Are you an experienced AUPE activist? Are you a member interested in furthering your education? Are you looking for a life-long learning opportunity related to union education?

AUPE’s Education Department provides members with a unique opportunity to use hours accumulated in our education programming towards a certificate or a degree with Athabasca University (AU).

AU is Canada’s pioneering university in open and flexible distance education, dedicated to removing barriers for successful university-level study.

AU will provide up to 12 university credits to any AUPE member who decides to pursue an AU certificate or degree in one of two multidisciplinary programs: Labour Studies or Human Resources and Labour Relations.

Labour Studies

Human Resources and Labour Relations

Twelve credits is the equivalent of four 3-credit university courses, nearly a year’s worth of post-secondary education, or half of a certificate.

The advantages of the agreement between AU and AUPE for members are numerous:

  • Take your union education further and earn a credential that will be recognized by universities and by employers.
  • Save significant amounts of time and money towards completing a university certificate or degree.
  • Complete additional university courses on a flexible, self-paced schedule, either part- or full-time.
  • Take advantage of the learning supports provided by mentors and professional educators.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of trade unionism and gain insights into the broader economic, political and legal context of union activities and strategy.
  • Hone your skills in areas that will help you perform better in concrete union activities, like OH&S issues, collective bargaining, and organizing.
  • Gain an appreciation of the history of the labour movement to better understand current conditions and future prospects of union activism.

Labour education helps ensure AUPE members are trained and willing to take a stand for public services, decent jobs and fairness in the workplace and their communities. If knowledge is power, then AUPE needs well-educated members, and the collaboration agreement with Athabasca University for transfer credits serves just that purpose.

In addition to AUPE’s agreement with AU for up to 12 transfer credits, AUPE members may also be eligible for more AU credits through the ‘Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition’ (PLAR) process or by challenging courses for credit. For information about the PLAR process, call 1-800-788-9041 ext. 6348 or go to

For more information, members should contact Jordan Thompson, Union Representative in Education, at