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Creativity and Change Leadership, GCP

About the Program

Ongoing development of leadership models during the last century has drawn a close connection between creativity and leadership. At the core of many current leadership models is the concept of change—how to foster and manage it. This concept is clearly reflected in the language used to describe the essence of leadership today. For instance, many leadership theories focus on visionary, transformational, and change leadership. In addition, the view that leadership consists of a set of specific attributes that one has or does not have has shifted to a view that leadership skills can be learned and developed.

The ability to think creatively is an essential leadership skill. Often, a leader must act as a catalyst for change and when we engage in creative thinking our goal is to bring about change, i.e., to bring about an idea, solution or concept that helps us to meet an important goal or to address a complex challenge. Thus, it is imperative for leaders to learn how to facilitate their own creative thinking, as well as those they work with, to bring about productive change (i.e., new products, services, resolution to problems, opportunities, etc.).

The purpose of the State University of New York graduate certificate program in creativity and change leadership is to provide students with the knowledge and skills that can put them in a better position to operate as change leaders. Leadership is a process. This certificate program teaches students how to better manage this process.

The program applies more than 50 years of research, development, and practice in the field of creativity toward leadership development. The program is not designed strictly for those in formal leadership roles; anyone can learn how to positively influence others as a leader. Leadership is about action, not position.

After completing this graduate certificate program, students can submit an application to continue with the master’s degree in creativity (i.e., all courses taken to fulfill the certificate can be applied to the master's degree).

The master’s degree and certificate program are offered on the Buffalo State campus and to distance students. Students who wish to earn a master’s degree in creativity via distance must begin in the certificate program. Distance students are required to have five years of professional experience. For a description of the distance program (i.e., graduate certificate in creativity and change leadership for professionals) go to

About the Center for Studies in Creativity Department

244 Chase Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-6223
Fax: (716) 878-4040

Admission Requirements

1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (4.0 scale). Preference is given to those with GPAs of 3.0 or higher.

2. A written statement of the applicant’s professional or educational goals and how a graduate certificate in creativity supports these goals. The recommended length for the letter of intent is two to three pages.

3. Brief biographical sketch, one to two paragraphs, that provides a summary of the applicant’s accomplishments, areas of expertise, and experiences.

4. Two letters of reference (pdf form available as a download; alternative formats of reference form also available through department).

5. Five years of professional experience (distance learning program applicants only).

6. Successful review by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in the Graduate Catalog.

Program Requirements

Required Courses 15 cr
CRS 559 Principles in Creative Problem Solving
CRS 560 Foundations of Creative Learning
CRS 580 Creativity Assessment: Methods and Resources
CRS 610 Facilitation of Group Problem Solving
CRS 635 Creativity and Change Leadership

Elective Course 3 cr
Select one course from the following:
CRS 625 Current Issues in Creative Studies
CRS 670 Foundations in Teaching and Training Creativity

Total Required Credit Hours 18 cr

All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

Student Consumer Information for this Program

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