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Noted Interior Design Programs in Architecture, Fine Arts, and Human Ecology: A Comparison of Curriculum, Faculty, and Alumni

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NOTED INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAMS IN ARCHITECTURE, FINE ARTS, AND HUMAN ECOLOGY: A COMPARISON OF CURRICULUM, FACULTY, AND ALUMNI By KATHRYN VOORHEES A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF INTERIOR DESIGN UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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Copyright 2005 by KATHRYN VOORHEES

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This research is dedicated to my grandmother, Berta Voorhees, who constantly inspires me through her love of design.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Margaret Portillo for her innovative ideas, dedication, and inspiration as well as Dr. Mary Joyce Hasell for assisting me with her valuable research skills. I would also like to express my gratitude to the program heads from the six interior design programs for agreeing to participate in this study and for their time. In addition, I want to thank Alexandra Miller for her guidance and friendship. Last but not least, I thank my family for their constant encouragement. In particular, I would like to thank my parents for their constant support and for helping me achieve my dreams. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................viii CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Purpose .........................................................................................................................3 Significance ..................................................................................................................4 Assumptions .................................................................................................................7 Delimitations .................................................................................................................9 Summary .....................................................................................................................10 2 LITERATURE REVIEW...........................................................................................11 Interior Design Education...........................................................................................13 Department Home History ..........................................................................................18 Architecture .........................................................................................................18 Fine Arts ..............................................................................................................20 Human Ecology ...................................................................................................21 Professionalism in Interior Design .............................................................................23 Directions for Interior Design .....................................................................................26 Summary .....................................................................................................................29 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................30 Case Selection Criteria ...............................................................................................31 Procedure ....................................................................................................................33 Content Analysis .........................................................................................................36 Curriculum ...........................................................................................................36 Faculty .................................................................................................................38 Alumni.................................................................................................................39 Limitations ..................................................................................................................41 Summary .....................................................................................................................42 v

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4 FINDINGS..................................................................................................................44 Curriculum ..................................................................................................................46 Architecture .........................................................................................................48 Fine Arts ..............................................................................................................51 Human Ecology ...................................................................................................53 Summary ..............................................................................................................56 Faculty ........................................................................................................................58 Architecture .........................................................................................................59 Fine Arts ..............................................................................................................62 Human Ecology ...................................................................................................64 Summary ..............................................................................................................66 Alumni........................................................................................................................66 Architecture .........................................................................................................67 Fine Arts ..............................................................................................................69 Human Ecology ...................................................................................................70 Summary ..............................................................................................................71 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................72 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................73 Program Analysis........................................................................................................73 Curriculum ...........................................................................................................74 Faculty .................................................................................................................78 Alumni.................................................................................................................80 Alternative Interpretations of Findings ...............................................................83 Future Research ..........................................................................................................85 Recommendations.......................................................................................................86 Summary .....................................................................................................................87 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................89 APPENDIX A LETTER REQUESTING PARTICIPATION............................................................90 B CONSENT FORM......................................................................................................91 C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.......................................................................................93 D CURRICULUM..........................................................................................................96 E ALUMNI..................................................................................................................100 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................103 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ...........................................................................................106 vi

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Interior design program curriculum by credit hour ..................................................47 4-2 Faculty information ..................................................................................................60 4-3 Alumni placement upon graduation .........................................................................68 vii

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Program course distribution .....................................................................................57 4-2 Alumni employer type distribution ..........................................................................71 viii

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Interior Design NOTED INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAMS IN ARCHITECTURE, FINE ARTS, AND HUMAN ECOLOGY: A COMPARISON OF CURRICULUM, FACULTY, AND ALUMNI By Kathryn Voorhees December 2005 Chair: Margaret Portillo Major Department: Interior Design Interior design educational programs accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) are found in a variety of academic homes within public land-grant universities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare noted interior design programs found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The programs under study were identified through a national ranking of interior design programs. This study explored relationships among the academic unit and the curriculum content, faculty characteristics, and alumni placement. The three variables were examined through a content analysis of each programs most recent accreditation report. Following the content analysis, interviews with each program head were conducted to gain additional information about the variables under study. Both similarities and differences were found among the six programs. The interior design programs appeared to share the same overall curriculum structure of design studios, design support courses, and liberal arts requirements. The faculty educational ix

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backgrounds also seemed quite similar across programs. Notable differences were also detected, including the allocation of credit hour s required for design studios, the point of selective admissions, faculty NCIDQ certifica tion and professional licensing status, and alumni placement. However, differences on the variables researched did not appear to support distinct identities by academic unit. This study has created a beginning understanding of noted accredited programs housed in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The accreditation reports provided extensive information on curriculum and faculty with some insights on alumni and this data, coupled with information from program heads, resulted in profiles of the programs. Further research is encouraged to offer a comprehensive understanding of interior design educational programs and strategic directions for the profession. A challenge is to continually assess and re-evaluate interior desi gn education to be assured that the students of today, who will lead the profession into the future, are receiving the best education possible. x

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The American Society of Interior Designe rs (ASID) defines interior design as a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment (ASID website, 2003, ). Since interior design is both an art and a science, interior design educational programs can be found in different academic homes within colleges and universities. Most commonly, they are housed in academic units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Interior design programs can be found in Colleges of Architecture. Architecture can be defined as the art and science of designing and building structure, or large groups of structures, in keeping with aesthetic and functional criteria (Harris, 2000, p. 47). In architecture, the art and science of a building focuses on defining a spatial volume. Programs commonly found in Colleges of Architecture include landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, and sometimes building construction. Another common academic home for interior design is fine arts. Fine arts is a term used broadly to encompass processes and products in art which are judged primarily in terms of their aesthetic value and theoretical significance, as opposed to those which have a specific practical function, as in applied arts (Martin, 1986, p. 80). While both architecture and fine arts emphasize the aesthetic value of an object, architecture also takes functionality into account. Other disciplines frequently categorized under fine arts include drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture (Mayer, 1969). 1

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2 A third academic unit that typically houses interior design is human ecology. Human Ecology, which was formally known as home economics, centers on the physical environment, specifically focusing on how it supports people. The field is divided into four main subdivisions: food, clothing, shelter, and household and institutional management (Nerad, 1999). In addition to interior design, contemporary human ecology units usually house divisions of family and consumer sciences, nutrition and food science, and human development and family studies. Since interior design focuses on both the creative and technical aspects of a space with an emphasis on human users, its educational programs are able to exist in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Interior design programs are professional programs and are accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER). An accrediting body assures minimum competencies are being met for entry into a profession. However, there is an additional need to examine the status of design education more broadly to identify best practices and create recommendations for future growth. A notable example of this occurred in 1996 when the American Institutes of Architectures (AIA) sponsored the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to assess architecture education and provide a blueprint for the future. This influential study resulted in the book Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice, commonly referred to as the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996). While the Boyer report was conducted in the field of architecture, findings and recommendations also could be applied to allied design disciplines.

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3 Some proposed goals for architectural education focus on social impact where design programs become less insular and make a difference to the greater community. Other goals recommend maintaining quality standards while allowing for flexibility and diversity. In a related way, another recommendation focuses on better connecting the liberal arts and architecture curriculum and increasing opportunities to specialize. Further, goals support creating a multi-modal and supportive climate for learning. Final goals relate to developing a better connection between programs and practice as well as the community. Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine FIDER-accredited interior design programs found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Specifically, this study explores relationships among the academic unit and the curriculum content, faculty characteristics, and alumni placement in noted interior design programs through a content analysis of program accreditation reports and interviews with program heads. This study posed the following question: Do noted interior design programs reveal similarities and/or differences in curriculum, faculty, and alumni by their distinct academic homes? The variables under study are critical factors in interior design education and are central to the FIDER accreditation standards. A key variable was curriculum since FIDER places an emphasis on interior design curriculum in nine of the twelve standards. These standards list skills that must be evident in student work; however, curriculum content is not strictly prescribed for accredited programs and the courses taught may help shape the identity of the program. Interior design programs have the freedom to offer courses that best relate to the program focus. Another standard focuses solely on faculty

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4 credentials. Faculty educational and professional background plays an important role in helping students receive an education encompassing a variety of essential skills and knowledge in interior design. Finally, a standard focusing on assessment requires input from alumni placement for program development. Each programs alumni are a testament in part to the education they received and their placement in the profession recognizes the programs success. Discovering if select programs in three distinct academic homes have significant similarities or differences has implications fo r interior design education and accreditation. If the programs appear to be quite similar in terms of their curriculum, faculty, and alumni this would suggest homogeneity across interior design programs. On the other hand, if significant differences were found be tween programs within academic homes this would support the flexibility of FIDERs standards to accommodate specialized programs. Also, it may confirm that interior design programs are utilizing the flexibility of the FIDER standards, resulting in diversity among programs. Furthermore, while FIDER has developed standards to ensure that entry-level designers graduate with minimum competencies, determining significant differences between programs may be the initial step at educating beyond standards to uncover a specialization(s) within interior design programs. Specializations reflect a more mature discipline and attract likeminded faculty and students. Further, design firms may recruit graduates from particular programs based on a perceived specialization. Significance Formalized interior design professional education is relatively new compared to many other fields of study. The Parsons School of Design, founded by Frank Alvah Parsons in 1906, was the first interior design school in the United States (Parsons

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5 website, 2004). Compared to early medical schools, such as Harvard, established in 1782, the interior design profession is comparatively young (Harvard website, 2005). The professionalization of interior design began only 35 years ago, as did the development of FIDER, to ensure excellence in interior design education through an accreditation process (FIDER website, 2005). The goal of accreditation is often to achieve uniformity among programs (Harvey, 2004). While FIDER requires interior design programs to meet a set of standards that create a degree of uniformity among programs, their standards focus on student outcomes and are not prescriptive of the course content or how courses are to be taught. As a result, there is a need to understand whether or not accredited programs are utilizing the flexibility of FIDER standards by implementing diverse approaches to the program. Although accreditation acts as a safeguard to ensure quality in education, accreditation standards that are too restrictive may constrain the programs creativity, which would ultimately lead to uniformity among programs. Therefore, FIDER established universal learning outcomes to be taught in a variety of ways. For example, codes from the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) can be taught through design exercises, written exams, research, or any combination of the above. FIDERs curriculum guidelines or indicators need to be evident in student work described in the accreditation report and produced in displayed projects. As a result, the courses types the programs are utilizing may demonstrate distinctive qualities of the program. In turn, programs with significant differences may be on a path to cultivate distinct program identities.

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6 Differences between FIDER-accredited interior design programs by academic home have been found in previous research. A study by White and Dickson (1996) examined major themes in FIDER-accredited interior design programs mission statements in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology and determined the value administrators placed on program factors and faculty productivity. They found that regardless of the university type, teaching, research, and service emerged as important components of the mission. Most interior design program heads cited externally funded research projects and peer reviewed journal publications as most valuable to university administration. However, programs housed in architecture and art demonstrated greater support for creative scholarship, which include juried exhibitions, invited exhibitions, and published creative projects, suggesting research is defined and valued differently in these programs compared to human ecology that may support a more empirical approach to research productivity. Contrary to White and Dicksons (1996) findings, a research study by Nutter (2001) that also compared interior design programs by academic home found overwhelming similarities among programs housed in units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Nutters study first involved in-depth historical analysis of the three academic homes followed by a multiple case study of eight interior design programs found within these units. These case studies were carried out through a questionnaire examining the programs historical information, current program information, curriculum, and faculty. Nutter found that while programs in architecture had the most overall credits and internship requirements, there are no significant differences found among the number or courses required in relation to technical skills, environmental

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7 systems, special topics, and history/theory. A difference that was noted was that art related programs require an initial portfolio review before admittance to the program. White and Dicksons (1996) scope was limited to three elements: program factors, faculty productivity, and programs mission statements that explored topics such as diversity, student retention, and coursework as well as faculty research projects, published work, and conferences. There is a need to examine variables that contribute directly to the education of the students such as the curriculum content, faculty training, and alumni placement to compare programs of different academic homes. Although Nutter examined the curriculum and faculty, the results concerning faculty were not discussed. Also, Nutter did not study alumni, which greatly contribute to the identity of interior design programs. Therefore, curriculum and faculty need to be explored in-depth with the inclusion of alumni placement to ascertain how interior design educational goals are changing and developing in six highly ranked programs. Assumptions It is important to note the assumptions underlying this study. First, the researcher assumes that there are many effective ways to teach interior design. FIDER standards are written to accommodate different pedagogic appro aches to interior design education. The intent of this study is not to discover the best form of interior design education, but rather to identify any unique qualities of interior design programs defining architecture, fine arts, or human ecology academic homes. Secondly, it is assumed that the majority of FIDER-accredited interior design programs are found within architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. As of May 2005, there are 137 FIDER-accredited interior design programs in North America (FIDER website, 2005). Specifically, of the 137 FI DER accredited programs, roughly 75% are

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8 dispersed among the three academic homes of architecture, fine arts, or human ecology. Therefore, this study focuses on examining programs from these academic homes to uncover similarities and/or differences between interior design programs found within them. Thirdly, the sample is assumed to represent high quality interior design programs and will include six noted interior design programs that ranked top 15 nationally on the DesignIntelligence ranking at least once between 2000 and 2003 ( DesignIntelligence website 1, 2002). This helped ensure strong interior design programs were selected for participation and controlled perceived overall quality of the programs. DesignIntelligence ranks interior design educational programs on a survey sent out to both interior design firms as well as to architectural firms with interior design departments asking what recent hires are the most qualified for real-world practice and what programs they graduated from ( DesignIntelligence website 1, 2002). Being well prepared for industry and practice ensures that the student obtained a comprehensive education in interior design. Finally, the researcher also assumes that the Program Analysis Report (PAR), a self-study document developed for FIDER accreditation by members of each program, accurately reflects the programs being examined. The authors of the PAR documents are assumed to have represented the program accurately. Also, the researcher assumes that each program head interviewed was knowledgeable and had provided accurate information for the questions asked. As a note, at the time of the accreditation of each program, this document was known as the Program Evaluation Report (PER), but the

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9 name of this self-study was recently changed to PAR and the acronym will be used throughout the duration of the thesis. Delimitations Programs in this study were limited to FIDER-accredited interior design programs that have been accredited since the most recent major revision to the FIDER standards, which occurred in 2000. The next delimitation was that this study only selected programs that ranked in the top 15 on the DesignIntelligence survey between 2000 and 2003. During this period, DesignIntelligence evaluated programs solely on employers opinions of graduates and did not include other quality indications. Another delimitation involved the location of the academic unit. Only programs found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology were considered for selection since approximately 75% of FIDER-accredited program s are located in those units. Finally, the only programs meeting the aforementioned selection criteria and opting to participate in this study were found in public land-grant institutions. This ensured a common university type with a tri-fold mission of research, teaching, and service. A final delimitation related to overlaps in the academic structure between architecture and fine arts. For example, colleges that have design in their title could be classified in either category. Therefore, a decision was made to categorize the program by academic structure. If the interior design program was a department within the college, the program was categorized based on the college organization. On the other hand, if the program was housed within a multi-disciplinary department, it was categorized by the department organization.

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10 Summary The field of interior design education is young compared to other disciplines. By assuring quality in interior design educational programs, FIDER contributed to the professionalization of the discipline. Its accreditation standards allow for flexibility to meet the creative and technical aspects of this multi-faceted profession. Given the multifaceted nature of interior design, a majority of accredited programs exist across academic units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Few research studies have compared interior design programs within architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify possible similarities and differences among six noted interior design programs curriculum, faculty, and alumni found within these academic homes.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Interior design can be traced to the first permanent settlements, Mesopotamia, and Ancient Egypt, which date back to 3500 B.C.E (Pile, 2000). However, major advancements in interior design education did not begin until approximately 100 years ago with the establishment of the first interior design program in the United States by Frank Alvah Parsons in 1906, at the Chase School in New York. The school was named after William Merrit Chase, an American Impressionist painter. In 1939, nine years after the death of Parsons, the school officially changed its name to the current name of Parsons School of Design. As interior de sign education continued to take hold and expand in North American, so too did the need to ensure the quality of this professional degree. The founding of the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) in 1970 represented a critical milestone in assuring excellence in interior design education. A key role of the foundation is to develop educational standards to ensure students graduating from accredited programs have minimum competencies for entry-level designers. Typically, the rationale of accrediting bodies is to achieve unity across programs (Harvey, 2004). FIDER requires uniformity in that all programs must demonstrate they have met the competencies required for accreditation, but there is flexibility in how the standards are achieved. FIDER does not prescribe a single way to educate students. Programmes may be accredited for their academic standing or they may be accredited to produce graduates 11

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12 with professional competence to practice, usually referred to as professional accreditation (Harvey, 2004, p. 208). FIDER, as a professional accreditation body, bases accreditation largely on student outcomes as opposed to program inputs. For that reason and other historical drivers, interi or design programs can be found in different academic homes within a university system such as architecture, fine arts or human ecology. The FIDER standards are overseen by the nine members of the Board of Directors. Five different constituent groups each appoint a member to serve on the board, while the remaining directors represent the public, industry, FIDER-accredited interior design programs, and FIDER Accreditation Commission. One of the constituent groups represented on the board is the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) (FIDER Accreditation Manual, 2005). The NCIDQ was founded in 1972, soon after the establishment of FIDER, by the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID) and the National Society of Interior Designers (NSID) (NCIDQ website, 2005). Since then, the AID and NSID merged and are currently known as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The NCIDQ council serves to identify to the public those interior designers who have met the minimum standards for professional practice by passing the NCIDQ examination (NCIDQ website, 2005, ). The NCIDQ exam is required by select states to practice as an interior designer. Currently, there are sixteen states, including the District of Columbia, which require their interior designers to take the NCIDQ exam in order to practice as interior designers. Of the six programs examined in this study, three are located in states that require NCIDQ certification.

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13 The NCIDQ examination is based on a pass or fail grading. Since there are two sections to the exam, it is possible that a designer can pass one section and not the other. In that situation, they only have to retake the section that was not passed. Similarly, FIDER accreditation is based on the same notion. Interior design programs either receive accreditation through the fulfillment of meeting the 12 standards, or they do not. Although there is no official ranking for FI DER-accredited interior design programs by FIDER, for the past six years the DesignIntelligence has ranked U.S. architecture and interior design schools; the only national college ranking survey that focuses exclusively on design ( DesignIntelligence website 2, 2004). DesignIntelligence ranks FIDER-accredited interior design programs based on a survey distributed to both interior design firms as well as architecture firms with interiors departments (DesignIntelligence website 2, 2004). Leading firms of all sizes were selected across the country. Specifically, the firms were leaders in a variety of market sectors such as healthcare, commercial, and institutional. Those in the firm who are involved in hiring are asked which graduates th ey have recruited/hired over the past five years are the most qualified for real-world practice and which schools they come from. From the results of the survey, the top 10 interior design programs are ranked. The DesignIntelligence journal is published monthly by Greenway Communications for the Design Futures Council ( DesignIntelligence website 2, 2004). Interior Design Education FIDER-accredited interior design programs are primarily located in academic units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology and these units often house different academic programs. Therefore, is the college focus different in these academic homes to reflect the diverse disciplines found within them? Although a fair amount of pedagogical

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14 research has been conducted in interior design, only a small number of research studies have sought to understand whether interior design academic homes have any influence on the interior design programs. However, one study that investigated interior design programs by academic home was conducted by Nutter (2001) at the University of Cincinnati. Nutters two-part thesis first involved an analysis of the historical development of the three departmental locations of interior design programs in American Universities (2001, p.15). To examine issues in the historical development of these units, Nutter performed a case study of eight FIDER-accredited interior design programs in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Information for the case study was obtained through print material from both the program and college in addition to a survey that was completed by eight department heads or upper-level representatives of the interior design programs. Two programs from each of the academic homes were represented in the case study along with two programs within the same university. Through the historical development, Nutter (2001) found that times of war seem to directly relate to the important milestones in interior design because females generally dominate the interior design profession. Also, Nutter found that in the early years of interior design in the United States, there were many different educational methods and frameworks that may have influenced the complex history of this discipline. However, the increased professional movement in interior design has led the profession away from residential design and housing. Nutter (2001) not ed the trend of restructuring where: In order to attain a higher level of training and respect for its practicing professionals, has also inspired a trend to remove programs of interior design from department of home economics in search of a more prestigious location (such as architecture) (p. 81).

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15 However, in her case study, Nutter (2001) also found that faculty and students in home economics units felt that their academic home was the stronger than architecture or find arts. Similarly, programs in architecture and fine arts felt their academic home was the strongest. Programs in architecture rated human ecology programs as the weakest and fine arts programs fell somewhere in between. On the other hand, programs in home economics felt that their programs represented a healthy balance between architecture and fine art programs. Specifically, arch itecture programs were very technical or mechanical with less artistic creativity and art programs focused on practical, professional, or technical skills (Nutter, 2001, p. 86). In addition, Nutter (2001) found evidence supporting the ongoing narrowing effect of professionalization the decrease in variety of educational options in interior design as professionalization increases (p. 89) creating homogeneity among interior design programs. Programs were found to lack significant curriculum differences, providing support of homogeneity across the interior design programs studied. While programs in art seemed to be the most satisfied with their current state, programs in home economics appeared to be in the greatest position of fluctuation with plans for significant restructuring and curriculum changes. Ar chitecture programs also supported growth, particularly in the area of graduate education. Based on a convenience sample, Nutter examined a small number of FIDERaccredited interior design programs housed in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Therefore, the findings could be attributed to the quality of the program and not solely on the academic unit. Selecting programs with consistent quality would have added creditability to the study. In addition, Nutters case study relied solely on printed

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16 program literature, such as program catalogs, as well as a survey sent to program heads. The use of interviews with program heads would have allowed for more detailed answers and a better understanding of the program. Overall, Nutter (2001) did not find signifi cant differences between interior design programs in the variables she examined. However, a study by White and Dickson (1996) examined different variables and found evidence for differences between interior design programs in distinct academic units. They examined FIDER-accredited interior design programs to identify the elements critical to the mission statements of colleges and universities and to determine administrators perceptions of program factors and faculty products and activities that define value (p. 25). The majority of programs examined were located under the same department homes that were explored in this study. One part of White and Dicksons study was an analysis of mission statements from FIDER-accredited interior design programs to identify elements most critical to their program. Critical elements of mission statements were found to be teaching, research, and service. Additionally, White and Dickson (1996) conducted two surveys to examine program factors and faculty products and activities most valued by administrators. Their initial survey was sent out to administrators at the department or program level who were to brainstorm questions that could be asked of upper level administrators regarding measures of program values in relation to their programs mission. Eighty-four questionnaires were distributed and 36 responded resulting in a 43% response rate. From the results of this initial survey, a second survey was developed. The second survey was varied according to the different administrative levels. Presidents of schools with FIDER

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17 accredited programs were asked about mission statements, while deans and department chairs were asked about program factors, faculty products, and activities of the program. Out of the 81 different schools that were surveyed, 59 schools responded to create a sample of 49 administrators (e.g., 35 deans and 24 department chairs). University types that were represented in the sample include public land-grant, public non-land-grant schools and universities, and private institutions. Program factors that were perceived to be the most critical to administrators were faculty research and large numbers of undergraduate majors. Further, administration most valued faculty productivity in terms of refereed journal publications and externally funded research projects. Though, programs within architecture and art academic appeared to define research differently in that they showed greater support for creative aspects of the discipline. White and Dickson (1996) utilized a national sample of interior design programs and provided a broad overview on three variables: program mission statements, program factors, and faculty products. In their results, they collapsed information concerning architecture and fine art programs; however, it would be beneficial to examine these two academic homes independently. Furthermore, their study did not evaluate variables that directly relate to the educational factors associated with the program. For example, the curriculum is important in determining if similarities or differences occur among programs within different academic homes. Also, the faculty educational backgrounds and alumni placement are also important components of a program. Therefore, an in depth analysis is needed to explore other information that is essential to the program to verify their findings.

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18 Department Home History Currently there are an estimated 350 four-year interior design educational programs (Mattson, personal communication, April 2005), with 137 of these programs accredited by FIDER (FIDER website, 2005). The accredited programs are found in various institution types such as design industry schools, universities, and private colleges. Those FIDER-accredited interior design programs found in public university systems are most frequently found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology units. Their histories are explored below. Architecture In 1814, President Thomas Jefferson proposed an architecture school at the University of Virginia. However, plans for the school were postponed when the search for an architect proved unsuccessful. According to the America Institute of Architects (AIA), the first professional architecture program was offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1868 (AIA website, 2005). Soon after, architecture programs were established at Cornell University in 1871 and at the University of Illinois in 1873. However, conflicting reports from the University of Illinois state that their program actually began in 1870, with their first student graduating in 1873 (University of Illinois website, 2005). These early programs emulated the pedagogy of the Ecole Beaux-Art, practiced in Europe. At the time when architecture education was being incorporated into the university systems in the United States, the Ecole des Beaux-Art method was a popular teaching technique for architecture. Th e Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) describes how the Beaux-Arts education was implemented. Students were assigned a design problem at the beginning of the term. They began as

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19 an esquisse, or sketch problem, and ended en charrette. [which] refers to the carts in which the finished drawings were placed at the deadline hour for transport to the master for critique (ACSA website, 1998-2005, ). A jury system was used to judge the projects consisting of professors and guest architects without the presence of students, unlike design juries today. The Bauhaus movement found by Walter Gropius, that later resulted as the Modern Movement, was another major influence in American architecture education (Nutter, 2001). In 1919, Gropius founded the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar, more famously known as simply the Bauhaus. He thought design should ideally evolve from a humanistic approach, and maintained that designs ability to respond in both form and process to the social and economic necessities of society as a fundamental (CarmelArthur, 2000, p. 20). The Bauhaus emphasized technology and the need for well-made, practical designs for mass production (Miller, 2003, p. 133). Furthermore, the designs were uncomplicated, stylized, and lacked or namentation. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a famous Bauhaus architect, further emphasized the design rationale with a less is more philosophy evident in his designs. Although the school was only open for 14 years, it has been called the most influential, as well as notorious, art school of the twentieth century (Carmel-Arthur, 2000, p. 10). Gropius influence came directly to the United States in 1937 when he accepted a professorship at Harvard University. Although there have been many other influences on architecture education over the years, elements of both the Bauhaus movement as well as the Ecole des Beaux-Art method are still evident in architecture programs today.

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20 Fine Arts Artists have trained themselves since the colonial times by studying works of other artists and by repeated practice in drawing, composition, and painting (Bolger, 1976). Early art institutions became a place where the self-trained artist could further pursue their education (Bolger, 1976). The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the first art academy in the United States, was established in 1805 (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts website, 2002). Founded by Charles Willson Peale, a painter and scientist, William Rush, a sculptor, as well as other artists and business leaders, the academy houses the oldest art museum in the country. Another early art institute, the National Academy of Design in New York, was established in 1825 and is considered one of the two most prestigious and powerful American art institutions throughout the nineteenth century, (Bolger, 1976, p. 52). During the first half of the nineteenth century, these early American art institutes focused primarily on drawing antique casts so artists could learn proportions (Bolger, 1976). Soon after, human model courses were added, adapted from the European art academies. To fully understand the human body, anatomy classes were supplemented into the curriculum (Bolger, 1976). An important advancement in American art education occurred during the third quarter of the nineteenth century when the studentteacher relationship was established, which corresponded with developments in the European academic system (Bolger, 1976). At this time, more full-time salary instructors were hired, which allowed students to develop closer relationships with their professors and programs were able to develop a formal curriculum and expand the existing curriculum to include painting, sketching, and composition (Bolger, 1976). Many of the

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21 instructors hired had training in Europe and introduced the techniques into the American academies (Bolger, 1976). At the end of the nineteenth century, art schools were challenged to train their students to be practicing artists (Bolger, 1976). The Cooper Union for the Advancements of Art and Science opened in 1857 and its curriculum included typical art courses along with mechanical, architectural, and ornamental scroll drawings, wood-engraving, and the design of stained glass, tessellated flowers, ceilings, tiles, and wall paper (Bolger, 1976). Many other trade schools opened to offer artists practical training, but the art academies felt that students should still learn the theoretical training of painters and sculptors before they learned a specific craft (Bolger, 1976). Despite the developments of these early art institutions, Smith notes in his book, The History of American Art Education (1996), that the Massachusetts Free Instruction in Drawing Act of 1870 is frequently cited as the official start of American art education. Walter Smith, a drawing master, was brought from England in 1871 to implement the act. His students were required to master skills of representation, that is, to be schooled under the mimetic theory of art (Smith, 1996, p. 38). The teaming system Walter Smith used focused on educating students to become future educators of art, as opposed to becoming practicing artists (Smith, 1996). His teachings were highly controversial and even in his time seen as inadequate preparation for artists (Smith, 1996). The researcher found no documentation on how interior design was incorporated into art schools throughout the United States. Human Ecology The passing of the Land-Grant Act, also known as the Morrill Act, in 1862, caused an important revolution in higher education. The act made possible a new system of

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22 colleges and universities, democratic in character for all people capable of pursuing an education beyond high school (North, 1962, p. 187). Furthermore, North notes by tradition, purpose and structure, the Land-grant colleges and universities provided a natural climate for exploration of family problems and the development of means to help solve them (p. 187). Therefore, Colleges of Home Economics were originally part of land-grant institutions. Nutter (2001) notes that early home economics education, currently known as human ecology, stressed nutrition, food service, child development, parent education, family relations, art and design of clothing, and home design, with the curriculum geared toward young women. The goal of the early home economics education was to promote household roles for young women (Stage, 1997). However the development of these early home economics departments was in themselves creating employment opportunities for women outside the home in the academic system. Therefore, the curriculum of early land-grant home economics programs prepared students more for careers in teaching and institutional management than for housekeeping (Stage, 1997, p. 8) One of the oldest programs offering courses in home economics began in 1900 at Cornell University. A recent exhibit presented by Cornell University on their website entitled What was Home Economics: From Domesticity to Modernity provided a history of the school through the twentieth century. The Department of Home Economics was officially established in 1907, with the completion of the first four-year curriculum in home economics (Cornell website 1, 2001). The Department of Home Economics became a school in 1919 and finally separated from the College of Agriculture when it was established as a college in 1925. At this time, the interior design program was

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23 developed within the College of Human Ecology under the Department of Household Art. It was not until 1984-1985 that the interior design department was formed. Currently, Cornell Universitys interior design program is not only FIDER-accredited, but ranks consistently in the top five in the DesignIntelligence survey. Many Colleges of Home Economics have adopted the new name College of Human Ecology, with other similar names also being used such as human environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, health and human sciences, or applied human sciences. Cornells history explains the reason for the change in this way; by the 1960s, the name home economics often suggested gender stereotypes that many women were struggling to overcome (Cornell website 2, 2001, ). The name was officially changed in 1969 when faculty were convinced that the name Human Ecology which, while somewhat ambiguous, accurately reflected the academic and theoretical orientation of the College and its diverse concerns with problems of human welfare (Cornell website 2, 2001, ). Currently there are approximately 75% of FIDERaccredited interior design programs found in colleges of human ecology, or colleges of a similar name. Professionalism in Interior Design FIDER was founded by two interior desi gn organizations: the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) and the American Ins titute of Interior Designers (AID). Their objective was to create excellence through standards implemented in the educational system in order to meet increasing demands being placed on the profession. There are 12 standards that FIDER requires programs to meet and major revisions to the standards usually occur every 8-10 years (FIDER Manuel, 2005).

