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K-State Today

November 6, 2019

Interior architecture & product design receives accreditation

Submitted by Thom Jackson

The Kansas State University College of Architecture, Planning & Design's graduate program for interior architecture & product design was reviewed and evaluated by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

The council  is an independent, nonprofit accrediting organization for interior design education programs at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. For more than 35 years, this knowledge-driven organization has been passionately committed to the ongoing enrichment of the interior design profession through identifying, developing and promoting quality standards for the education of entry-level interior designers, and then encouraging, accrediting and supporting educational programs to aspire to those standards.

Through a process of program self-evaluation and peer review, accreditation promotes the achievement of high academic standards while making education more responsive to student and societal needs. A program must meet more than 120 standards for accreditation.

Several APDesign faculty assisted in the department's successful accreditation process. Robyn Gibson, instructor of interior architecture & product design, organized student work and designed the accreditation room; and Katrina Lewis, associate professor of interior architecture & product design, wrote the program analysis report. For the peer review, a range of interior architecture & product design and architecture faculty participated in the actual Council for Interior Design Accreditation site visit and interviews. A cross-section of interior architecture & product design students also participated in interviews during this time.

After the three-member team formed of academics and a practitioner visited last March, they found that the interior architecture and product design degree not only met each standard but exceeded many of the standards. When asked whether it was unusual for programs to do so well, the team, with 35 visits of experience among them, stated they had never experienced a program come out without at least one standard that needed improving.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation engages nearly 200 volunteers, all drawn from interior design practice and education, to carry out its work. More than 170 interior design programs are currently accredited by the council, serving an estimated 20,000 students.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is recognized as a reliable authority on interior design education by the  Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The higher education council-recognized scope of accreditation is professional-level interior design programs that culminate in a bachelor’s or first-professional master’s degree located in the United States and internationally. APDesign is one of the few colleges that offer a five-year master's program for each of its programs.

The national rankings recently published by DesignIntelligence gave top rankings to APDesign's interior architecture & product design program when considering those colleges nationally and among public colleges.

"Our accreditation and rankings status reflects highly on all of our dedicated faculty and students," said Nathan Howe, department head for interior architecture & product design. "When compared to colleges from all over the nation it becomes apparent that Kansas State University's interior architecture and product design master's degree is the best value when it comes to quality education and affordability. The high standards set by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation ensure that our students will receive the skills and education to be successful after graduation."

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