but in fact was a “state of the art” machine during late 70s.

Thirty years later, the school is still an innovative environment. More than that, with modern facilities and lab computers, Windsor has become a hub for science. Starting next January, it will also become a magnet for newcomers with a math background. The School of Computer Science is now offering the opportunity to get a Bachelors of Computer Science general degree for internationally trained professionals here in Canada.

“It is not a certificate,” explains Dr. Richard Caron, Dean of Science at Windsor. “This is a program especially designed for professionals who already have a degree in some related area, like engineering or science. We take these previous studies and adjust them to Canadian standards, offering a Computer Science Degree valid in this country.”

This Canadian degree would improve newcomers’ employment opportunities, by providing recognizable credentials. The advantage of this program is that students don’t need to start all over again. Their previous education counts towards the completion of their Canadian education. It is more than foreign credential recognition; it is an actual Canadian degree.

“We are not in the business of giving newcomers credentials. But we are trying to give them an opportunity, a chance to interact in Canada. We are trying to help them get the job they want,” says Caron.

Although this is a completely new program, the School of Computer Science, directed by Dr. Akshai Aggarwal already offers a very large Master’s and doctoral program in Computer Science for professionals with a math background. The new bachelor degree is a complement of those services.

This 12 month full-time intensive program starts on January 7th, but the application and admission processes have already begun. Students require a three year General or four year Honours Bachelor degree from an accredited university. Also, they need Ontario Grade 12 “U” Advanced Functions, Introductory Calculus, Geometry and Discrete Mathematics or equivalent courses.

“The common element here is that these people already have an engineering or a science degree, so they know the fundamentals of mathematics,” explains the dean.

If they don’t have this core of math, engineering or science they are still eligible for admission. They will just need 16 months for the degree, because they need to attend a four month upgrade.

Newcomers interested in this program can apply from September 19th to December 1st to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, using the OUAC application. After this deadline, they can still enroll applying directly to The Office of the Registrar (undergraduate admissions) of University of Windsor located at 401 Sunset Ave. Chrysler Hall North, Room 1118 Windsor.

Dean Caron explains that they have not put a limit to the size of the class, however, they expect to start with 20 students for next year.