Dunwoody College of Technology’s Bachelor of Science Interior Design program has been granted a six-year accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)—an independent, non-profit accrediting organization for interior design education programs at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.
Dunwoody College of Technology joins the University of Minnesota as the only Minnesota colleges with CIDA accreditation.
To gain accreditation a college must have a four-year bachelor degree program that meets 16 standards related to mission, goals, curriculum; critical thinking, professional values and processes; core design and technical knowledge; and program administration.
Interior Design Program Manager Colleen Schmaltz noted Dunwoody’s Interior Design program has been in the process of refining curriculum and archiving student work to demonstrate CIDA standards for four years.
“It’s been a long process, but it’s been worth it because we understand the importance of achieving this accreditation for the success of our students, our program, and our profession” she said.
Schmaltz said adhering to the CIDA guidelines helped ensure the program included all the necessary elements to graduate capable, creative designers.
“Our approach is hands on. We’re a technical college and our students have superior technical knowledge with various design software programs,” she said. “We’re about educating designers who have practical knowledge and strong design expertise. Our graduates know what they’re doing on the first day on the job.”
Dunwoody’s focus in hiring Interior Design faculty is to bring in practicing professionals with a wide variety of specialties who are also educators completing advanced degrees.
“They’re extraordinary practitioners and excellent teachers. It shows up in students’ work big time. The level of expertise is there. The confidence is there,” she said. “I think the rigors of the program are such that people graduating from an accredited program know that the best firms are looking for it. They’re eager for interns and new hires with a solid educational background.
“We have a fabulous program. And we’re turning out fabulous designers who are passionate about their newfound professions.”
Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied technical education to more than 250,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers. . Located in the heart of the arts district in Minneapolis, and across from the Walker Sculpture Garden, Dunwoody College of Technology is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (ncahlc.org), and the State of Minnesota.
The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) is an independent, non-profit accrediting organization for interior design education programs at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. For more than 35 years, this knowledge-driven organization has been passionately committed to the ongoing enrichment of the interior design profession through identifying, developing and promoting quality standards for the education of entry-level interior designers, and then encouraging, accrediting and supporting educational programs to aspire to those standards.
Through a process of program self-evaluation and peer review, accreditation promotes achievement of high academic standards, while making education more responsive to student and societal needs. The Council engages nearly 200 volunteers, all drawn from interior design practice and education, to carry out its work. More than 150 interior design programs are currently accredited by the Council, serving an estimated 20,000 students.
The Council for Interior Design Accreditation is recognized as a reliable authority on interior design education by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CHEA-recognized scope of accreditation is professional level programs in interior design.
Source: CIDA website http://accredit-id.org/about/