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MCCC Announces New Fashion Merchandising Program
To Begin Oct. 2 on Trenton Campus


West Windsor, N.J. -- A new Fashion Merchandising program is being launched at Mercer County Community College's (MCCC) Trenton campus this fall in the college's new Trenton Hall (the former home of Home Furniture Inc.), located across the street from the current buildings at 102 North Broad Street.

This new degree program, with courses to begin in a ten-week session starting Oct. 2, prepares students for careers in fashion/apparel sales, marketing, buying, and merchandising. Students will learn the fashion industry from concept to consumer, as well as customer service and management techniques. Among the career tracks for graduates are retail merchandising, apparel management, and wholesale or retail buying.

Mercer's Trenton Hall will also house the college's Fashion/Apparel Design, now in its second year. Both of these Associate in Applied Science degrees will prepare students for direct employment in the fashion industry, or for transfer to a four-year college. The curriculum is in line with requirements of the first two years at a majority of undergraduate universities and art colleges that offer fashion career training and will include art, design, computer applications, technical skills, and business applications. Participating students will develop a portfolio and complete a final project in both digital and print formats as the capstone to their degree.

Observes Allegra Ceci, a new Fashion Design faculty member, "Other fashion programs are typically focused on either the business or design side of the industry, but this program merges the two, making our students more marketable and improving their transfer opportunities."

Ceci is excited to be on the ground floor of this new program. A Lawrenceville resident who has taken both credit and non-credit classes at Mercer, she earned her master's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and has a bachelor's degree in Integrated Arts from Bard College. Ceci spent four years in fabric development for Calvin Klein and Coach and has taught courses in marketing, visual merchandising, and textile science as an adjunct instructor at Berkley College of Business (New York/New Jersey).

According to Associate Professor Tina LaPlaca, coordinator of the Fashion/Apparel Design and Merchandising programs, MCCC's close proximity to the Philadelphia and New York City markets was a key factor in deciding to establish the program in Trenton. "Our tri-state region is one of the nation's largest for this industry, where skilled students can find employment as assistant fashion designers, stylists, visual display artists, product and merchandise managers and fashion illustrators," she said.

Among Mercer's Fashion Merchandising courses are: Fashion: the Global Marketplace; Introduction to Textiles for Fashion; Principles of Marketing; Principles of Retailing; Introduction to Fashion Merchandising; History of Costume Design; and Entrepreneurship. Fashion Design course descriptions are available here.

MCCC will host an Open House at its Trenton Campus on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event, entitled "Building on a Proud History," will include tours of renovated facilities in campus buildings at 102 North Broad, along with the new Fashion Design labs and other classrooms in Trenton Hall. Visitors will have the opportunity to talk with faculty, staff, and students about academic programs offered in Trenton and enjoy refreshments. A presentation by college leaders will commence in Kerney Hall at 5 p.m.

For details on the Trenton Open House, read more here. Community guests are asked to RSVP here. For more information, contact the MCCC President's Office at 609-570-3613 or the Trenton Campus Provost's Office at 609-570-3160.

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