University of Wisconsin - Stout

The following response regarding the program review of Apparel Design and Development is based on the PRC’s final report.  In that report, the PRC provided a recommendation for the program director, department chair and the dean, which follow, along with the respective responses.

Lab modernization

Recommendation for the Apparel Design and Development Faculty, Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Since lab modernization is an ongoing need for courses using lab-based curriculum, continue renovating and improving classrooms and lab facilities and incorporate new equipment.

Response from the Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Lab modernization is ongoing.  The Apparel Design and Development program, along with the other technical programs housed in the College, continually utilize the university’s lab mod process.   In addition to providing matching funds for lab upgrading, the College has provided funding for computer labs in the ADD program. 

A CAD lab modernization request was granted during 2003-4 and will be taking place this summer.  It should be fully operational by fall.  This Lab Mod will include room remodeling with upgrades to ventilation and wiring, appropriate furniture, additional software licenses, a flat screen monitor, keyboard and mouse for 20 stations and additional Assyst licenses to accommodate 20 stations.  In addition, an inkjet plotter with apparel CAD software and a fabric printer have been purchased through Technology Department capital funds this year. 

Concern has to be expressed about moving away from the desktop computers to laptops in the CAD lab.  This coming year will serve as a pilot study to determine if laptop hardware can accommodate the CAD software required for the apparel courses. 

Adequate CAD lab facilities and software are important to the program, since a CAD for Apparel class is offered each semester.  Also Special Topics classes in KaratCAD are offered each year and CAD for Apparel Patterns is being taught during Pre-session this summer.  Also, CAD is incorporated into a number of other classes, such as Apparel Product Development, Line Development, Portfolio Development, and in the fall, Advanced Pattern Design.  In addition, students usually use CAD in preparing assignments for other apparel design courses.

Lab mod requests will be forthcoming for the Textiles and Apparel Design labs next year.

Industry and other outside funding

Recommendation for the Apparel Design and Development Faculty, Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Encourage and support faculty and the program director in their efforts to develop and increase industry and other outside funding support for the major.

Response from the Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

B.   Industry support is sought in various ways.  The apparel industry is not one that typically has been or has the means to be generous to universities.  Some examples of industry support include: 

  1. Lands’ End furnished 2  - $1000 scholarships for 2004-2005.
  2. The GerberSuite of CAD software is being made available for little or no cost to the university, for use of Apparel Design and Development students.
  3. The program meets the requirements for affiliation with the American Apparel and Footwear Association, and was recertified by the AAFA’s Professional Leadership Council (now the Human Resources Leadership Council) in 2003 until Feb 2008.  The AAFA has provided $5000 of scholarships for 2003-2004 and for 2004-2005.  In addition, $1500 is being provided that can be used by the Program Director to attend the Professional Leadership Council meetings, a requirement for AAFA affiliation.  Attendance at these meetings is also instrumental in providing networking opportunities and providing updated knowledge of the apparel industry.
  4. Approximately 10-15 students participate in apparel related co-ops and internships each academic year.

In addition to these specific examples of donations and industry support, it’s important to note that the College of Technology, Engineering & Management provided three-quarter time release for an Apparel faculty member during the spring semester of the 2001-2 academic year.  The primary purpose of this release was to foster and renew relationships with key stakeholders, including industry.  During the semester, the faculty member who was provided release, visited a number of apparel related industries, in an attempt to secure donations of equipment and materials, internship and employment sites for students.


Recommendation for the Apparel Design and Development Faculty, Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Provide additional qualified faculty and staff as needed to support the current enrollment levels in the major.

Response from the Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Adequate teaching resources to be able to serve the students well is a concern.   The program has been revised and strengthened, and enrollment was increased, in response to the 2001 review by the PRC.  However, this year the apparel area had to absorb a 0.4 allocation cut, at a time when increased enrollment and program revision created a need for additional allocations.

The current program requires 44 apparel credits in the Professional core, the Apparel Design Concentration requires 12 apparel credits and the Apparel Development Concentration requires 6 to 9 apparel credits.  These two concentrations are selected by about 98 per cent of the students.  These courses are currently being taught with 3.35 teaching allocations.  Meanwhile, the program has grown to about 191 students.  Fifty-four new freshmen enrolled in fall of 2002, and 56 in 2003.  The program has also accepted transfer students and continuing students who wish to change majors.  A backlog of students has been created in most classes, causing some students to find no available apparel courses for fall.  This will severely limit their ability to complete a degree in 4 years, and some are not able to take a full load of credits.

Two additional courses have now been added for the fall 2004-2005 semester to provide for student access to classes needed for them to progress through the program.  Also a 2 credit course in Costing and Sourcing of Apparel will be offered through Continuing Ed during the fall semester.

Succession plan

Recommendation for the Apparel Design and Development Faculty, Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Create and implement a succession plan for faculty and staff for the Apparel Design and Development program to ensure faculty continuity, facilitate future student satisfaction and strengthen student enrollment.


Response from the Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

A succession plan will be developed to ensure continuity of qualified faculty/staff, ensure student satisfaction and continue to provide a strong program.  Ultimately, more faculty are needed, particularly in view of the fact that the enrollment cap on the program has currently been removed by the Chancellor.  It is also desirable to decrease the number of academic staff in the program in order to assure greater course continuity, program integrity and quality instruction.

The newly named interim Program Director (Gindy Neidermyer) has strong endorsement from the apparel faculty and students.  With the continued strong support from the college leadership, student satisfaction should be assured. 

It is important that program and department leadership continue to listen to students in assessing the curriculum and the teaching within the program.  Student concerns have been expressed about excessive workloads in apparel courses.  The Department Chair must assist the Program Director in ascertaining that faculty and staff expectations in courses within the program are realistic.

Enrollment caps

Recommendation for the Apparel Design and Development Faculty, Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Plan for any future enrollment caps that may be needed to right size the major once the personnel issues identified above have been addressed.

Response from the Program Director, Department Chair and Dean

Enrollment caps will continue to be addressed to provide a balance between teaching resources and student needs.  In the current absence of an enrollment cap on the Apparel Program and other programs served by apparel courses, adequate resources must be directed to the apparel area to assure student retention and progress through the program.