A Canadian tradition with international recognition has led to an innovation in education.

Starting this year, Centennial College’s Centre for Creative Communications in Toronto is set to open the doors to its newest program: Children’s Entertainment:

Writing, Production and Management Program. It’s a one year-post graduate program that is the first of its kind in Canada — a country that has received much notoriety for its work in children’s programming.

“Canadian producers have a world-renowned reputation in children’s entertainment,” says program co-ordinator and professor, Suzanne Wilson. “We have such a tradition, so it’s natural for us to develop a program like this.”

The new program will feature courses on creating various children’s products like film, television, books, education products and interactive media. In addition, students will also learn how to write specifically for a unique demographic.

According to Wilson, there are a number of ethical issues that arise when producing content for children, as well as the need for a clear understanding of how to effectively communicate with kids in their developmental years.

Along with creative skills, students will be taught business and managerial skills to provide them with a truly holistic knowledge of this very competitive industry. Therefore, no matter what their interests are, students will be prepared to advance in the business in a number of areas.

“It’s a very intensive and focused program that is really geared towards offering important career skills,” explains Wilson. “It’s designed to open up a lot of doors and prepare students for any side of the job they choose to get in to.”

The idea for a unique program such as this was the brainchild of Nate Horowitz, Dean of the Centre for Creative Communications. Over the past three years Horowitz, with the assistance of Wilson and others, has managed to recruit top-tier professors and create a buzz within the industry itself. In fact, faculty for the program includes the creator of the hit TV-show “Ready or Not,” and a producer for “Fraggle Rock.”

To add to the impressive faculty, the program will also rely heavily on guest speakers to help students get the most current insider information, while providing the opportunity to make contacts in the industry. Therefore, the program not only offers students an exclusive education opportunity, but it facilitates important networking opportunities with industry leaders.

“The industry is aware of the program and really supports it,” adds Wilson. “We’ve had all kinds of interest from within the industry.”

Considering it’s the only program of its kind, Wilson says graduates will likely have an edge over their counterparts in this competitive field. To help them get ahead, the program also includes a field placement.

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