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24 In 1980, soon after the standards were developed, Schrock, Sondhi, and Rogers (1980) reviewed the FIDER accreditation process to determine if it was accomplishing its objectives successfully. In order to do so, a two-part questionnaire was utilized. The first part extracted information from the early FIDER Form referred to as 204, Standards and Guidelines for Interior Design Accreditation, and FIDER objectives. The second part focused on the accreditation process and general background of the participants. The sample was divided into four groups. The first group, containing 25 participants, consisted of members from the FIDER Board of Trustees, the Accreditation Committee, and the Standards and Guidelines committee. Members of the Guidance committee and the Board of visitors formed the second group, which had 63 participants. Groups three and four included 88 department heads/design coordinators from both FIDER-accredited and non FIDER-accredited progr ams, which were grouped together for the analysis. One hundred and seventy-six questionnaires were sent out: however, only 107 were used. Group one had a 68% response rate, group two had a 74.6% response rate, and groups three and four had a 46.43% response rate. It was found that 90% of the respondents were satisfied with the accreditation process, although they agreed that improvement was possible. The fact that a large portion of the participants included members who were affiliated with the accreditation process could be seen as a limitation. Although this study is dated, it shows the general satisfaction with the accreditation process and helps validate the confidence that educators place on the process. Yet, understanding the expectations employers have for designers entering the workforce is important as well. What do professionals in interior design firms look for in entry-level designers upon graduation? What are the trends and

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25 goals in practice and education? The following studies have explored skills that are important to firms hiring graduates from interior design programs as well as trends impacting the direction of interior design. Interior design education programs prepare their students for the professional workforce. To determine what firms expect in terms of entry-level designers education, Viard (1996) surveyed 131 firms for their opinions. It was found that 83% of the firms considered a four-year bachelors degree a minimum, which 90% consider to be the ideal level of interior design education. The type of program that they studied in was also important with 78% responding that it was moderately to extremely important to hire graduates from a FIDER-accredited program. Birdsong and Lawlor (2001) also surveyed the opinions of firms on the importance of graduating from an accredited interior design program. They also examined perceptions of firms on state licensing, NCIDQ examination, research, and graduate education with a three-part questionnaire. The first section evaluated opinions related to the issues listed above. The second section gathered demographic and design firm information, while the third section gathered open-ended responses. Participants were selected from the top 100 firms ranked on the Interior Design magazines Giants from January 1996. From the sample, only the firms that had 75 % or more of their staff employed as interior designers and firms that had 50 % or more of their fees acquired from interior design services were selected, qualifying 43 firms. Approximately five questionnaires were mailed to each firm, totaling 213 questionnaires. The findings were based on 94 surveys.

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26 Similar to Viards study (1996), Birdsong and Lawlors (2001) results indicated that 86.2 % rated accreditation of undergraduate programs as the most important consideration. This was followed by state licensing with 70.2 %, research with 64.9 %, NCIDQ exam with 63.9 %, and graduate education at 34.1 %. The low perceived importance of graduate education could indicate that practitioners are not informed about graduate education or the role research plays in the profession. Directions for Interior Design Also important to determine are the future trends of the profession and interior design education. Hasell and Scott (1996) conducted a FIDER-sponsored study to ascertain future trends in interior design. Their comprehensive methods included a literature scan for emerging trends, focus groups conducted with multiple design constituencies, as well as surveys distributed to designers in top 200 firms, practitioners, industry representatives, and educators on trends impacting the interior design profession. The groups rated environmental conservation, accountability, professional respect, and teams of specialists as most important to the profession. In terms of education, it is seen that environmental conservation has become significantly more important since the publication of this study. Other recommendations for the future relating to design education have been posed in the report entitled Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996), commonly referred to as the Boyer report. Although intended for architectural education, the recommendations in the study may be applied to other allied disciplines. The Boyer report attempted to renew architectural education through an intensive nationwide study that culminated in a framework of seven goals. Three of the recommendations relate most directly to the focus of this study and are to

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27 achieve diversity with dignity, standards without standardization and a connected curriculum To achieve diversity with dignity, the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) places importance on the diversity of both architecture programs and faculty members and the diversity of the types of philosophies or architectural programs and the richly varied backgrounds and talents among the nations architecture faculty are strengths that must be preserved (p. 49). The recommendations note that diversity can be achieved when architecture programs are located in an assortment of academic settings. Since interior design programs are found in a variety of academic units, this might suggest diversity with dignity may already exist in interior design education. Furthermore, the Boyer report found that many architecture programs have developed their own distinctive personas and specialties (p. 50). FIDER has made the initial step in interior design education by identifying programs that meet minimum competencies. A next step may be to offer design specializations in accredited programs. This would reinforce the trend in interior design towards increasing teams of specialists (Hasell & Scott, 1996). The Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) also recommends that programs have standards without standardization, where there are clear expectations for every student that also allow for diversity within the various programs. To achieve standards without standardization the Boyer report proposes that student work and performance should be based not on blocks of knowledge, but modes of thinking. The National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc. (NAAB) is similar to FIDER in that they both do not mandate teaching strategies or curriculum cont ent. FIDER is based on notion of standards without

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28 standardization in that they have a set of standards that need to be met, but they way of achieving them is not prescribed. Furthermore, a connected curriculum is recommended. In order to achieve this, the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) suggests that the curriculum should have liberal content to provide students with a comprehensive education beyond their specific discipline. To become accredited, interior design programs must have a minimum of 30 credit hours in liberal arts and science courses (FIDER Manuel, 2005). Therefore, it can be assumed that accredited programs are already meeting part of the requirements to achieve a connected curriculum. However, to attain this goal, the programs curriculum should have flexibility that supports students seeking specific specialties. Currently, there are no known specialization options in interior design education; however interior design programs may benefit from incorporating the possibility of specialization in their curriculum. The remaining recommendations focus on achieving an enriched mission, which encourages programs to understand their social obligations to the community and creating a climate for learning that allows for many forms of communication such as written, oral, and three-dimensional representations (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996, p. 91). In addition, the Boyer report suggests obtaining a unified profession between the educators and the practitioners to ensure enriched learning during school, more satisfying internships, and sustained learning throughout professional life (p. 126). Finally, the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) encourages schools to prepare their students to provide a service to the nation through four proposed strategies: creating an

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29 engaging atmosphere, educating the students in ways they can help the nation, educating them with new knowledge, and emphasizing the importance of ethical behavior. Summary Interior design education, especially the professional movement of interior design, is still young compared to other disciplines. FIDER was established about 35 years ago to support interior design education by developing a set of standards interior design programs must meet in order to become accredited. In response to the creativity and diversity inherent to the discipline, the standards allow for flexibility in that FIDER does not prescribe how they are met. For example, interior design programs have been FIDER-accredited in a variety of settings in cluding architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. While research has been performed on perceptions of accreditation, practitioner expectations, and trends in interior design, further investigation is needed on the impact of academic homes on interiors programs. One such study by White and Dickson (1996) identified differences in college mission statements and administrators perceptions on both program factors and faculty products and activities. Conversely, Nutter (2001) performed a historical analysis and multiple case study, and through the case study found more similarities than differences. Therefore, further research is needed to further examine the impact of academic units on interior design programs found within them.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The six participating programs in this study include Cornell University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These accredited programs were located in three different academic homes, which are architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The question driving this study was wh ether or not interior design programs in distinct academic locations have significant similarities and/or differences in their curriculum, faculty, and alumni? For example, do programs found within architecture emphasize courses associated with architecture education such as construction documents? Similarly, do programs found in units of fine arts require more drawing and/or art courses in their curriculum and programs in human ecology require more social sciences? If differences were found, this would suggest that the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) standards are not prescriptive and therefore allow diversity in program focus. On the other hand, are the programs so similar that the standards appear to be too restrictive? These questions were explored through a two-part study. First, a content analysis of FIDER Program Analysis Reports (PAR) for the six programs was conducted. A PAR is a self-study written by interior design programs under review for accreditation to assess how the programs meet the standards. Three areas of the PARs examined were curriculum, faculty, and alumni. Following the content analysis, interviews were held with the program heads from each program. The interview data further clarified the 30

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31 focus of the programs and added additional as well as current information that was not found in the PARs about the three variables examined. Case Selection Criteria The interior design programs in this study were selected using four criteria. First, each program was required to be accredited by FIDER to assure that programs met minimum competency standards. Also, the programs were chosen from the DesignIntelligence ranking. This provided a measure of confidence that the eligible programs were comparable to one another. Approximately 29 programs met these criterions. The interiors programs chosen to participate in this study were ranked top 15 at least once between 2000 and 2003. In addition, a major revision to the FIDER standards occurred in 2000. In order to obtain the most up-to-date information and assure consistency between the programs, four programs that were last accredited before 2000 were eliminated from the sample, resulting in 25 qualifying programs. Then eight design and technological institutes were eliminated leaving 17 interior design programs found in university settings. Programs that were found in academic homes of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology were selected. There were approximately six inte rior programs found within architecture, five in fine arts, and five in human ecology. The other program was in a College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The small selection of programs that met the criteria restricted the sample size. Nine programs, three from each category, were asked for their participation in the research study. Six agreed to participate, two from each category. A commonality among the six programs was that they were all located in public land-grand universities. The participating programs included Cornell University, Iowa State University, Kansas

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32 State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Not every program was clearly defined in one category. Two programs with the term design in their college title could be placed either in the architecture or fine arts and they were cat egorized based on the next highest academic unit they were found within. For example, if the program were located within a department, then the category would be based on the department organization. On the other hand, if the program was an independent department within the college, the category was based on the college. The six programs in the study and the category they were placed in are stated below. The programs in Colleges of Architecture chosen for the study are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Florida. The interior design program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is found in the Department of Architecture within the College of Architecture. At the University of Florida, the Department of Interior Design is found within a College of Design, Construction, and Planning. This program was placed into the architecture category because it is a department of interior design within the college. Furthermore, there are no art programs found within this college. On the other hand, Iowa State Universitys interior design program is also located within a College of Design and houses Depa rtments of Architecture, Art and Design, Community and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture. The interior design program is found within the Department of Art and Design. In addition to the interior design program, the department contains programs of graphic design as well as integrated studio arts and integrated visual arts. Therefore, this program was categorized within the fine arts division. The other program in the fine arts category is Louisiana State

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33 University. The interiors program at Louisiana State is located within a College of Art and Design and is an independent Department of Interior Design. Finally, the human ecology category consisted of Cornell University and Kansas State University. Cornell Universitys interior design program is found within the Department of Design and Environmental Anal ysis in the College of Human Ecology. At Kansas State there are two interiors programs recognized by both FIDER and DesignIntelligence There is the interior design program located within the Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design in the College of Human Ecology and the Department of Interior Architecture and Product Design is located in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design. The researcher chose to have only one program per institute participate in the study. Due to the small number of programs found within a College of Human Ecology in the DesignIntelligence survey, the interiors program within the College of Human Ecology was selected to participate. Procedure FIDER lists each accredited interior design program on their website with program information such as the degree received from attending the program, the academic home the program is found in, and the head of the program with their corresponding title. Three of the interior design programs in this study are departments, while three programs are found within departments along with other disciplines. These three are headed by interior design Program Coordinators or Directors. Typically, the program head is a faculty member that teaches within the interior design program. However, in one case, the program head was also the head of the department, which houses two other disciplines in addition to interior design. This program head did not teach interior design courses.

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34 The program heads listed on the FIDER website as of January 1, 2005 for the six programs, were sent a letter requesting the participation of their program in the study. Approximately a week later, the researcher contacted the program heads to answer any questions about the study and again to ask for their participation. With each program heads approval for the participation of their program, the most recent PAR was requested. Each PAR adhered to the most recent set of guidelines established in 2000. FIDER provides a format for the information that is incorporated into the four sections of the PAR. The first section, the introduction, includes basic history and information about the program including the academic home of the program and any allied disciplines located in the department. The second section is the largest portion of the document and describes how the program meets FIDERs twelve accreditation standards. These standards are in the following order, 1) curriculum structure, 2) design fundamentals, 3) interior design, 4) comm unication, 5) building systems and interior materials, 6) regulations, 7) business and prof essional practice, 8) professional values, 9) faculty, 10) facilities, 11) administration, and 12) assessment. Section three is the selfreporting by the programs of their perceived strengths and weaknesses and section four includes plans for future development and significant changes. Since many of the standards focus on program curriculum, faculty, and alumni, these variables were analyzed by the academic home through a content analysis. The content analysis involved frequency count s from each category, which allowed for comparisons to examine the programs curriculum, faculty, and alumni. Curriculum areas that were explored include whether the program has a selective admissions program, admission qualifications, and the percentage of studio courses in relation to interior

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35 design support courses and general electives. Faculty background focused on the highest degree received, degree areas of study, NCIDQ certification, professional experience, and teaching experience. Employers of alumni were categorized based on their location and the type of work the company does. After the content analysis was underway, follow-up interviews were conducted with the heads from each participating design program to clarify the focus and intent of their programs. Program heads were contacted in advance to schedule an appointment for the interview. A consent form approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) was faxed to each program head to be returned before the interview, which was conducted over the telephone and was audio-recorded with prior permission. The goal of the open-ended interview questions was to gather supplement information presented in the PAR and to update information on curriculum, faculty, and alumni. On average, each interview took approximately; however, they ranged from 20 to 60 minutes. At the end of each interview, the program head was asked if they would allow their programs name to be used in the research study. After all six interviews were completed they were transcribed. In some cases, additional questions or clarification of interviews were needed. The program head was contacted by email to resolve these issues. The responses from the interviews were used as supplemental information to the content analysis. In total, the data collection occurred over sixteen weeks. The first stage began after obtaining each programs PAR and required approximately fourteen weeks to complete the content analysis. Conducting the interviews in stage two required two weeks to complete. After the information was gathered for the participating programs, it was

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36 examined to compare the different academic units. First, the data for each program was analyzed individually, then collectively by each academic home. The data was analyzed through percentages, charts, and graphs. The values of individual programs became evident, providing a strong sense of goals and objectives. Content Analysis The main source of data was each programs PAR. In each PAR, FIDER requires particular information to be provided for each section of the document. Standards one through eight focus on curriculum and include indicators of compliance. Standard nine, which addresses faculty, has eight indicators that the programs must address. Also, faculty data sheets ask for specific information about each faculty member. However, the final standard, which has a section pertaining to alumni, requires no specific information about the alumni that needs to be addressed. Therefore, the section on alumni showed the greatest variability among the programs. As a result, external resources, such as firm websites, were used to obtain additional information about alumni from the participatory programs. In addition, interviews were conducted with each program head to obtain additional information about the programs curriculum, faculty, and alumni. It was important to the validity of the study to triangulate the data from the three sources. Curriculum The curriculum provides a foundation for each program. The courses students take provide them with the knowledge they need to become interior designers. Do the courses that students take differ by the academic home of the program? Determining possible similarities and differences has many implications for interior design education.

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37 Significant similarities could suggest FIDERs standards as too restrictive while differences found would support the divers e application of FIDERs standards. Each programs curriculum was transferred into a spreadsheet document and categorized by semester. Each course name, class code, and credit hours were recorded, along with the total credit hours required to graduate along with the degree received upon graduation. In addition, information about the selective admissions process as well as whether or not the program had a required internship were included. Finally, many universities have required general education courses that every student must take in order to graduate. Information about these required courses was provided. First, from the spreadsheet it was determined whether or not the program has a selective admission process. Such a process ensures students of high quality are accepted into the program. As a result, graduates are likely to reflect highly on the program when working in the industry. If the program has a selective admission process, when the selective admission occurs, requirements to be accepted into the program, the number of students who typically apply, and the approximate number of students accepted each year were recorded. The focus was then directed to the student coursework. The courses students take provide them with the knowledge needed for the professional world. Having an education that encompasses the diverse knowledge that an interior designer requires is imperative. Students are generally required to take university general education courses as well as courses in the interior design program. Often university coursework overlaps with courses that are required by the interior design program to graduate. For example, the interior design program may require a threecredit history course th at would also meet

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38 the university humanities requirements. Because this overlap occurs frequently in some programs, courses were divided into interior design courses and general requirements and electives. Interior design courses included classes such as design studio, lighting materials, construction documents, and interior design history. General education courses and electives include classes such as math, science, composition, and non-interior design electives. Finally, the interior design courses were broken down into categories according to the course types. Interior design curriculum was divided into three sections: studio courses, support interior design courses such as materials, history, and graphics, and general requirements/electives. These categories were examined first collectively and then divided into coursework required before and after selective admissions. Faculty Faculty is also an essential part to every program in that they provide the information necessary to students. The PAR faculty data sheets provide background information on program faculty members, which may include both core and support faculty members. For this study, only the core interior design faculty was examined for each program. Core faculty members were defined in this study as full-time or tenured faculty members that are both part-time and full-time. The support faculty members that were excluded include non-tenured part-time, adjunct, lecturers, and graduate teaching assistants. These positions often are not permanent like full-time or tenured faculty members and do not have consistent influence on the interior design program. Although, the excluded members were listed in the PAR, their faculty data sheets, required for the content analysis, were generally not provided.

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39 For each program, all core faculty member information was placed on a spreadsheet. First, the faculty education background was recorded. The institutions where they received their degrees, their area of concentration, as well as the year were documented. From that information, the highest degree for each faculty member was recorded along with the discipline that faculty members received their degrees in. Faculty degree areas were arranged into four categories: interior design, architecture, other design, and other discipline. Those members that have received degrees in interior architecture were included in the interior design category. Faculty academic work experience was recorded as well. They were categorized based on whether they have taught solely at their current institution or if they have taught at other universities as well. This was noted because faculty members with experience at multiple universities are exposed to a larger range of design instruction, teaching techniques, and curriculum approaches providing them with a more diverse knowledge base. In addition, faculty members were categorized by whether or not they have had professional design experience. Having design experience offers a connection to professional design practices. Whether or not the faculty member has NCIDQ certification was also recorded. Because FI DER does not count NCIDQ certification that is pending, faculty members with pending results were considered as not NCIDQ certified at the time of the PAR. FIDER also does not account for members who are registered architects. However, this information was included to see if registered architects were evident in certain academic homes. Alumni Graduates from interior design programs reflect the education they receive. A section of the PAR includes information a bout where alumni are working or studying

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40 upon graduation from the program. Unlike the curriculum and faculty, there is no specific format for recording alumni placement. The six programs collected and presented different information concerning their alumni. Three programs recorded the alumnis name, employer, position, and firm type. One listed the alumnis name, employer, position, and firm location. The other two programs listed the alumnis name, employer, and location. Alumni information had the most variability in recording the depth of information between the six programs. Therefore, firm in formation that was not included in the PARs vital to the study was found through firm websites and by contacting the firms by telephone. This information included either firm location or the disciplines that were practiced at the firms. All 239 alumni from the programs in the study required additional information. For three of the programs, the firm location had to be found. In addition, the firm types that the program provided was verified with how the firms were categorized for this study. The other three programs needed the firm type to be determined. Furthermore, not every program listed all graduates from the years they listed in the PAR. Therefore, percentages were used to compare alumni from different academic homes to assure accuracy across all programs. First, alumni who attended graduate school upon graduation were recorded on a spreadsheet. The program discipline and location was recorded. In a separate document, information about employed alumni was recorded. The firm that they were working for, the location of the firm, and what type of work the firm did was documented. From the spreadsheet, first, whether or not students are work ing at a firm that is in the same state as the university in which they received their degree was determined. Then the firms were

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41 categorized based on the type of work that they do. Categorizing the firms where alumni from each program work helped establish trends for the programs. In addition, it aided in determining whether graduates from programs in a particular academic homes were more likely to work in a certain firm type. The alumni were placed into six categories: interior design, architecture/interior design, architecture/interior design plus allied disciplines, other design, and other nondesign. Firms labeled interior design, practice interior design exclusively. Architecture/interior design firms include architecture practice as well as interior design and planning. Architecture/interior design plus allied discipline firms include architecture, interior design, planning, and various other disciplines such as graphic design, landscape architecture, and engineer ing. Other design areas included design fields such as lighting design, brand design, and freelance design. Limitations There are currently 137 FIDER-accredited interior design educational programs in North America (FIDER website, 2005). Because this study involves an in-depth analysis of curriculum, faculty, and alumni, only six accredited programs are represented in the sample. Specifically, this study includes pr ograms found in public land-grant institutions, which have the tri-fold mission of research, teaching, and service. As a result, programs found in technical, private, and non land-grant colleges were not included in this study. Also excluded were the few interior design programs found within a university setting in colleges or schools that are not in the three academic homes examined. For example, some of these programs are found in schools of Education or Technology. This study focused on three prominent dimensions of interior design programs: curriculum, faculty, and alumni. However, the researcher recognizes that interior design

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42 programs may be impacted by a confluence of factors such as budget and resources, facilities, and administration. Therefore, results of this study may not be solely attributed to the academic home or to the three variables researched. The PAR provides a comprehensive background of the interior design program. The accreditation reports in this study were often around 100 pages and were prepared and submitted for accreditation between 2000 and 2004. Because interior design programs are constantly evolving, this document may not be the most up-to-date information about the program. Given this limitation, interviews with program heads gathered current program information on the three variables under study to supplement information found in the PAR. Furthermore, while the reporting of program curriculum and faculty was mostly consistent, the information on alumni had the most variability. Because FIDER does not specify the information to be included about alumni, there was inconsistent and missing information. For example, some programs listed only the alumni firm name and location whereas other programs included firm name, location, firm type, and position. Because the firm type was important to the results of this study, this information was critical to obtain. Therefore, further information about the firms was acquired through websites and by contacting them over the telephone. Summary This study examined six accredited interior design programs found in academic homes of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The programs were selected based on the following criteria. Most importantly, they had to be accredited by FIDER, specifically since the last major revision of the standards, which occurred in 2000. In addition, the programs had to be ranked on the DesignIntelligence survey to assure

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43 consistent high quality among programs. Finally, the programs needed to be located within one of the three academic homes explored in this study. Programs that met the criteria were given the opportunity to participate. The programs that agreed to participate were explored through an in-depth content analysis of their accreditation reports to determine similarities and differences among them. The three variables that were examined include program curriculum, faculty, and alumni. These variables were chosen based on their representation in the PAR. In addition to the content analysis, interviews with program heads were conducted to provide current information on the three variables.

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CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS The Foundation of Interior Design E ducators Council (FIDER) accreditation process provides standards for interior design educational programs. Because they do not prescribe how the standards are met, programs are able to exist in different academic homes within colleges. Little research has been conducted to explore the differences between programs that are located within distinct units. Therefore, this study developed profiles for six accredited programs found in academic units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology through a content analysis and interviews with program heads. A content analysis of Program Analysis Reports (PAR) explored curriculum content, faculty characteristics, and alumni placement across six noted interior design programs. Interviews were conducted with each programs head to collect additional information about the three variables as well as to obtain the most recent program information. The findings are discussed in relation to the three variables: curriculum, faculty, and alumni, and programs are grouped by academic home. Programs in the architecture category include the University of Florida (UF) and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL). UF is located in Gainesville, Florida and was founded in 1853. The interior design program is an independent department located within the College of Design, Construction, and Planning, previously the College of Architecture, until May of 2000. Other programs within the college include architecture, building construction, landscape architecture, and urban and regional planning. Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska is located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The interior design 44

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45 program is located in the Department of Architecture within the College of Architecture, which also houses a Department of Community and Regional Planning. The programs in the fine arts category are the Iowa State University (ISU) and Louisiana State University (LSU). ISU was founded in 1862 in Ames, Iowa. The interior design program at ISU is housed in the College of Design within the Department of Art and Design. The college also houses Departments of Architecture, Community and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture. Other programs within the Department of Art and Design include graphic design, integrated studio arts, and integrated visual arts. LSU was founded in 1860 and is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The interior design department at LSU is found within the College of Art and Design, which also houses Departments of Architecture, Art, and Landscape Architecture. Programs in the human ecology category include Cornell University and Kansas State University (KSU). Cornell is located in Ithaca, New York and was founded in 1865. Cornell is the only land-grant university that is also a member of the Ivy League (Cornell website, 2005). The interior design program at Cornell is located in the College of Human Ecology within the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. Other departments housed within the College include the Department of Division of Nutritional Sciences, Human Development, Policy Analysis and Management, and Textiles and Apparels. Also in the Human Ecology category, KSU was founded in 1863 in Manhattan, Kansas. The interior design program at KSU is located in the Department of Apparel Textiles and Interior Design within the College of Human Ecology, which houses Departments of Human Nutrition, Family Studies and Human Services, as well as Hotel, Restaurant, Institution Management and Dietetics.

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46 Traditionally, a Department Chair overlooks programs that are independent departments within a college while a Program Coordinator or Director overlooks programs within a department. The program head interviewed was determined from the FIDER website as of January 1, 2005. Program Directors or Coordinators from UNL, ISU, KSU and Department Chairs from UF, LSU, and Cornell were interviewed. It should be noted that the institutions of all six programs in this research study are classified as land-grant institutions. Additionally, UF, UN, ISU, and Cornell are members of the American Association of Universities (AAU), which recognizes prestigious research institutions. Curriculum Universities commonly have general education requirements that each student must fulfill in order to graduate. There are usually a number of credit hours that are required in a variety of subject areas. For example, many universities require students to take credit hours in compositional or humanities courses. Often, the programs within the college offer courses that fulfill both the general education course, as well as courses required for the major. An interior design history course may meet the humanities requirement and will therefore fulfill requirements by both the college and the program. Because it was difficult to distinguish where courses overlap in the interior design programs at hand, the curriculum was divided into two groups. First, classes that directly relate to interior design were placed in the interior design cour se category. These include classes such as design studios, lighting, materials, and gra phics. The other category included general requirements and electives. For example, if an interior design program requires students to take an algebra course, this would not be placed in the interior design courses, but in the general requirement/elective category because it does not relate directly to design.

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47 The only electives that were included in the interior design group were professional course electives that were required to be an interiors course. Table 4.1 lists all interior design classes and the credit hours for general requirements and electives. Table 4-1. Interior design program curriculum by credit hour Architecture Fine Arts Human Ecology Courses UF UNL ISU LSU CU KSU Design Studios 40 28 33 21 33 20 History/Theory 9 15 9 18 12 15 Materials/Textiles/Furniture 6 6 7 6 8 6 Graphics 3 4 7 6 5 6 Introduction 2 3 3 3 3 1 Professional Practice 3 3 2 3 1 3 Construction Documents/Systems 8 3 6 4 3 Computer 6 3 3 3 1-3 Lighting 3 3 Environmental Technology 3 3 3 Internship 3 4 3 Drawing 3 3 Interior Systems 8 Color 6 Programming 3 Housing 6 Universal Design 3 Seminar 3 Independent Study Project 3 Professional Electives 3 12 9 6 General Requirements/Electives 34 43 51.5 38-42 47-50 55 TOTAL 120 129 127.5 131-135 122-125 125-127 Note. UF = University of Florida, UNL = University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ISU = Iowa State University, LSU = Louisiana State University, CU = Cornell University, KSU = Kansas State University. Materials, textiles, and furniture were collapsed into one category in the content analysis because two of the programs offered courses that integrated furniture with materials,

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48 while another program had a separate class devoted to furniture. The range or credit hours for LSU, Cornell, and KSU is a result of variable credit hours applied to a course requirement. For example, at LSU, students ar e required to take eight to nine credit hours in natural sciences. Also, important to note that this study focused on the credit hours and did not include contact hours. Architecture The University of Florida (UF) interior design program was founded in 1948 and was first accredited by FIDER in 1973. To graduate, students are required to complete 120 credit hours of coursework with 36 of those credit hours slated for university general requirements. This program requires students to go through a selective admissions process that occurs at the end of the second year. Students are admitted to upper-division based on a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, a design studio GPA of at least 2.85, a blind portfolio review (pin-up), and a statement of intent. Typically, 50-60 students apply each year for entry into upper-division and 28-32 students are accepted. The UF interiors program does not require an internship, however the interview with the Department Chair revealed that this was a future goal of the program. Students who complete an internship are able to receive credit hours as part of their professional electives. Graduates from the program receive a Bachelor of Design (BD) degree with a major in Interior Design. According to the Department Chair, the two defining features of the program are its strong research foundation for the studio proj ects and the real world emphasis that capitalizes on existing projects. The Chair maintains the program adhere[s] to an evidence-based research approach to design and has a strong architectural core. Other areas of the program that could be enhanced include computer courses, introducing color

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49 theory into the curriculum, and requiring an internship. There have been incremental curriculum revisions in the program. Many students take business courses as electives. Being part of the College of Design, C onstruction, and Planning appears to have impacted the curriculum. The program is able to offer a sequence of three architectural foundation classes for pre-majors in interior design. In addition, as part of the college, interior design students are able to gain certification in historic preservation by participating in the Nantucket preservation program, and go on college study abroad programs such as the one in Vicenza, Italy. The Chair perceives a college sponsored move to a College of Human Ecology as having a negative impact to the creative culture that is inherent to being part of the Colle ge of Design. Another perceived disadvantage is that the program would not be surrounded by allied disciplines in a human ecology unit. Similarly, if the program were moved to a College of Fine Arts the impact was perceived as detrimental. The Department Chair notes Colleges of Fine Arts traditionally dont have the same kind of strong funding so there would not be additional resources in that way. Although there would be some other allied fields such as graphic design or possibly industrial design, other core disciplines that interior designers work so closely with would not be represented. The interior design program at the University of Nebraska (UNL) interiors program was developed over 35 years ago and it is unknown when the program was first accredited by FIDER. A minimum of 129 credit hours is required for graduation. Nine general education courses fulfill UNLs essential studies requirement and 10 courses are required in integrative studies courses. Similar to UF, the interiors program also has a selective admissions process after the second year. Students need to complete all

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50 necessary coursework and have a minimum of a 2.6 GPA in order to apply. They must also provide a portfolio of their work for review. Fifty students are generally accepted into lower division and approximately 30 of those are accepted into upper-division. The program requires an internship. Upon graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD Interior Design). The main focus of UNLs curriculum is to educate strong professionals who are creative thinkers with an understanding of the spatial envelope. One of the strengths of the program is their shared curriculum with architecture, which provides a greater understanding of both professions. The Program Director feels that this helps establish better working relationships as their graduates enter the profession. In addition she reflects, the faculty as a whole are pretty creative thinkers and they are willing to push the envelope and reflect the profession and go beyond. A major curriculum revision has not occurred in over five years; however, their program is moving to a five-year program possibly next year, which will require significant curriculum revisions and a semester long internship experience. Professional electives are typically taken in the College of Fine and Performing Arts curriculum such as photography and graphic design or in business courses like marketing and management. Also, within the college there is a wide range of courses offerings available to interior design student such as African architecture, historic restoration and preservation, or product/furniture design. The Program Director feels that existing in a College of Architecture impacts the curriculum in a positive way because of shared available courses. Until 1993, the interior design program at UNL was located in a College of Human Ecology. A return to that college, from the directors perspective, would have a negative impact as would a move

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51 to a College of Fine Arts; in the sense that a College of Fine Arts doesnt have the professional focus that architecture and inte rior design do, so there would probably be a lack of understanding of what that might be. However, the Program Director recognizes the success of such a relocation depends very much on individual administrative leadership. Fine Arts Although interior design courses at Iowa State University (ISU) date back to 1901, it was not until 1962 that interior design was recognized as a major. The interior design program was fully accredited by FIDER in 1986. This program requires a minimum of 127.5 credit hours for graduation with 36.5 of those credit hours meeting general university requirements. There is a selective admissions process that occurs after the completion of the first year. Thus, interior students are in the upper-division portion of the program for three years. Each student must submit a portfolio, sketchbook, and essay to apply for upper-division and GPA is considered as well. As of 2002, there were 80 students in lower-division and 104 in upper-division. Approximately 35 students are admitted into upper-division each year. An internship is required for graduation. Upon graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). The main focus of ISUs curriculum is on creative problem solving and human factors. While a perceived strength of the program is on technology and creative design, the Program Director feels that their computer courses need to be updated. The Program Director advocates continuous assessment and improvement of the program, as they are currently in the process of a curriculum revision to develop their own core freshman year curriculum. Although students do not have many electives, they often take other design courses in architecture, universal design, and sustainable/solar design or business courses.

