The impact of study away in the Fashion Merchandising curriculum informed by student and alumni experience

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2017-01-01
Authors
Lyu, Jewon
Leslie, Catherine
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore links between the knowledge/skills graduating seniors and alumni perceive they acquired in a Fashion Merchandising program and relationships with participation in a study away program. Findings are expected to inform study-away infused curriculum development and strengthen knowledge/skills needed for the workplace. Of the 215 respondents (64.5% graduating seniors and 35.5% alumni), more than half had experienced a study away program. The student and alumni group who studied away provided significantly different ratings of knowledge and skills gained in critical thinking skills (p=.02), writing ability (p=.05), and artistic skills (p=.05). These findings align with ITAA Meta-Goal Competencies of Critical thinking, Leadership/management, and Analysis/synthesis, further justifying a study away curriculum requirement. Future studies are encouraged to investigate specific components of the study away experience and its relationships with critical thinking skills, writing skills, and artistic ability to further develop curriculum and implement in course learning objectives.

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