BELLEVUE, WASH. — A second baccalaureate degree at Bellevue College, this one a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design, has been approved by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board.
The program will begin in January 2010.
“As with all our programs, we are targeting our Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design squarely on the needs of the region,” said Bellevue College President Jean Floten.
“With the demand for interior designers in our state projected to grow at nearly twice the average pace for all occupations by 2016, this program will support local employers while also expanding the career opportunities for individuals. Its graduates will be ready to handle modern design challenges — for example, using lighting, acoustics, temperature and air quality to enhance the health, safety and productivity of building occupants,” Floten said.
The college expects its new program will serve 80 or more full- and part-time students in its first year.
While the full curriculum is a four-year sequence, people who already hold associate degrees in interior design may be able to earn the bachelor’s degree within two years. For the convenience of working students, the program will offer evening and online classes in addition to a more traditional schedule of daytime sessions.
The Washington state legislature authorized the new degree during the 2009 legislative session.
“Our deepest appreciation goes to State Senator Fred Jarrett and State Representative Marcie Maxwell, whose leadership was instrumental in obtaining legislative approval for this program,” Floten said.
Jarrett (D-Mercer Island) and Maxwell (D-Renton) both represent the 41st legislative district, which encompasses Bellevue College.
The Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the degree at its July 28 meeting.
Bellevue College awarded its first 19 baccalaureate degrees in June, to graduates of its Bachelor of Applied Science program in Radiation and Imaging Sciences.
ABOUT THE PROPOSED BACHELOR OF APPLIED ARTS IN INTERIOR DESIGN
Bellevue College worked closely with the professional interior design community to identify specific course elements for the new degree.
The resulting curriculum develops skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, teamwork and cultural sensitivity, in addition to design skills and technical knowledge.
“Advances in technology, new concerns for sustainability and accessibility, the aging of the national population and stricter regulations and building codes — all of these have combined to demand greater skill and broader knowledge from today’s design professionals,” said Dan Beert, Bellevue College’s Interior Design program chair.
“Our proposed new bachelor’s degree will meet that need by producing tech-savvy graduates who have not only excellent design skills but also the sophistication and creative problem-solving that characterize well-rounded design professionals,” Beert said.
ABOUT BELLEVUE COLLEGE’S EXISTING INTERIOR DESIGN PROGRAM
Interior Design has for several years been one of the most popular and fastest growing associate degree programs at Bellevue College.
Currently serving 500 students, the program is one of only two in the state to be accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (the other is offered by Washington State University).
The college is adding a Green and Sustainable Design Certificate sequence to its interior design curriculum beginning this fall.
ABOUT BELLEVUE COLLEGE
Nationally-recognized for its innovative programs, Bellevue College is the third largest educational institution in Washington state, behind only the University of Washington and Washington State University.
Serving approximately 35,000 students each year, Bellevue College offers transfer study (the first two years of college); work-related programs in information technology, health sciences, interior design and many other fields; and developmental programs in adult basic education and English as a second language.
The college’s Continuing Education division offers courses in computing, various career-related topics, art, travel, languages and personal enrichment, as well as business contract training tailored to the specific needs of employers.
Visit Bellevue College on the web at www.bellevuecollege.edu.