Interior design program gains re-accreditation

By: 

Lifestyle Reporter

Texas State’s interior design program was recently evaluated and reaccredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).

The achievement comes after a demanding two-year self-assessment and a three-day visit from a team of experts and professors from the accreditation committee.

Peter Dedek, associate professor at the School of Family & Consumer Sciences, said the organization visits the interior design program every six years to evaluate its standards.

Dedek said being reaccredited is a huge advantage for the program and its students.

“The accreditation is really important because it shows perspective students and perspective faculty that the program meets national standards,” Dedek said. “When graduates go to the workplace, they will have the skills and knowledge necessary to begin working as professionals.”

Dedek said the evaluations from the CIDA reflect directly on teachers and their students.

He said this year’s reaccreditation was rare.

“The accreditation’s head coordinator said she has never seen a program be reaccredited without a significant weakness to address,” Dedek said. “So we are proud of that. We were able to get a shining review from the crediting agency.”

Caroline Hill, associate professor at the School of Family & Consumer Sciences, said the evaluation includes a three-day visit from three members of the CIDA.

After the visit, Hill said the committee writes a report that examines the curriculum and student representation and determines any accreditation.

“They spend a good two days going through all of our work,” Hill said. “Then they interview students, faculty, the school director, the dean and the provost.” 

Asha Hegde, associate professor at the School of Family & Consumer Sciences, said the program organized a display that brought together all of the work students had completed since the committee’s last visit.

She said it was the faculty’s responsibility to retrieve, store and document student work that best represented the university.

“It was a very difficult task,” Hegde said. “The last three years was where we really started documenting.”

Hill said accreditation is important because it allows the university to provide students with the best education.

“There are some programs that are philosophical in nature,” Hill said. “Our program beats to see our students get their dream jobs.”

Dedek said Texas State will look at CIDA’s published standards for future evaluations to see if their curriculum is qualified.

The program will also hire faculty members who meet the credentials to teach interior design, Dedek said.

Hegde said students from states with general licensing requirements would be limited in their profession if they fail to graduate from a credited program. This places pressure on the university to maintain the requirements.

“(Our) profession takes care of the health and safety of the individual,” Hegde said. “And (people) want to know somebody who is educated and does interior designing.”

Dedek said in about four years the program will start preparing for another reaccreditation in 2021.

Members of the program plan to create a report that examines two years of students’ work, he said.

“We gather up two years’ worth of student work,” Dedek said. “We will select the work best representative of what the different courses have been producing and display it all in the program area.”

Hegde said the program has big dreams for each student.

“We want our students to go to international firms and nationally ranked firms everywhere,” Hegde said. “We’re beginning to see (our students’) confidence blossom, so we are beginning to see big things happen.”

Follow Louis Zylka on Twitter at @OrinZylka.