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52 ISU is located within a College of Design and a Department of Art and Design. When asked whether architecture or art had more influence on the program, the program head responded that each of them contribute equally. If the program were to move to a College of Architecture or College of Human Ecology, the impact on the program would be in the words of the Program Director Devastating [and the] creative design focus would be short changed. The Louisiana State University (LSU) in terior design program was founded in 1969 and has been accredited since 1977. Currently, students are required to take 131-135 credit hours for graduation with 38-39 of those credit hours fulfilling university general requirements. Like ISU, the interiors program utilizes a selective admissions process that occurs at the end of the first year, and approximately 40 students are accepted into the upper-division. At the time of the PAR, the applicant pool for upper-division was anywhere from 100 200 students, however as of fall 2005, the Department Chair notes a selective admission process into lower division will be implemented to limit the applicants to around 60 students. To apply, students must submit an application and a portfolio of their work to be reviewed for acceptance into the program. The program has a required internship. Upon graduation, stude nts received their Bachelor of Interior Design (BID). The Department Chair stated that the curriculum at LSU is focused on obtaining a broad range of basic skills but encouraging creative inquiry. The Boyer report, Building Community: A New Future For Architecture Education and Practice, is used as a guide for their program and the Chair believes the department has most of the Boyer recommendations in place. The Department Chair feels a strength of the program is that

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53 they provide a broad foundation in a broad scope of what will be expected of an interior designer, and with that, [afford] opportunities for the undergraduate to pursue specific areas of interest. One perceived weakness was at the foundation level in that we never had enough faculty or facilities to be able to have complete control over that first year therefore students previously had foundation courses in the art or landscape departments. Over the past year and a half, the faculty designed and implemented a fairly significant curriculum change and added more specific focus courses and foundation level courses within the interior design department. In addition, the studio courses have been changed from three credit hours to four credit hours. Students in the interiors program often receive Minors in Construction Management, Art, Theatre and Performance Art, and Business or Finance. Residing within a College of Art and Design impacts the curriculum because it allows for students to take courses in other ar eas where they can increase their skills in all different areas of concentration such as architecture, graphic design, or painting. Currently, the program is an independent unit within the college. Although the Department Chair feels that interior programs in Colleges of Human Ecology are important, she feels that they have a different focus. The Department Chair feels that if a move was necessary, a College of Architecture would be the best place for the program, however she states the program is stronger in its current state as an independent unit. Human Ecology In 1925, Cornell University developed their interior design program. FIDER first accredited the program in 1986. Students are required to complete 122-125 credit hours for graduation. The College requires each student to take 37-42 credit hours in general requirements, which includes the university mandated freshman writing seminar. In

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54 addition, all students at Cornell must pass a swim test before beginning classes and during their first year students must complete two terms of physical education courses. The interior design program utilizes a selective admissions process that occurs before students are accepted into the program. All students should fill out the interior design index, a questionnaire designed to inform the admissions committee of their experience or preparation in the field. Transfer students are required to submit a portfolio and freshman applicants are strongly urged to submit a portfolio. Upon graduation, students receive their Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Ecology with a major in Design and Environmental Analysis and an option in Interior Design. The main focus of the interior design curriculum according to the Department Chair is integrating evidence-based design with imaginative invention to create solutions that solve real social problems and the Chair perceives the strength of their curriculum is its multi-disciplinary evidence-based focus. Although the Chair feels that the curriculum is solid across the board, student interest in graphic design components may be an area the design faculty team chooses to strengthen in the future. However, he does not see this as a defined concentration or fo rmal focus within the department. The overall focus of the curriculum has remained constant since the college was created in 1969. However, Cornell revises their curriculum in part in response to FIDER program reviews and our own assessments as well as external program reviews that the university mandates. Outside the major, students take a wide variety of elective courses such as architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, planning, organizational behavior, psychology, and human development.

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55 The Department Chair believes that being within a College of Human Ecology impacts the program because evidenced-based design is fully within the mandate of the focus of our college. If the program was moved to a College of Architecture or Fine Arts, the Department Chair felt that the research base upon which the interior design program is built would either positively influence the other programs, or the interiors program would be weakened. Like Cornell, Kansas State University (KSU) is a noted program in Human Ecology. It began offering courses in interior design in 1917 with FIDER first accrediting the program in 1982. The interiors program requires a completion of 125-127 credit hours for graduation. Eighteen credit hours are needed to meet the universitys general requirements. KSU utilizes a selective admissions process, based primarily on GPA, at the entry level with around 52 students initially accepted into the program. Like the University of Florida, there is no internship requirement at the KSU interiors program, however students are able to receive credit hours for completing an internship as part of their professional electives. Students receive their Bachelor of Science (BS) in Interior Design upon graduation. According to the Program Coordinator, the main focus of the curriculum at KSU is interior design within the human ecological fr amework. Students in the interior design program at KSU share the first year of their program with design students in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design. Prev iously, faculty members from both programs taught each others students. Currently, faculty members teach students from their own program, with a shared syllabus and projects.

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56 A perceived strength of the curriculum is how it is designed to take students from what they know as a beginning designer to a high level of knowledge of professionalism. The Program Coordinator feels that their lack of appropriate facilities impedes student learning and would like more studio space and technology components. The KSU interior design program has not had a major curriculum change in over 10 years; rather they prefer to implement small revisions to introduce current trends such as sustainability. Outside the major, students typically take courses in architecture, gerontology, and womans studies. The Program Coordinator feels that being within a College of Human Ecology has a positive impact on their curriculum. Students are confronted with the human ecological focus in their first semester in a design and behavior course. A human ecological framework guides student learning, as the program head maintains, [Students] will understand human behavior, perception, cognition and [their] designs will respond to that. If the program were moved to a college of architecture or fine arts, the program head felt that the human ecological perspective would be diminished. Summary Figure 4-1 graphically depicts the total number of studio, support design courses, and general requirements or elective for programs. As a note, for the purpose of the figure, programs that provided a range of credit hours for courses, for example 38 42 credit hours of general requirements, the average, 40, was used. Architecture programs had the most credits devoted to studio courses, with 68 credit hours required. The fine arts and human ecology had essentially the same credit hours for studio courses with 53-54 credits. One hundred fifteen credit hours were required for support design courses in the fine arts programs, followed by architecture

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57 programs with 104 credits and human ecology programs with 91 credits. Finally, human ecology programs had more credit hours in general requirements and electives than the other programs. While human ecology program had 103.5 credit hours, the fine arts programs had 91.5 credits and the architecture programs had only 77 credit hours. Architecture (n=249) Fine Arts (n=260.5) 42% n=104 27% n=68 31% n=77 44% n=115 21% n=54 35% n=91.5 Human Ecology (n=249.5) 37% n=93 42% n=103.5 21% n=53 Studio Support Design Courses General Requirements/ Electives Figure 4-1. Program course distribution Architecture programs had the most credits devoted to studio courses, with 68 credit hours required. The fine arts and human ecology had essentially the same credit

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58 hours for studio courses with 53-54 credits. One hundred fifteen credit hours were required for support design courses in the fine arts programs, followed by architecture programs with 104 credits and human ecology programs with 93 credits. Finally, human ecology programs had more credit hours in general requirements and electives than the other programs. While human ecology programs had 103.5 credit hours, the fine arts programs had 91.5 credits and the architecture programs had only 77 credit hours. Variations in the number or credit hours were found in that programs in architecture units devoted 14-15 more credit hours to studio courses than fine art and human ecology programs. However, the architecture programs generally had more credit hours allocated to each individual studio course, with studios having up to six credits per course. Therefore, the quantity of courses was similar among programs, which supports Atkins (2001) findings of consistency in program curriculum. However, the present thesis study identifies differences in the percentage of general requirements or electives in relation to the interior design coursework. Human ecology interior programs allocated 11-22 fewer credit hours for support design courses and 12-26.5 more credit hours for general requirements and electives. As most of these courses are three credit hours, this results in about four to seven fewer support courses and four to eight more credit hours of general requirements and electives courses. Faculty The educational background, faculty position, practice experience, and certification status of faculty members were examined. Generally, faculty educational backgrounds were similar in that the majority of faculty members held degrees in either interior design or architecture. Differences were found primarily in the number of faculty who are NCIDQ certified and the secondary degrees faculty members have received. However,

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59 because of the small sample size of 37 faculty members, the findings are purely observations about faculty in the six noted interior design programs and cannot be generalized to all programs within the corresponding academic home. Faculty information from each program was taken from the faculty data sheets provided in the programs FIDER accreditation document. Only core faculty members were included in the analysis and these faculty members were defined as either full-time or tenured faculty members, both part-time and full-time, who teach interior design courses. As a note, those members that had pending results for the NCIDQ examination were not counted as NCIDQ certified at the time of the PAR. Registered architects were included in the analysis due to their design experience. Although FIDER does not recognize this qualification, it is noteworthy to discover the programs where registered architects are evident to see a distinction by academic setting. Table 4-2 illustrates results by academic home. Architecture The University of Florida (UF) lists eight full-time faculty members in the PAR where two are professors, two are associate professors, three are assistant professors, and the remaining member is a full-time lecturer. Three of the faculty members were hired years ago in 1972, 1982, and 1988 and two were hired in 1993 and 1997. The other three faculty members were hired recently, two in 2001 and one in 2003. Of the eight faculty members, four have received a Ph.D., three have received their Masters degrees, and the final member holds a Masters in Interior Design and highest degree is as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). A majority of the faculty members have their degrees in interior design. One member has a degree solely in interior design and four members have their educational background in interior design with another discipline including dentistry,

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60 architecture, and fine arts. In addition, two faculty members have architectural degrees, one exclusively in architecture and the other with an additional degree in education. Table 4-2. Faculty information Architecture Fine Arts Human Ecology Faculty Overview UF UNL ISU LSU CU KSU Core Faculty Members 8 5 6 6 6 6 Full-time 8 5 4 6 6 4 Part-time 0 0 2 0 0 2 NCIDQ certified 2 0 2 3 3 2 Registered Architect 2 2 0 1 0 0 Faculty Title Professor 2 0 2 0 0 2 Associate Professor 2 2 3 3 4 0 Assistant Professor 3 3 1 3 1 4 Lecturer 1 0 0 0 1 0 Highest Degree PhD 4 2 2 0 0 2 Masters 3 2 3 4 6 4 Bachelors 0 0 0 2 0 0 Other 1 1 1 0 0 0 Education Background Interior Design 1 (4) 1 (1) 3 (2) 1 (1) 0 (2) 1 (2) Architecture 1 (1) 1 (2) 0 (1) (2) 0 (2) 1 (0) Other Design 0 0 0 0 2 0 Other Disciplines 1 0 0 2 0 2 TOTAL 8 5 6 6 6 6 Note 1. UF = University of Florida, UNL = University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ISU = Iowa State University, LSU = Louisiana State University, CU = Cornell University, KSU = Kansas State University. Note 2. The numbers in parenthesis under faculty educational background, indicate faculty members who have a degree in the corresponding discipline along with an additional degree in a different discipline.

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61 Finally, the last faculty member has his degree in fine arts. Five faculty members have extensive design experience with tw o faculty members NCIDQ certified and two registered architects on the faculty team. The majority of the faculty members have taught at other institutions besides UF, with the remaining two faculty members teaching solely at UF at the time of the PAR. Being located within a College of Design, Construction, and Planning impacts faculty hiring decisions. The Department Chai r feels that the program attract[s] faculty that have architecture as well as interior design training because they may feel the greatest affinity in this academic home. When hiring new faculty members, a Ph.D. is very important due to the strong research emphasis at UF, but faculty members with masters degrees that have lots of field experience are also needed on staff. In addition, NCIDQ certification is viewed as an im portant qualification in faculty hires. The other program reviewed within a College of Architecture was the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) containing five full-time faculty members on staff. The faculty team consisted of two associate professors and three assistant professors. All of the faculty members were hired in the 1990s with three hired in 1993, one in 1996, and one in 1998. Of these five, two have received their Ph.D.s and two hold Masters degrees. The additional faculty member has a Doctorate in Education. The faculty members received their educational backgrounds mostly in interior design and architecture with a few secondary degrees. One member has a degree solely in interior design while another member has degrees in both interior design and education. The three remaining faculty members have their degrees in architecture. Of those that have architecture degrees, one has an additional degree in sociology and another in art history.

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62 Although three of the five faculty members have extensive design experience, at the time of the PAR none of the faculty memb ers had received NCIDQ certification. It is important to remember that Nebraska is one of the states that do not require NCIDQ certification to practice. However, the FIDER accreditation standards do not take this into consideration. Similar to UF, UNL has two registered architects on their faculty. Although FIDER does not recognize this level of certification, having faculty members who have this credentialing in architecture may help with the interior design education of a student. With the exception of one faculty, the remaining faculty members have taught at other institutions at the time of the PAR. The Program Director at UNL felt that being within a College of Architecture has, to some extent, impacted faculty hiring decisions. For example, a strong background in design is more important than having a Ph.D. degree. When hiring faculty members, the Program Director cited their preference for backgrounds in interior design and/or architecture and depending on the position description, either strong professional experience or strong research and creative activity experience [is desired]. In addition, they value faculty members who are innovative thinkers and team players. Fine Arts At the time of the PAR, Iowa State University (ISU) had four full-time tenured, two part-time tenured, three part-time non-tenure track, three half-time graduate teaching assistants, and eleven support faculty on staff. Only the six tenured faculty members were included in the content analysis. Two of the tenured faculty members are full professors, three are associate professors, and the remaining faculty is an assistant professor. Most of the faculty team has taught at the program over a decade, with members hired in 1971, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1984, and 1993.

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63 Two faculty members received a Ph.D. and four hold Masters degrees. The other faculty members highest degree is a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with a degree in architecture. The educational backgrounds of ISU faculty are primarily in interior design, where five of the six members hold their degrees. Two others hold interior design degrees and have additional degrees in theater, sociology, and environmental design. All six members have extensive design experience in the field and two are NCIDQ certified. Half of the faculty members taught solely at ISU and the remainder taught at other universities as well. Faculty hiring decisions are impacted at ISU partly because we are in a College of Design but within a Department of Art. Valuable credentials in hiring decisions include a creative portfolio with individual and/or student work, NCIDQ qualifications, computer skills, and being a team player. In the interiors program at Louisiana State University (LSU), there are six full-time and two part-time faculty members. Only the six full-time faculty members were included in the analysis. Three of the faculty members are associate professors and three are assistant professors. The majority of th e faculty team has been there since the 70s with four members hired in 1971, 1974, 1975, and 1976. The remaining two faculty members were hired in 1996 and 1997. Four faculty members hold Masters degrees and the other two hold Bachelors degrees. At the time of the PAR, no faculty members held a Ph.D. degree. The faculty at LSU received their degrees in a variety of disciplines. One member has their degree exclusively in interior design. Another member has degrees in both interior architecture and architecture. There are two faculty members that have their degrees in architecture but also hold degrees in fine arts as well as art and design. The

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64 remaining two faculty members have degrees in fine arts. All six members have extensive design experience and three are NCIDQ certified with one registered architect on their staff. Four faculty members have taught only at LSU at the time of the PAR, where the other two members have taught at other institutions as well. The LSU Department Chair feels that the academic home affiliation influences faculty hiring decisions. The Chair notes that its not only faculty hires, but where we are housed affects a bit the overall tenor of the program in that we are housed in other professions that deal with the built environm ent. Because the faculty members of the interiors program need to cover a wide range of skills and teaching assignments, they look for faculty members with broad professional knowledge. The program head asserts that they like to keep a balance between faculty that have had significant practice experience and faculty that have been more research and academic oriented. Human Ecology Cornell Universitys interiors program has six full-time and one part-time faculty member. The part-time member was not included in this analysis. At the time of the PAR, there were four associate professors, one assistant professor, and one full-time lecturer. One faculty member was hired in 1978 and the rest of the faculty were hired in the 1990s, with three hired in the early 90s and two hired in the mid to late 90s. Each full-time faculty members highest degree was a Masters, with their educational background in a variety of fields. Two faculty members have degrees in interior design with degrees in housing/urban studies and industrial design as well. Two of the faculty members have degrees in architecture but also hold degrees in industrial design and one additionally earned a degree in physics. The remaining two faculty members have degrees in design or design history and indus trial design. Five faculty members have

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65 extensive design experience and three are NCIDQ certified. Mostly all of Cornells faculty members have taught at other institutions besides their home institution with only one member teaching exclusively at Cornell. The interior design programs academic home at Cornell influences faculty hiring decisions. The Chair notes we look for broad based faculty who can work in a multidisciplinary collaborative environment that is evidence-based and that is focused. In the past, they considered a Masters degree an important credential, but moving forward it is likely to be a Ph.D. The Chair commented that a potential faculty member has got to have demonstrated a capacity to teach interior design studios at a high level as well as to have demonstrated interest and experience in doing research related to design. The other human ecology program, Kansas State University (KSU), also had six faculty members included in the analysis. While the complete faculty list includes nine members: four full-time tenured/tenured track, two part-time tenured/tenured track, two adjunct instructors, and one graduate teaching assistant, only the six tenured or tenured track faculty members were included in the an alysis. Of these six faculty members, two are full professors and four are assistant professors. The faculty team has a fairly even distribution between old and new members. Two were hired in the mid to late 70s, one was hired in the mid 80s, one was hired in the early 90s, and the remaining two were recently hired in 1999 and 2001. Two members hold their Ph.D.s and the remaining four all have Masters degrees. One has a degree in interior design. Two have their degrees in interior design with additional degrees in fine arts and architecture. Another faculty member has an architecture degree. The other two have degrees in housing or home economics as well

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66 as textiles and clothing and vocational home economics. Of the six faculty members, four have extensive design experience and two are NCIDQ certified. Three faculty members have taught at other institutions besides KSU and three have taught exclusively at KSU. Faculty hiring decisions are influenced by the academic home because they have an emphasis in their program on human behavior and human needs. A masters degree in interior design or an allied field, such as architecture or fine arts, is typically required for new faculty hires. They do not require a Ph.D. degree, but the Program Coordinator cites the importance of almost always want[ing] someone with practice experience. Nonetheless, practice experience was not a requirement. Summary In this study of six noted interior design programs, their faculties ranged from five to eight core members. Because the sample size is limited, definitive conclusions cannot be made. Yet it is important to note that approximately 80% of the faculty members had degrees in either interior design or architecture and 60% (n=37) of faculty members highest degree received was a Masters degree. The next most reported degree was a Ph.D. and 27% (n=37) of the faculty members held this degree. Only 5% (n=37) earned a Bachelor degree and the remaining 8% (n=37) held degrees in dentistry, veterinary medicine, and education. Although 78% (n=37) of faculty members had design experience, only approximately one third of all faculty members were NCIDQ certified, and the majority of these faculty members in fine art and human ecology programs. Alumni Alumni information that was explored included whether or not the graduate stayed in the same state as their alma mater, and the disciplines practiced at their current

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67 employer. Information concerning alumni was primarily found in each programs PAR with additional information gathered through external sources, such as websites and by contacting firms by telephone. Each firms practice type were determined and divided into seven categories by discipline. The first three categories were those that practice interior design exclusively, those that practice both architecture and interior design, and architecture and interior design firms that have other allied disciplines. The other four categories were retail, other design, other non-design, and those firms whose practices were not able to be determined. The retail category included alumni working at retail establishments that offered design services. Also, many alumni worked in other design industries such as web or floral design therefore they were placed within the other design category. Some interior design programs listed only alumni who were working in the industry while other programs listed all or most of their alumni who have graduated whether they were working in the industry or not. Therefore, alumni not working in the design industry were placed in the other nondesign category. Finally, for programs that listed limited information about alumni employers, a majority of the information was found through external sources. However, some employer information could not be determined and as a result, these alumni were determined unknown. Table 4.3 contains results for the content analysis. Architecture Alumni graduating in 2003 and 2004 were included in the University of Floridas PAR. There were 15 alumni listed for 2003, and 12 alumni listed for 2004, totaling at 27 alumni recorded. The UFs interior design program has approximately 30 graduates each year; therefore the reported data for alumni placement does not include all graduates of

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68 Table 4-3. Alumni placement upon graduation Architecture Fine Arts Human Ecology Employer Location UF UNL ISU LSU CU KSU In State 8 23 12 32 16 24 Out of State 7 8 29 17 16 24 Not in industry 0 0 0 3 0 5 University Instruction 0 0 2 0 0 0 Unknown 3 0 0 0 5 5 TOTAL 18 31 43 52 37 58 Employer Practices Interior Design (ID) 8 7 6 11 8 3 Architecture/ID 4 7 8 9 5 4 Arch/ID + Allied Disciplines 3 7 6 5 13 8 Retail 0 4 7 10 0 19 Other Design 0 2 6 6 8 6 Other Non-Design 0 0 3 3 0 5 Unknown 3 4 7 8 3 13 TOTAL 18 31 43 52 37 58 Graduate School Graduate School 9 1 0 2 9 0 Note. UF = University of Florida, UNL = University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ISU = Iowa State University, LSU = Louisiana State University, CU = Cornell University, KSU = Kansas State University. the program for these two years. Placement information for about 33 graduates was not included in the PAR. In the information provided in the class of 2003, five of the fifteen alumni attended graduate school, seeking masters degrees in architecture, building construction, and graphic design at the University of Florida, the University of Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech. The other ten alumni from 2003 were employed in fields relating to their degree. Of the twelve graduates listed in the PAR that graduated in 2004, eight were employed in design firms and the remaining four went on to masters

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69 programs upon graduation. These graduate students remained at the University of Florida and to start their degrees in interior design and building construction. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also listed a similar number of graduates over a two-year period. Specifically, a total of 32 graduates were recorded from 1999 and 2000. Thirteen alumni were recorded from the class of 1999. One of those graduates remained at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for their masters degree in architecture after graduation. There were 19 graduates recorded that graduated in 2000. Of graduates noted from both the 1999 and 2000 classes, four worked in retail at various office furniture stores that also provide design consulting. In addition, two alumni worked in other design fields. For example, one of the graduates works for Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, NE, designing airplane interiors. The other graduate works in floral design. Fine Arts Iowa State listed 22 alumni for 2000 and 21 alumni for 2001 totaling 43 graduates from a two-year period. The graduates were hired in a variety of working environments with an approximatley even distribution in each category. Again, the majority of graduates who are categorized in the retail category are working in office furniture sales that offer design and space planning consulting. Graduates also work in other design fields. One alumnus is working for Chaps, Ralph Lauren as a visual merchandiser. In addition, a few graduates are working as freelance designers. There were also two graduates who were hired as university instructors at ISU after graduation. Alumni from Louisiana State University (LSU) were reported over a three-year period, totaling 52 graduates. They listed 15 alumni in 1998, 27 in 1999, and 10 in 2000. It is assumed that these numbers do not include all graduates from each year. Besides graduates who work in retail at office furniture stores, one graduate works at Home

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70 Depot as a designer. The graduates working in other design areas are involved in floral design, stone design, freelance design, and a real estate development company that has interior designers. Human Ecology Cornell University listed alumni information in two sections of the PAR. One part listed 23 alumni from 1996 2001 with the firm name and location. In the other section of the report, 23 alumni were reported from 1998 through 2001 by year and included the firm name, type, and graduates position. Nine graduates were reported on both lists; therefore a total of 37 graduates working in the industry were recorded. Additionally, nine alumni were reported to have attended graduate school for business, graphic design, real estate, and architecture. Some remained at Cornell for their graduate education but others went to other universities such as Columbia University, Pratt, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania. Graduates of Cornell also worked in other design-related ar eas such as architectural lighting design and web design. Kansas State University (KSU) provided considerably more alumni data in their PAR compared to the other programs studied with 58 listed graduates from 2000 2002. Thirty-one graduates from 2002, 20 graduates from 2001, and seven graduates from 2002 were listed. While some programs only included alumni who were working in the design industry in their PAR, KSU recorded information for the majority of their graduates, whether they were currently in the design industry or not, especially in 2002. This may be why KSU was observed to have had the most alumni working in non-design fields. Alumni also work in other design fiel ds, which include A&D specifying for a manufacturer, floral design, and lighting design.

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71 Summary Figure 4-2 shows the percentage of alumni by the firm type who are working in the design industry. Architecture (n=42) Fine Arts (n=74) 5% n=2 10% n=4 24% n=10 26% n=11 35% n=15 16% n=12 23% n=17 15% n=11 23% n=17 23% n=17 Human Ecology (n=74) 15% n=11 12% n=9 28% n=21 26% n=19 19% n=14 Interior Design Architecture/Interior Design Architecture/Interior Design + Allied Disciplines Retail Other Design Figure 4-2. Alumni employer type distribution Several interesting differences across program types were found in the placement of alumni. First, graduates from the architectural programs had the most representation in

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72 interior design firms. In fact, they had 12-20% more alumni in this category than programs of fine arts and human ecology. Also programs in units of architecture and fine arts had 11-14% more alumni in architectural firms than programs of human ecology. On the other hand, the human ecology and architecture units had 9-13% more graduates in multi-disciplinary firms containing architecture, interior design, and other allied disciplines than fine art programs. In both the retail and other design category, the architecture programs had considerably lower representations. Conclusion Overall, the six programs under study had both similarities and differences found among them. Most of the core interior design courses were consistent across all programs. Only one course was determined to be unique to each academic home. Minimal differences were found in the credit hours allocated to support courses; however notable differences in the design studio credit hours were determined. Also, differences were found in the percentage of credit hours required for each course type. Eighty percent (n=37) of all faculty members had a degree in either architecture or interior design with many holding additional degrees in a variety of disciplines. The most common degree found in the programs was a Masters, followed by a Ph.D. The few remaining faculty had either their bachelors other degrees such as dentistry, veterinary medicine, and education. Finally, the most significant differences were found in where alumni were employed upon graduation. However, differences were not only found by academic home, but also between the two programs found within that setting.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Accredited interior design programs, representing the art and science aspects of the discipline, exist in a range of university structures including architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The researcher found two key studies that have sought to discover the similarities and differences between interior design programs found within these academic units. Examining a range of variables, one studys findings supported differences among programs, while the other supported mostly similarities. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to explore commonalities and unique features of six noted interior design programs in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Specifically, the study examined patterns across curriculum content, faculty backgrounds, and alumni placement. The intent was not to identify the best interior design program, but rather to uncover shared and unique qualities of programs in distinct academic homes. A further goal focused on exploring evidence for specialization in interior design programs accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER). The results from this study provide profiles of top interior design programs; however, replication of this study with a larger sample size is needed for a wider generalization of findings. Program Analysis The content analysis of design program accreditation reports and interviews with program heads compared the curriculum, faculty, and alumni at Cornell University, Iowa 73

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74 State University, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, University of Florida, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These accredited interior design programs, with recognized national reputations, showed more common characteristics than unique features in their curricula, faculties, and alumni at the undergraduate level. Curriculum Interior design course work for all programs consistently included design studios and supporting design courses. These supporting classes included introductory courses, graphics, professional practice, history and/or theory, as well as materials and/or textiles. Additionally some programs integrated furniture design into their materials and textiles course. The design studio and supporting cour ses were taught in every interior design program in the sample to provide students with fundamental knowledge about the discipline. In addition to design and supporti ng courses, all programs required liberal arts courses. Interior design programs in the context of land-grant institutions appear to demonstrate a connected curriculum advocated in the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996). This acknowledges the importance of requiring professional knowledge in the context of a well-rounded education. Yet differences did emerge among programs. Human ecology units have college wide requirements for all students to take human ecology specific courses. For example, the interior design programs in this area each had at least three credit hours devoted to human ecology offerings. Also, each of the in terior design programs in architecture and fine arts had a design course unique to thei r unit. Specifically, the only programs that taught lighting were found in architecture. Further research is needed to determine if this finding is widespread or just a function of the sample. Also, drawing classes were unique to programs in fine arts, which may emphasize a stronger art focus than the other units.

