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Graduate degrees conferred at Clark’s Polish campuses

Diversity of student body huge plus for graduates


Dr. John LaBrie, dean of Clark University’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) and associate provost for professional education, and Mary Piecewicz, associate dean, SPS, handed out graduate degrees to 14 students at Clark’s Krakow, Poland campus on October 25. Clark’s partnership with Poland’s University of Social Sciences, the Spoleczna Akademia Nauk (SAN), offers students a dual degree program allowing them to earn an MBA from the University and a Master’s degree from Clark.

Dean John LaBrie addresses Krakow graduates

Before the Krakow ceremony, LaBrie spoke with several graduates who gave Clark high marks for the degree programs and the diversity the partnership provides. Ali Namakian, an Iranian American, moved to Poland several years ago to start a family business. He chose the MBA program because of its partnership with an American university and part-time structure.  He has been impressed with the curriculum and the diversity of the students.  “Our classes are full of people from different cultures, continents, religions, and interests, “he said. “I learned as much from the other students as from the professors. The diversity was a huge plus.”

After living in Poland for several years, graduate Michel Hjazzen decided to join the program because it was a great opportunity to get a master’s degree from an American university. “I could keep my full-time job and still get my degree,” he said. “The MBA program prepared me for future roles in management and communication.” He has already seen the benefits by receiving a promotion at UPS, where he will be leading a team in January.

Lucien Silva, who moved to Poland from Rio de Janeiro, described the real-world applications of his Capstone practicum.  He and his group worked on the recently instituted GPDR regulations in Europe. “We created a framework on implementation for change management which will be very useful to companies,” he said.

Associate Dean Mary Piecewicz (c) with Polish faculty Dr. Anna Migdal (l) and Professor Pawel Moraswki

After the graduation event in Krakow, LaBrie and Piecewicz traveled to Lodz, Poland, to confer Clark’s Master of Science in Professional Communication to 47 graduate students from SAN’s Warsaw and Lodz campuses.

International students are attracted to the dual program because of the prestige of an American degree. The two universities have been partners since 2004, offering English-speaking degree programs at locations in Krakow, Lodz, and Warsaw. The partnership exemplifies the Polish-American transfer of knowledge and skills both on an academic level as well as in the institutional arena. Current Clark degrees offered include: M.S. in Communication, M.S in Information Technology, and MPA.

The cohort-based programs have full-day classes held exclusively on the weekends. The sessions are intensive and designed to integrate with students’ professional and personal lives by allowing them to continue to work full-time while earning their degrees. The curriculum mirrors that of Clark’s Worcester campus and includes a final Capstone project.