Pedagogy and Professional Development

Undergraduate student perceptions of industry guest speakers in the fashion classroom

  • Sara Jablon-Roberts (Johnson & Wales University)
  • Arienne McCracken (Iowa State University)


Research on the practice of inviting industry practitioners to speak in the classroom is frequently anecdotal. Moreover, there is no academic research that specifically considers the impact of a fashion professional speaking during one session of a college apparel course. The purpose of this study was to explore undergraduate student views on the value of guest speakers in the fashion classroom. Students surveyed typically saw the inclusion of industry guests as useful, especially when a speaker's personal experiences and career choices could be applied to a student's own desired future career. Survey participants also described characteristics of the ideal speaker and presentation. Beyond hearing from a knowledgeable professional currently working in the industry, students hoped for a very personalized experience. They wanted individualized career advice and time to ask questions of the speaker. Students also appreciated speakers who were well-organized, persuasive, and included visuals, such as slides or sample garments. 

Keywords: student expectations, industry speakers, pedagogy, fashion education

How to Cite:

Jablon-Roberts, S. & McCracken, A., (2020) “Undergraduate student perceptions of industry guest speakers in the fashion classroom”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 77(1). doi:



Published on
28 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed