Sheridan College has long been known for creativity in the arts, producing brilliant illustrators and leading-edge animators, for example, as well as a generation of musical theatre stars.
Today the post-secondary institution, with campuses in Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton, Ont., is realizing the power of creativity throughout its programming and across all facilities, with a new undergraduate certificate in creativity and myriad initiatives that encourage creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
"While we continue to celebrate our accomplishments in the arts, creativity extends to all of our program areas," says Yael Katz, who is the special advisor on Creative Campus in the office of the provost and vice-president academic, as well as associate dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences. "Creative problem-solving and creative thinking skills are becoming top-branch proficiencies of the 21st century. We want our students to have the opportunity to gain those skills and competencies that will allow them to thrive in a competitive workforce."
In a global study of more than 1,500 CEOs by IBM in 2010, creativity was selected as the most crucial factor enterprises need to navigate an increasingly complex world. And the Conference Board of Canada's Innovation Skills Profile 2.0 cites creativity and problem-solving as key skills for employees to contribute to innovative performance.
"...creativity extends to all of our program areas."
- Yael Katz
is associate dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences at Sheridan College
Dr. Katz says Sheridan has embraced a creative engagement strategy, realizing that "creativity is one of our differentiators." The Creative Campus is a commitment to creativity in Sheridan's people, programs, places and everyday institutional processes.
The college has formed a relationship with the International Centre for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State, which has conducted problem-solving workshops for faculty and staff and helped Sheridan develop a Board Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving. Launched in January, the certificate includes six courses taken as electives in a four-year degree program. They focus on the evolution of creative problem-solving, for example, as well as group dynamics, creative leadership and how to apply creativity to achieve innovation.
The formal credential is open to degree students across all disciplines, Dr. Katz says, adding that it will give graduates an "additional piece of currency" for today's workplaces.
"Creativity includes cultivating the ability to synthesize, analyze, imagine and engage in reflective thinking toward the production of new ideas," she says. "We want to develop that ability to its fullest."
This content was produced by Randall Anthony Communications, in partnership with The Globe and Mail's advertising department. The Globe's editorial department was not involved in its creation.