Los Angeles Schools with Sewing Classes
All three of the schools featured in this resource are 2-year community colleges that offer certificate and associate degree programs. Unique to the individual schools are fashion field trips, field studies and student fashion shows. Program summaries can be found below, along with a comparison table that includes program costs and other key school statistics. In the other school options section, sewing students can also find two other colleges that offer classes in the Los Angeles area.
- Santa Monica College is the largest school on this list and offers students two certificate programs and two associate degree programs in fashion design and merchandising. The college is located about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
- Mt. San Antonio College is located just outside of Los Angeles, approximately 25 miles from the downtown. This college also offers certificate and degree programs in fashion design and merchandising.
- Los Angeles Trade Technical College, the only school on this list located in the city, is about 3.5 miles from the downtown. The programs at this school can lead to a certificate or an associate degree in fashion design or technology.
Comparison of Schools
All three of the featured colleges have large student enrollments and open admission policies. Tuition for in-state students is extremely reasonable, and in 2011, more than half of first-year students returned for their second year of study, as noted in the school retention rates.
|Santa Monica College||Mt. San Antonio College||Los Angeles Trade Technical College|
|School Type||2-year; public||2-year; public||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||30,158*||29,045*||14,688*|
|Campus Setting||Small city||Large suburb||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees 2015-2016||$1,136 for in-state students; $8,078 for out-of-state students*||$1,348 for in-state students; $7,960 for out-of-state students*||$1,220 for in-state students; $7,016 for out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014)||57%*||75%*||81%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||N/A - Open admissions policy*||N/A - Open admissions policy*||N/A - Open admissions policy*|
|Retention Rate (Fall 2013 to Fall 2014)||71% for full time students*||80% for full time students*||60% for full time students*|
|Graduation Rate (for students beginning in 2011)||30% (14% transfer rate)*||31% (10% transfer rate)*||21% (8% transfer rate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Santa Monica College
Santa Monica's Fashion Design Department offers hands-on degree programs for students who are new to careers in the fashion industry. In general, the school's fashion design faculty has academic degrees that relate to the fashion and textile industries, and many previously held careers in the fashion industry before teaching. Outside of classes, students have the opportunity to show their fashion work as part of a biennial fashion show hosted by the school. In addition, the school organizes field trips for students to meet with professional fashion designers and merchandisers. This allows students to connect their classroom skills to the real world and gain professional experience.
Fashion Design Certificate
For this certificate, students need to take 40 units of fashion design courses, such as pattern design and analysis, draping, design and construction, tailoring and fabrics. In addition, students take classes in art, architecture, business and graphic design.
Fashion Merchandising Certificate
This certificate program requires students to complete 33 units of fashion merchandising courses. As in the fashion design program, students learn about pattern making, fashion trends, illustration and apparel construction; courses in marketing, merchandising and fashion show production are also part of the program. Additional courses in art and business are required.
Associate of Arts in Fashion Design
Students who want to earn this 2-year degree need to complete a total of 40 major units. The core classes cover fashion trends, illustration and apparel construction. From there, students take specialized courses in color analysis, fashion history and pattern design.
As for sewing classes, students can learn about tailoring and draping. Students also have the opportunity to earn course credit while contributing to the school's fashion show production. Graduates of the associate degree program may be able to transfer to 4-year schools to complete bachelor's degrees.
Associate of Arts in Fashion Merchandising
Fashion merchandising majors also take 40 major units as part of the associate degree program. Once enrolled, students gain an understanding of fashion trends, apparel construction and fashion illustration. This degree program offers a greater emphasis on fashion marketing, advertising and ethnic design. Students who want to learn specifically about sewing can take a course in draping. This program prepares graduates for jobs as fashion merchandisers, buyers, sales representatives or managers.
Mt. San Antonio College
Fashion design and merchandising programs offered through the Consumer Science and Design Technologies Department at this growing public college teach students about the business, economics and technology of the fashion industry in Los Angeles. Students who earn fashion degrees can go on to careers in marketing, manufacturing, product development and sales. Students who want to advance their studies may transfer to a 4-year school to earn a bachelor's degree in fashion.
Fashion Design Certificate
Students have three different options with this certificate program. The 27-unit Level 1 program is meant for students who are new to the field and would like a general overview of the industry. These classes cover illustration, pattern making and clothing construction so that students are prepared for entry-level work. The 39-unit Level 2 Fashion Design Certificate is for students with some basic fashion and sewing skills. These intermediate classes focus on costume research and textiles, with continued clothing construction, pattern making and draping work.
Students also have the option to earn a 14-unit Fashion Design - Computer-Aided Certificate. It requires five classes that strictly cover the technology used in the fashion industry for pattern making, drawing and design.
Fashion Merchandising Certificate
There are two options within this certificate program. The Level 1 certificate takes 18 units to complete and is for students who want a general overview of fashion manufacturing and retail merchandising. Classes cover clothing construction, textiles and fashion strategies. The 30-unit Level 2 certificate is for students who already have a foundation in fashion merchandising and are ready to advance their careers. Students take 15 units in retail store management, advertising and marketing classes.
Associate of Science in Fashion Technologies
As part of this degree program, students take 33 units of classes for the major alone. Core classes cover product development, illustration and fashion strategies. Students who want to learn sewing can take the clothing construction and textiles courses. Students gain professional experience through field study and work experience courses.
Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising
A total of 27 units of major study are required through courses covering fashion strategies, costume history, clothing construction and textiles. This degree program focuses more on the business side of the fashion industry by including courses on retail management and advertising. Much like the fashion design major, students can earn professional experience through field study classes.
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
The school's Fashion Center employs 13 full-time instructors who bring their professional experience in the fashion industry to the classroom. A large part of the programs involve teaching students the technical and computer skills used in fashion design. In addition, the school offers flexible scheduling; classes are available in the mornings, afternoons and on the weekends. In an effort to give students real-world experience, the school has students participate in fashion shows and show off their work. The fashion programs at Los Angeles Trade Technical College prepare students for careers in design, production, sales and retail.
Certificate of Completion in Fashion Design
For students who'd like to pick up basic skills through evening and weekend classes, the certificate of completion program requires 46 units of study. Required courses concentrate on sample making, pattern making and grading, fashion sketching and design, draping and fashion design.
Certificate of Completion in Fashion Technology
The certificate requires 28 units and can be completed in less than two years. Students take a series of classes in sample making, pattern making, fashion sketching and gown draping. All of the classes cover design skills and give students real-world experience in the fashion industry.
Associate in Arts in Fashion Design
Students can take 46 units of fashion courses and an additional 18 units of academic courses to earn an associate degree. Fashion design classes cover clothing construction, costume history and textile manufacturing. Students who want to study sewing can learn about pattern making, draping and clothing construction. There are also a number of weekend and evening courses available for students who cannot take classes during the day.
Other Schools in the Area
Students who want to take sewing classes have a couple of other options. Los Angeles City College offers sewing and pattern making classes through its community outreach program. The school is located about four miles from downtown Los Angeles. Another option is Long Beach City College, which is located about 24 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The school offers associate degrees and certificate programs in fashion design and fashion merchandising.