Clemson shifts training from textiles to materials

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina’s textile industries have been dropping jobs for decades and now Clemson University is ditching a degree program focused exclusively on the industry.

The Greenville News reported Monday the number of students in textile-related majors has dropped as mills closed and the jobs moved to cheaper labor markets overseas. Because of that dropping enrollment, Clemson is phasing out the undergraduate major in polymer and fiber chemistry in 2013, after current students graduate.

In its place, university trustees have approved a polymer materials concentration to the bachelor of science program in materials science and engineering.

Clemson’s textile school had an enrollment of 800 students in 1950. That had dropped to about 125 students by 2000.

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