Arizona has a few colleges that offer certificate programs in the fashion design field. The sewing courses in these programs examine beginning to advanced sewing techniques and incorporate a lot of lab training and hands-on practice of skills. Work-study experiences and/or internships are often included in such programs. Throughout a sewing-related program, students are encouraged to develop a portfolio of their work.
The three schools listed offer a variety of certificate programs in fashion design and construction. Two out of the three schools offer associate degrees in the field.
Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College, located in Mesa, offers sewing classes through its certificate and associate degree programs in fashion and merchandising. The Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design program includes a track in costume design and fashion design. Students interested in pursuing advanced sewing classes should choose the fashion design track. Course topics include advanced clothing construction, alterations, tailoring and portfolio development. Students commit three credit hours to a fashion merchandising tour course in which they do a hands-on study of the fashion industry outside of the Phoenix metro area.
The alteration specialist certificate program hosts many advanced sewing classes, including tailoring, working with knits, couture techniques and sewing with a Serger. Students develop the skills of hand sewing, adding embellishments and finishing edges. Students end the 20-credit-hour program by completing an alteration internship worth one to three credits.
The 30-credit-hour program in costume design and production focuses on the design and construction of attire and costumes for live productions. Prior to completion, students must participate in an internship at a production company or local college for at least 240 hours. Mesa Community College also offers a Certificate of Completion in Textile and Apparel: Knitwear Specialist program. Students begin with sewing basics during the clothing construction course. The remaining 11 required credit hours are dedicated to advancing sewing skills in courses on sewing with knits and advanced Serger use.
Located in Phoenix, this college offers sewing classes as part of its fashion design associate program and multiple certificate programs. For those interested in a two-year degree, Phoenix College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design. Over 41 credit hours of study, students learn the art of working with various textiles, tailoring, fashion illustration and patternmaking. Students use advanced sewing techniques in the clothing construction, advanced clothing construction and tailoring courses.
Phoenix College's 20-credit-hour certificate program in apparel construction is primarily focused on the development of fashion production. Students use complex sewing skills in the advanced clothing construction course. The program also helps develop couture skills in the couture sewing class. The certificate of completion in costuming program teaches students to create designs for live productions. Courses explore pattern drafting and design, draping, fashion illustration and costume design. Students must also complete a costume design internship.
The school also offers a fashion design level I and II certificate. The first level covers fashion history, sketching and textiles. Students are prepared for entry-level positions in the industry upon completion. The second level works at a more advanced base than level I. Students move to advanced clothing construction, pattern design and pattern grading. In the draping for fashion design course, students learn to manipulate an article of clothing to explore the art of draping.
Pima Community College
Pima Community College in Tucson offers students a certificate in fashion design. Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours. Course requirements include clothing construction, patternmaking and fashion drawing. Sewing and assembly is covered in all three required clothing construction courses. Additionally, students practice marketing skills as they learn to develop a personal portfolio of their work.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Location||Sewing Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Mesa Community College||Two-year, public; large city|| Certificate of Completion in Alteration Specialist,
Certificate of Completion in Costume Design and Production,
Certificate of Completion in Textile and Apparel: Knitwear Specialist,
Certificate of Completion in Textile and Apparel: Designer,
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design
|$2,070 (in-state); $7,854 (out-of-state)*|
|Phoenix College||Two-year, public; large city|| Certificate of Completion in Apparel Construction,
Certificate of Completion in Costuming,
Certificate of Completion in Fashion Design, Level I and II,
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design
|$2,070 (in-state); $7,854 (out-of-state)*|
|Pima Community College||Two-year, public; large city||Certificate in Fashion Design||$2,142 (in-state); $7,458 (out-of-state)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.