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How to Learn Fashion Design Online

by Yvonne Ward, Demand Media Google

    If you dream of becoming a fashion designer but feel it is impossible because you do not live in New York, Paris or Los Angeles, you should consider online training. Respected and accredited arts colleges are now offering opportunities to learn fashion design through their online programs. Competition for fashion design jobs is high, making the right training essential for success.

    Step 1

    Search for online fashion programs using a website such as www.degreesearch.org. Submit an application to an online arts college of your choice. Many arts colleges offer online fashion design as majors at the associates, bachelors and master’s degree level. Choose a college that is regionally accredited so your course credits will easily transfer if necessary and your degree will garner professional respect. Among the many fashion design school choices are The University of North Texas’s College of Visual Art and Design and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Be prepared to pay an application fee and to provide all official transcripts of past educational experiences and a portfolio or essay related to your fashion design goals.

    Step 2

    Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA so the college can determine the amount of financial aid you can be awarded. This may include student loans and grants and you have the option of accepting or declining any part of the award offer. Conduct an Internet search for scholarships specifically available for the field of fashion design. One of many websites listing these scholarships is www.collegescholarships.org.

    Step 3

    Register for classes that best represent your fashion design area of interest. Course selections range from fashion journalism, sewing techniques and costume design. Consult with your college advisor for assistance if needed. Use the syllabus provided by the individual course instructors to keep track of assignments and deadlines.

    Step 4

    Obtain the textbooks, supplies and computer software required for each course as indicated in the syllabus. With some online courses you may also need a webcam and microphone to participate in a virtual classroom. Most colleges have their own bookstores where you can order needed textbooks and have them mailed to you or you can find your own source such as Amazon or MBS Direct.

    Step 5

    Acquire a proctor to give you required tests. A proctor is someone approved by a college to work in place of the instructor for online learning students who need to perform supervised tasks. Proctors may include professionals in the field of fashion or college instructors living in your area. The registrar of your college will provide you with a list of acceptable proctor ideas. For instance, a librarian in your area is a typical choice. All you need to do is seek the librarian's permission and provide his or her contact information to your college. The college instructors will send course tests to the proctor to administer to you as needed. Remote proctoring via webcam is an alternative being used by some colleges.

    Step 6

    Maintain a passing grade point average by completing assignments on time and interacting as necessary with your instructor and other students. This will ensure that you will continue to be eligible for financial aid and graduate. Immerse yourself in the field of fashion design by reading trade magazines and attending fashion shows.

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    Tips

    • Choose a college in your area if possible in case you have difficulties in a course requiring face to face interaction with an instructor.
    • A fashion designer builds a portfolio with drawings and/or actual clothes they have sewn themselves. If you are not good at drawings, concentrate on perfecting your sewing skills.

    Warning

    • In addition to ensuring a quality degree, choosing a regionally accredited college for your education removes the chance of falling victim to an online diploma mill.

    About the Author

    Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.

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