FASHION FINDS A HOME AT MCC The ability to respond to emerging workforce trends is one of Metropolitan Community College’s many strengths, drawing in new students and supplying the market with skilled, just-in-time talent. MCC’s new associate degree in Fashion Design, which debuted in Fall 2016, was developed in this very spirit, in conjunction with organizers of Omaha Fashion Week. Over the last 10 years, the event has grown from humble beginnings to become the fifth largest fashion event of its kind in the country—a testament to Omaha’s growing community of fashion professionals.
added Dr. Tom McDonnell, vice president for Academic Affairs.
The surge of young and emerging talent in Omaha, combined with the positive employment outlook for fashion professionals across the country, created the perfect opportunity for MCC to develop the training program. A team of faculty, deans and community leaders worked for nearly two years with fashion show organizers to build the career pathway, which includes apprenticeship opportunities with Omaha Fashion Week. During the second year of the program, students will work with local designers and the fashion show in a variety of areas, “For years, students have been depending on their interests. That asking for a Fashion Design could include helping run the shows, program,” said Nanci Stephenson, Fashion Design program coordinator hemming clothes or working with online retailers. and lead instructor. “So, when we were approached by Omaha Fashion Rather than focusing on technical Week creators Brook and Nick skills, like sewing, the new degree Hudson, we knew we would be able program helps students build to help create the talent pipeline business skills and design knowledge. they were looking for.” Students take fashion-specific “Creating the program with industry classes like History of Fashion and leaders in our community was critical Digital Design Principles, alongside elective courses like Marketing to implementing this new program. for the Entrepreneur. The intent We are grateful for the leaders who is to prepare students for a range provided the content expertise of careers in the fashion industry, we needed to help move this from creating original apparel and programming opportunity forward,”
For years, students have been asking for a Fashion Design program. - Nanci Stephenson, MCC Fashion Design program coordinator lead instructor
accessories to working in retail and showing their work in local and national fashion shows. In the program’s first quarter, fourteen students are set to complete Fashion Design Principles. Students include recent high school graduates, Fashion Week designers and a military veteran who is turning her longtime hobby into a potential career opportunity. Students committed to full-time study should be able to complete the degree program in two years. Reflecting on the program’s creation, Stephenson noted the importance of MCC’s partnership with industry. “The Fashion Design program wouldn’t have happened without the collaboration with Omaha Fashion Week. Having industry champions at the table helped us create a responsive, robust training program for our students—tomorrow’s fashion professionals.”
Published on Feb 15, 2017