NIU grooms future fashion designers

By Erin Wienke

It may seem unlikely that DeKalb could be the next mecca of fashion.

But with the School of Family, Consumer and Nutrition Science offering a major in textiles, apparel and merchandising, students can experience the world of fashion firsthand.

“At present, our program has a single emphasis that includes coursework supporting both apparel merchandising and product development,” said Sarah Cosbey, associate professor and coordinator for textiles, merchandising and educational services.

Students who major in textiles, apparel and merchandising can pursue careers in fields such as designing, purchasing, distribution, quality control and promotion of fashion products according to the informational packet.

“The faculty are very enthusiastic about their field – that comes out in the classes they teach,” Cosbey said. “Students are advised by faculty once they reach junior status.”

Textiles majors also receive experience in the field through co-operative education courses and internships. NIU’s proximity to Chicago also gives the students opportunities for work experience in a big city.

Students who transfer from the College of DuPage or William Rainey Harper College can participate in the Two Plus Two program, which gives them a chance to transfer their associate’s degree in applied science toward a degree in textiles, apparel and merchandising at NIU. The program is an established way to transfer credits.

To enroll in these programs, students who come from other schools must apply to have their courses looked at for consideration of transfer, Cosbey said.