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75 More research is needed to see if the content of these courses are integrated into other courses at the other programs in this study. All six programs had a comparable sequence of required studio courses, ranging from six to nine courses. The content analysis for this study analyzed credit rather than contact hours. Knowing the content hours would allow the researcher to know how many hours students spend in studio receiving instruction. However, the programs in architecture had more credit hours allocated to each studio course on average than programs in fine arts and human ecology. Consequently, the programs in architecture required fewer credits outside the interior design curriculum, which limited the credits of elective courses. Interestingly, graduates from architectural programs in this sample appear to be primarily working in the interior design industry and not in allied design fields, which may be because graduates of these programs are more specialized. An alternative explanation is that this finding was influenced by missing or incomplete data on alumni placement where alumni working in other allied or other design fields were underreported. On the other hand, programs in fine arts and human ecology offered more electives outside interior design courses and reported a wider range or graduates working in other design fields such as web de sign, lighting design, and floral design. All programs heads interviewed expressed that the curriculum was impacted by existing in either architecture, fine arts, or human ecology because they are able to share resources and courses with the other areas of study within the college. In addition, the program heads perceived a move to either one of the other two academic homes would negatively impact the interior design program, which confirms Nutters (2001) findings stating that faculty believe the academic home of their program is superior to alternative

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76 locations. The program heads mostly felt that the focus of their program would be significantly diminished in the other units. Program heads from units of architecture or fine arts felt that a move to a human ecology unit would lessen their creative design focus as well as their interaction with other allied design disciplines. Whereas program heads from units of human ecology felt that in a move to either architecture or fine arts would diminish the human perspective inherent to their identity. This was one of the areas that program heads appeared most passionate about, yet negligible differences were found among programs. This finding replicates Nutters (2001) study and deserves further study to determine the source of these strong opinions. Perhaps there is a different culture in these academic homes that might account for these perceptions. One difference among programs was the implementation of the selective admissions process. Interior design programs utilize selective admissions processes to control both quantity and quality of students in upper-division studios. All programs in this study implemented a selective admission process; however, when the selection occurs differed across the programs. For programs within architectural homes, the selective admissions took place at the end of the second year, while the selective admissions process for fine arts programs occurred at the end of the first year. The programs found within Colleges of Human Ecology implemented the selective admission process before students are accepted into any interior design courses. Therefore, entering freshman and transfer students apply before admission into the interior design major. Both positive and negative implications arise from the timing of the selective admissions. Having the selective admissions later in the program, for example after the second year, allows the students to develop their design skills before applying for upper

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77 division and offers students who have not ha d previous design experience a better chance of gaining requisite skills before their portfolio is reviewed. However, having the selective admissions later in the program effects students because the interior design curriculum is so specialized, courses often do not transfer to other majors if the student is not accepted into the interior design program. On the other hand, an earlier selective admissions process may disadvantage students with little or no art or design training. Also, because some interior design programs do not require a portfolio upon admission, students are being accepted primarily on GPA and test scores, without gauging their design ability and skills. A recommendation is to have a selective admissions process after the first year of courses, which may allow students to gain design experience before applying to upper-division and also permit them to transfer to other majors more easily if they are not accepted into the program. When asked how they would like to see their program grow and develop in the future, four of the six program heads emphasized their desire to either improve or develop a graduate program. At the time of the study, four of programs already had established graduate interior design programs in place. Therefore, graduate programs appear as an important asset in interior design educational programs; however, this perception may be at odds with commonly held views espoused by practitioners. Birdsong and Lawlor (2001) found that the top 100 design firms ranked graduate education lowest by among those graduating from an accredited program, state licensing, NCIDQ certification, research, and graduate e ducation. The conclusion from this study is that many practitioners do not fully recognize or understand the importance of a graduate

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78 education and there is a disconnect between these practitioners views and the leaders in top programs interviewed for this study. In contrast to the views held by practitioners (Birdsong & Lawlor, 2001), the program leaders clearly advocated for graduate education and research in the field. This direction deserves additional study. As interior design educational programs move toward increasing graduate education, it will be interesting to see FIDERs role in accounting for these programs. FIDER may chose to recognize the relationship between undergraduate and graduate programs in the undergraduate accreditation process or consider developing an accrediting process for graduate interior design education. For example, graduate programs directly support the tri-fold mission of teaching, research, and service in interior design programs in land-grant institutions. A graduate education program may contribute to the undergraduate program. These programs may have a greater emphasis on introducing research into the design studio, allowing more developed programming to occur. Also, graduate students can serve as teaching assistants for interior design courses, providing supplemental resources for undergraduate students. Faculty The sample of faculty members was very small; therefore it is difficult to form definitive conclusions concerning this variable. While a majority of the faculty members had a degree in either interior design or architecture, many of the faculty members also had additional degrees in other areas of study with a Masters degree as the most frequent highest awarded degree. Architecture pr ograms had fewer NCIDQ certified faculty members, but had more licensed architects on the faculty team. However, each program head noted the preference of hiring faculty members who are NCIDQ certified. This may reflect changing expectations in the field.

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79 A Masters degree was the most predominant credential for faculty across participating programs. The majority of the programs considered a masters degree as acceptable for faculty hiring purposes but the Ph.D. appeared to becoming increasingly important. One program head noted, We like to keep a balance between faculty that have significant practice experience and faculty that have been more research and academic oriented. It was observed that programs in architecture had the highest percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees. Further research is needed to discover if this association is a result of the sample or a trend among architecture programs. Over 80% (n=37) of all faculty members had a degree in either interior design or architecture and many had additional degrees in other areas of study, such as industrial design, fine arts, education, sociology, physics, art history, theatre, and even dentistry and veterinary medicine. The remaining faculty members held degrees in fine arts, design history, industrial design, home economics, and textiles. The high-breadth educational backgrounds of faculty members, when interior design degrees are couple with other degrees, is clearly a strength of interior desi gn educators. Further, developing respect of diverse faculty backgrounds was a formally put forth goal in the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) in their recommendations of diversity with dignity. In addition to faculty members educational background, their practice experience is also important. Seventy-eight percent (n=37) of the faculty members are noted to have had extensive design experience, whether in interior design or other allied disciplines. Approximately one third of all faculty members are NCIDQ certified, which is the preferred credentialing deemed necessary by FIDER to teach upper-division design

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80 studio to interior design students. The faculty members hybrid backgrounds in design and education appeared to be a strength. Both fine arts and human ecology programs had an equal number of core faculty members who were NCIDQ certified. On average, just below half of the faculty in the four programs were NCIDQ certified. The programs found within an architectural academic home had the fewest NCIDQ certified faculty members, but the greatest number of registered architects (31%, n= 13). Although FIDER does not recognize this preferred credential, architecture experience is most likely more valued than in this unit compared to fine arts and human ecology. In the standards and guidelines, FIDER stresses the need for professors who teach upper-division studios to be NCIDQ-certified and program heads unanimously preferred hiring faculty members who are NCIDQ-certified. However, given the ever-increasing emphasis on research in tenure and promotion decisions at land-grant institutions, programs may have difficulty maintaining a balance of faculty who have design experience, and engage in significant creative scholarship and peer reviewed juried work with research faculty. This may be especially evident at the four programs in this study that are members of the research-intensive Association of American Universities (AAU), where a Ph.D. is the preferred degree for faculty members. Further, programs contained both core tenure track faculty as well as lecturers, visiting faculty, graduate teaching assistants, and instructors whose responsibilities are primarily teaching. Alumni All programs had alumni representation in interior design, architecture, and multidisciplinary design firms. However, the percentages of graduates working in these firm types varied by academic home. Also, graduates working in a retail environment differed

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81 greatly by program. Furthermore, interesting observations were noted on whether graduates remained in the state of their university or whether they went out of the state. Alumni were first examined based on whether they remained in the state where they graduated or went out of state upon gra duation. Therefore, it is important to note cities in the United States that have large representation of interior design firms. In Interior Design magazines ranking of the top 100 firms in interior design, states that are represented most frequently include Calif ornia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Philadelphia, Texas, and Washington D.C. (Interior Design website, 2005). Some of the states where the programs examined in this study were found were listed in the top 100 which include Florida, Nebraska, and New Yor k. The other states, Iowa, Louisiana, and Kansas were not represented on the list. It is important to note that all of the programs in this study are found in universities that are located in relatively isolated college towns separate from urban communities. The University of Florida (UF), Cornell University (Cornell), and Kansas State University (KSU) all had approximately an equal percentage of alumni who stayed in state and who went out of state. This is surprising for UF and Cornell in that they both are located in states with cities that have top interior design firms. Therefore, one might guess that alumni would choose to seek employment in these cities with many interior design opportunities. It would be interesting to determine whether these graduates were out of state students to see if they were returning to their home state as opposed to seeking for a job in the state of their alma mater. Although no top 100 interior design firms are located in Kansas, half of their alumni chose to stay in state upon graduation

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82 with graduates employed in diverse settings including retail environments such as office furniture stores that offer design services and systems dealerships. Significant variations were found in three of the six programs on whether the graduates stayed in state or went out of state. Specifically, these programs were the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Iowa State University (ISU), and Louisiana State University (LSU). Many graduates of Univer sity of Nebraska, located within a state represented in the top 100 design firms, stayed in state upon graduation. Interestingly, considerably more alumni from LSU also stayed in state. Therefore, alumni from these programs have less out of state visibility than the other programs in this study. Although Louisiana was not home to any of the top 100 design firms, graduates from LSU are working in interior design firm within the state. However, a majority of graduates from ISU went out of state upon graduation. Similar to Louisiana, because there is no representation of design firms from Iowa listed on the top 100, it is assumed that there is not a large interior design industry in Iowa. As a result, students are moving out of state upon graduation to seek jobs in the interior design industry. It remains to be determined if students are looking for opportunities to practice in more prominent firms or if there are simply not enough in-state employment opportunities in interior design. Alumni were also examined based on the disciplines their employers practice. The programs found in architecture units had the hi ghest representation of students working in interior design and architecture firms with interior design departments. Perhaps the greater amount of design credit hours and the incorporation of architectural knowledge gave students from these programs an advantage at these firm types. Conversely, the architectural programs had the lowest percentage of alumni working in retail

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83 environments and other design areas. This ma y indicate a greater degree of specialization in these program types, although there is no readily identifiable specialization. On the other hand, the fine arts and human ecology programs had a greater percentage of graduates working in a retail environment or other design areas than architecture. Their programs curriculum allows students to take a large portion of electives to explore other areas of study and therefore alumni are able to obtain jobs in other similar design areas. Although the two programs in architecture had many similarities in the types of firms their alumni are working for, UNL had alumni working in retail and other design fields, where UF had no representation in these areas. The programs in fine arts were the most consistent with alumni placement, with both programs having representation among all categories. On the other hand, the interior design programs in human ecology differed significantly in the percentage of alumni working in each category. Most of Cornells graduates worked at an interior design, architectural, or multi-disciplinary firm while the majority of KSUs graduates were working in retail. This may be because of Cornell greater focus on design studios, where students are required to take 13 more design studio credit hours than KSU. Alternative Interpretations of Findings The above discussion of findings regarding curriculum, faculty, and alumni overall show both similarities and differences but there does not appear to be unique identities of these programs based on their academic homes. The research question driving this study -Do noted interior design programs reveal similarities and/or differences in curriculum, faculty, and alumni by their distinct academic homes? -lends itself to at least four interpretations of the results.

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84 First, if the results of this study are valid, there does not appear to be enough distinct differences among programs to show a unique identity or specialization. This would indicate that the professional moveme nt of interior design, headed by FIDER, might be leading to less variety and more uniformity across interior design educational programs. Either interior design programs are not utilizing the flexibility of the FIDER standards, or the standards are not flexible enough for detectable differences among programs. Also, the lack of large differences among interior design programs may be because interior design has not yet evolved to the extent that it can support specializations at the undergraduate level. Secondly, the results of this research study may not have included all variables that contribute to detect core differences among the programs. The analysis relied heavily on the PAR document and perhaps the program accreditation report is not sensitive enough to capture program distinctions. Also, the variables examined may not have been explored to the depth needed to uncover program differences. For example, the curriculum analysis compared the course titles and the course credit hours; however examining specific course content and how the courses are taught may reveal more about the program identity. Additionally, other program variables such as resources, administration, or facilities may need to be explored. Thirdly, most of the program heads expressed the need to improve their existing graduate program or the desire to develop a graduate program in the future. The development of a graduate program might help programs develop a specialization through the research areas that are pursued. A graduate interior design program contributes to the identity of an undergraduate program because faculty members use

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85 their time differently with a large portion devoted to working with graduate students. Graduate students are qualified to assist teaching or sometimes individually teach a course. Also, the research focus of graduate studies is often incorporated within the undergraduate studies, enriching the program with the topics of research. Fourth and finally, the use of programs from the DesignIntelligence survey may have impacted the results of this study. Interior design programs in the DesignIntelligence ranking are evaluated based on practitioners opinions of recent graduates preparation for the workforce. These programs are likely covering similar knowledge bases that make graduates from them desirable to practitioners. Therefore, this may suggest that highly ranked programs have more uniformity and possibility those that are more specialized may not rate as high on rankings or surveys. For example, an interior design program that specializes in lighting is likely very good at lighting specifications, but may not have the overall characteristics to earn external recognition. Future Research This study found both similarities and differences among six noted interior design programs and the findings warrant further examination. Since FIDER accreditation focuses on student outcomes and accreditation teams use the PAR as a roadmap to student work, future research should not onl y explore programs accreditation reports, but also include an analysis of student work across programs. Further research should also utilize a larger sample size for more definitive conclusions. This study had a limited sample size and therefore, results cannot be widely generalized. The increased sample size should first include all FIDER-accredited interior design programs found in universities then be expanded to interior design programs in other types of institutions awarding bachelor degrees. Also it would be interesting to

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86 compare both FIDER-accredited programs and non-accredited programs on important variables such as curriculum, faculty, and alumni. In addition, these three variables could be expanded on in further research studies. Although the curriculum course category and credit hours were compared, the studio content, methods of teaching, and the number of contact hours spent in class could be investigated as a possible differentiation. Faculty education and design experience were also studied in this research. This could be expanded to research how faculty specializations developed from practice and/or research areas impact the program. Further, it may also be interesting to interview faculty members who have taught at multiple interior design programs across academic units who could provide insights into overall strengths and weakness of programs in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. In addition, this research addressed alumni; however, all programs provided limited information on their alumni. While it is often difficult to track alumni; gathering a complete list of alumni from interior design programs would provide more comprehensive understanding of entry into the field or advanced studies. Finally, in recognition of the many variables that shape interior design programs, additional considerations to be studied may include program resources (facilities and budget), administration, strategic plans at department, college, and university levels, and university admission standards. Exploring a wider range of variables would create a more inclusive picture of interior design education. Recommendations The interior design discipline should devel op a vision of interior design education with specific recommendations for the future. This would offer direction to accelerate the professional movement in interior design rather than encourage homogeneity and

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87 stagnation. For example, research and graduate education can be a positive force on undergraduate interior design education. Interior design education also may benefit from investigating potential specializations. Specialization of programs reflects a more mature discipline and would assure a level of diversity among programs. It appears from the results of this study that the majority undergraduate interior design programs in this study recognize the growing importance of a graduate education. The challenge will be how to develop undergraduate and graduate programs that mutually reinforce one another. In addition, FIDER, interior design e ducation, and professional organizations should continue and expand to partner in understanding career paths and tracking alumni. Even the format for alumni in the accreditation report could be more specific to capture more complete alumni information. Otherwise, there is an inconsistency in how programs are reporting this information. Interior design education may want to explore more innovative ways to keep in contact with their alumni. For example, one program studied in this thesis had recently developed an interactive website where graduates could update their information. Summary Overall, both similarities and differences were found among the six programs under study. The core curricula of the programs o ffered design studios, support courses, as well as required liberal arts offerings. Differences emerged among the credit hours required in design studios with only minimal differences in the credit hours allocated to support courses and only one course was found to be unique to each academic unit. Also, the majority of faculty had similar educational backgrounds with 80% (n=37) having a degree in either interior design or ar chitecture. Programs in fine arts and human

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88 ecology had more NCIDQ-certified faculty on staff where the architecture programs had fewer NCIDQ-certified faculty but had a greater representation of registered architects. While the academic units of architecture likely see registered architects as a desirable qualification, it will be interesting to see whether interior design programs in these units will hire more certified interior design faculty members in the future to be in greater compliance with the FIDER recommendations. The most predominant program differences were observed among the alumni; however, alumni data were not systematically reported by the programs. From the data, alumni placement differed by academic home. Specifically, architecture programs had the highest percentage of graduates in interi or design and architecture firms, while human ecology units had the greatest percentage of graduates in multi-disciplinary firms, retail, and other design fields. Yet, even programs within the same academic unit varied on the placement of their alumni. The overall results on curriculum, faculty, and alumni, did not show a magnitude of difference as great as anticipated. Give n the finding of White and Dicksons study (1996), that interior design programs differe d in mission and administrative perceptions of faculty productivity, it was expected that there would be clear distinctions in curriculum, faculty, and alumni associated with these units. However, this was not the unequivocal conclusion in this study. The question remains are high-ranking interior design programs able to meet FIDER standards and develop a readily identifiable identity or specialization at the undergraduate level? While the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) recommends standards without standardization what are the advantages to encouraging this interior design education?

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89 Conclusion Several studies explored interior design programs in academic homes of architecture, fine arts, and human ecol ogy. Namely, White and Dickson (1996) found differences in program missions and valued faculty productivity in units of architecture/fine arts and human ecology, while Nutter (2001) found differences in the historical development of these units but similarities in curriculum and other factors contributing to the program. This study drew on both studies but specifically expanded on Nutters multiple case study by exploring programs within the three academic homes on curriculum content, faculty background, and alumni placement. Many similarities were found among the course types and faculty educational backgrounds of six programs under study reinforced Atkins findings. However, notable differences were also detected, including the credit hours required for design st udios, faculty NCIDQ certification status, and graduate employer practices; although these differences were not strong enough to imply a distinct identity on the studied factors. This study has created a beginning understanding of noted accredited programs housed in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology from public land-grant institutions. The accreditation self-study reports (PAR) provided extensive information on curriculum and faculty with some insights on alumni and this data, coupled with information from the program heads, allowed the researcher to profile important program factors. Further research is encouraged to offer a comprehensive understanding and strategic direction of interior design education. A challenge is to continually assess and re-evaluate interior design education to be assured that the students of today, who will lead the profession into the future, are receiving the best education possible.

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APPENDIX A LETTER REQUESTING PARTICIPATION Dear Program Head: For my masters thesis at the University of Florida, I am conducting a study of FIDERaccredited programs housed in academic units of Architecture or Design, Fine Arts, and Human Ecology. These three academic units often have distinct missions that may influence characteristics of Interior Design programs. My thesis research will examine the possible impact of these academic units on Interior Design programs. If significant differences are found between the Interior Design programs, then their unique qualities will be studied in relation to the FIDER standards and guidelines. This thesis is under the supervision of Professors Margaret Portillo and Mary Jo Hasell, both of whom have recently chaired the FIDER Research Council. Since your program has been identified as one of the top tier programs nationally, I would like to request your participation in this study. With your permission, a copy of the most recent Program Evaluation Report (PER) is requested to examine curriculum content, faculty background, and alumni placement. After a content analysis of the PER document, you will be contacted for a short phone interview for follow-up questions clarifying salient issues. The interview will be audio recorded with your permission and should take no more than 30 minutes. You can be assured that your program will remain anonymous. I will be happy to share the results of the study with you. I will contact you within the week to discuss any further questions that you might have. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Kathryn Voorhees Margaret Portillo, Ph.D. Department Chair 90

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APPENDIX B CONSENT FORM Informed Consent Protocol Title: An Examination of Noted Interior Design Programs by Departmental Home Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to determine relationships among departmental homes and curriculum content, faculty characteristics, and alumni placement in noted interior design programs. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will be contacted for a phone interview to clarify information from your programs most recent Program Evaluation Report. The interview should take no more than 30 minutes and will be audio recorded with your consent. Time required: Interview: Approximately 30 minutes Risks and Benefits: There are no anticipated risks in this study Confidentiality: The information gathered from the PER and interview will remain anonymous unless you approve your programs name to be reported. If your program chooses to remain anonymous, it will be referred to by a code. Once the data has been analyzed and recorded, the list with your program name, and corresponding code will be destroyed. Voluntary participation: Participation is voluntary and there is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw at anytime. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Kathryn Voorhees, B.D., Graduate Student, Interior Design, 321 SE 3 rd Street Apt. F-14, Gainesville, FL 32601, 407-620-6369, kathryn2@ufl.edu Margaret Portillo, Ph.D., Department Chair, ARC 336, P.O. Box 115705, Gainesville, FL 32611, 352-392-0252 ext. 334, mportill@ufl.edu Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; (352) 392-0433 91

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92 Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the survey and I have received a copy of this description. Participant: __________________________________________ Date: ______________ Principal Investigator: __________________________________Date: ______________

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APPENDIX C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Since I will be transcribing this interview, I want to remind you that this interview will be recorded. As you know my thesis study is looking at relationships among departmental homes and faculty characteristics, curriculum co ntent, and alumni placement in noted interior design programs. Therefore, the questions that I will be asking you will be about faculty, curriculum, and alumni. FACULTY 1. Your department is found within the College of (Insert College Name), is this correct? 2. Do you feel that being within this departmental home has any influence on faculty hiring decisions? If yes, Can you give me a specific example? If no, Can you elaborate on this? 3. What are your key faculty collaborations between interior design faculty and others within your college? 4. What are your key faculty collaborations between interior design faculty and faculty outside your college? ( such as research, service, teaching ) Faculty lines, searches and qualifications/composition 5. How many faculty lines does the interior design program have? 6. Are all these positions currently filled? If yes, when was the last position filled? If no, how many are you trying to fill? 7. Besides your full time faculty, do you use other instructional staff? If yes, what are these positions and what are their responsibilities? (lecture positions, graduate teaching assistants ) If graduate assistants, are they allowe d to teach classes by themselves or under the supervision of a faculty member? 93

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94 8. What do you consider important credentials when hiring new faculty members? Weve talked about individual faculty characteristics, but now I would like to ask you about your faculty as a whole. 9. If you could design your ideal faculty team, what would you consider as the ideal: degree type, degree level, professional licensing qualification and/or professional experience Performance Expectations 10. What faculty activities are weighed most heavily in tenure and promotion decisions? 11. What qualifications do your administration most value? Is this at your deans level? Vice President? Provost? Chancellor? CURRICULUM 1. What do you feel are the strengths of the curriculum? 2. What aspects of your curriculum need strengthening, if any? 3. When was the last time you had a major curriculum revision? 4. What would you perceive as the main focus of the curriculum (from courses types offered )? ( Technical experience, materials, drawing/design, computer skills, etc .)? 5. What elective courses outside your major do students typically take? 6. Are there required courses mandated by your college for graduation that are outside your department? 7. What kinds of computer programs do you use in the classroom? 8. I am sure that you are aware that some universities are undergoing restructuring and some interior design programs have changed department homes. What would be the impact if your program were moved to (insert either Architecture, Fine Arts, or Human Ecology) ? 9. What would be the impact if your program were moved to (insert either Architecture, Fine Arts, or Human Ecology) ? 10. Does being within the College of (insert college name) impact your curriculum?

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95 ALUMNI 1. In this academic year, how have alumni been involved in your program? 2. To your knowledge, how does your alumni involvement compare to that of alumni in the other units in your college? 3. Does your program have an advisory board? If yes, how many are on your board? What percentage of those members are alumni? If alumni are on board: How are they involved? ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS 1. How do you want to see your program grow and develop in the future? 2. Is there anything else that we have not discussed today that is important to the identity of your program? I want to thank you again for participating in my research study and providing additional information about your program through this interview. As you know, I am developing profiles for six noted int erior design programs that have been recognized as outstanding on the design intelligence ranking. In the letter I sent to you initially, I said that your program has the option to remain anonymous at your discretion. Would you like your program to remain anonymous or can your programs name be mentioned in my thesis?

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APPENDIX D CURRICULUM University of Florida curriculum categories Pre Interior Design Courses Credit hours Design Studios 18 Introduction 2 Graphics 3 Computer 3 Materials 3 Theory 3 Interior Design History 6 Computer 3 General Courses Physics 3 Communication 6 Physical/Biological Sciences 3 Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 Math 4 TOTAL 60 Interior Design Courses Credit hours Design Studios 22 Lighting 3 Professional Practice 3 Construction documents 8 Environmental Technology 3 Furniture 3 Interior Design Elective 3 Upper Division Elective 6 General Courses Physical/Biological Sciences 3 Social/Behavioral Sciences 6 TOTAL 60 TOTAL: 120 96

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97 University of Nebraska curriculum categories Pre Interior Design Credit hours Design Studios 16 Introduction 3 Graphics 4 Computer 3 Art History 6 Textiles 3 Architecture History 3 General Courses Library Course 1 Math Course 3 Communications 3 Natural Sciences 4 English 6 Elective 9 TOTAL 64 Interior Design Credit hours Design Studios 12 Lighting 3 Professional Practice 3 Construction Documents 3 Environment 3 Materials 3 Internship 3 Professional Electives 12 Interior Design History 6 General Courses Electives 17 TOTAL 65 TOTAL: 129

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98 Iowa State University curriculum categories Pre Interior Design Credit hours Studio 9 Introduction 3 Drawing 3 History 3 General Courses Library .5 Composition 6 Elective 6 TOTAL 30.5 Interior Design Credit hours Design Studios 24 Materials 15 Graphics 7 History/Theory 6 Professional Practice 2 Internship 3 Internship Seminar 1 General Courses Current Issues in ID or Gen Ed Elec. 9 Studio/Management/Marketing Elect. 3 Electives or Design History/Studio 12 General Education course 15 TOTAL 97 TOTAL: 127.5

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99 Louisiana State University curriculum categories Pre Interior Design Credit hours Studio 3 Introduction 3 Drawing 3 Graphics 3 General Courses English Composition 6 Natural Sciences 6-8 Analytical Reasoning 3 Math 3 TOTAL 30-32 Interior Design Credit hours Design Studio 18 Graphics 3 Art History 6 Architecture History 6 Interior Design History 6 Materials/Furnishing 6 Color 6 Construction Documents 6 Internship 3 Seminar 3 Professional Practice 3 Independent study project 3 Computer 3 Professional (COD) 9 General Courses Natural Science Elective 0-3 Business Elective 3-6 Social Science Elective 6 Humanities 9 TOTAL 99-105 TOTAL: 131-135

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APPENDIX E ALUMNI Architecture programs alumni information University of Florida University of Nebraska UF + UN Firm Location 2003 2004 Total 1999 2000 Total Total In State 4 5 8 9 14 23 31 Out of State 4 3 7 3 5 8 15 Not in industry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Unknown 2 0 3 0 0 0 3 TOTAL 10 8 18 12 19 31 49 Firm Type Interior Design (ID) 4 4 8 3 4 7 15 Architecture/ID 4 0 4 1 6 7 11 Arch/ID + Allied Disciplines 1 2 3 2 5 7 10 Retail 0 0 0 4 0 4 4 Other Design 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 Other Non-Design 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Unknown 1 2 3 1 3 4 7 TOTAL 10 8 18 12 19 31 49 Graduate School Graduate School 5 4 9 1 0 1 10 100

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101 Fine art programs alumni information Iowa State Louisiana State University IS + LS Firm Location 2000 2001 Total 1998 1999 2000 Total Total In State 9 3 12 9 17 6 32 44 Out of State 13 16 29 4 10 3 17 46 Not in industry 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 3 University Instruction 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 Unknown 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 TOTAL 22 21 43 15 27 10 52 95 Firm Type Interior Design (ID) 1 5 6 5 4 2 11 17 Architecture/ID 3 5 8 3 4 2 9 17 Arch/ID + Allied Disciplines 2 4 6 0 5 0 5 11 Retail 5 2 7 3 4 3 10 17 Other Design 5 1 6 0 5 1 6 12 Other Non-Design 1 2 3 2 0 1 3 6 Unknown 5 2 7 2 5 1 8 15 TOTAL 22 21 43 15 27 10 52 95 Graduate School Graduate School 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 2

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102 Human ecology programs alumni information Cornell University Kansas State CU + KS Firm Location 1998 1999 2000 2001 19962001 Total 2000 2001 2002 Total Total In State 3 4 1 0 8 16 16 6 2 24 40 Out of State 2 4 2 2 6 16 12 9 3 24 40 Not in industry 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 5 5 Unknown 2 2 1 0 0 5 1 3 1 5 10 TOTAL 7 10 4 2 14 37 31 20 7 58 95 0 Firm Type Interior Design (ID) 3 0 0 1 4 8 2 0 1 3 11 Architecture/ID 0 2 1 0 2 5 3 0 1 4 9 Arch/ID + Allied Disciplines 2 3 3 0 5 13 3 2 3 8 21 Retail 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 8 0 19 19 Other Design 1 5 0 1 1 8 3 3 0 6 14 Other Non-Design 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 5 5 Unknown 1 0 0 0 2 3 7 5 1 13 16 TOTAL 7 10 4 2 14 37 31 20 7 58 95 Graduate School Graduate School 0 0 0 0 9 9 0 0 0 0 9

