I am currently a part-time instructor of fashion design and illustration at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. For the last nine years, I have been helping the other excellent teachers put together a well-rounded program of Fashion Design and Merchandising.
We have enabled many students obtain jobs and to transfer into excellent schools, where they can earn advanced degrees in their fields. Some of our past design students are working in fashion at Puma, Hot Chilly’s, and even designing costumes at Disneyland. Others have developed their fashion portfolios and were admitted to four-year universities such as the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Rhode Island School of Design, U.C. Davis, and San Francisco State University.
Other students are starting their own collections locally, and selling through trunk shows and on the internet. They include Francisco Castro, Melanie Renee and Kristina Michelle.
Through the past two difficult years with budget cutting, these students have held their heads high and have taken as many fashion classes as they could to develop their skills. Many have taken part in the yearly Fashion Symposium held in Los Angeles at the California Market Center. They have entered design and merchandising contests and have won many cash and fashion-related prizes. Cuesta never comes away empty-handed.
To say that this excellent department is in danger is an understatement. We have already been warned that we are on a list of programs to be cut at Cuesta. What will happen to the students who need to complete this program in order to transfer or to obtain a good job?
Even though we live in a small town, our instructors are experts in their fields. All have worked in the industry for many years before teaching at Cuesta. Right now, the program includes fashion design, pattern drafting, color theory, buying, clothing construction, and visual merchandising. Also offered is history of fashion, introduction to fashion, and fashion illustration. Cutting this division will leave a huge hole in the offerings at Cuesta College.
Thanks again to our wonderful students. We go to work for them because we love the program and believe in our students; we want to support their dreams.
If you would like to express your support of our Fashion students and the continuance of the Fashion Design and Merchandising division, please write John A. Cascamo, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, P.O. Box 8106, 93403-8106. The campus phone number is 546-3100.
Rhonda McBride is fashion design and merchandising instructor at Cuesta College.