Today@Sam Article

SHSU Fashion Merchandising Programs Expand Reach To Online

May 27, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

fashion merchStory by Mikah Boyd

Students can soon earn a fashion merchandising degree online from Sam Houston State University. Starting Sept. 1, the university will offer its Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising through distance learning.

The move to an online format provides the program with the opportunity to reach students across the state and nation. To help with the transition, the department of Family and Consumer Sciences hired Keila Tyner, who has worked in the industry under brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.

"We are excited about the future of this degree program and its offering online," Tyner said. "When approaching the curriculum changes, we reviewed fashion merchandising curriculum across the country, to be the forefront in providing students with current, relevant, and an exceptional education experience that is aligned with current fashion industry trends."

Karen Leonhart, events and communication specialist for the College of Health Sciences, is overjoyed with the prospect of working with instructors of Tyner’s caliber.

“The most exciting part of all this is that we are finding instructors that have incredible industry experience with major companies. Thanks to the new online format, students will have access to instructors from major fashion commerce regions like New York City,” Leonhart said.

The opportunity to learn from different professors and connect with students from across the country appeals to those in the program as well. Alexis Gilbert, a current fashion merchandising student, had some concerns about the move, but finds the pros outweigh the cons.

“I do see a benefit of going online in a way,” Gilbert said. “We can be exposed to more professors that live out of the state and meeting other students that don’t live in Texas. We can have a wider range of networking opportunities and meet interesting people.”

An alumna of the program, Alexia Stewart believes that current and future students will now be able to learn and grow from new professors and peers from outside of the state.

Stewart now works in a corporate position for Target after overcoming various obstacles that the events of 2020 put in her way. Despite it all, Stewart was able to persevere and attributes her success in the corporate world to the rigorous standards of the fashion program at SHSU.

“The internship requirement to graduate from the program prepared me for life outside of college,” Stewart said. “I had the opportunity to gain corporate experience, which helped me land my current corporate retail role.”

All academic changes require final approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Details on the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Fashion Merchandising can be found online.

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