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REFERENCES American Institute of Architects. (2005). History of the American Institute of Architecture: On education and licensure Retrieved August 1, 2005, from: http://www.aia.org/about_history American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). (2003). Definition of interior design Retrieved July 25, 2005, from: http://www.asid.org/asid2/pubs/Definition%20of%20interior%20design%202.pdf Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. (1998-2005). Architectural education: A brief history. Retrieved April 10, 2005, from: http://www.acsaarch.org/architecturalEd.html Birdsong, C., & Lawlor, P. J. (2001). Percep tions of professionalism: Interior design practitioners working for the top 100 firms. Journal of Interior Design. 27(1), 2045. Bolger, B. (1976). The education of an American artist In In this academy: The Pennsylvania academy of fine arts, 1805-1976 Washington, D.C: Museum Press, Inc. Boyer, E. L., & Mitgang, L. D. (1996). Building community: A new future for architecture education and practice Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Carmel-Arthur, J. (2000). Bauhaus London: Carlton Books Limited. Cornell University 1. (2001). What was economics: From domesticity to modernity Timeline of the New York State College of Home Economics, 1900-1969. Retrieved August 4, 2005, from Cornell University, College of Human Ecology website: http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/homeEc/timeline.html & Cornell University 2. (2001). What was economics: From domesticity to modernity Why the change to human ecology? Retrieved August 4, 2005, from Cornell University, College of Human Ecology website: http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/homeEc/cases/namechange.html DesignIntelligence 1. (2002). Practitioners rank best interiors programs for 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2005, from: http://www.di.net/article.php?article_id=179 103

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104 DesignIntelligence 2. (2004). 2005 Architecture schools discussion Retrieved June 12, 2005, from: http://www.di.net/article.php?article_id=371 Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER). (2005). History and Organization. Retrieved April 14, 2005, from: http://www.fider.org/history.htm Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) Manual. (2005). FIDER accreditation manual Grand Rapids, MI: Author. Harris, C. M. (Ed.). (2000). Dictionary of architecture and construction (3 rd ed.). McGraw-Hill. Harvard University. (2005). Harvard medicine basic facts. Retrieved June 22, 2005, from: http://hms.harvard.edu/hms/facts.asp Harvey, L. (2004). The power of accreditation: Views of academics. Journal of Higher Education Policy Management. 26(2), 207-223. Hasell M., & Scott, S. (1996). Trends impacting the future of interior design. Horizons and frontiers: New challenges for design educators 15-20. Martin J. (1986). Longman dictionary of art Essex, England: Longman Group.. Mayer R. (1969). A dictionary of art terms and techniques. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. Miller, J. (2003). Influential Styles: From Baroque to Bauhaus Inspiration for todays interiors New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications. National Council for Interior Design Qualification. (2005). Who we ar e. Retrieved June 12, 2005, from the NCIDQ websites: www.ncidq.org/who. Nerad, M. (1999). The academic kitchen: A social history of gender stratification at the University of California, Berkeley. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. North, C. (1962). The land-grant universities: The first centennial. Marriage and Family Living. 24(2) 187-188. Nutter, K. (2001). Tracing the paths of interior design education. Dissertation Abstracts International University of Cincinnati. Parson School of Design. (2004). About Parsons: History. Retrieved June 12, 2005, from school website: http://www.parsons.edu/about/history.aspx Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. (2002). Timeline. Retrieved June 28, 2005, from school website: http://www.pafa.org/historyTimeline.jsp

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105 Pile, J. (1979). Design: Purpose, form and meaning Amherst, MA: The University of Massachusetts Press. Schrock, J.M., Sondhi, L., & Rogers, K. E. (1980). FIDER from your point of view: An evaluation of standards and guidelines and of accreditation issues with recommendations for change. Journal of Interior Design. 6(2), 44-52. Smith, P. (1996). The history of American art education: Learning about art in American schools Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Stage, S. (1997). Introduction: Home economics, whats in a name? In Stage, S. & Vincentl, V. (Ed.), Rethinking home economics: Women and the history of a profession. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Viard, P. (1998). Important competencies for entry level designers. Multiculturalism: What happened to the melting pot? 37. White, A., & Dickson, A.W. (1996). Perceptions of the value of interior design: Factors influencing program accountability and sustainability in higher education. Journal of Interior Design 22(2), 25-41. University of Illinois. (2005). History of architecture at Illinois Retrieved April 10, 2005, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, School of Architecture website: http://www.arch.uiuc.edu/about/history/

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kathryn Voorhees was raised in Orlando, Florida, and graduated from Lake Brantley High School in 2000. She then attended the University of Florida to pursue a degree in interior design. During her undergraduate education, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Vicenza, Italy. In 2004, Kathryn completed her Bachelor of Design degree in interior design, and then embarked upon her Master of Interior Design degree. After the completion of her masters degree, she plans to join a commercial design firm with goals to teach interior design in the future. 106


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NOTED INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAMS IN ARCHITECTURE, FINE ARTS, AND
HUMAN ECOLOGY: A COMPARISON OF CURRICULUM, FACULTY, AND
ALUMNI















By

KATHRYN VOORHEES


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF INTERIOR DESIGN

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005





























Copyright 2005

by

KATHRYN VOORHEES

































This research is dedicated to my grandmother, Berta Voorhees, who constantly inspires
me through her love of design.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Margaret Portillo for her innovative

ideas, dedication, and inspiration as well as Dr. Mary Joyce Hasell for assisting me with

her valuable research skills. I would also like to express my gratitude to the program

heads from the six interior design programs for agreeing to participate in this study and

for their time. In addition, I want to thank Alexandra Miller for her guidance and

friendship. Last but not least, I thank my family for their constant encouragement. In

particular, I would like to thank my parents for their constant support and for helping me

achieve my dreams.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ......... ................................................................................... iv

LIST OF TABLES .............. .......... ... .. ........ ............ vii

LIST OF FIGURES .............. ......... ..... .................. viii

CHAPTER

1 IN TR O D U C T IO N ............................................................. .. ......... ...... .....

P urp ose ............................................................. . 3
S ig n ifican ce ....................................................... 4
A ssum options ................................................................. 7
D elim stations ................................................................................................. ..... ... 9
S u m m a ry .......................................................................................................1 0

2 L IT E R A TU R E R E V IE W ...................................................................................... 11

Interior D esign E du cation ...................................................................................... 13
D epartm ent H om e H history ................................................................................. ......18
A rc h ite ctu re .................................................................................................... 1 8
F in e A rts .................................................................. 2 0
H u m an E co lo g y .............................................................................................. 2 1
Professionalism in Interior D esign ....................................................... 23
Directions for Interior Design ................................. ......................... ......26
S u m m a ry ................................................................................................................ 2 9

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ................................................................................................ 30

C a se S election n C criteria .......................................................................................... 3 1
P ro c e d u re ........................................................................................3 3
C o n te n t A n aly sis .................................................................................................... 3 6
C u rricu lu m ...................................................................................................... 3 6
F a c u lty ............................................................................................................ 3 8
A lum ni ..................................................................................................... .......39
L im stations ....................................................................................................... ........ 4 1
S u m m a ry ......................................................................................................4 2




v









4 F IN D IN G S .................................................................................. 4 4

C curriculum ....................................................................................................... ........ 46
A rc h ite ctu re .................................................................................................... 4 8
F in e A rts ................................................................................ 5 1
H u m an E co lo g y .............................................................................................. 5 3
Sum m ary ............................................................................................. ......... 56
F a cu lty ................................................................5 8
A rc h ite ctu re .................................................................................................... 5 9
F in e A rts .................................................................. 62
H u m an E co lo g y .............................................................................................. 6 4
S u m m ary ............................................................................... 6 6
A lu m n i ................................................................6 6
A rc h ite ctu re .................................................................................................... 6 7
F in e A rts .................................................................. 69
H u m an E co lo g y .............................................................................................. 7 0
Sum m ary ............................................................................................. ......... 7 1
C conclusion ....................................................................................................... ........ 72

5 D ISC U S SIO N ............................................................................... 73

Program A nalysis.................................................. 73
C u rricu lu m ...................................................................................................... 7 4
F a c u lty ............................................................................................................ 7 8
A lum ni ............................................................................... ...... ..... ......................80
Alternative Interpretations of Findings ........................................ .....83
F utu re R research .................................................................85
R ecom m endations..... ..........................................86
S u m m a ry ................................................................................................................ 8 7
C conclusion ....................................................................................................... ........ 89

APPENDIX

A LETTER REQUESTING PARTICIPATION ...................................................90

B C O N SE N T F O R M ................................................................................................. 9 1

C IN TER V IEW Q U E STIO N S .................................................................................. 93

D C U R R IC U L U M ................................................................. .................. 96

E A L U M N I ............................................................................................................. 1 0 0

R E F E R E N C E S ............................................................................103

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ...................................................................................... 106
















LIST OF TABLES

Table page

4-1 Interior design program curriculum by credit hour............................. ...............47

4-2 Faculty inform action .............................................. .. ........ .. ........ .... 60

4-3 Alum ni place ent upon graduation ........................................ ...... ............... 68
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

4-1 Program course distribution .......................................................................57

4-2 Alum ni em ployer type distribution ............................................... ............... 71















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Interior Design

NOTED INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAMS IN ARCHITECTURE, FINE ARTS, AND
HUMAN ECOLOGY: A COMPARISON OF CURRICULUM, FACULTY, AND
ALUMNI

By

Kathryn Voorhees

December 2005

Chair: Margaret Portillo
Major Department: Interior Design

Interior design educational programs accredited by the Foundation for Interior

Design Education Research (FIDER) are found in a variety of academic homes within

public land-grant universities. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare noted

interior design programs found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The

programs under study were identified through a national ranking of interior design

programs. This study explored relationships among the academic unit and the curriculum

content, faculty characteristics, and alumni placement. The three variables were

examined through a content analysis of each program's most recent accreditation report.

Following the content analysis, interviews with each program head were conducted to

gain additional information about the variables under study.

Both similarities and differences were found among the six programs. The interior

design programs appeared to share the same overall curriculum structure of design

studios, design support courses, and liberal arts requirements. The faculty educational









backgrounds also seemed quite similar across programs. Notable differences were also

detected, including the allocation of credit hours required for design studios, the point of

selective admissions, faculty NCIDQ certification and professional licensing status, and

alumni placement. However, differences on the variables researched did not appear to

support distinct identities by academic unit.

This study has created a beginning understanding of noted accredited programs

housed in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The accreditation reports provided

extensive information on curriculum and faculty with some insights on alumni and this

data, coupled with information from program heads, resulted in profiles of the programs.

Further research is encouraged to offer a comprehensive understanding of interior design

educational programs and strategic directions for the profession. A challenge is to

continually assess and re-evaluate interior design education to be assured that the students

of today, who will lead the profession into the future, are receiving the best education

possible.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) defines interior design as "a

multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a

structure to achieve a built interior environment" (ASID website, 2003, I1). Since

interior design is both an art and a science, interior design educational programs can be

found in different academic homes within colleges and universities. Most commonly,

they are housed in academic units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology.

Interior design programs can be found in Colleges of Architecture. Architecture

can be defined as "the art and science of designing and building structure, or large groups

of structures, in keeping with aesthetic and functional criteria" (Harris, 2000, p. 47). In

architecture, the art and science of a building focuses on defining a spatial volume.

Programs commonly found in Colleges of Architecture include landscape architecture,

urban and regional planning, and sometimes building construction.

Another common academic home for interior design is fine arts. Fine arts is "a

term used broadly to encompass processes and products in art which are judged primarily

in terms of their aesthetic value and theoretical significance, as opposed to those which

have a specific practical function, as in applied arts" (Martin, 1986, p. 80). While both

architecture and fine arts emphasize the aesthetic value of an object, architecture also

takes functionality into account. Other disciplines frequently categorized under fine arts

include drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture (Mayer, 1969).









A third academic unit that typically houses interior design is human ecology.

Human Ecology, which was formally known as home economics, centers on the physical

environment, specifically focusing on how it supports people. The field is divided into

four main subdivisions: food, clothing, shelter, and household and institutional

management (Nerad, 1999). In addition to interior design, contemporary human ecology

units usually house divisions of family and consumer sciences, nutrition and food

science, and human development and family studies.

Since interior design focuses on both the creative and technical aspects of a space

with an emphasis on human users, its educational programs are able to exist in

architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Interior design programs are professional

programs and are accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research

(FIDER). An accrediting body assures minimum competencies are being met for entry

into a profession. However, there is an additional need to examine the status of design

education more broadly to identify best practices and create recommendations for future

growth.

A notable example of this occurred in 1996 when the American Institutes of

Architectures (AIA) sponsored the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of

Teaching to assess architecture education and provide a blueprint for the future. This

influential study resulted in the book Building Community: A New Future for

Architecture Education and Practice, commonly referred to as the Boyer report (Boyer &

Mitgang, 1996). While the Boyer report was conducted in the field of architecture,

findings and recommendations also could be applied to allied design disciplines.









Some proposed goals for architectural education focus on social impact where

design programs become less insular and make a difference to the greater community.

Other goals recommend maintaining quality standards while allowing for flexibility and

diversity. In a related way, another recommendation focuses on better connecting the

liberal arts and architecture curriculum and increasing opportunities to specialize.

Further, goals support creating a multi-modal and supportive climate for learning. Final

goals relate to developing a better connection between programs and practice as well as

the community.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine FIDER-accredited interior design programs

found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Specifically, this study explores

relationships among the academic unit and the curriculum content, faculty characteristics,

and alumni placement in noted interior design programs through a content analysis of

program accreditation reports and interviews with program heads. This study posed the

following question:

* Do noted interior design programs reveal similarities and/or differences in
curriculum, faculty, and alumni by their distinct academic homes?

The variables under study are critical factors in interior design education and are

central to the FIDER accreditation standards. A key variable was curriculum since

FIDER places an emphasis on interior design curriculum in nine of the twelve standards.

These standards list skills that must be evident in student work; however, curriculum

content is not strictly prescribed for accredited programs and the courses taught may help

shape the identity of the program. Interior design programs have the freedom to offer

courses that best relate to the program focus. Another standard focuses solely on faculty









credentials. Faculty educational and professional background plays an important role in

helping students receive an education encompassing a variety of essential skills and

knowledge in interior design. Finally, a standard focusing on assessment requires input

from alumni placement for program development. Each programs' alumni are a

testament in part to the education they received and their placement in the profession

recognizes the program's success.

Discovering if select programs in three distinct academic homes have significant

similarities or differences has implications for interior design education and accreditation.

If the programs appear to be quite similar in terms of their curriculum, faculty, and

alumni this would suggest homogeneity across interior design programs. On the other

hand, if significant differences were found between programs within academic homes this

would support the flexibility of FIDER's standards to accommodate specialized

programs. Also, it may confirm that interior design programs are utilizing the flexibility

of the FIDER standards, resulting in diversity among programs.

Furthermore, while FIDER has developed standards to ensure that entry-level

designers graduate with minimum competencies, determining significant differences

between programs may be the initial step at educating beyond standards to uncover a

specialization(s) within interior design programs. Specializations reflect a more mature

discipline and attract likeminded faculty and students. Further, design firms may recruit

graduates from particular programs based on a perceived specialization.

Significance

Formalized interior design professional education is relatively new compared to

many other fields of study. The Parsons School of Design, founded by Frank Alvah

Parsons in 1906, was the first interior design school in the United States (Parsons









website, 2004). Compared to early medical schools, such as Harvard, established in

1782, the interior design profession is comparatively young (Harvard website, 2005).

The professionalization of interior design began only 35 years ago, as did the

development of FIDER, to ensure excellence in interior design education through an

accreditation process (FIDER website, 2005). The goal of accreditation is often to

achieve uniformity among programs (Harvey, 2004). While FIDER requires interior

design programs to meet a set of standards that create a degree of uniformity among

programs, their standards focus on student outcomes and are not prescriptive of the

course content or how courses are to be taught. As a result, there is a need to understand

whether or not accredited programs are utilizing the flexibility of FIDER standards by

implementing diverse approaches to the program.

Although accreditation acts as a safeguard to ensure quality in education,

accreditation standards that are too restrictive may constrain the program's creativity,

which would ultimately lead to uniformity among programs. Therefore, FIDER

established universal learning outcomes to be taught in a variety of ways. For example,

codes from the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) can

be taught through design exercises, written exams, research, or any combination of the

above. FIDER's curriculum guidelines or "indicators" need to be evident in student work

described in the accreditation report and produced in displayed projects. As a result, the

courses types the programs are utilizing may demonstrate distinctive qualities of the

program. In turn, programs with significant differences may be on a path to cultivate

distinct program identities.









Differences between FIDER-accredited interior design programs by academic

home have been found in previous research. A study by White and Dickson (1996)

examined major themes in FIDER-accredited interior design program's mission

statements in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology and determined the value

administrators placed on program factors and faculty productivity. They found that

regardless of the university type, teaching, research, and service emerged as important

components of the mission. Most interior design program heads cited externally funded

research projects and peer reviewed journal publications as most valuable to university

administration. However, programs housed in architecture and art demonstrated greater

support for creative scholarship, which include juried exhibitions, invited exhibitions, and

published creative projects, suggesting research is defined and valued differently in these

programs compared to human ecology that may support a more empirical approach to

research productivity.

Contrary to White and Dickson's (1996) findings, a research study by Nutter

(2001) that also compared interior design programs by academic home found

overwhelming similarities among programs housed in units of architecture, fine arts, and

human ecology. Nutter's study first involved in-depth historical analysis of the three

academic homes followed by a multiple case study of eight interior design programs

found within these units. These case studies were carried out through a questionnaire

examining the programs' historical information, current program information,

curriculum, and faculty. Nutter found that while programs in architecture had the most

overall credits and internship requirements, there are no significant differences found

among the number or courses required in relation to technical skills, environmental









systems, special topics, and history/theory. A difference that was noted was that art

related programs require an initial portfolio review before admittance to the program.

White and Dickson's (1996) scope was limited to three elements: program factors,

faculty productivity, and programs' mission statements that explored topics such as

diversity, student retention, and coursework as well as faculty research projects,

published work, and conferences. There is a need to examine variables that contribute

directly to the education of the students such as the curriculum content, faculty training,

and alumni placement to compare programs of different academic homes. Although

Nutter examined the curriculum and faculty, the results concerning faculty were not

discussed. Also, Nutter did not study alumni, which greatly contribute to the identity of

interior design programs. Therefore, curriculum and faculty need to be explored in-depth

with the inclusion of alumni placement to ascertain how interior design educational goals

are changing and developing in six highly ranked programs.

Assumptions

It is important to note the assumptions underlying this study. First, the researcher

assumes that there are many effective ways to teach interior design. FIDER standards are

written to accommodate different pedagogic approaches to interior design education. The

intent of this study is not to discover the best form of interior design education, but rather

to identify any unique qualities of interior design programs defining architecture, fine

arts, or human ecology academic homes.

Secondly, it is assumed that the majority of FIDER-accredited interior design

programs are found within architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. As of May 2005,

there are 137 FIDER-accredited interior design programs in North America (FIDER

website, 2005). Specifically, of the 137 FIDER accredited programs, roughly 75% are









dispersed among the three academic homes of architecture, fine arts, or human ecology.

Therefore, this study focuses on examining programs from these academic homes to

uncover similarities and/or differences between interior design programs found within

them.

Thirdly, the sample is assumed to represent high quality interior design programs

and will include six noted interior design programs that ranked top 15 nationally on the

Designlntelligence ranking at least once between 2000 and 2003 (Designlntelligence

website 1, 2002). This helped ensure strong interior design programs were selected for

participation and controlled perceived overall quality of the programs.

Designlntelligence ranks interior design educational programs on a survey sent out to

both interior design firms as well as to architectural firms with interior design

departments asking what recent hires are the most qualified for 'real-world' practice and

what programs they graduated from (Designlntelligence website 1, 2002). Being well

prepared for industry and practice ensures that the student obtained a comprehensive

education in interior design.

Finally, the researcher also assumes that the Program Analysis Report (PAR), a

self-study document developed for FIDER accreditation by members of each program,

accurately reflects the programs being examined. The authors of the PAR documents are

assumed to have represented the program accurately. Also, the researcher assumes that

each program head interviewed was knowledgeable and had provided accurate

information for the questions asked. As a note, at the time of the accreditation of each

program, this document was known as the Program Evaluation Report (PER), but the









name of this self-study was recently changed to PAR and the acronym will be used

throughout the duration of the thesis.

Delimitations

Programs in this study were limited to FIDER-accredited interior design programs

that have been accredited since the most recent major revision to the FIDER standards,

which occurred in 2000. The next delimitation was that this study only selected

programs that ranked in the top 15 on the Designlntelligence survey between 2000 and

2003. During this period, Designlntelligence evaluated programs solely on employers'

opinions of graduates and did not include other quality indications.

Another delimitation involved the location of the academic unit. Only programs

found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology were considered for selection since

approximately 75% of FIDER-accredited programs are located in those units. Finally,

the only programs meeting the aforementioned selection criteria and opting to participate

in this study were found in public land-grant institutions. This ensured a common

university type with a tri-fold mission of research, teaching, and service.

A final delimitation related to overlaps in the academic structure between

architecture and fine arts. For example, colleges that have 'design' in their title could be

classified in either category. Therefore, a decision was made to categorize the program

by academic structure. If the interior design program was a department within the

college, the program was categorized based on the college organization. On the other

hand, if the program was housed within a multi-disciplinary department, it was

categorized by the department organization.









Summary

The field of interior design education is young compared to other disciplines. By

assuring quality in interior design educational programs, FIDER contributed to the

professionalization of the discipline. Its accreditation standards allow for flexibility to

meet the creative and technical aspects of this multi-faceted profession. Given the multi-

faceted nature of interior design, a majority of accredited programs exist across academic

units of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Few research studies have compared

interior design programs within architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Therefore,

the purpose of this study is to identify possible similarities and differences among six

noted interior design programs' curriculum, faculty, and alumni found within these

academic homes.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Interior design can be traced to the first permanent settlements, Mesopotamia, and

Ancient Egypt, which date back to 3500 B.C.E (Pile, 2000). However, major

advancements in interior design education did not begin until approximately 100 years

ago with the establishment of the first interior design program in the United States by

Frank Alvah Parsons in 1906, at the Chase School in New York. The school was named

after William Merrit Chase, an American Impressionist painter. In 1939, nine years after

the death of Parsons, the school officially changed its name to the current name of

Parsons School of Design. As interior design education continued to take hold and

expand in North American, so too did the need to ensure the quality of this professional

degree.

The founding of the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) in

1970 represented a critical milestone in assuring excellence in interior design education.

A key role of the foundation is to develop educational standards to ensure students

graduating from accredited programs have minimum competencies for entry-level

designers. Typically, the rationale of accrediting bodies is to achieve unity across

programs (Harvey, 2004). FIDER requires uniformity in that all programs must

demonstrate they have met the competencies required for accreditation, but there is

flexibility in how the standards are achieved.

FIDER does not prescribe a single way to educate students. "Programmes may be

accredited for their academic standing or they may be accredited to produce graduates









with professional competence to practice, usually referred to as 'professional

accreditation"' (Harvey, 2004, p. 208). FIDER, as a professional accreditation body,

bases accreditation largely on student outcomes as opposed to program inputs. For that

reason and other historical drivers, interior design programs can be found in different

academic homes within a university system such as architecture, fine arts or human

ecology.

The FIDER standards are overseen by the nine members of the Board of Directors.

Five different constituent groups each appoint a member to serve on the board, while the

remaining directors represent the public, industry, FIDER-accredited interior design

programs, and FIDER Accreditation Commission. One of the constituent groups

represented on the board is the National Council for Interior Design Qualification

(NCIDQ) (FIDER Accreditation Manual, 2005). The NCIDQ was founded in 1972, soon

after the establishment of FIDER, by the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID)

and the National Society of Interior Designers (NSID) (NCIDQ website, 2005). Since

then, the AID and NSID merged and are currently known as the American Society of

Interior Designers (ASID). The NCIDQ council "serves to identify to the public those

interior designers who have met the minimum standards for professional practice by

passing the NCIDQ examination" (NCIDQ website, 2005, 12). The NCIDQ exam is

required by select states to practice as an interior designer. Currently, there are sixteen

states, including the District of Columbia, which require their interior designers to take

the NCIDQ exam in order to practice as interior designers. Of the six programs

examined in this study, three are located in states that require NCIDQ certification.









The NCIDQ examination is based on a pass or fail grading. Since there are two

sections to the exam, it is possible that a designer can pass one section and not the other.

In that situation, they only have to retake the section that was not passed. Similarly,

FIDER accreditation is based on the same notion. Interior design programs either receive

accreditation through the fulfillment of meeting the 12 standards, or they do not.

Although there is no official ranking for FIDER-accredited interior design programs by

FIDER, for the past six years the Designlntelligence has ranked U.S. architecture and

interior design schools; the only national college ranking survey that focuses exclusively

on design (Designlntelligence website 2, 2004).

Designlntelligence ranks FIDER-accredited interior design programs based on a

survey distributed to both interior design firms as well as architecture firms with interiors

departments (Designlntelligence website 2, 2004). Leading firms of all sizes were

selected across the country. Specifically, the firms were leaders in a variety of market

sectors such as healthcare, commercial, and institutional. Those in the firm who are

involved in hiring are asked which graduates they have recruited/hired over the past five

years are the most qualified for 'real-world' practice and which schools they come from.

From the results of the survey, the top 10 interior design programs are ranked. The

Designlntelligence journal is published monthly "by Greenway Communications for the

Design Futures Council" (Designlntelligence website 2, 2004).

Interior Design Education

FIDER-accredited interior design programs are primarily located in academic units

of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology and these units often house different

academic programs. Therefore, is the college focus different in these academic homes to

reflect the diverse disciplines found within them? Although a fair amount of pedagogical









research has been conducted in interior design, only a small number of research studies

have sought to understand whether interior design academic homes have any influence on

the interior design programs.

However, one study that investigated interior design programs by academic home

was conducted by Nutter (2001) at the University of Cincinnati. Nutter's two-part thesis

first involved "an analysis of the historical development of the three departmental

locations of interior design programs in American Universities" (2001, p.15). To

examine issues in the historical development of these units, Nutter performed a case

study of eight FIDER-accredited interior design programs in architecture, fine arts, and

human ecology. Information for the case study was obtained through print material from

both the program and college in addition to a survey that was completed by eight

department heads or upper-level representatives of the interior design programs. Two

programs from each of the academic homes were represented in the case study along with

two programs within the same university.

Through the historical development, Nutter (2001) found that times of war seem to

directly relate to the important milestones in interior design because females generally

dominate the interior design profession. Also, Nutter found that in the early years of

interior design in the United States, there were many different educational methods and

frameworks that may have influenced the complex history of this discipline. However,

the increased professional movement in interior design has led the profession away from

residential design and housing. Nutter (2001) noted the trend of restructuring where:

In order to attain a higher level of training and respect for its practicing
professionals, has also inspired a trend to remove programs of interior design from
department of home economics in search of a more 'prestigious' location (such as
architecture) (p. 81).









However, in her case study, Nutter (2001) also found that faculty and students in

home economics units felt that their academic home was the stronger than architecture or

find arts. Similarly, programs in architecture and fine arts felt their academic home was

the strongest. Programs in architecture rated human ecology programs as the weakest

and fine arts programs fell somewhere in between. On the other hand, programs in home

economics felt that their programs represented a healthy balance between architecture

and fine art programs. Specifically, architecture programs were "very technical or

mechanical with less artistic creativity" and art programs focused on "practical,

professional, or technical skills" (Nutter, 2001, p. 86).

In addition, Nutter (2001) found evidence supporting "the ongoing narrowing effect

of professionalization the decrease in variety of educational options in interior design as

professionalization increases" (p. 89) creating homogeneity among interior design

programs. Programs were found to lack significant curriculum differences, providing

support of homogeneity across the interior design programs studied. While programs in

art seemed to be the most satisfied with their current state, programs in home economics

appeared to be in the greatest position of fluctuation with plans for significant

restructuring and curriculum changes. Architecture programs also supported growth,

particularly in the area of graduate education.

Based on a convenience sample, Nutter examined a small number of FIDER-

accredited interior design programs housed in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology.

Therefore, the findings could be attributed to the quality of the program and not solely on

the academic unit. Selecting programs with consistent quality would have added

creditability to the study. In addition, Nutter's case study relied solely on printed









program literature, such as program catalogs, as well as a survey sent to program heads.

The use of interviews with program heads would have allowed for more detailed answers

and a better understanding of the program.

Overall, Nutter (2001) did not find significant differences between interior design

programs in the variables she examined. However, a study by White and Dickson (1996)

examined different variables and found evidence for differences between interior design

programs in distinct academic units. They examined FIDER-accredited interior design

programs to "identify the elements critical to the mission statements of colleges and

universities... and to determine administrators' perceptions of program factors and

faculty products and activities that define value" (p. 25). The majority of programs

examined were located under the same department homes that were explored in this

study. One part of White and Dickson's study was an analysis of mission statements

from FIDER-accredited interior design programs to identify elements most critical to

their program. Critical elements of mission statements were found to be teaching,

research, and service.

Additionally, White and Dickson (1996) conducted two surveys to examine

program factors and faculty products and activities most valued by administrators. Their

initial survey was sent out to administrators at the department or program level who were

to brainstorm questions that could be asked of upper level administrators regarding

measures of program values in relation to their program's mission. Eighty-four

questionnaires were distributed and 36 responded resulting in a 43% response rate. From

the results of this initial survey, a second survey was developed. The second survey was

varied according to the different administrative levels. Presidents of schools with FIDER-









accredited programs were asked about mission statements, while deans and department

chairs were asked about program factors, faculty products, and activities of the program.

Out of the 81 different schools that were surveyed, 59 schools responded to create a

sample of 49 administrators (e.g., 35 deans and 24 department chairs). University types

that were represented in the sample include public land-grant, public non-land-grant

schools and universities, and private institutions. Program factors that were perceived to

be the most critical to administrators were faculty research and large numbers of

undergraduate majors. Further, administration most valued faculty productivity in terms

of refereed journal publications and externally funded research projects. Though,

programs within architecture and art academic appeared to define research differently in

that they showed greater support for creative aspects of the discipline.

White and Dickson (1996) utilized a national sample of interior design programs

and provided a broad overview on three variables: program mission statements, program

factors, and faculty products. In their results, they collapsed information concerning

architecture and fine art programs; however, it would be beneficial to examine these two

academic homes independently. Furthermore, their study did not evaluate variables that

directly relate to the educational factors associated with the program. For example, the

curriculum is important in determining if similarities or differences occur among

programs within different academic homes. Also, the faculty educational backgrounds

and alumni placement are also important components of a program. Therefore, an in

depth analysis is needed to explore other information that is essential to the program to

verify their findings.









Department Home History

Currently there are an estimated 350 four-year interior design educational programs

(Mattson, personal communication, April 2005), with 137 of these programs accredited

by FIDER (FIDER website, 2005). The accredited programs are found in various

institution types such as design industry schools, universities, and private colleges.

