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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Thomas C. Coleman

First Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Second Committee Member

Stephen E. Trotter

Third Committee Member

W. Anthony Kulisch

Fourth Committee Member

Jeff M. Jellin


Purpose: The purposes of this study were to: 1) provide information which will facilitate the development of meaningful and realistic internships for fashion merchandising students, 2) determine the degree of agreement between retailers and educators concerning internships, and 3) determine if different types of retailers have different attitudes toward internship experiences. Procedures: California four year college and university educators and retailers were surveyed. The questionnaire items concerned school characteristics influencing retailer participation in internship programs, intern selection criteria, coursework important for students to complete prior to internships, and activities that interns should experience during a retail internship. The responses analyzed numbered 196. Groups compared in the analysis included: department, specialty, and discount stores; chain and non-chain stores; retailers and educators; and supervising faculty and cooperative education directors. Findings: The school characteristics rated very important or essential by retailers were the retailing curriculum and proximity of the school to the store. The order of importance of intern selection criteria, as rated by retailers was 1) personality, 2) activities arrl leadership, 3) major related to retailing, 4) experience in retailing, and 5) grade point average. Of the twelve coorses rated for importance to complete prior to a retailing internship, the courses rated very important or essential by both educators and retailers were 1) communications or human relations, 2) merchandising, and 3) managenent. Retailers and educators indicated that interns should have some exposure to all 33 activities rated for level of exposure needed or possible during a retailing internship. Nine activities were rated for considerable or extensive exposure by both educators and retailers. Educators rated activities related to the buyer's job higher than retailers. Retailers rated some of the daily routine activities higher than educators. Non-chain stores rated a wider variety of activities higher than chain stores. Main store or offices rated activities related to the functions of buyers higher than branch stores. Main stores rated some items related to the functions of buyers higher than branch stores rated them. Branch stores rated sone items related to manager responsibilities higher than branch stores. Some differences were found between department, specialty and discont store ratings. Differences between cooperative education directors and supervising faculty were minimal.



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