October 11, 2017

SIU Carbondale’s Interior Design program earns reaccreditation

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Interior Design program recently earned accreditation for another six years from the Council for Interior Design (CIDA). 

“The reaccreditation means our Interior Design program complies with the highest national standards established by CIDA and is committed to continually improving its program quality and student learning experience,” said Andy Wang, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. “The accreditation visiting team was impressed on the quality of our program, engaged students, well-developed curriculum, and strong collaboration with other programs in the School of Architecture. 

“The accreditation is important to move the program to the next level,” Wang said. 

CIDA’s report states that through review of provided evidence, “as well as information gained through interviews with students, the visiting team found that students are knowledgeable, well prepared and confident.” 

The program’s long history of professional accreditation goes back to 1974, said Laura Morthland, program director. CIDA conducted a “rigorous” review of freshman- through senior-level work based on 16 standards this spring, and the latest review showed compliance in all standards.
The areas included program identity and context; faculty and administration; learning environment and resources; business practices and professionalism; design process; design elements and principles; environmental systems, and comfort, and construction.

The program combines architecture and interior design for students during their first two years of study -- a move that “generates strong exposure to architectural studies, three-dimensional space and a culture of collaborative multi-discipline teamwork,” Morthland said.

The program also earned distinction for creativity and experiential thinking, as well as the application of laws, codes and standards. CIDA also noted the School of Architecture’s digital fabrication lab, woodshop and computers labs “which support a creative and hands-on learning experience for interior design students,” Morthland said.

“All of these indicate that the Interior Design program at SIU Carbondale is robust and poised to play an integral role in shaping human environments,” Morthland said.