The official accrediting body for U.S. higher education programs in textile and apparel recently placed its stamp of approval on Virginia Tech’s program. 

The Textile and Apparel Programs Accreditation Commission has recognized the university’s fashion merchandising and design major as an accredited program of study. The program operates within the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management.  

“Pursuing accreditation was time-consuming but worth it,” said Dina Smith-Glaviana, an assistant professor of fashion merchandising and design and the commission’s representative for Virginia Tech. “It made us aware of commonplace practices and standards across fashion programs.” 

Accreditation is granted through the International Textile and Apparel Association, which is a professional academic association that includes scholars, educators, and students in the textile, apparel, and merchandising disciplines in higher education.

Currently, there are 124 students in Virginia Tech’s fashion merchandising and design program. Students take classes in product development, textiles, merchandising, and more, learning all sides of the fashion industry, from merchandising and business to design and development.

The major is the largest in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management. 

Changes are underway to some courses as a result of the accreditation.

“Improvements to come will mostly have to do with curriculum,” Smith-Glaviana said. “There will be scaffolding and laddering of concepts across classes and having a combined and inclusive senior capstone course.”  

By Gabby Brown