The Retail Management Program offered through Texas Tech University’s College of Human Sciences will be able to offer a special class after receiving an education grant from Cotton Incorporated.

The Retail Trends class will be taught in the fall by Professor Deborah Fowler who is also the faculty project leader for the grant. Fowler will teach students about cotton from its history and lifecycle to modern uses and predictions for its future.

“We want the students from Texas Tech to understand about cotton,” Fowler said. “When I wrote the grant the first time I was like, ‘We’re right here in the largest cotton patch in the world and these kids know nothing about cotton.’ How shameful.”

The class will include a visit to Cotton Incorporated’s Consumer Marketing Headquarters in New York City and a trip to the International Textile and Apparel Association Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Both trips will be funded through the grant, as well as supplies and additional components for other retail management classes. According to Texas Tech, this will also allow students to receive cotton content throughout their educational tenure at the university.

Jenna Oschwald, a spokeswoman for Cotton Incorporated, said students like those at Tech are the next decision-makers for the fiber and fabric industries.

Cotton Incorporated has a comprehensive educational outreach, and this kind of project is specifically designed to have a positive, long-term influence on cotton demand. If we educate students on the versatility of cotton, they will continue to choose cotton fabric in their designs and products throughout their careers.”

This is the second year Fowler has applied for and received the grant and intends to continue applying each year.