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Source: Lorraine Cutler, 785-532-5992, lcutler@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE AND PRODUCT DESIGN PROGRAM EARNS TWICE THE EXCELLENCE

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's master of interior architecture and product design degree program is doubling up on excellence.

The master's program, already accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, has earned first-time accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The accreditation is good through 2015.

The association of approximately 300 schools of art and design, primarily at the collegiate level, is the national accrediting agency for art and design and for art and design-related disciplines. K-State's former bachelor of interior architecture program was accredited by the association in 1999, but the master's accreditation was planned when the College of Architecture, Planning and Design transitioned to non-baccalaureate master's degrees in 2006.

Lorraine Cutler, professor and head of the department of interior architecture and product design, said the accreditation process was a rigorous one.

"We supplied pictorial evidence of student work, which we referenced in an extensive report," she said. "We also were asked to supply additional evidence and support before the curriculum was approved by the association's Commission on Accreditation."

Cutler said the accreditation is important because the master of interior architecture and product design program offers a professional degree.

"We are preparing our graduates to lead the profession through the next challenges," she said. "Our students graduate with the ability to work in professional offices of interior designers, architects, product designers or multidisciplinary design firms. Accreditation guarantees the curriculum has offered the graduate student the opportunity to learn and apply aesthetic, conceptual and technical aspects of research and problem solving to physical design outcomes."

The program teaches the rudiments of design theory and professional practice to give students a broad context of what the profession expects, Cutler said. This allows firms to focus on shaping what they expect from their new employees.

The master of interior architecture and product design program has been accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation since 2005.