February 04, 2016 9:15AM
A new degree program in Pittsburg State’s College of Technology offers a variety of academic opportunities for students interested in interior design.
The Kansas Board of Regents formally approved the Bachelor of Science in Interior Design degree during its January meeting. The degree prepares students for professional practice as an interior designer in the fields of commercial and residential design, with opportunities in the construction and graphic design fields.
Previously, the university offered a bachelor of science degree in family and consumer sciences with an emphasis in interior design. The new baccalaureate degree in interior design will be housed within the College of Technology’s School of Construction.
Jim Otter, chair of the School of Construction, said the SOC is a perfect, logical fit for the new interior design program.
“Many of the students in the emphasis either had a construction minor or dual majored,” Otter said. “The faculty also needed access to many of the computer/software based tools that we had available. It was a common sense decision. Combining their design needs and their construction needs made sense for all parties involved.”
Interior design faculty Denise Bertoncino and Holly Page-Sagehorn said they are excited for the opportunities that the new program provides.
“The new interior design curriculum will make our students very marketable and provide a broad range of employment opportunities with the addition of courses in construction management and graphic design,” Bertoncino said.
Officials expect more than 20 students to declare as interior design majors now that the program is officially approved by KBOR. They expect enrollment to grow to 60 students within the next three to five years.
“The move to the School of Construction and the awarding of the interior design degree is a critical step to build a career-driven professional program,” Page-Sagehorn said. “For the students to practice as licensed, professional interior designers, we need a strong curriculum with in-depth coursework.”
With the move from an emphasis to a full degree program, the interior design program at Pitt State now sets its sights on earning accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.
“Earning CIDA accreditation will be a huge step for our program, as it will give validation to its importance and value on our campus and to its relevance to the interior design industry,” Bertoncino said.