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Apparel course on labor & environmental concerns wins award
Feb '09
The University of Delaware's graduate certificate in Socially Responsible Apparel Business has received an award from the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Mid-Atlantic Region in the "Institutional Partnership" category.

The award was presented during the regional conference held recently at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington.

The program was developed by professors from the University of Delaware, Cornell University and Colorado State University, and addresses labor and environmental problems in the global supply chains for the apparel, textile and footwear industries.

Professors from all three universities designed the curriculum and teach the courses.

The program is offered through a collaboration between UD's Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies and the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies.

Marsha Dickson, chairperson of the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies, serves as project director for the program. The other faculty members are Suzanne Loker and Charlotte Jirousek of Cornell University and Molly Eckman of Colorado State University.

"Having faculty from two other institutions involved was greatly beneficial for creating the program," Dickson said. "Most fashion and apparel programs have too few faculty to devote a lot of any single person's time to any single topic. We were able to pick the best educators to develop courses and teach in their area of expertise in social responsibility and sustainability."

Dickson added, "Everyone benefits. The institutions benefit because they are able to offer a broader range of courses, but more importantly, the students benefit from the opportunity to obtain a broad and deep understanding of the topics, from the best teachers."

Dickson is founder and president of Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business and also serves on the board of directors of the Fair Labor Association.

UD Assistant Provost Jim Broomall of Professional and Continuing Studies nominated the certificate program for the Institutional Partnership award.

"This program really highlights the capability of continuing education to provide a bridge between the intellectual resources of the university community and societal needs at an international level,” Broomall said. “It also demonstrates the boundary-spanning ability of continuing education by building a common curriculum shared among three institutions."

The program is made up of Web-based courses offered through UD Online.

The University of Delaware has been offering distance learning courses since 1988 and is a national leader in the use of educational technology.

The Socially Responsible Apparel Business Graduate Certificate has also been nominated for a 2009 American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) Excellence in College and University Distance Education award.

University of Delaware

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