Those FIDER-accredited interior design programs found in public university systems are

most frequently found in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology units. Their histories

are explored below.

Architecture

In 1814, President Thomas Jefferson proposed an architecture school at the

University of Virginia. However, plans for the school were postponed when the search

for an architect proved unsuccessful. According to the America Institute of Architects

(AIA), the first professional architecture program was offered by the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology in 1868 (AIA website, 2005). Soon after, architecture programs

were established at Cornell University in 1871 and at the University of Illinois in 1873.

However, conflicting reports from the University of Illinois state that their program

actually began in 1870, with their first student graduating in 1873 (University of Illinois

website, 2005).

These early programs emulated the pedagogy of the Ecole Beaux-Art, practiced in

Europe. At the time when architecture education was being incorporated into the

university systems in the United States, the Ecole des Beaux-Art method was a popular

teaching technique for architecture. The Association of Collegiate Schools of

Architecture (ACSA) describes how the Beaux-Arts education was implemented.

Students were assigned a 'design problem' at the beginning of the term. They "began as









an esquisse, or sketch problem, and ended en charrette.... [which] refers to the carts in

which the finished drawings were placed at the deadline hour for transport to the 'master'

for critique" (ACSA website, 1998-2005, 5). Ajury system was used to judge the

projects consisting of professors and guest architects without the presence of students,

unlike design juries today.

The Bauhaus movement found by Walter Gropius, that later resulted as the Modem

Movement, was another major influence in American architecture education (Nutter,

2001). In 1919, Gropius founded the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar, more famously

known as simply the Bauhaus. He thought "design should ideally evolve from a

humanistic approach, and maintained that design's ability to respond in both form and

process to the social and economic necessities of society as a fundamental" (Carmel-

Arthur, 2000, p. 20). The Bauhaus "emphasized technology and the need for well-made,

practical designs for mass production" (Miller, 2003, p. 133). Furthermore, the designs

were uncomplicated, stylized, and lacked ornamentation. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a

famous Bauhaus architect, further emphasized the design rationale with a 'less is more'

philosophy evident in his designs.

Although the school was only open for 14 years, it "has been called the most

influential, as well as notorious, art school of the twentieth century" (Carmel-Arthur,

2000, p. 10). Gropius' influence came directly to the United States in 1937 when he

accepted a professorship at Harvard University. Although there have been many other

influences on architecture education over the years, elements of both the Bauhaus

movement as well as the Ecole des Beaux-Art method are still evident in architecture

programs today.









Fine Arts

Artists have trained themselves since the colonial times by studying works of other

artists and by repeated practice in drawing, composition, and painting (Bolger, 1976).

Early art institutions became a place where the self-trained artist could further pursue

their education (Bolger, 1976). The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the first art

academy in the United States, was established in 1805 (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine

Arts website, 2002). Founded by Charles Willson Peale, a painter and scientist, William

Rush, a sculptor, as well as other artists and business leaders, the academy houses the

oldest art museum in the country. Another early art institute, the National Academy of

Design in New York, was established in 1825 and is considered "one of the two most

prestigious and powerful American art institutions throughout the nineteenth century,"

(Bolger, 1976, p. 52).

During the first half of the nineteenth century, these early American art institutes

focused primarily on drawing antique casts so artists could learn proportions (Bolger,

1976). Soon after, human model courses were added, adapted from the European art

academies. To fully understand the human body, anatomy classes were supplemented

into the curriculum (Bolger, 1976). An important advancement in American art

education occurred during the third quarter of the nineteenth century when the student-

teacher relationship was established, which corresponded with developments in the

European academic system (Bolger, 1976). At this time, more full-time salary instructors

were hired, which allowed students to develop closer relationships with their professors

and programs were able to develop a formal curriculum and expand the existing

curriculum to include painting, sketching, and composition (Bolger, 1976). Many of the









instructors hired had training in Europe and introduced the techniques into the American

academies (Bolger, 1976).

At the end of the nineteenth century, art schools were challenged to train their

students to be practicing artists (Bolger, 1976). The Cooper Union for the Advancements

of Art and Science opened in 1857 and its curriculum included typical art courses along

with "mechanical, architectural, and ornamental scroll drawings, wood-engraving, and

the design of stained glass, tessellated flowers, ceilings, tiles, and wall paper" (Bolger,

1976). Many other trade schools opened to offer artists' practical training, but the art

academies felt that students should still learn the theoretical training of painters and

sculptors before they learned a specific craft (Bolger, 1976).

Despite the developments of these early art institutions, Smith notes in his book,

The History ofAmerican Art Education (1996), that the Massachusetts Free Instruction in

Drawing Act of 1870 is frequently cited as the official start of American art education.

Walter Smith, a drawing master, was brought from England in 1871 to implement the act.

His students were "required to master skills of representation, that is, to be schooled

under the mimetic theory of art" (Smith, 1996, p. 38). The teaming system Walter Smith

used focused on educating students to become future educators of art, as opposed to

becoming practicing artists (Smith, 1996). His teachings were highly controversial and

even in his time seen as inadequate preparation for artists (Smith, 1996). The researcher

found no documentation on how interior design was incorporated into art schools

throughout the United States.

Human Ecology

The passing of the Land-Grant Act, also known as the Morrill Act, in 1862, caused

an important revolution in higher education. The act "made possible a new system of









colleges and universities, democratic in character for all people capable of pursuing an

education beyond high school" (North, 1962, p. 187). Furthermore, North notes "by

tradition, purpose and structure, the Land-grant colleges and universities provided a

natural climate for exploration of family problems and the development of means to help

solve them" (p. 187). Therefore, Colleges of Home Economics were originally part of

land-grant institutions.

Nutter (2001) notes that early home economics education, currently known as

human ecology, stressed nutrition, food service, child development, parent education,

family relations, art and design of clothing, and home design, with the curriculum geared

toward young women. The goal of the early home economics education was to promote

household roles for young women (Stage, 1997). However the development of these

early home economics departments was in themselves creating employment opportunities

for women outside the home in the academic system. Therefore, the curriculum of early

land-grant home economics programs "prepared students more for careers in teaching

and institutional management than for housekeeping" (Stage, 1997, p. 8)

One of the oldest programs offering courses in home economics began in 1900 at

Cornell University. A recent exhibit presented by Cornell University on their website

entitled What was Home Economics: From Domesticity to Modernity, provided a history

of the school through the twentieth century. The Department of Home Economics was

officially established in 1907, with the completion of the first four-year curriculum in

home economics (Cornell website 1, 2001). The Department of Home Economics

became a school in 1919 and finally separated from the College of Agriculture when it

was established as a college in 1925. At this time, the interior design program was









developed within the College of Human Ecology under the Department of Household

Art. It was not until 1984-1985 that the interior design department was formed.

Currently, Cornell University's interior design program is not only FIDER-accredited,

but ranks consistently in the top five in the Designlntelligence survey.

Many Colleges of Home Economics have adopted the new name 'College of

Human Ecology,' with other similar names also being used such as human environmental

sciences, family and consumer sciences, health and human sciences, or applied human

sciences. Cornell's history explains the reason for the change in this way; "by the

1960's, the name 'home economics' often suggested gender stereotypes that many

women were struggling to overcome" (Cornell website 2, 2001, 1). The name was

officially changed in 1969 when faculty were convinced that the name "Human Ecology

which, while somewhat ambiguous, accurately reflected the academic and theoretical

orientation of the College and its diverse concerns with problems of human welfare"

(Cornell website 2, 2001, 13). Currently there are approximately 75% of FIDER-

accredited interior design programs found in colleges of human ecology, or colleges of a

similar name.

Professionalism in Interior Design

FIDER was founded by two interior design organizations: the Interior Design

Educators Council (IDEC) and the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID). Their

objective was to create excellence through standards implemented in the educational

system in order to meet increasing demands being placed on the profession. There are 12

standards that FIDER requires programs to meet and major revisions to the standards

usually occur every 8-10 years (FIDER Manuel, 2005).









In 1980, soon after the standards were developed, Schrock, Sondhi, and Rogers

(1980) reviewed the FIDER accreditation process to determine if it was accomplishing its

objectives successfully. In order to do so, a two-part questionnaire was utilized. The first

part extracted information from the early FIDER Form referred to as 204, Standards and

Guidelines for Interior Design Accreditation, and FIDER objectives. The second part

focused on the accreditation process and general background of the participants.

The sample was divided into four groups. The first group, containing 25

participants, consisted of members from the FIDER Board of Trustees, the Accreditation

Committee, and the Standards and Guidelines committee. Members of the Guidance

committee and the Board of visitors formed the second group, which had 63 participants.

Groups three and four included 88 department heads/design coordinators from both

FIDER-accredited and non FIDER-accredited programs, which were grouped together for

the analysis. One hundred and seventy-six questionnaires were sent out: however, only

107 were used. Group one had a 68% response rate, group two had a 74.6% response

rate, and groups three and four had a 46.43% response rate.

It was found that 90% of the respondents were satisfied with the accreditation

process, although they agreed that improvement was possible. The fact that a large

portion of the participants included members who were affiliated with the accreditation

process could be seen as a limitation. Although this study is dated, it shows the general

satisfaction with the accreditation process and helps validate the confidence that

educators place on the process. Yet, understanding the expectations employers have for

designers entering the workforce is important as well. What do professionals in interior

design firms look for in entry-level designers upon graduation? What are the trends and









goals in practice and education? The following studies have explored skills that are

important to firms hiring graduates from interior design programs as well as trends

impacting the direction of interior design.

Interior design education programs prepare their students for the professional

workforce. To determine what firms expect in terms of entry-level designers education,

Viard (1996) surveyed 131 firms for their opinions. It was found that 83% of the firms

considered a four-year bachelor's degree a minimum, which 90% consider to be the ideal

level of interior design education. The type of program that they studied in was also

important with 78% responding that it was moderately to extremely important to hire

graduates from a FIDER-accredited program.

Birdsong and Lawlor (2001) also surveyed the opinions of firms on the importance

of graduating from an accredited interior design program. They also examined

perceptions of firms on state licensing, NCIDQ examination, research, and graduate

education with a three-part questionnaire. The first section evaluated opinions related to

the issues listed above. The second section gathered demographic and design firm

information, while the third section gathered open-ended responses.

Participants were selected from the top 100 firms ranked on the Interior Design

magazine's "100 Giants" from January 1996. From the sample, only the firms that had

75 % or more of their staff employed as interior designers and firms that had 50 % or

more of their fees acquired from interior design services were selected, qualifying 43

firms. Approximately five questionnaires were mailed to each firm, totaling 213

questionnaires. The findings were based on 94 surveys.









Similar to Viard's study (1996), Birdsong and Lawlor's (2001) results indicated

that 86.2 % rated accreditation of undergraduate programs as the most important

consideration. This was followed by state licensing with 70.2 %, research with 64.9 %,

NCIDQ exam with 63.9 %, and graduate education at 34.1 %. The low perceived

importance of graduate education could indicate that practitioners are not informed about

graduate education or the role research plays in the profession.

Directions for Interior Design

Also important to determine are the future trends of the profession and interior

design education. Hasell and Scott (1996) conducted a FIDER-sponsored study to

ascertain future trends in interior design. Their comprehensive methods included a

literature scan for emerging trends, focus groups conducted with multiple design

constituencies, as well as surveys distributed to designers in top 200 firms, practitioners,

industry representatives, and educators on trends impacting the interior design profession.

The groups rated environmental conservation, accountability, professional respect, and

teams of specialists as most important to the profession. In terms of education, it is seen

that environmental conservation has become significantly more important since the

publication of this study.

Other recommendations for the future relating to design education have been posed

in the report entitled Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and

Practice (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996), commonly referred to as the Boyer report. Although

intended for architectural education, the recommendations in the study may be applied to

other allied disciplines. The Boyer report attempted to 'renew' architectural education

through an intensive nationwide study that culminated in a framework of seven goals.

Three of the recommendations relate most directly to the focus of this study and are to









achieve diversity i ll/h dignity, standards i iihlitt standardization, and a connected

curriculum.

To achieve diversity in i/i dignity, the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) places

importance on the diversity of both architecture programs and faculty members and "the

diversity of the types of philosophies or architectural programs and the richly varied

backgrounds and talents among the nation's architecture faculty are strengths that must

be preserved" (p. 49). The recommendations note that diversity can be achieved when

architecture programs are located in an assortment of academic settings. Since interior

design programs are found in a variety of academic units, this might suggest diversity

i i/i/ dignity may already exist in interior design education. Furthermore, the Boyer

report found that "many architecture programs have developed their own distinctive

personas and specialties" (p. 50). FIDER has made the initial step in interior design

education by identifying programs that meet minimum competencies. A next step may

be to offer design specializations in accredited programs. This would reinforce the trend

in interior design towards increasing teams of specialists (Hasell & Scott, 1996).

The Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) also recommends that programs have

standards i, iiln,,tt standardization, where there are clear expectations for every student

that also allow for diversity within the various programs. To achieve standards it 1,fit

standardization, the Boyer report proposes that student work and performance should be

based not on blocks of knowledge, but modes of thinking. The National Architectural

Accrediting Board, Inc. (NAAB) is similar to FIDER in that they both do not mandate

teaching strategies or curriculum content. FIDER is based on notion of standards itihitt









standardization in that they have a set of standards that need to be met, but they way of

achieving them is not prescribed.

Furthermore, a connected curriculum is recommended. In order to achieve this, the

Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) suggests that the curriculum should have liberal

content to provide students with a comprehensive education beyond their specific

discipline. To become accredited, interior design programs must have a minimum of 30

credit hours in liberal arts and science courses (FIDER Manuel, 2005). Therefore, it can

be assumed that accredited programs are already meeting part of the requirements to

achieve a connected curriculum. However, to attain this goal, the programs' curriculum

should have flexibility that supports students seeking specific specialties. Currently,

there are no known specialization options in interior design education; however interior

design programs may benefit from incorporating the possibility of specialization in their

curriculum.

The remaining recommendations focus on achieving an enriched mission, which

encourages programs to understand their social obligations to the community and

creating a climatefor learning that allows for many forms of communication such as

"written, oral, and three-dimensional representations" (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996, p. 91).

In addition, the Boyer report suggests obtaining a unified profession between the

educators and the practitioners to ensure "enriched learning during school, more

satisfying internships, and sustained learning throughout professional life" (p. 126).

Finally, the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang, 1996) encourages schools to prepare their

students to provide a service to the nation through four proposed strategies: creating an









engaging atmosphere, educating the students in ways they can help the nation, educating

them with new knowledge, and emphasizing the importance of ethical behavior.

Summary

Interior design education, especially the professional movement of interior design,

is still young compared to other disciplines. FIDER was established about 35 years ago

to support interior design education by developing a set of standards interior design

programs must meet in order to become accredited. In response to the creativity and

diversity inherent to the discipline, the standards allow for flexibility in that FIDER does

not prescribe how they are met. For example, interior design programs have been

FIDER-accredited in a variety of settings including architecture, fine arts, and human

ecology.

While research has been performed on perceptions of accreditation, practitioner

expectations, and trends in interior design, further investigation is needed on the impact

of academic homes on interiors programs. One such study by White and Dickson (1996)

identified differences in college mission statements and administrators' perceptions on

both program factors and faculty products and activities. Conversely, Nutter (2001)

performed a historical analysis and multiple case study, and through the case study found

more similarities than differences. Therefore, further research is needed to further

examine the impact of academic units on interior design programs found within them.














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The six participating programs in this study include Cornell University, Iowa State

University, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, the University of

Florida, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These accredited programs were

located in three different academic homes, which are architecture, fine arts, and human

ecology. The question driving this study was whether or not interior design programs in

distinct academic locations have significant similarities and/or differences in their

curriculum, faculty, and alumni?

For example, do programs found within architecture emphasize courses associated

with architecture education such as construction documents? Similarly, do programs

found in units of fine arts require more drawing and/or art courses in their curriculum and

programs in human ecology require more social sciences? If differences were found, this

would suggest that the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER)

standards are not prescriptive and therefore allow diversity in program focus. On the

other hand, are the programs so similar that the standards appear to be too restrictive?

These questions were explored through a two-part study. First, a content analysis of

FIDER Program Analysis Reports (PAR) for the six programs was conducted. A PAR is

a self-study written by interior design programs under review for accreditation to assess

how the programs meet the standards. Three areas of the PARs examined were

curriculum, faculty, and alumni. Following the content analysis, interviews were held

with the program heads from each program. The interview data further clarified the









focus of the programs and added additional as well as current information that was not

found in the PARs about the three variables examined.

Case Selection Criteria

The interior design programs in this study were selected using four criteria. First,

each program was required to be accredited by FIDER to assure that programs met

minimum competency standards. Also, the programs were chosen from the

Designlntelligence ranking. This provided a measure of confidence that the eligible

programs were comparable to one another. Approximately 29 programs met these

criterions. The interiors programs chosen to participate in this study were ranked top 15

at least once between 2000 and 2003.

In addition, a major revision to the FIDER standards occurred in 2000. In order to

obtain the most up-to-date information and assure consistency between the programs,

four programs that were last accredited before 2000 were eliminated from the sample,

resulting in 25 qualifying programs. Then eight design and technological institutes were

eliminated leaving 17 interior design programs found in university settings. Programs

that were found in academic homes of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology were

selected. There were approximately six interior programs found within architecture, five

in fine arts, and five in human ecology. The other program was in a College of

Humanities and Social Sciences. The small selection of programs that met the criteria

restricted the sample size.

Nine programs, three from each category, were asked for their participation in the

research study. Six agreed to participate, two from each category. A commonality

among the six programs was that they were all located in public land-grand universities.

The participating programs included Cornell University, Iowa State University, Kansas









State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Florida, and the University

of Nebraska-Lincoln. Not every program was clearly defined in one category. Two

programs with the term 'design' in their college title could be placed either in the

architecture or fine arts and they were categorized based on the next highest academic

unit they were found within. For example, if the program were located within a

department, then the category would be based on the department organization. On the

other hand, if the program was an independent department within the college, the

category was based on the college. The six programs in the study and the category they

were placed in are stated below.

The programs in Colleges of Architecture chosen for the study are the University of

Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Florida. The interior design program at the

University of Nebraska-Lincoln is found in the Department of Architecture within the

College of Architecture. At the University of Florida, the Department of Interior Design

is found within a College of Design, Construction, and Planning. This program was

placed into the architecture category because it is a department of interior design within

the college. Furthermore, there are no art programs found within this college.

On the other hand, Iowa State University's interior design program is also located

within a College of Design and houses Departments of Architecture, Art and Design,

Community and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture. The interior design

program is found within the Department of Art and Design. In addition to the interior

design program, the department contains programs of graphic design as well as integrated

studio arts and integrated visual arts. Therefore, this program was categorized within the

fine arts division. The other program in the fine arts category is Louisiana State









University. The interiors program at Louisiana State is located within a College of Art

and Design and is an independent Department of Interior Design.

Finally, the human ecology category consisted of Cornell University and Kansas

State University. Cornell University's interior design program is found within the

Department of Design and Environmental Analysis in the College of Human Ecology. At

Kansas State there are two interiors programs recognized by both FIDER and

Designlntelligence. There is the interior design program located within the Department

of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design in the College of Human Ecology and the

Department of Interior Architecture and Product Design is located in the College of

Architecture, Planning, and Design. The researcher chose to have only one program per

institute participate in the study. Due to the small number of programs found within a

College of Human Ecology in the Designlntelligence survey, the interiors program within

the College of Human Ecology was selected to participate.

Procedure

FIDER lists each accredited interior design program on their website with program

information such as the degree received from attending the program, the academic home

the program is found in, and the head of the program with their corresponding title.

Three of the interior design programs in this study are departments, while three programs

are found within departments along with other disciplines. These three are headed by

interior design Program Coordinators or Directors. Typically, the program head is a

faculty member that teaches within the interior design program. However, in one case,

the program head was also the head of the department, which houses two other

disciplines in addition to interior design. This program head did not teach interior design

courses.









The program heads listed on the FIDER website as of January 1, 2005 for the six

programs, were sent a letter requesting the participation of their program in the study.

Approximately a week later, the researcher contacted the program heads to answer any

questions about the study and again to ask for their participation. With each program

head's approval for the participation of their program, the most recent PAR was

requested. Each PAR adhered to the most recent set of guidelines established in 2000.

FIDER provides a format for the information that is incorporated into the four

sections of the PAR. The first section, the introduction, includes basic history and

information about the program including the academic home of the program and any

allied disciplines located in the department. The second section is the largest portion of

the document and describes how the program meets FIDER's twelve accreditation

standards. These standards are in the following order, 1) curriculum structure, 2) design

fundamentals, 3) interior design, 4) communication, 5) building systems and interior

materials, 6) regulations, 7) business and professional practice, 8) professional values, 9)

faculty, 10) facilities, 11) administration, and 12) assessment. Section three is the self-

reporting by the programs of their perceived strengths and weaknesses and section four

includes plans for future development and significant changes.

Since many of the standards focus on program curriculum, faculty, and alumni,

these variables were analyzed by the academic home through a content analysis. The

content analysis involved frequency counts from each category, which allowed for

comparisons to examine the programs curriculum, faculty, and alumni. Curriculum areas

that were explored include whether the program has a selective admissions program,

admission qualifications, and the percentage of studio courses in relation to interior









design support courses and general electives. Faculty background focused on the highest

degree received, degree areas of study, NCIDQ certification, professional experience, and

teaching experience. Employers of alumni were categorized based on their location and

the type of work the company does.

After the content analysis was underway, follow-up interviews were conducted

with the heads from each participating design program to clarify the focus and intent of

their programs. Program heads were contacted in advance to schedule an appointment

for the interview. A consent form approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) was

faxed to each program head to be returned before the interview, which was conducted

over the telephone and was audio-recorded with prior permission.

The goal of the open-ended interview questions was to gather supplement

information presented in the PAR and to update information on curriculum, faculty, and

alumni. On average, each interview took approximately; however, they ranged from 20

to 60 minutes. At the end of each interview, the program head was asked if they would

allow their program's name to be used in the research study. After all six interviews

were completed they were transcribed. In some cases, additional questions or

clarification of interviews were needed. The program head was contacted by email to

resolve these issues. The responses from the interviews were used as supplemental

information to the content analysis.

In total, the data collection occurred over sixteen weeks. The first stage began after

obtaining each program's PAR and required approximately fourteen weeks to complete

the content analysis. Conducting the interviews in stage two required two weeks to

complete. After the information was gathered for the participating programs, it was









examined to compare the different academic units. First, the data for each program was

analyzed individually, then collectively by each academic home. The data was analyzed

through percentages, charts, and graphs. The values of individual programs became

evident, providing a strong sense of goals and objectives.

Content Analysis

The main source of data was each program's PAR. In each PAR, FIDER requires

particular information to be provided for each section of the document. Standards one

through eight focus on curriculum and include indicators of compliance. Standard nine,

which addresses faculty, has eight 'indicators' that the programs must address. Also,

faculty data sheets ask for specific information about each faculty member. However, the

final standard, which has a section pertaining to alumni, requires no specific information

about the alumni that needs to be addressed. Therefore, the section on alumni showed the

greatest variability among the programs.

As a result, external resources, such as firm websites, were used to obtain

additional information about alumni from the participatory programs. In addition,

interviews were conducted with each program head to obtain additional information

about the programs' curriculum, faculty, and alumni. It was important to the validity of

the study to triangulate the data from the three sources.

Curriculum

The curriculum provides a foundation for each program. The courses students take

provide them with the knowledge they need to become interior designers. Do the courses

that students take differ by the academic home of the program? Determining possible

similarities and differences has many implications for interior design education.









Significant similarities could suggest FIDER's standards as too restrictive while

differences found would support the diverse application of FIDER's standards.

Each program's curriculum was transferred into a spreadsheet document and

categorized by semester. Each course name, class code, and credit hours were recorded,

along with the total credit hours required to graduate along with the degree received upon

graduation. In addition, information about the selective admissions process as well as

whether or not the program had a required internship were included. Finally, many

universities have required general education courses that every student must take in order

to graduate. Information about these required courses was provided.

First, from the spreadsheet it was determined whether or not the program has a

selective admission process. Such a process ensures students of high quality are accepted

into the program. As a result, graduates are likely to reflect highly on the program when

working in the industry. If the program has a selective admission process, when the

selective admission occurs, requirements to be accepted into the program, the number of

students who typically apply, and the approximate number of students accepted each year

were recorded.

The focus was then directed to the student coursework. The courses students take

provide them with the knowledge needed for the professional world. Having an

education that encompasses the diverse knowledge that an interior designer requires is

imperative. Students are generally required to take university general education courses

as well as courses in the interior design program. Often university coursework overlaps

with courses that are required by the interior design program to graduate. For example,

the interior design program may require a three-credit history course that would also meet









the university humanities requirements. Because this overlap occurs frequently in some

programs, courses were divided into interior design courses and general requirements and

electives. Interior design courses included classes such as design studio, lighting

materials, construction documents, and interior design history. General education

courses and electives include classes such as math, science, composition, and non-interior

design electives.

Finally, the interior design courses were broken down into categories according to

the course types. Interior design curriculum was divided into three sections: studio

courses, support interior design courses such as materials, history, and graphics, and

general requirements/electives. These categories were examined first collectively and

then divided into coursework required before and after selective admissions.

Faculty

Faculty is also an essential part to every program in that they provide the

information necessary to students. The PAR faculty data sheets provide background

information on program faculty members, which may include both core and support

faculty members. For this study, only the core interior design faculty was examined for

each program. Core faculty members were defined in this study as full-time or tenured

faculty members that are both part-time and full-time. The support faculty members that

were excluded include non-tenured part-time, adjunct, lecturers, and graduate teaching

assistants. These positions often are not permanent like full-time or tenured faculty

members and do not have consistent influence on the interior design program. Although,

the excluded members were listed in the PAR, their faculty data sheets, required for the

content analysis, were generally not provided.









For each program, all core faculty member information was placed on a

spreadsheet. First, the faculty education background was recorded. The institutions

where they received their degrees, their area of concentration, as well as the year were

documented. From that information, the highest degree for each faculty member was

recorded along with the discipline that faculty members received their degrees in.

Faculty degree areas were arranged into four categories: interior design, architecture,

other design, and other discipline. Those members that have received degrees in interior

architecture were included in the interior design category. Faculty academic work

experience was recorded as well. They were categorized based on whether they have

taught solely at their current institution or if they have taught at other universities as well.

This was noted because faculty members with experience at multiple universities are

exposed to a larger range of design instruction, teaching techniques, and curriculum

approaches providing them with a more diverse knowledge base.

In addition, faculty members were categorized by whether or not they have had

professional design experience. Having design experience offers a connection to

professional design practices. Whether or not the faculty member has NCIDQ

certification was also recorded. Because FIDER does not count NCIDQ certification that

is pending, faculty members with pending results were considered as not NCIDQ

certified at the time of the PAR. FIDER also does not account for members who are

registered architects. However, this information was included to see if registered

architects were evident in certain academic homes.

Alumni

Graduates from interior design programs reflect the education they receive. A

section of the PAR includes information about where alumni are working or studying









upon graduation from the program. Unlike the curriculum and faculty, there is no

specific format for recording alumni placement. The six programs collected and

presented different information concerning their alumni. Three programs recorded the

alumni's name, employer, position, and firm type. One listed the alumni's name,

employer, position, and firm location. The other two programs listed the alumni's name,

employer, and location.

Alumni information had the most variability in recording the depth of information

between the six programs. Therefore, firm information that was not included in the PARs

vital to the study was found through firm websites and by contacting the firm's by

telephone. This information included either firm location or the disciplines that were

practiced at the firms. All 239 alumni from the programs in the study required additional

information. For three of the programs, the firm location had to be found. In addition,

the firm types that the program provided was verified with how the firms were

categorized for this study. The other three programs needed the firm type to be

determined. Furthermore, not every program listed all graduates from the years they

listed in the PAR. Therefore, percentages were used to compare alumni from different

academic homes to assure accuracy across all programs.

First, alumni who attended graduate school upon graduation were recorded on a

spreadsheet. The program discipline and location was recorded. In a separate document,

information about employed alumni was recorded. The firm that they were working for,

the location of the firm, and what type of work the firm did was documented. From the

spreadsheet, first, whether or not students are working at a firm that is in the same state as

the university in which they received their degree was determined. Then the firms were









categorized based on the type of work that they do. Categorizing the firms where alumni

from each program work helped establish trends for the programs. In addition, it aided in

determining whether graduates from programs in a particular academic homes were more

likely to work in a certain firm type.

The alumni were placed into six categories: interior design, architecture/interior

design, architecture/interior design plus allied disciplines, other design, and other non-

design. Firms labeled interior design, practice interior design exclusively.

Architecture/interior design firms include architecture practice as well as interior design

and planning. Architecture/interior design plus allied discipline firms include

architecture, interior design, planning, and various other disciplines such as graphic

design, landscape architecture, and engineering. Other design areas included design

fields such as lighting design, brand design, and freelance design.

Limitations

There are currently 137 FIDER-accredited interior design educational programs in

North America (FIDER website, 2005). Because this study involves an in-depth analysis

of curriculum, faculty, and alumni, only six accredited programs are represented in the

sample. Specifically, this study includes programs found in public land-grant institutions,

which have the tri-fold mission of research, teaching, and service. As a result, programs

found in technical, private, and non land-grant colleges were not included in this study.

Also excluded were the few interior design programs found within a university setting in

colleges or schools that are not in the three academic homes examined. For example,

some of these programs are found in schools of Education or Technology.

This study focused on three prominent dimensions of interior design programs:

curriculum, faculty, and alumni. However, the researcher recognizes that interior design









programs may be impacted by a confluence of factors such as budget and resources,

facilities, and administration. Therefore, results of this study may not be solely attributed

to the academic home or to the three variables researched.

The PAR provides a comprehensive background of the interior design program.

The accreditation reports in this study were often around 100 pages and were prepared

and submitted for accreditation between 2000 and 2004. Because interior design

programs are constantly evolving, this document may not be the most up-to-date

information about the program. Given this limitation, interviews with program heads

gathered current program information on the three variables under study to supplement

information found in the PAR.

Furthermore, while the reporting of program curriculum and faculty was mostly

consistent, the information on alumni had the most variability. Because FIDER does not

specify the information to be included about alumni, there was inconsistent and missing

information. For example, some programs listed only the alumni firm name and location

whereas other programs included firm name, location, firm type, and position. Because

the firm type was important to the results of this study, this information was critical to

obtain. Therefore, further information about the firms was acquired through websites and

by contacting them over the telephone.

