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Seminole State’s Interior Design Program earns CIDA accreditation

Seminole State students pursuing the Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Interior Design put their ideas on paper during a design charrette. 

Seminole State College of Florida’s Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree in Interior Design has received accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), which appraises programs based on superior educational standards.

(L-R) Seminole State Interior Design Professors Dr.  Jeannette Steeves, Holly Rodwick (program manager), Dr. Jeanne Diehl-Shaffer, Kathryn Rivera and Donna Pennella.

Seminole State is the only CIDA-accredited state college in Florida.

“CIDA is the national benchmark for interior design education,” says Cheryl Knodel, dean of Construction, Design and Apprenticeship at Seminole State. “With fewer than 200 interior design programs accredited by CIDA, the program at Seminole State is now among the national ranks of other colleges and universities. … The program’s success is due, in part, to the dedicated, experienced faculty who are passionate about the interior design profession and are eager to train the next generation of designers.”

After a three-year preparation process from its faculty and staff and a four-day site visit, Seminole State’s Interior Design Program recently received official notification of CIDA’s decision to accredit the bachelor’s in interior design for a period of six years.

CIDA is an independent, nonprofit accrediting organization for interior design education programs at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. The organization evaluates 16 relevant and up-to-date accreditation standards. Its requirements address the complex elements of the interior design industry regarding current conditions and future trends affecting interior design practice, related industries and educational institutions.

“For the B.A.S. in Interior Design to be recognized by CIDA for accreditation, students should feel confident about the education they are receiving at Seminole State,” says Knodel. “Our students are well-prepared as they enter the workforce and are finding employment at prominent interior design and architecture firms. … The design projects our graduates are working on locally and internationally simply amaze me.”

Faculty from the College’s Interior Design Program collected student work to document evidence of the accreditation standards and to what degree the standards were met.

In addition to the bachelor’s degree in interior design, Seminole State offers an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Interior Design Technology. Both degrees provide a track to professional licensure, which means graduates are eligible to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination for state licensure.

The Interior Design Program provides students with practical experience through project-based, service-learning  ventures like CFE Federal Credit Union’s Renovate to Educate program, in which Seminole State’s interior design students applied their classroom knowledge, as the College and CFE partnered to provide classroom makeovers for teachers at three local elementary schools.

Seminole State offers the only public four-year interior design program in Central Florida, serving the local architecture and interior design industries. The program’s full-time faculty have advanced degrees and years of professional practice, and its adjuncts are practicing interior designers and architects who bring a wealth of real-world and diverse experience to the classroom.

For more information about the accreditation process, including requirements and guidelines, visit the CIDA website.


About Seminole State’s Interior Design Program: 
Seminole State College offers the only four-year public Interior Design Program in Central Florida. The program prepares students for the professional industry by providing knowledge and skills to solve a variety of design problems with the core value of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public. For more information, visit the Interior Design website.

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