The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, founded in 1983, is dedicated to providing excellence in fashion education. At the Baccalaureate level, the School offers the B.A., Fashion Design and the B.S., Fashion Merchandising. The School also participates in the Combined B.S., Fashion Merchandising/M.B.A. Program where students can earn up to 12 credits in graduate level coursework toward a M.B.A while earning the B.S., Fashion Merchandising. At the Graduate level, the School offers Master of Fashion (MFash), a 30-credit, initial masters-level degree for the academic advancement of students who want to a) engage in advanced-practitioner research in fashion, b) expand their own knowledge base and expertise in a specific topic area, c) advance their professional career, d) expand their entrepreneurial opportunities, and/or e) begin developing credentials for an entry-level appointment in academia.
The School’s unique characteristics include selective admission, an industry-based curriculum, and a symbiotic relationship with the Kent State University Museum which serves as a learning laboratory for the students of the School as well as students from disciplines across the campus.
The School’s founders, the late Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman, built one of America’s most successful and respected fashion firms. They gave to Kent State University their premier collection of costumes and other works of decorative arts which form the nucleus of the Kent State University Museum.
Selective admission to the School is limited to those students who have demonstrated at the secondary level their ability to meet the rigorous requirements of the four-year curriculum. The faculty of the School, drawn from leading fashion schools, major universities, and the fashion industry, strongly support the basic premise of a liberal arts education; that is, to develop in students intellectual flexibility, curiosity, creativity and a life-long love of learning. A strong and viable liberal arts program forms the foundation for the professional industry-based components in design and merchandising. Of critical importance is the School’s commitment to maintaining currency in fashion technology.
Throughout the programs, the merchandising and design curricula emphasize professional standards of achievement. Lectures and seminars by visiting fashion professionals supplement the course offerings, while study tours throughout the United States and abroad, and internships in the fashion industry offer students a broad perspective and experience in international education. Underlying the philosophy of the School is a commitment to honor its founders by becoming a world-class center of fashion education.