Summary

This study examined six accredited interior design programs found in academic

homes of architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. The programs were selected based

on the following criteria. Most importantly, they had to be accredited by FIDER,

specifically since the last major revision of the standards, which occurred in 2000. In

addition, the programs had to be ranked on the Designlntelligence survey to assure









consistent high quality among programs. Finally, the programs needed to be located

within one of the three academic homes explored in this study. Programs that met the

criteria were given the opportunity to participate.

The programs that agreed to participate were explored through an in-depth content

analysis of their accreditation reports to determine similarities and differences among

them. The three variables that were examined include program curriculum, faculty, and

alumni. These variables were chosen based on their representation in the PAR. In

addition to the content analysis, interviews with program heads were conducted to

provide current information on the three variables.














CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS

The Foundation of Interior Design Educators Council (FIDER) accreditation

process provides standards for interior design educational programs. Because they do not

prescribe how the standards are met, programs are able to exist in different academic

homes within colleges. Little research has been conducted to explore the differences

between programs that are located within distinct units. Therefore, this study developed

profiles for six accredited programs found in academic units of architecture, fine arts, and

human ecology through a content analysis and interviews with program heads.

A content analysis of Program Analysis Reports (PAR) explored curriculum

content, faculty characteristics, and alumni placement across six noted interior design

programs. Interviews were conducted with each program's head to collect additional

information about the three variables as well as to obtain the most recent program

information. The findings are discussed in relation to the three variables: curriculum,

faculty, and alumni, and programs are grouped by academic home.

Programs in the architecture category include the University of Florida (UF) and

the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL). UF is located in Gainesville, Florida and

was founded in 1853. The interior design program is an independent department located

within the College of Design, Construction, and Planning, previously the College of

Architecture, until May of 2000. Other programs within the college include architecture,

building construction, landscape architecture, and urban and regional planning. Founded

in 1869, the University of Nebraska is located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The interior design









program is located in the Department of Architecture within the College of Architecture,

which also houses a Department of Community and Regional Planning.

The programs in the fine arts category are the Iowa State University (ISU) and

Louisiana State University (LSU). ISU was founded in 1862 in Ames, Iowa. The interior

design program at ISU is housed in the College of Design within the Department of Art

and Design. The college also houses Departments of Architecture, Community and

Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture. Other programs within the Department

of Art and Design include graphic design, integrated studio arts, and integrated visual

arts. LSU was founded in 1860 and is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The interior

design department at LSU is found within the College of Art and Design, which also

houses Departments of Architecture, Art, and Landscape Architecture.

Programs in the human ecology category include Cornell University and Kansas

State University (KSU). Cornell is located in Ithaca, New York and was founded in

1865. Cornell is the only land-grant university that is also a member of the Ivy League

(Cornell website, 2005). The interior design program at Cornell is located in the College

of Human Ecology within the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis. Other

departments housed within the College include the Department of Division of Nutritional

Sciences, Human Development, Policy Analysis and Management, and Textiles and

Apparels. Also in the Human Ecology category, KSU was founded in 1863 in

Manhattan, Kansas. The interior design program at KSU is located in the Department of

Apparel Textiles and Interior Design within the College of Human Ecology, which

houses Departments of Human Nutrition, Family Studies and Human Services, as well as

Hotel, Restaurant, Institution Management and Dietetics.









Traditionally, a Department Chair overlooks programs that are independent

departments within a college while a Program Coordinator or Director overlooks

programs within a department. The program head interviewed was determined from the

FIDER website as of January 1, 2005. Program Directors or Coordinators from UNL,

ISU, KSU and Department Chairs from UF, LSU, and Cornell were interviewed. It

should be noted that the institutions of all six programs in this research study are

classified as land-grant institutions. Additionally, UF, UN, ISU, and Cornell are

members of the American Association of Universities (AAU), which recognizes

prestigious research institutions.

Curriculum

Universities commonly have general education requirements that each student must

fulfill in order to graduate. There are usually a number of credit hours that are required in

a variety of subject areas. For example, many universities require students to take credit

hours in compositional or humanities courses. Often, the programs within the college

offer courses that fulfill both the general education course, as well as courses required for

the major. An interior design history course may meet the humanities requirement and

will therefore fulfill requirements by both the college and the program. Because it was

difficult to distinguish where courses overlap in the interior design programs at hand, the

curriculum was divided into two groups. First, classes that directly relate to interior

design were placed in the 'interior design' course category. These include classes such as

design studios, lighting, materials, and graphics. The other category included general

requirements and electives. For example, if an interior design program requires students

to take an algebra course, this would not be placed in the interior design courses, but in

the general requirement/elective category because it does not relate directly to design.






47


The only electives that were included in the interior design group were professional

course electives that were required to be an interiors course. Table 4.1 lists all interior

design classes and the credit hours for general requirements and electives.

Table 4-1. Interior design program curriculum by credit hour


Architecture


Courses
Design Studios
History/Theory
Material s/Textiles/Fumiture
Graphics
Introduction
Professional Practice
Construction Documents/Systems
Computer
Lighting
Environmental Technology
Internship
Drawing
Interior Systems
Color
Programming
Housing
Universal Design
Seminar
Independent Study Project
Professional Electives
General Requirements/Electives
TOTAL


UF
40
9
6
3
2
3
8
6
3
3













3
34


UNL
28
15
6
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
3











12
43


IS
3



























51


Fine Arts

SU LSU
13 21
9 18
7 6
7 6
3 3
2 3
6
3



4 3
3 3
8 ----
6




3
3
9


1.5


38-42


Human Ecology

CU KSU
33 20
12 15
8 6
5 6
3 1
1 3
4 3
3 1-3

3 ----






3----
6
3



6
47-50 55


120 129 127.5 131-135 122-125 125-127


Note. UF = University of Florida, UNL = University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ISU = Iowa
State University, LSU = Louisiana State University, CU = Cornell University, KSU=
Kansas State University.

Materials, textiles, and furniture were collapsed into one category in the content analysis

because two of the programs offered courses that integrated furniture with materials,









while another program had a separate class devoted to furniture. The range or credit

hours for LSU, Comell, and KSU is a result of variable credit hours applied to a course

requirement. For example, at LSU, students are required to take eight to nine credit hours

in natural sciences. Also, important to note that this study focused on the credit hours

and did not include contact hours.

Architecture

The University of Florida (UF) interior design program was founded in 1948 and

was first accredited by FIDER in 1973. To graduate, students are required to complete

120 credit hours of coursework with 36 of those credit hours slated for university general

requirements. This program requires students to go through a selective admissions

process that occurs at the end of the second year. Students are admitted to upper-division

based on a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, a design studio GPA of at least 2.85, a blind

portfolio review (pin-up), and a statement of intent. Typically, 50-60 students apply each

year for entry into upper-division and 28-32 students are accepted. The UF interiors

program does not require an internship, however the interview with the Department Chair

revealed that this was a future goal of the program. Students who complete an internship

are able to receive credit hours as part of their professional electives. Graduates from the

program receive a Bachelor of Design (BD) degree with a major in Interior Design.

According to the Department Chair, the two defining features of the program are its

strong research foundation for the studio projects and the 'real world' emphasis that

capitalizes on existing projects. The Chair maintains the program "adhere[s] to an

evidence-based research approach to design" and has a strong architectural core. Other

areas of the program that could be enhanced include computer courses, introducing color









theory into the curriculum, and requiring an internship. There have been incremental

curriculum revisions in the program. Many students take business courses as electives.

Being part of the College of Design, Construction, and Planning appears to have

impacted the curriculum. The program is able to offer a sequence of three architectural

foundation classes for pre-majors in interior design. In addition, as part of the college,

interior design students are able to gain certification in historic preservation by

participating in the Nantucket preservation program, and go on college study abroad

programs such as the one in Vicenza, Italy. The Chair perceives a college sponsored

move to a College of Human Ecology as having a negative impact to "the creative culture

that is inherent to being part of the College of Design." Another perceived disadvantage

is that the program would not be surrounded by allied disciplines in a human ecology

unit. Similarly, if the program were moved to a College of Fine Arts the impact was

perceived as detrimental. The Department Chair notes "Colleges of Fine Arts

traditionally don't have the same kind of strong funding so there would not be additional

resources in that way." Although there would be some other allied fields such as graphic

design or possibly industrial design, other core disciplines that interior designers work so

closely with would not be represented.

The interior design program at the University of Nebraska (UNL) interiors program

was developed over 35 years ago and it is unknown when the program was first

accredited by FIDER. A minimum of 129 credit hours is required for graduation. Nine

general education courses fulfill UNL's 'essential studies' requirement and 10 courses

are required in 'integrative studies' courses. Similar to UF, the interiors program also has

a selective admissions process after the second year. Students need to complete all









necessary coursework and have a minimum of a 2.6 GPA in order to apply. They must

also provide a portfolio of their work for review. Fifty students are generally accepted

into lower division and approximately 30 of those are accepted into upper-division. The

program requires an internship. Upon graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Science

in Design (BSD Interior Design).

The main focus of UNL's curriculum is to educate strong professionals who are

creative thinkers with an understanding of the spatial envelope. One of the strengths of

the program is their shared curriculum with architecture, which provides a greater

understanding of both professions. The Program Director feels that this helps "establish

better working relationships" as their graduates enter the profession. In addition she

reflects, "the faculty as a whole are pretty creative thinkers and they are willing to push

the envelope and reflect the profession and go beyond." A major curriculum revision has

not occurred in over five years; however, their program is moving to a five-year program

possibly next year, which will require significant curriculum revisions and a semester

long internship experience. Professional electives are typically taken in the College of

Fine and Performing Arts curriculum such as photography and graphic design or in

business courses like marketing and management. Also, within the college there is a

wide range of courses offerings available to interior design student such as African

architecture, historic restoration and preservation, or product/furniture design.

The Program Director feels that existing in a College of Architecture impacts the

curriculum in a positive way because of shared available courses. Until 1993, the interior

design program at UNL was located in a College of Human Ecology. A return to that

college, from the director's perspective, would have a negative impact as would a move









to a College of Fine Arts; "in the sense that a College of Fine Arts doesn't have the

professional focus that architecture and interior design do, so there would probably be a

lack of understanding of what that might be." However, the Program Director recognizes

the success of such a relocation depends very much on individual administrative

leadership.

Fine Arts

Although interior design courses at Iowa State University (ISU) date back to 1901,

it was not until 1962 that interior design was recognized as a major. The interior design

program was fully accredited by FIDER in 1986. This program requires a minimum of

127.5 credit hours for graduation with 36.5 of those credit hours meeting general

university requirements. There is a selective admissions process that occurs after the

completion of the first year. Thus, interior students are in the upper-division portion of

the program for three years. Each student must submit a portfolio, sketchbook, and essay

to apply for upper-division and GPA is considered as well. As of 2002, there were 80

students in lower-division and 104 in upper-division. Approximately 35 students are

admitted into upper-division each year. An internship is required for graduation. Upon

graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).

The main focus of ISU's curriculum is on creative problem solving and human

factors. While a perceived strength of the program is on technology and creative design,

the Program Director feels that their computer courses need to be updated. The Program

Director advocates continuous assessment and improvement of the program, as they are

currently in the process of a curriculum revision to develop their own core freshman year

curriculum. Although students do not have many electives, they often take other design

courses in architecture, universal design, and sustainable/solar design or business courses.









ISU is located within a College of Design and a Department of Art and Design.

When asked whether architecture or art had more influence on the program, the program

head responded that each of them contribute equally. If the program were to move to a

College of Architecture or College of Human Ecology, the impact on the program would

be in the words of the Program Director "Devastating... [and the] creative design focus

would be short changed."

The Louisiana State University (LSU) interior design program was founded in 1969

and has been accredited since 1977. Currently, students are required to take 131-135

credit hours for graduation with 38-39 of those credit hours fulfilling university general

requirements. Like ISU, the interiors program utilizes a selective admissions process that

occurs at the end of the first year, and approximately 40 students are accepted into the

upper-division. At the time of the PAR, the applicant pool for upper-division was

anywhere from 100 200 students, however as of fall 2005, the Department Chair notes a

selective admission process into lower division will be implemented to limit the

applicants to around 60 students. To apply, students must submit an application and a

portfolio of their work to be reviewed for acceptance into the program. The program has

a required internship. Upon graduation, students received their Bachelor of Interior

Design (BID).

The Department Chair stated that the curriculum at LSU is focused on obtaining "a

broad range of basic skills but encouraging creative inquiry." The Boyer report, Building

Community: A New Future For Architecture Education and Practice, is used as a guide

for their program and the Chair believes the department has most of the Boyer

recommendations in place. The Department Chair feels a strength of the program is that









they provide "a broad foundation in a broad scope of what will be expected of an interior

designer, and with that, [afford] opportunities for the undergraduate to pursue specific

areas of interest." One perceived weakness "was at the foundation level in that we never

had enough faculty or facilities to be able to have complete control over that first year"

therefore students previously had foundation courses in the art or landscape departments.

Over the past year and a half, the faculty designed and implemented a fairly significant

curriculum change and added more specific focus courses and foundation level courses

within the interior design department. In addition, the studio courses have been changed

from three credit hours to four credit hours. Students in the interiors program often

receive Minors in Construction Management, Art, Theatre and Performance Art, and

Business or Finance.

Residing within a College of Art and Design impacts the curriculum because "it

allows for students to take courses in other areas where they can increase their skills in all

different areas of concentration" such as architecture, graphic design, or painting.

Currently, the program is an independent unit within the college. Although the

Department Chair feels that interior programs in Colleges of Human Ecology are

important, she feels that they have a different focus. The Department Chair feels that if a

move was necessary, a College of Architecture would be the best place for the program,

however she states the program is stronger in its current state as an independent unit.

Human Ecology

In 1925, Cornell University developed their interior design program. FIDER first

accredited the program in 1986. Students are required to complete 122-125 credit hours

for graduation. The College requires each student to take 37-42 credit hours in general

requirements, which includes the university mandated freshman writing seminar. In









addition, all students at Cornell must pass a swim test before beginning classes and

during their first year students must complete two terms of physical education courses.

The interior design program utilizes a selective admissions process that occurs before

students are accepted into the program. All students should fill out the 'interior design

index,' a questionnaire designed to inform the admissions committee of their experience

or preparation in the field. Transfer students are required to submit a portfolio and

freshman applicants are strongly urged to submit a portfolio. Upon graduation, students

receive their Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Ecology with a major in Design and

Environmental Analysis and an option in Interior Design.

The main focus of the interior design curriculum according to the Department

Chair is "integrating evidence-based design with imaginative invention to create solutions

that solve real social problems" and the Chair perceives the strength of their curriculum

"is its multi-disciplinary evidence-based focus." Although the Chair feels that the

curriculum is solid across the board, student interest in graphic design components may

be an area the design faculty team chooses to strengthen in the future. However, he does

not see this as a defined concentration or formal focus within the department. The overall

focus of the curriculum has remained constant since the college was created in 1969.

However, Cornell revises their curriculum "in part in response to FIDER program

reviews and our own assessments as well as external program reviews that the university

mandates." Outside the major, students take a wide variety of elective courses such as

architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, planning, organizational behavior,

psychology, and human development.









The Department Chair believes that being within a College of Human Ecology

impacts the program because "evidenced-based design is fully within the mandate of the

focus of our college." If the program was moved to a College of Architecture or Fine

Arts, the Department Chair felt that the research base upon which the interior design

program is built would either positively influence the other programs, or the interiors

program would be weakened.

Like Cornell, Kansas State University (KSU) is a noted program in Human

Ecology. It began offering courses in interior design in 1917 with FIDER first

accrediting the program in 1982. The interiors program requires a completion of 125-127

credit hours for graduation. Eighteen credit hours are needed to meet the university's

general requirements. KSU utilizes a selective admissions process, based primarily on

GPA, at the entry level with around 52 students initially accepted into the program. Like

the University of Florida, there is no internship requirement at the KSU interiors

program, however students are able to receive credit hours for completing an internship

as part of their professional electives. Students receive their Bachelor of Science (BS) in

Interior Design upon graduation.

According to the Program Coordinator, the main focus of the curriculum at KSU is

"interior design within the human ecological framework." Students in the interior design

program at KSU share the first year of their program with design students in the College

of Architecture, Planning, and Design. Previously, faculty members from both programs

taught each other's students. Currently, faculty members teach students from their own

program, with a shared syllabus and projects.









A perceived strength of the curriculum is how it is "designed to take students from

what they know as a beginning designer to a high level of knowledge of

professionalism." The Program Coordinator feels that their lack of appropriate facilities

impedes student learning and would like more studio space and technology components.

The KSU interior design program has not had a major curriculum change in over 10

years; rather they prefer to implement small revisions to introduce current trends such as

sustainability. Outside the major, students typically take courses in architecture,

gerontology, and woman's studies.

The Program Coordinator feels that being within a College of Human Ecology has

a positive impact on their curriculum. Students are confronted with the human ecological

focus in their first semester in a design and behavior course. A human ecological

framework guides student learning, as the program head maintains, "[Students] will

understand human behavior, perception, cognition and [their] designs will respond to

that." If the program were moved to a college of architecture or fine arts, the program

head felt that the human ecological perspective would be diminished.

Summary

Figure 4-1 graphically depicts the total number of studio, support design courses,

and general requirements or elective for programs. As a note, for the purpose of the

figure, programs that provided a range of credit hours for courses, for example 38 42

credit hours of general requirements, the average, 40, was used.

Architecture programs had the most credits devoted to studio courses, with 68

credit hours required. The fine arts and human ecology had essentially the same credit

hours for studio courses with 53-54 credits. One hundred fifteen credit hours were

required for support design courses in the fine arts programs, followed by architecture









programs with 104 credits and human ecology programs with 91 credits. Finally, human

ecology programs had more credit hours in general requirements and electives than the

other programs. While human ecology program had 103.5 credit hours, the fine arts

programs had 91.5 credits and the architecture programs had only 77 credit hours.

Architecture (n=249) Fine Arts (n=260.5)


31% 27% 35% 21%
n=77 n=68 n=91.5 n=54








42% 44%
n=104 n=115



Human Ecology (n=249.5)


Figure 4-1. Program course distribution

Architecture programs had the most credits devoted to studio courses, with 68

credit hours required. The fine arts and human ecology had essentially the same credit


* Studio



* Support Design Courses



O General Requirements/
Electives









hours for studio courses with 53-54 credits. One hundred fifteen credit hours were

required for support design courses in the fine arts programs, followed by architecture

programs with 104 credits and human ecology programs with 93 credits. Finally, human

ecology programs had more credit hours in general requirements and electives than the

other programs. While human ecology programs had 103.5 credit hours, the fine arts

programs had 91.5 credits and the architecture programs had only 77 credit hours.

Variations in the number or credit hours were found in that programs in

architecture units devoted 14-15 more credit hours to studio courses than fine art and

human ecology programs. However, the architecture programs generally had more credit

hours allocated to each individual studio course, with studios having up to six credits per

course. Therefore, the quantity of courses was similar among programs, which supports

Atkins (2001) findings of consistency in program curriculum. However, the present

thesis study identifies differences in the percentage of general requirements or electives

in relation to the interior design coursework. Human ecology interior programs allocated

11-22 fewer credit hours for support design courses and 12-26.5 more credit hours for

general requirements and electives. As most of these courses are three credit hours, this

results in about four to seven fewer support courses and four to eight more credit hours of

general requirements and electives courses.

Faculty

The educational background, faculty position, practice experience, and certification

status of faculty members were examined. Generally, faculty educational backgrounds

were similar in that the majority of faculty members held degrees in either interior design

or architecture. Differences were found primarily in the number of faculty who are

NCIDQ certified and the secondary degrees faculty members have received. However,









because of the small sample size of 37 faculty members, the findings are purely

observations about faculty in the six noted interior design programs and cannot be

generalized to all programs within the corresponding academic home.

Faculty information from each program was taken from the faculty data sheets

provided in the program's FIDER accreditation document. Only core faculty members

were included in the analysis and these faculty members were defined as either full-time

or tenured faculty members, both part-time and full-time, who teach interior design

courses. As a note, those members that had pending results for the NCIDQ examination

were not counted as NCIDQ certified at the time of the PAR. Registered architects were

included in the analysis due to their design experience. Although FIDER does not

recognize this qualification, it is noteworthy to discover the programs where registered

architects are evident to see a distinction by academic setting. Table 4-2 illustrates

results by academic home.

Architecture

The University of Florida (UF) lists eight full-time faculty members in the PAR

where two are professors, two are associate professors, three are assistant professors, and

the remaining member is a full-time lecturer. Three of the faculty members were hired

years ago in 1972, 1982, and 1988 and two were hired in 1993 and 1997. The other three

faculty members were hired recently, two in 2001 and one in 2003. Of the eight faculty

members, four have received a Ph.D., three have received their Master's degrees, and the

final member holds a Master's in Interior Design and highest degree is as a Doctor of

Dental Surgery (DDS). A majority of the faculty members have their degrees in interior

design. One member has a degree solely in interior design and four members have their

educational background in interior design with another discipline including dentistry,









architecture, and fine arts. In addition, two faculty members have architectural degrees,

one exclusively in architecture and the other with an additional degree in education.

Table 4-2. Faculty information


Architecture


Fine Arts


Human Ecology


Faculty Overview UF UNL ISU LSU CU KSU
Core Faculty Members 8 5 6 6 6 6
Full-time 8 5 4 6 6 4
Part-time 0 0 2 0 0 2
NCIDQ certified 2 0 2 3 3 2
Registered Architect 2 2 0 1 0 0

Faculty Title
Professor 2 0 2 0 0 2
Associate Professor 2 2 3 3 4 0
Assistant Professor 3 3 1 3 1 4
Lecturer 1 0 0 0 1 0

Highest Degree
PhD 4 2 2 0 0 2
Masters 3 2 3 4 6 4
Bachelors 0 0 0 2 0 0
Other 1 1 1 0 0 0

Education Background


Interior Design
Architecture
Other Design
Other Disciplines
TOTAL


1(4)
1(1)
0
1
8


1 (1)
1 (2)
0
0
5


3(2)
0(1)
0
0
6


1 (1)
(2)
0
2
6


0(2)
0(2)
2
0
6


Note 1. UF = University of Florida, UNL = University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ISU = Iowa
State University, LSU = Louisiana State University, CU = Cornell University, KSU=
Kansas State University.

Note 2. The numbers in parenthesis under faculty educational background, indicate
faculty members who have a degree in the corresponding discipline along with an
additional degree in a different discipline.









Finally, the last faculty member has his degree in fine arts. Five faculty members

have extensive design experience with two faculty members NCIDQ certified and two

registered architects on the faculty team. The majority of the faculty members have

taught at other institutions besides UF, with the remaining two faculty members teaching

solely at UF at the time of the PAR.

Being located within a College of Design, Construction, and Planning impacts

faculty hiring decisions. The Department Chair feels that the program attracts[] faculty

that have architecture as well as interior design training" because they may feel the

greatest affinity in this academic home. When hiring new faculty members, a Ph.D. is

very important due to the strong research emphasis at UF, but "faculty members with

masters degrees that have lots of field experience are also needed on staff." In addition,

NCIDQ certification is viewed as an important qualification in faculty hires.

The other program reviewed within a College of Architecture was the University of

Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) containing five full-time faculty members on staff. The faculty

team consisted of two associate professors and three assistant professors. All of the

faculty members were hired in the 1990's with three hired in 1993, one in 1996, and one

in 1998. Of these five, two have received their Ph.D.s and two hold Master's degrees.

The additional faculty member has a Doctorate in Education. The faculty members

received their educational backgrounds mostly in interior design and architecture with a

few secondary degrees. One member has a degree solely in interior design while another

member has degrees in both interior design and education. The three remaining faculty

members have their degrees in architecture. Of those that have architecture degrees, one

has an additional degree in sociology and another in art history.









Although three of the five faculty members have extensive design experience, at

the time of the PAR none of the faculty members had received NCIDQ certification. It is

important to remember that Nebraska is one of the states that do not require NCIDQ

certification to practice. However, the FIDER accreditation standards do not take this

into consideration. Similar to UF, UNL has two registered architects on their faculty.

Although FIDER does not recognize this level of certification, having faculty members

who have this credentialing in architecture may help with the interior design education of

a student. With the exception of one faculty, the remaining faculty members have taught

at other institutions at the time of the PAR.

The Program Director at UNL felt that being within a College of Architecture has,

to some extent, impacted faculty hiring decisions. For example, a strong background in

design is more important than having a Ph.D. degree. When hiring faculty members, the

Program Director cited their preference for backgrounds in interior design and/or

architecture and "depending on the position description, either strong professional

experience or strong research and creative activity experience [is desired]." In addition,

they value faculty members who are innovative thinkers and team players.

Fine Arts

At the time of the PAR, Iowa State University (ISU) had four full-time tenured,

two part-time tenured, three part-time non-tenure track, three half-time graduate teaching

assistants, and eleven support faculty on staff. Only the six tenured faculty members

were included in the content analysis. Two of the tenured faculty members are full

professors, three are associate professors, and the remaining faculty is an assistant

professor. Most of the faculty team has taught at the program over a decade, with

members hired in 1971, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1984, and 1993.









Two faculty members received a Ph.D. and four hold Master's degrees. The other

faculty member's highest degree is a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) with a

degree in architecture. The educational backgrounds of ISU faculty are primarily in

interior design, where five of the six members hold their degrees. Two others hold

interior design degrees and have additional degrees in theater, sociology, and

environmental design. All six members have extensive design experience in the field and

two are NCIDQ certified. Half of the faculty members taught solely at ISU and the

remainder taught at other universities as well. Faculty hiring decisions are impacted at

ISU "partly because we are in a College of Design but within a Department of Art."

Valuable credentials in hiring decisions include a creative portfolio with individual

and/or student work, NCIDQ qualifications, computer skills, and being a team player.

In the interiors program at Louisiana State University (LSU), there are six full-time

and two part-time faculty members. Only the six full-time faculty members were

included in the analysis. Three of the faculty members are associate professors and three

are assistant professors. The majority of the faculty team has been there since the 70's

with four members hired in 1971, 1974, 1975, and 1976. The remaining two faculty

members were hired in 1996 and 1997. Four faculty members hold Master's degrees and

the other two hold Bachelors degrees. At the time of the PAR, no faculty members held a

Ph.D. degree.

The faculty at LSU received their degrees in a variety of disciplines. One member

has their degree exclusively in interior design. Another member has degrees in both

interior architecture and architecture. There are two faculty members that have their

degrees in architecture but also hold degrees in fine arts as well as art and design. The









remaining two faculty members have degrees in fine arts. All six members have

extensive design experience and three are NCIDQ certified with one registered architect

on their staff. Four faculty members have taught only at LSU at the time of the PAR,

where the other two members have taught at other institutions as well.

The LSU Department Chair feels that the academic home affiliation influences

faculty hiring decisions. The Chair notes "that its not only faculty hires, but where we

are housed affects a bit the overall tenor of the program in that we are housed in other

professions that deal with the built environment." Because the faculty members of the

interiors program need to cover a wide range of skills and teaching assignments, they

look for faculty members with broad professional knowledge. The program head asserts

that they like to keep "a balance between faculty that have had significant practice

experience and faculty that have been more research and academic oriented."

Human Ecology

Cornell University's interiors program has six full-time and one part-time faculty

member. The part-time member was not included in this analysis. At the time of the

PAR, there were four associate professors, one assistant professor, and one full-time

lecturer. One faculty member was hired in 1978 and the rest of the faculty were hired in

the 1990's, with three hired in the early 90's and two hired in the mid to late 90's. Each

full-time faculty member's highest degree was a Masters, with their educational

background in a variety of fields. Two faculty members have degrees in interior design

with degrees in housing/urban studies and industrial design as well. Two of the faculty

members have degrees in architecture but also hold degrees in industrial design and one

additionally earned a degree in physics. The remaining two faculty members have

degrees in design or design history and industrial design. Five faculty members have









extensive design experience and three are NCIDQ certified. Mostly all of Cornell's

faculty members have taught at other institutions besides their home institution with only

one member teaching exclusively at Cornell.

The interior design program's academic home at Cornell influences faculty hiring

decisions. The Chair notes "we look for broad based faculty who can work in a multi-

disciplinary collaborative environment that is evidence-based and that is focused." In the

past, they considered a Master's degree an important credential, but moving forward it is

likely to be a Ph.D. The Chair commented that a potential faculty member "has got to

have demonstrated a capacity to teach interior design studios at a high level as well as to

have demonstrated interest and experience in doing research related to design."

The other human ecology program, Kansas State University (KSU), also had six

faculty members included in the analysis. While the complete faculty list includes nine

members: four full-time tenured/tenured track, two part-time tenured/tenured track, two

adjunct instructors, and one graduate teaching assistant, only the six tenured or tenured

track faculty members were included in the analysis. Of these six faculty members, two

are full professors and four are assistant professors. The faculty team has a fairly even

distribution between old and new members. Two were hired in the mid to late 70's, one

was hired in the mid 80's, one was hired in the early 90's, and the remaining two were

recently hired in 1999 and 2001.

Two members hold their Ph.D.'s and the remaining four all have Masters' degrees.

One has a degree in interior design. Two have their degrees in interior design with

additional degrees in fine arts and architecture. Another faculty member has an

architecture degree. The other two have degrees in housing or home economics as well









as textiles and clothing and vocational home economics. Of the six faculty members,

four have extensive design experience and two are NCIDQ certified. Three faculty

members have taught at other institutions besides KSU and three have taught exclusively

at KSU.

Faculty hiring decisions are influenced by the academic home because they have an

emphasis in their program on human behavior and human needs. A master's degree in

interior design or an allied field, such as architecture or fine arts, is typically required for

new faculty hires. They do not require a Ph.D. degree, but the Program Coordinator cites

the importance of "almost always want[ing] someone with practice experience."

Nonetheless, practice experience was not a requirement.

Summary

In this study of six noted interior design programs, their faculties ranged from five

to eight core members. Because the sample size is limited, definitive conclusions cannot

be made. Yet it is important to note that approximately 80% of the faculty members had

degrees in either interior design or architecture and 60% (n=37) of faculty members

highest degree received was a Master's degree. The next most reported degree was a

Ph.D. and 27% (n=37) of the faculty members held this degree. Only 5% (n=37) earned

a Bachelor degree and the remaining 8% (n=37) held degrees in dentistry, veterinary

medicine, and education. Although 78% (n=37) of faculty members had design

experience, only approximately one third of all faculty members were NCIDQ certified,

and the majority of these faculty members in fine art and human ecology programs.

