To Design or Not to Design: How Do We Find the Best Interior Design Students?

By Amy Crumpton and Beth Miller.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

For the last several years design programs have not had to actively recruit new students. The media (i.e. HGTV) has been very effective in exposing the public and prospective students to the design industry. However, freshmen enrolled in interior design courses are often disillusioned by the technical and rigorous curriculum content required for a degree in interior design.
To that end, one state university developed a survey to uncover specific demographic traits which could be correlated with students who progress into the upper levels of the Interior Design program. The faculty generated several hypotheses to predict future performance. One hypothesis was that students who stay in the Interior Design program (i.e. upper level students, post-portfolio review) would have a different set of responses than the lower level students (students pre-portfolio review) to questions such as why they chose interior design as a major and whether they researched other ID programs before selecting a specific university. Understanding how students select a university and/or program of study is critical to programs attempting to expand the quantity and quality of design students.

Keywords: Interior Design, Freshmen, Selecting a Major, Success in the Program

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.155-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 837.394KB).

Amy Crumpton

Assistant Professor, Interior Design Program, College of Architecture, Art and Design, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA

Amy Crumpton is currently an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University, a 18,000 student, Land-Grant university in the United States. Prior to teaching, she had over 10 years of experience as a practicing Interior Designer, primarily designing commercial and corporate interiors. As an educator she teaches all levels, especially focusing on 1st year interior design graphics and well as 4th year professional practices. This gives her a unique perspective, allowing observation student growth and change during their entire student experience.

Beth Miller

Program Director, Interior Design Program, College of Architecture, Art and Design, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA

Beth Miller has over 20 years of professional practice in the field of Interior Design and has taught on the college level for over 12 years. She currently holds the position of Director of the Interior Design Program at Mississippi State University. She teaches both studio and lecture courses and serves as internship coordinator instructing students in acquiring internships in interior design throughout the United States.


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