Why students and faculty chose Kent State fashion

Persistence ad Graduation I

Abigail Miller

Growing up in Cleveland, junior fashion merchandising major Erin Miller knew that she was meant to study fashion merchandising.

The Fashion School was Miller’s first choice. At the time, the school was ranked number three in the country by the Business of Fashion.

“I kind of fell in love with fashion starting off with the love of clothing and how it makes you feel,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be a designer and I have always had a business mind so being able to major in something that is business but a fashion focus was a perfect fit for me.”

Over the past three years, The Fashion School has seen a positive increase in retention numbers for fourth year students.

Not only are new students enrolling into the school, but they are graduating, too.

Miller said because of her hometown’s proximity to the school along with its national ranking, Kent State has always been her perfect match.

“Being from Cleveland, I always knew I was going to go to Kent State,” she said. “They were also number three in the country for their fashion program.”

Because of Kent State’s location in a rural area of Ohio instead of a major city, it allows students to work in a more relaxed environment.

According to persistence and graduation rates for fourth year students, Kent State’s fashion program has increased from 66.05 percent in fall 2015, to 76.02 percent in fall 2017.

Director of The Fashion School, J.R. Campbell explained that the 10 percent increase in graduation rates from fourth year students is a product of the Fashion School’s hard work in advising students in and out of the classroom.

In spite of it’s difficulty, the program is designed to assure students success.

Associate professor and Kent State alumna Noël Palomo-Lovinski said in comparison to her time studying at New York University and Parsons School of Design, Kent State provided a better sense of community and support.

“Parsons and in many respects, NYU, are a lot more competitive within the student body,” she said. “Parsons students are not nearly as collaborative and supportive as I see Kent State students being. There is a lot more student-teacher collaboration at Kent State. I saw my teachers minimally and it was only my personal desire and stubbornness to succeed that made me stay.”

Along with its Midwest location, students note that the Fashion School offers top tier curriculum and helpful professors.

Sophomore fashion merchandising major Delaney Baumler said that some of her favorite things about Kent’s fashion program is its quality staff and how dedicated they are to helping students succeed.

“I honestly love how all of the professors are so knowledgeable about the topics that they teach. Not only do they know a lot, but they have real-world experience in the industry that aids to their teaching,” she said. “They are all so willing to help you both academically and professionally. The professors in the Fashion School really want you to succeed in the industry.”

Junior fashion merchandising major Alexus Bonacci said while she loves Kent’s campus, she also recognizes how focused the fashion program’s classes are compared to other schools she contemplated attending.

“Kent is quaint, and I love the campus overall, but the fashion program and classes are far more detail-oriented than any other schools I’ve considered,” she said.

Bonacci said although the program is difficult, she enjoys the challenge because it reassures her that the program is worth it.

“It’s not easy and I’m honest about that upfront, if you want to succeed in the fashion majors and post-graduation then you have to work hard for what you want,” Bonacci said. “I love that the program is hard because it helps you figure out whether or not it’s worth it.”

Abigail Miller is the fashion reporter. Contact her at [email protected].