Alumni

Alumni information that was explored included whether or not the graduate stayed

in the same state as their alma mater, and the disciplines practiced at their current









employer. Information concerning alumni was primarily found in each program's PAR

with additional information gathered through external sources, such as websites and by

contacting firms by telephone. Each firm's practice type were determined and divided

into seven categories by discipline. The first three categories were those that practice

interior design exclusively, those that practice both architecture and interior design, and

architecture and interior design firms that have other allied disciplines. The other four

categories were retail, other design, other non-design, and those firms whose practices

were not able to be determined. The retail category included alumni working at retail

establishments that offered design services. Also, many alumni worked in other design

industries such as web or floral design therefore they were placed within the 'other

design' category.

Some interior design programs listed only alumni who were working in the

industry while other programs listed all or most of their alumni who have graduated

whether they were working in the industry or not. Therefore, alumni not working in the

design industry were placed in the 'other non-design category. Finally, for programs that

listed limited information about alumni employers, a majority of the information was

found through external sources. However, some employer information could not be

determined and as a result, these alumni were determined 'unknown.' Table 4.3 contains

results for the content analysis.

Architecture

Alumni graduating in 2003 and 2004 were included in the University of Florida's

PAR. There were 15 alumni listed for 2003, and 12 alumni listed for 2004, totaling at 27

alumni recorded. The UF's interior design program has approximately 30 graduates each

year; therefore the reported data for alumni placement does not include all graduates of










Table 4-3. Alumni placement upon graduation

Architecture Fine Arts Human Ecology

Employer Location UF UNL ISU LSU CU KSU
In State 8 23 12 32 16 24
Out of State 7 8 29 17 16 24
Not in industry 0 0 0 3 0 5
University Instruction 0 0 2 0 0 0
Unknown 3 0 0 0 5 5
TOTAL 18 31 43 52 37 58

Employer Practices
Interior Design (ID) 8 7 6 11 8 3
Architecture/ID 4 7 8 9 5 4
Arch/ID + Allied Disciplines 3 7 6 5 13 8
Retail 0 4 7 10 0 19
Other Design 0 2 6 6 8 6
Other Non-Design 0 0 3 3 0 5
Unknown 3 4 7 8 3 13
TOTAL 18 31 43 52 37 58

Graduate School
Graduate School 9 1 0 2 9 0

Note. UF = University of Florida, UNL = University of Nebraska-Lincoln, ISU= Iowa
State University, LSU = Louisiana State University, CU = Cornell University, KSU=
Kansas State University.

the program for these two years. Placement information for about 33 graduates was not

included in the PAR. In the information provided in the class of 2003, five of the fifteen

alumni attended graduate school, seeking master's degrees in architecture, building

construction, and graphic design at the University of Florida, the University of

Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech. The other ten alumni from 2003 were employed in fields

relating to their degree. Of the twelve graduates listed in the PAR that graduated in 2004,

eight were employed in design firms and the remaining four went on to masters'









programs upon graduation. These graduate students remained at the University of

Florida and to start their degrees in interior design and building construction.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also listed a similar number of graduates over

a two-year period. Specifically, a total of 32 graduates were recorded from 1999 and

2000. Thirteen alumni were recorded from the class of 1999. One of those graduates

remained at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for their master's degree in architecture

after graduation. There were 19 graduates recorded that graduated in 2000. Of graduates

noted from both the 1999 and 2000 classes, four worked in retail at various office

furniture stores that also provide design consulting. In addition, two alumni worked in

other design fields. For example, one of the graduates works for Duncan Aviation in

Lincoln, NE, designing airplane interiors. The other graduate works in floral design.

Fine Arts

Iowa State listed 22 alumni for 2000 and 21 alumni for 2001 totaling 43 graduates

from a two-year period. The graduates were hired in a variety of working environments

with an approximatley even distribution in each category. Again, the majority of

graduates who are categorized in the retail category are working in office furniture sales

that offer design and space planning consulting. Graduates also work in other design

fields. One alumnus is working for Chaps, Ralph Lauren as a visual merchandiser. In

addition, a few graduates are working as freelance designers. There were also two

graduates who were hired as university instructors at ISU after graduation.

Alumni from Louisiana State University (LSU) were reported over a three-year

period, totaling 52 graduates. They listed 15 alumni in 1998, 27 in 1999, and 10 in 2000.

It is assumed that these numbers do not include all graduates from each year. Besides

graduates who work in retail at office furniture stores, one graduate works at Home









Depot as a designer. The graduates working in other design areas are involved in floral

design, stone design, freelance design, and a real estate development company that has

interior designers.

Human Ecology

Cornell University listed alumni information in two sections of the PAR. One part

listed 23 alumni from 1996 2001 with the firm name and location. In the other section

of the report, 23 alumni were reported from 1998 through 2001 by year and included the

firm name, type, and graduate's position. Nine graduates were reported on both lists;

therefore a total of 37 graduates working in the industry were recorded. Additionally,

nine alumni were reported to have attended graduate school for business, graphic design,

real estate, and architecture. Some remained at Cornell for their graduate education but

others went to other universities such as Columbia University, Pratt, University of

Chicago, University of Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania. Graduates of

Cornell also worked in other design-related areas such as architectural lighting design and

web design.

Kansas State University (KSU) provided considerably more alumni data in their

PAR compared to the other programs studied with 58 listed graduates from 2000 2002.

Thirty-one graduates from 2002, 20 graduates from 2001, and seven graduates from 2002

were listed. While some programs only included alumni who were working in the design

industry in their PAR, KSU recorded information for the majority of their graduates,

whether they were currently in the design industry or not, especially in 2002. This may

be why KSU was observed to have had the most alumni working in non-design fields.

Alumni also work in other design fields, which include A&D specifying for a

manufacturer, floral design, and lighting design.










Summary

Figure 4-2 shows the percentage of alumni by the firm type who are working in the

design industry.

Architecture (n=42) Fine Arts (n=74)


10%
n=4


5%
n=2


16%
n=12


35%
n=15


24%
n=10


23%
n=17


26% 15%
n=ll n=ll


Human Ecology (n=74)


19% 15%
n=14 n=1


12%
1n=9


28%
n=21


Figure 4-2. Alumni employer type distribution

Several interesting differences across program types were found in the placement of

alumni. First, graduates from the architectural programs had the most representation in


* Interior Design


* Architecture/Interior Design


O Architecture/Interior Design +
Allied Disciplines

O Retail


* Other Design









interior design firms. In fact, they had 12-20% more alumni in this category than

programs of fine arts and human ecology. Also programs in units of architecture and fine

arts had 11-14% more alumni in architectural firms than programs of human ecology. On

the other hand, the human ecology and architecture units had 9-13% more graduates in

multi-disciplinary firms containing architecture, interior design, and other allied

disciplines than fine art programs. In both the retail and other design category, the

architecture programs had considerably lower representations.

Conclusion

Overall, the six programs under study had both similarities and differences found

among them. Most of the core interior design courses were consistent across all

programs. Only one course was determined to be unique to each academic home.

Minimal differences were found in the credit hours allocated to support courses; however

notable differences in the design studio credit hours were determined. Also, differences

were found in the percentage of credit hours required for each course type. Eighty

percent (n=37) of all faculty members had a degree in either architecture or interior

design with many holding additional degrees in a variety of disciplines. The most

common degree found in the programs was a Master's, followed by a Ph.D. The few

remaining faculty had either their bachelors other degrees such as dentistry, veterinary

medicine, and education. Finally, the most significant differences were found in where

alumni were employed upon graduation. However, differences were not only found by

academic home, but also between the two programs found within that setting.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

Accredited interior design programs, representing the art and science aspects of the

discipline, exist in a range of university structures including architecture, fine arts, and

human ecology. The researcher found two key studies that have sought to discover the

similarities and differences between interior design programs found within these

academic units. Examining a range of variables, one study's findings supported

differences among programs, while the other supported mostly similarities. Therefore,

the purpose of this thesis was to explore commonalities and unique features of six noted

interior design programs in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Specifically, the

study examined patterns across curriculum content, faculty backgrounds, and alumni

placement.

The intent was not to identify the best interior design program, but rather to

uncover shared and unique qualities of programs in distinct academic homes. A further

goal focused on exploring evidence for specialization in interior design programs

accredited by the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER). The

results from this study provide profiles of top interior design programs; however,

replication of this study with a larger sample size is needed for a wider generalization of

findings.

Program Analysis

The content analysis of design program accreditation reports and interviews with

program heads compared the curriculum, faculty, and alumni at Cornell University, Iowa









State University, Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, University of

Florida, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. These accredited interior design

programs, with recognized national reputations, showed more common characteristics

than unique features in their curricula, faculties, and alumni at the undergraduate level.

Curriculum

Interior design course work for all programs consistently included design studios

and supporting design courses. These supporting classes included introductory courses,

graphics, professional practice, history and/or theory, as well as materials and/or textiles.

Additionally some programs integrated furniture design into their materials and textiles

course. The design studio and supporting courses were taught in every interior design

program in the sample to provide students with fundamental knowledge about the

discipline. In addition to design and supporting courses, all programs required liberal arts

courses. Interior design programs in the context of land-grant institutions appear to

demonstrate a connected curriculum advocated in the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang,

1996). This acknowledges the importance of requiring professional knowledge in the

context of a well-rounded education.

Yet differences did emerge among programs. Human ecology units have college

wide requirements for all students to take human ecology specific courses. For example,

the interior design programs in this area each had at least three credit hours devoted to

human ecology offerings. Also, each of the interior design programs in architecture and

fine arts had a design course unique to their unit. Specifically, the only programs that

taught lighting were found in architecture. Further research is needed to determine if this

finding is widespread or just a function of the sample. Also, drawing classes were unique

to programs in fine arts, which may emphasize a stronger art focus than the other units.









More research is needed to see if the content of these courses are integrated into other

courses at the other programs in this study.

All six programs had a comparable sequence of required studio courses, ranging

from six to nine courses. The content analysis for this study analyzed credit rather than

contact hours. Knowing the content hours would allow the researcher to know how many

hours students spend in studio receiving instruction. However, the programs in

architecture had more credit hours allocated to each studio course on average than

programs in fine arts and human ecology. Consequently, the programs in architecture

required fewer credits outside the interior design curriculum, which limited the credits of

elective courses. Interestingly, graduates from architectural programs in this sample

appear to be primarily working in the interior design industry and not in allied design

fields, which may be because graduates of these programs are more specialized. An

alternative explanation is that this finding was influenced by missing or incomplete data

on alumni placement where alumni working in other allied or other design fields were

underreported. On the other hand, programs in fine arts and human ecology offered more

electives outside interior design courses and reported a wider range or graduates working

in other design fields such as web design, lighting design, and floral design.

All programs heads interviewed expressed that the curriculum was impacted by

existing in either architecture, fine arts, or human ecology because they are able to share

resources and courses with the other areas of study within the college. In addition, the

program heads perceived a move to either one of the other two academic homes would

negatively impact the interior design program, which confirms Nutter's (2001) findings

stating that faculty believe the academic home of their program is superior to alternative









locations. The program heads mostly felt that the focus of their program would be

significantly diminished in the other units. Program heads from units of architecture or

fine arts felt that a move to a human ecology unit would lessen their creative design focus

as well as their interaction with other allied design disciplines. Whereas program heads

from units of human ecology felt that in a move to either architecture or fine arts would

diminish the human perspective inherent to their identity. This was one of the areas that

program heads appeared most passionate about, yet negligible differences were found

among programs. This finding replicates Nutter's (2001) study and deserves further

study to determine the source of these strong opinions. Perhaps there is a different

culture in these academic homes that might account for these perceptions.

One difference among programs was the implementation of the selective

admissions process. Interior design programs utilize selective admissions processes to

control both quantity and quality of students in upper-division studios. All programs in

this study implemented a selective admission process; however, when the selection

occurs differed across the programs. For programs within architectural homes, the

selective admissions took place at the end of the second year, while the selective

admissions process for fine arts programs occurred at the end of the first year. The

programs found within Colleges of Human Ecology implemented the selective admission

process before students are accepted into any interior design courses. Therefore, entering

freshman and transfer students apply before admission into the interior design major.

Both positive and negative implications arise from the timing of the selective

admissions. Having the selective admissions later in the program, for example after the

second year, allows the students to develop their design skills before applying for upper-









division and offers students who have not had previous design experience a better chance

of gaining requisite skills before their portfolio is reviewed. However, having the

selective admissions later in the program effects students because the interior design

curriculum is so specialized, courses often do not transfer to other majors if the student is

not accepted into the interior design program.

On the other hand, an earlier selective admissions process may disadvantage

students with little or no art or design training. Also, because some interior design

programs do not require a portfolio upon admission, students are being accepted

primarily on GPA and test scores, without gauging their design ability and skills. A

recommendation is to have a selective admissions process after the first year of courses,

which may allow students to gain design experience before applying to upper-division

and also permit them to transfer to other majors more easily if they are not accepted into

the program.

When asked how they would like to see their program grow and develop in the

future, four of the six program heads emphasized their desire to either improve or

develop a graduate program. At the time of the study, four of programs already had

established graduate interior design programs in place. Therefore, graduate programs

appear as an important asset in interior design educational programs; however, this

perception may be at odds with commonly held views espoused by practitioners.

Birdsong and Lawlor (2001) found that the top 100 design firms ranked graduate

education lowest by among those graduating from an accredited program, state licensing,

NCIDQ certification, research, and graduate education. The conclusion from this study is

that many practitioners do not fully recognize or understand the importance of a graduate









education and there is a disconnect between these practitioners views and the leaders in

top programs interviewed for this study. In contrast to the views held by practitioners

(Birdsong & Lawlor, 2001), the program leaders clearly advocated for graduate education

and research in the field. This direction deserves additional study.

As interior design educational programs move toward increasing graduate

education, it will be interesting to see FIDER's role in accounting for these programs.

FIDER may chose to recognize the relationship between undergraduate and graduate

programs in the undergraduate accreditation process or consider developing an

accrediting process for graduate interior design education. For example, graduate

programs directly support the tri-fold mission of teaching, research, and service in

interior design programs in land-grant institutions. A graduate education program may

contribute to the undergraduate program. These programs may have a greater emphasis

on introducing research into the design studio, allowing more developed programming to

occur. Also, graduate students can serve as teaching assistants for interior design

courses, providing supplemental resources for undergraduate students.

Faculty

The sample of faculty members was very small; therefore it is difficult to form

definitive conclusions concerning this variable. While a majority of the faculty members

had a degree in either interior design or architecture, many of the faculty members also

had additional degrees in other areas of study with a Master's degree as the most frequent

highest awarded degree. Architecture programs had fewer NCIDQ certified faculty

members, but had more licensed architects on the faculty team. However, each program

head noted the preference of hiring faculty members who are NCIDQ certified. This may

reflect changing expectations in the field.









A Master's degree was the most predominant credential for faculty across

participating programs. The majority of the programs considered a master's degree as

acceptable for faculty hiring purposes but the Ph.D. appeared to becoming increasingly

important. One program head noted, "We like to keep a balance between faculty that

have significant practice experience and faculty that have been more research and

academic oriented." It was observed that programs in architecture had the highest

percentage of faculty with doctoral degrees. Further research is needed to discover if this

association is a result of the sample or a trend among architecture programs.

Over 80% (n=37) of all faculty members had a degree in either interior design or

architecture and many had additional degrees in other areas of study, such as industrial

design, fine arts, education, sociology, physics, art history, theatre, and even dentistry and

veterinary medicine. The remaining faculty members held degrees in fine arts, design

history, industrial design, home economics, and textiles. The high-breadth educational

backgrounds of faculty members, when interior design degrees are couple with other

degrees, is clearly a strength of interior design educators. Further, developing respect of

diverse faculty backgrounds was a formally put forth goal in the Boyer report (Boyer &

Mitgang, 1996) in their recommendations of diversity i/ ih dignity.

In addition to faculty members' educational background, their practice experience

is also important. Seventy-eight percent (n=37) of the faculty members are noted to have

had extensive design experience, whether in interior design or other allied disciplines.

Approximately one third of all faculty members are NCIDQ certified, which is the

preferred credentialing deemed necessary by FIDER to teach upper-division design









studio to interior design students. The faculty members' hybrid backgrounds in design

and education appeared to be a strength.

Both fine arts and human ecology programs had an equal number of core faculty

members who were NCIDQ certified. On average, just below half of the faculty in the

four programs were NCIDQ certified. The programs found within an architectural

academic home had the fewest NCIDQ certified faculty members, but the greatest

number of registered architects (31%, n=13). Although FIDER does not recognize this

preferred credential, architecture experience is most likely more valued than in this unit

compared to fine arts and human ecology.

In the standards and guidelines, FIDER stresses the need for professors who teach

upper-division studios to be NCIDQ-certified and program heads unanimously preferred

hiring faculty members who are NCIDQ-certified. However, given the ever-increasing

emphasis on research in tenure and promotion decisions at land-grant institutions,

programs may have difficulty maintaining a balance of faculty who have design

experience, and engage in significant creative scholarship and peer reviewed juried work

with research faculty. This may be especially evident at the four programs in this study

that are members of the research-intensive Association of American Universities (AAU),

where a Ph.D. is the preferred degree for faculty members. Further, programs contained

both core tenure track faculty as well as lecturers, visiting faculty, graduate teaching

assistants, and instructors whose responsibilities are primarily teaching.

Alumni

All programs had alumni representation in interior design, architecture, and multi-

disciplinary design firms. However, the percentages of graduates working in these firm

types varied by academic home. Also, graduates working in a retail environment differed









greatly by program. Furthermore, interesting observations were noted on whether

graduates remained in the state of their university or whether they went out of the state.

Alumni were first examined based on whether they remained in the state where

they graduated or went out of state upon graduation. Therefore, it is important to note

cities in the United States that have large representation of interior design firms. In

Interior Design magazine's ranking of the top 100 firms in interior design, states that are

represented most frequently include California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York,

Philadelphia, Texas, and Washington D.C. (Interior Design website, 2005). Some of the

states where the programs examined in this study were found were listed in the top 100

which include Florida, Nebraska, and New York. The other states, Iowa, Louisiana, and

Kansas were not represented on the list. It is important to note that all of the programs in

this study are found in universities that are located in relatively isolated college towns

separate from urban communities.

The University of Florida (UF), Cornell University (Cornell), and Kansas State

University (KSU) all had approximately an equal percentage of alumni who stayed in

state and who went out of state. This is surprising for UF and Cornell in that they both

are located in states with cities that have top interior design firms. Therefore, one might

guess that alumni would choose to seek employment in these cities with many interior

design opportunities. It would be interesting to determine whether these graduates were

out of state students to see if they were returning to their home state as opposed to

seeking for a job in the state of their alma mater. Although no top 100 interior design

firms are located in Kansas, half of their alumni chose to stay in state upon graduation









with graduates employed in diverse settings including retail environments such as office

furniture stores that offer design services and systems dealerships.

Significant variations were found in three of the six programs on whether the

graduates stayed in state or went out of state. Specifically, these programs were the

University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), Iowa State University (ISU), and Louisiana State

University (LSU). Many graduates of University of Nebraska, located within a state

represented in the top 100 design firms, stayed in state upon graduation. Interestingly,

considerably more alumni from LSU also stayed in state. Therefore, alumni from these

programs have less out of state visibility than the other programs in this study. Although

Louisiana was not home to any of the top 100 design firms, graduates from LSU are

working in interior design firm within the state. However, a majority of graduates from

ISU went out of state upon graduation. Similar to Louisiana, because there is no

representation of design firms from Iowa listed on the top 100, it is assumed that there is

not a large interior design industry in Iowa. As a result, students are moving out of state

upon graduation to seek jobs in the interior design industry. It remains to be determined

if students are looking for opportunities to practice in more prominent firms or if there

are simply not enough in-state employment opportunities in interior design.

Alumni were also examined based on the disciplines their employers practice. The

programs found in architecture units had the highest representation of students working in

interior design and architecture firms with interior design departments. Perhaps the

greater amount of design credit hours and the incorporation of architectural knowledge

gave students from these programs an advantage at these firm types. Conversely, the

architectural programs had the lowest percentage of alumni working in retail









environments and other design areas. This may indicate a greater degree of specialization

in these program types, although there is no readily identifiable specialization. On the

other hand, the fine arts and human ecology programs had a greater percentage of

graduates working in a retail environment or other design areas than architecture. Their

programs' curriculum allows students to take a large portion of electives to explore other

areas of study and therefore alumni are able to obtain jobs in other similar design areas.

Although the two programs in architecture had many similarities in the types of

firms their alumni are working for, UNL had alumni working in retail and other design

fields, where UF had no representation in these areas. The programs in fine arts were the

most consistent with alumni placement, with both programs having representation among

all categories. On the other hand, the interior design programs in human ecology differed

significantly in the percentage of alumni working in each category. Most of Cornell's

graduates worked at an interior design, architectural, or multi-disciplinary firm while the

majority of KSU's graduates were working in retail. This may be because of Cornell

greater focus on design studios, where students are required to take 13 more design studio

credit hours than KSU.

Alternative Interpretations of Findings

The above discussion of findings regarding curriculum, faculty, and alumni overall

show both similarities and differences but there does not appear to be unique identities of

these programs based on their academic homes. The research question driving this study

-- Do noted interior design programs reveal similarities and/or differences in curriculum,

faculty, and alumni by their distinct academic homes? -- lends itself to at least four

interpretations of the results.









First, if the results of this study are valid, there does not appear to be enough

distinct differences among programs to show a unique identity or specialization. This

would indicate that the professional movement of interior design, headed by FIDER,

might be leading to less variety and more uniformity across interior design educational

programs. Either interior design programs are not utilizing the flexibility of the FIDER

standards, or the standards are not flexible enough for detectable differences among

programs. Also, the lack of large differences among interior design programs may be

because interior design has not yet evolved to the extent that it can support specializations

at the undergraduate level.

Secondly, the results of this research study may not have included all variables that

contribute to detect core differences among the programs. The analysis relied heavily on

the PAR document and perhaps the program accreditation report is not sensitive enough

to capture program distinctions. Also, the variables examined may not have been

explored to the depth needed to uncover program differences. For example, the

curriculum analysis compared the course titles and the course credit hours; however

examining specific course content and how the courses are taught may reveal more about

the program identity. Additionally, other program variables such as resources,

administration, or facilities may need to be explored.

Thirdly, most of the program heads expressed the need to improve their existing

graduate program or the desire to develop a graduate program in the future. The

development of a graduate program might help programs develop a specialization

through the research areas that are pursued. A graduate interior design program

contributes to the identity of an undergraduate program because faculty members use









their time differently with a large portion devoted to working with graduate students.

Graduate students are qualified to assist teaching or sometimes individually teach a

course. Also, the research focus of graduate studies is often incorporated within the

undergraduate studies, enriching the program with the topics of research.

Fourth and finally, the use of programs from the Designlntelligence survey may

have impacted the results of this study. Interior design programs in the

Designlntelligence ranking are evaluated based on practitioners' opinions of recent

graduates preparation for the workforce. These programs are likely covering similar

knowledge bases that make graduates from them desirable to practitioners. Therefore,

this may suggest that highly ranked programs have more uniformity and possibility those

that are more specialized may not rate as high on rankings or surveys. For example, an

interior design program that specializes in lighting is likely very good at lighting

specifications, but may not have the overall characteristics to earn external recognition.

Future Research

This study found both similarities and differences among six noted interior design

programs and the findings warrant further examination. Since FIDER accreditation

focuses on student outcomes and accreditation teams use the PAR as a roadmap to

student work, future research should not only explore programs' accreditation reports, but

also include an analysis of student work across programs.

Further research should also utilize a larger sample size for more definitive

conclusions. This study had a limited sample size and therefore, results cannot be widely

generalized. The increased sample size should first include all FIDER-accredited interior

design programs found in universities then be expanded to interior design programs in

other types of institutions awarding bachelor degrees. Also it would be interesting to









compare both FIDER-accredited programs and non-accredited programs on important

variables such as curriculum, faculty, and alumni. In addition, these three variables could

be expanded on in further research studies. Although the curriculum course category and

credit hours were compared, the studio content, methods of teaching, and the number of

contact hours spent in class could be investigated as a possible differentiation.

Faculty education and design experience were also studied in this research. This

could be expanded to research how faculty specializations developed from practice

and/or research areas impact the program. Further, it may also be interesting to interview

faculty members who have taught at multiple interior design programs across academic

units who could provide insights into overall strengths and weakness of programs in

architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. In addition, this research addressed alumni;

however, all programs provided limited information on their alumni. While it is often

difficult to track alumni; gathering a complete list of alumni from interior design

programs would provide more comprehensive understanding of entry into the field or

advanced studies. Finally, in recognition of the many variables that shape interior design

programs, additional considerations to be studied may include program resources

(facilities and budget), administration, strategic plans at department, college, and

university levels, and university admission standards. Exploring a wider range of

variables would create a more inclusive picture of interior design education.

Recommendations

The interior design discipline should develop a vision of interior design education

with specific recommendations for the future. This would offer direction to accelerate

the professional movement in interior design rather than encourage homogeneity and









stagnation. For example, research and graduate education can be a positive force on

undergraduate interior design education.

Interior design education also may benefit from investigating potential

specializations. Specialization of programs reflects a more mature discipline and would

assure a level of diversity among programs. It appears from the results of this study that

the majority undergraduate interior design programs in this study recognize the growing

importance of a graduate education. The challenge will be how to develop undergraduate

and graduate programs that mutually reinforce one another.

In addition, FIDER, interior design education, and professional organizations

should continue and expand to partner in understanding career paths and tracking alumni.

Even the format for alumni in the accreditation report could be more specific to capture

more complete alumni information. Otherwise, there is an inconsistency in how

programs are reporting this information. Interior design education may want to explore

more innovative ways to keep in contact with their alumni. For example, one program

studied in this thesis had recently developed an interactive website where graduates could

update their information.

Summary

Overall, both similarities and differences were found among the six programs under

study. The core curricula of the programs offered design studios, support courses, as well

as required liberal arts offerings. Differences emerged among the credit hours required in

design studios with only minimal differences in the credit hours allocated to support

courses and only one course was found to be unique to each academic unit.

Also, the majority of faculty had similar educational backgrounds with 80% (n=37)

having a degree in either interior design or architecture. Programs in fine arts and human









ecology had more NCIDQ-certified faculty on staff where the architecture programs had

fewer NCIDQ-certified faculty but had a greater representation of registered architects.

While the academic units of architecture likely see registered architects as a desirable

qualification, it will be interesting to see whether interior design programs in these units

will hire more certified interior design faculty members in the future to be in greater

compliance with the FIDER recommendations.

The most predominant program differences were observed among the alumni;

however, alumni data were not systematically reported by the programs. From the data,

alumni placement differed by academic home. Specifically, architecture programs had

the highest percentage of graduates in interior design and architecture firms, while human

ecology units had the greatest percentage of graduates in multi-disciplinary firms, retail,

and other design fields. Yet, even programs within the same academic unit varied on the

placement of their alumni.

The overall results on curriculum, faculty, and alumni, did not show a magnitude of

difference as great as anticipated. Given the finding of White and Dickson's study

(1996), that interior design programs differed in mission and administrative perceptions

of faculty productivity, it was expected that there would be clear distinctions in

curriculum, faculty, and alumni associated with these units. However, this was not the

unequivocal conclusion in this study. The question remains are high-ranking interior

design programs able to meet FIDER standards and develop a readily identifiable identity

or specialization at the undergraduate level? While the Boyer report (Boyer & Mitgang,

1996) recommends standards n iith,,it standardization, what are the advantages to

encouraging this interior design education?









Conclusion

Several studies explored interior design programs in academic homes of

architecture, fine arts, and human ecology. Namely, White and Dickson (1996) found

differences in program missions and valued faculty productivity in units of

architecture/fine arts and human ecology, while Nutter (2001) found differences in the

historical development of these units but similarities in curriculum and other factors

contributing to the program. This study drew on both studies but specifically expanded

on Nutter's multiple case study by exploring programs within the three academic homes

on curriculum content, faculty background, and alumni placement. Many similarities

were found among the course types and faculty educational backgrounds of six programs

under study reinforced Atkins findings. However, notable differences were also detected,

including the credit hours required for design studios, faculty NCIDQ certification status,

and graduate employer practices; although these differences were not strong enough to

imply a distinct identity on the studied factors.

This study has created a beginning understanding of noted accredited programs

housed in architecture, fine arts, and human ecology from public land-grant institutions.

The accreditation self-study reports (PAR) provided extensive information on curriculum

and faculty with some insights on alumni and this data, coupled with information from

the program heads, allowed the researcher to profile important program factors. Further

research is encouraged to offer a comprehensive understanding and strategic direction of

interior design education. A challenge is to continually assess and re-evaluate interior

design education to be assured that the students of today, who will lead the profession

into the future, are receiving the best education possible.














APPENDIX A
LETTER REQUESTING PARTICIPATION

Dear Program Head:

For my master's thesis at the University of Florida, I am conducting a study of FIDER-
accredited programs housed in academic units of Architecture or Design, Fine Arts, and
Human Ecology. These three academic units often have distinct missions that may
influence characteristics of Interior Design programs. My thesis research will examine the
possible impact of these academic units on Interior Design programs. If significant
differences are found between the Interior Design programs, then their unique qualities will
be studied in relation to the FIDER standards and guidelines. This thesis is under the
supervision of Professors Margaret Portillo and Mary Jo Hasell, both of whom have
recently chaired the FIDER Research Council.

Since your program has been identified as one of the top tier programs nationally, I would
like to request your participation in this study. With your permission, a copy of the most
recent Program Evaluation Report (PER) is requested to examine curriculum content,
faculty background, and alumni placement. After a content analysis of the PER document,
you will be contacted for a short phone interview for follow-up questions clarifying salient
issues. The interview will be audio recorded with your permission and should take no more
than 30 minutes. You can be assured that your program will remain anonymous. I will be
happy to share the results of the study with you.

I will contact you within the week to discuss any further questions that you might have.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,



Kathryn Voorhees



Margaret Portillo, Ph.D.
Department Chair