Central Michigan University’s apparel merchandising and design program was named as one of the top programs in the country, according to ranking website Fashion-Schools.org
The program was ranked eighth in the Midwest and 34th nationally. CMU’s program took the 12th spot in the Midwest and 40th nationally in the fashion design concentration.
Standards used to rank schools nationally include academic performance, faculty and personnel and geographic location, to name a few.
Megan Goodwin, chair of the environmental and human services department and CMU, the program excels in each of those areas.
“There needs to be some reassurance day to day (with the program) that it is doing well and the hard work will eventually amount to something,” Goodwin said. “This (designation) is a big picture thing. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a large number of dedicated faculty in that area.”
One of those educators is Wendy Honey, a fixed-term faculty member teaching introductory level AMD courses.
“Our sewing class, for example is something a lot of other departments (around the state) don’t have,” she said. “For the faculty it is really a team effort to try and give these students the best chance to succeed once they get out of here.”
Goodwin added the program has the advantage of holding events and workshops that increase its visibility.
“Things like fashion shows can work as a good recruiting tool at times,” she said. “That being said, students will not decide to come here just on one fashion show, but it certainly helps the image of that program and that of the entire university.”
The report released by the website praised the program, highlighting CMU’s internship programs offering opportunities to work for national and international companies, as well as its industry partnerships with Reebok, Brooks Brothers, and Malden Mills, the report read. The university’s membership in The Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design also made the program viable to the rankers.
For Honey, seeing her students get take part in everything the program has to offer has been inspiring.
“It is so rewarding to watch our freshman students grow up and get better and better by the time they finish here,” Honey said. “This program totally deserves this honor.”