College of DuPage is one of only two colleges in Illinois to offer a Kitchen and Bath Design program that is accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
The NKBA endorsement not only ensures the quality and relevance of the program, it also adds an additional practical element to the already hands-on Interior Design program.
College of DuPage alumni Deb Bayless, who currently works as a designer with The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn, earned certificates in Computer Applications, Lighting, and Kitchen and Bath Design while at the College. She has also received full certification as a kitchen designer through the NKBA and earned her Certified Bath Designer (CBD) credentials. Looking back on her experience in the Interior Design program at COD, Bayless said she appreciates the practical experience the program provided.
"While I was enrolled in the program, I participated in a student competition hosted by the NKBA," Bayless said. "The experience I gained from that competition was invaluable because it reflected nearly every aspect, from start to finish, of designing professionally."
According to assistant professor Jane Kielb, the quality of the interior design program at College of DuPage has not gone unnoticed by area employers.
"We've had graduates go on to work for some great local design firms," Kielb said. "And I often get calls from local businesses interested in hiring our graduates."
Kielb adds that an experienced faculty is an important element of the success of the program.
"Our entire part-time faculty comprises working designers with great information and experiences to share," she said, "They bring years of practical experience to the students and work hard to collaborate on achieving our program goals."
The Advanced Kitchen and Bath design certificate program provides knowledge and skills for graduates to successfully fill positions as kitchen and bath designers in a wide variety of professional settings. Students enrolled in the program are required to complete at least 40 credits in coursework, as well as a 1- to 3-credit hour internship with a local firm. In addition to Kitchen and Bath Design, classes include Architecture and Design History, Building and Life Safety Codes, Computer and Hand Drafting, Interior Materials, Portfolio Review, Professional Practice and Ethics, Lighting, and Space Planning.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for interior designers was $46,280 in 2010, with top earners bringing in $86,430 or more. In addition, projected growth in this field is expected to increase by 19 percent between 2010 and 2020, with a particular need for designers who can respond to consumer trends and expectations, such as being environmentally friendly or providing accessibility for people with disabilities. In addition to the Advanced Kitchen and Bath certificate program, the Interior Design department at College of DuPage offers an A.A.S. degree program in Interior Design as well as certificate programs in Advanced Computer Applications and Advanced Lighting Design. An advisory board made up of respected industry professionals ensures the curriculum remains current with emerging trends, industry safety and building codes, in-demand job skills, while providing professional and networking opportunities in the design industry.
Click here for more information on the Interior Design program at College of DuPage