Master the art of the gap year.

Earn a certificate in Global Creative Studies from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and learn from professional artists and educators, all while immersed in the KIA’s world-class museum environment. Recent high school graduates (or equivalent) will take classes at the Kirk Newman Art School and have the opportunity to earn college course credits through Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Tap into your creativity through unique courses in a variety of areas all in an inspired learning environment. 

This program will feature studies in photography, sculpture, writing, painting and more.

The Global Creative Studies gap year program is brought to you by


Earn college credits at:

Eligible students are supported by:


Sample Curriculum — 10 Courses Total

  • Cohort Class [KVCC First-year experience]
  • Ceramics [KVCC class offered at the KIA]
  • Sculpture [KVCC class offered at the KIA]
  • Elective courses (select two – possibilities include):
    • Kiln-Fused Glass
    • Beginning Printmaking
    • Introduction to Watercolor
  • Photography [KVCC class offered at the KIA]
  • Humanities course focused on exploring American Art through World Cultures
  • Elective courses (select two to four):
    • Drawing Basics
    • Possible Elective: Portfolio Preparation
    • Creative Writing
    • Spanish
    • American Sign Language

Students will have the opportunity to take weekend workshops which are designed to give them an introduction to a variety of media. By taking workshops outside of the cohort class, they have the opportunity to connect with outside artists.
Some of our recent workshops included:

  • Indigo dying or macrame sampling
  • Gyotaku (fish prints)
  • Glass fusing
  • Plein air painting

*This is a sample curriculum to maximize KVCC course credits. This may not be available to all students.


Do I have to select a track (like painting or ceramics) or can I explore many types of art expression? The curriculum is flexible, offering a mix of required and elective courses tailored to the interest and passion of each student. Students will take required courses as a cohort and elective courses across the catalogue of the Kirk Newman Art School. 

How long will this program take to complete? 9 months

What do I get when I finish the program? Students will receive a Certificate in Global Creative Studies, confidence to pursue their passions and preparation for an enriched life.

Can I get college credit for any of these courses? Course credit may be available by registering for Kalamazoo Valley Community College courses (listed in the sample curricula) or through portfolio review at the conclusion of the certificate program.

What will I learn outside of the classes? Students will engage in a vibrant community of artists, thinkers and creatives. At the conclusion of this program, graduates will be prepared to successfully enter higher education with confidence, experience and a trusted group of mentors and colleagues. Through engagement with community partners, students will engage in co-curricular experiences that sharpen their future focus.

Who are the teachers of my classes? Skilled artists and professionals.

How much will this program cost? With scholarship availability, the program has a low cost option. Once you apply, we can better help identify the cost to you as an individual. Additional KVCC tuition and fees may apply.

What materials and supplies will I need to have to be successful in this program? Most material costs are covered within the tuition cost.