The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising

Kent State University

Overview (PDF)
Shawnee State University

For twenty-eight years, the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising has grown into one of the strongest fashion schools in the U.S.  Aspiring to be the best American fashion school, The Fashion School at Kent State provides a comprehensive American university experience, a forward looking and rigorous curriculum in fashion, access to a broad range of international and study away experiences, and an aggressive approach to the use of digital technologies. The Fashion School believes the 'fashion lens' is distinct as a collective set of disciplines that impact how an individual sees, acts and creates in the world.

The recently established “TechStyleLAB" functions as a teaching/learning, research and commercial service environment in the Fashion School, bringing together a broad range of digital design and production technologies into one space to investigate models for more localized, sustainable and creative digital supply chains for the fashion industry. 

Driving Economic Advancement

In collaboration with the College of Business Administration at KSU, an accelerated BS/MBA program was implemented in the Fashion School, allowing high-performing students to complete both the undergraduate and MBA degree with a fashion concentration in five years. Collaborative programs such as these, coupled with innovative curricula and large student population generate a strong workforce to meet The Fashion School’s mission of “inspiring students to become creative and resourceful fashion leaders.”


  • Approximately 200 students graduate annually, with a placement rate in the industry that is over 90%
  • Current Fashion Design faculty have won more than 40 national/international awards for their work; 5 were the top awards offered in the discipline. 
  • Authored texts include “The World’s Most Influential Fashion Designers” and “Needlework throughout History”
  • Funded research projects have ranged from Korean government funding for research in counterfeit fashion goods, Cotton Incorporated grants to promote market research, and collaboration with the Liquid Crystal Institute to investigate incorporating technology into fashion products. 


  • Connect to agencies and businesses with interest in the applications of new technologies to support sustainable practices in fashion product supply chain
  • Develop and implement practice-based master and doctoral programs in fashion positioned to strengthen the role of design practice in research, centered in the effective use of digital technologies to support sustainable design and production strategies


  • The Fashion School has the highest number of disciplinary-based endowed student scholarships at KSU.
  • The Fashion School hosts the American-Museum- Association-Accredited KSU Museum and the June F. Mohler Fashion Library in Rockwell Hall.
  • The Fashion School has grown in student numbers from 500 in 2000 to over 1,300 in 2010.   More than 36% of the total FDM student population is from out-of-state.