Creative studies program reaches Europe

Maris Lambie, Reporter

Next year the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State will team up with King William I College and the Center for the Development of Creative Thinking (COCD) in the Netherlands. They will be collaborating together to bring the Distance Master’s Program to Den Bosch in the Netherlands.

The master’s program will be for international students who have more than five years of experience in their professional field, and have already completed a graduate certificate for professional programs. Branko Broekman, associate creativity expert at the COCD, will coordinate the program.

“Our faculty will be delivering the curriculum,” said Gerard Puccio, chair of the International Center for Studies in Creativity. “King William will be providing residency, and the COCD will be recruiting students.”

He said the program would be a hybrid, with two weeks of classes on campus at King William as well as online classes through Buffalo State, making it easier for international students to get their degree.

“Many [students] couldn’t come to Buffalo State for grad school,” Puccio said. “It’s not easy to give up your life and come to Buffalo.”

Puccio said studying creativity is currently a “hot topic” in Europe.

“There is a strong interest in creativity that will attract students,” he said.

Puccio said the layout of the master’s program in the Netherlands would be the same as the master’s program offered on campus at Buffalo State. The students will spend two weeks on campus taking courses, and then take courses online.

The master’s program requires students to have 33 credit hours. Students must also have at least a 2.5 GPA and must be fluent in English. Students will take courses in applied creativity, theories and models of creativity and research in the field of creativity.

Creative studies faculty members at Buffalo State look forward to the program starting. Lee Ann Dickerson, manager of International Certificate Programs, said that everyone was, “excited to launch everything [and] expand the program worldwide.”

The creative studies center has offered courses for international students in both distance and master’s programs on campus in the past. After seeing all the diverse students that the master’s and distance programs brought to Buffalo State, both Puccio and Dickerson were thrilled to expand the program to more people.

“There isn’t a cookie-cutter type person,” Dickerson said about the students. “It’s so multi-faceted and cross-cultural. It makes things fresh and exciting.”

Puccio said the programs at Buffalo State have already attracted students from six different continents, and from major corporations and universities.

“It’s interesting to learn about the students and see what they do,” Dickerson said.

After working with the students in both the distance and master’s programs, Dickerson and Puccio said the programs are “transformative” for students.

Dickerson said students who have been involved with distance programs on campus at Buffalo State say that the program has made an impact in their personal and professional lives.

While working with international students in the master’s program, Puccio said he saw the same success, and that former students involved with the program have improved their problem solving skills and were able to expand their roles in their organizations. Dickerson said students who have studied creativity will “stand out” in the professional world. Puccio agreed.

“Employers are looking for leaders and those who can think creatively,” he said.

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