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Kent State’s Interior Design Program Ranked Fourth in MidwestPosted Mar. 24, 2014
Kent State University’s interior design program within the College of Architecture and Environmental Design was recently ranked fourth in the Midwest, which consists of 12 states in the region.
The ranking was given to Kent State by Design Intelligence, a company that evaluates design programs based on surveying industry leaders from across the country.
“I think there are aspects of our program that led to our ranking that set us apart,” says Pamela Evans, Ph.D., director of Kent State’s interior design program. “Our curriculum is not based on only the education of design, but on the practice of the design discipline. Therefore, potential employers appreciate what our students have in place before they actually graduate.”
Evans says that the program has a multidisciplinary approach, where students take classes in business, art, technology and architecture, as well as interior design classes.
“The program is structured so there are different aspects of coursework throughout the curriculum,” Evans says. “The program is developed so that the student is exposed to the theoretical, creative and aesthetic aspects of the design discipline, and also the functional and practical portions of the design profession. It provides students with not only breadth, but depth.”
Students have a required internship in the program, but Evans says she believes students go into these experiences knowing they can do things that students from other programs may not be able to do.
“I do not know of any other program that has their students take classes like construction technology and woods technology,” Evans says. “Therefore, the graduates have a strong hands-on experience about developing a built environment and how a piece of furniture is designed and built. We try to teach our students everything from software to materials.”
According to the Design Intelligence rankings, 86 percent of Kent State interior design students who were surveyed believe they will be well-prepared for their profession upon graduation.
Students in the program also have a high involvement with community service. Sophomores and seniors of the program are currently working with development companies for potential student housing in Kent. Students also have volunteered at the Faith Lutheran Church of Kent and the Edward “Peel” Coleman Community Center of Canton.
“I believe our community service adds strength and makes our program more visible,” says Evans. “It’s about that community development, and that’s where I think our honors come from. Sometimes it’s not about getting the awards, but having the pleasure and experience to help individuals who need it. We want to teach students to be humanistic in their approach to design. It’s not always about being flashy or expensive.”
For more information about Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, visit www.kent.edu/CAED.