Interior Design Option Approved as NKBA Supported Program

Photo of Interior Design studentsCAPE GIRARDEU, Mo., Sept. 19, 2012 – Southeast Missouri State University’s Bachelor of Science in human environmental studies/interior design option is continuing work this year on the path to becoming fully accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).

In late 2011, NKBA added Southeast as its newest supported program after reviewing a self-study completed by the interior program design faculty. The faculty members liken this step to “pre-accreditation.”

In May 2012, the interior design program was required to submit student work samples based on the NKBA Student Design Competition and many of the student projects were rated as “outstanding”.

A site visit by representatives of NKBA is planned for March 24-27 with anticipation of full accreditation later in the spring, according to the interior design program faculty.

To become an NKBA supported program, an educational institution must have a kitchen and bath curriculum that prepares students for the NKBA Certification Exams. NKBA supported programs are evaluated with respect to mission, administration, curriculum, faculty and resources to determine eligibility and ability to fulfill the Association’s requirements for full accredited status.

Accreditation from NKBA will be useful to graduates of the program as they enter the job market.  NKBA Accredited Programs prepare students for professional industry certification. Graduates from NKBA Accredited Programs are eligible to sit for the academic portion of the NKBA certification exams, waiving the two year industry experience requirement. When Southeast’s program becomes accredited, students also will be eligible to participate in competitions in which scholarship prizes are awarded, and accreditation will expand research opportunities. A $500 grant is awarded annually to accredited programs to help fund NKBA student chapter activities.

As the program prepares for its site visit next spring, students and faculty are excited and eager to become part of an accredited program.

Faculty in the interior design program also has their eyes set on an additional goal. In the near future, they plan to seek accreditation for the program from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). This process could take about two years, they say, but would be a springboard for growth in the program.