Mississippi College Interior Design Program Gains National Accreditation
April 24, 2012
Mississippi College interior design students, faculty and staff are celebrating the news in Farr Hall.
They’re delighted because the Council for Interior Design Accreditation recently granted accreditation for the university’s interior design program for six years. Following a rigorous peer review process and a thorough self-evaluation by MC interior design faculty and staff, the Michigan-based accreditation agency gave its approval in mid-April.
Gaining national accreditation is a complex, time-consuming process requiring extensive work and lengthy reports on the Clinton campus. The MC program enrolls about 30 talented students, including national award winners, seeking bachelor’s degrees.
“After many years of hard work, faculty, students and administrators are extremely excited and relieved,” says Mandy Pickett Berdami, the MC interior design program coordinator. Mississippi College joins two other interior design programs the council accredited in the Magnolia State.
The two others in-state are bachelor’s programs at Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. The council has already accredited nearly 200 programs at institutions nationwide, including the University of Arkansas, Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech, Auburn, Alabama, Samford, Baylor, Middle Tennessee, and the University of Texas.
The CIDA Accreditation Commission met April 13-14 to approve MC’s proposal plus others submitted by the Academy of Art University’s master of fine arts program in San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree at the Art Institute of California in San Diego.
Berdami says gaining national accreditation will strengthen student recruitment efforts at the Christian university.
The Mississippi College interior design program continues to be spotlighted with national awards. An MC interior design major from Olive Branch, Kristen Millican will travel to Las Vegas to receive a major award on May 7 from Cooper Lighting in this year’s national competition. It’s the second year in a row that an MC interior design student was chosen for the award of recognition.
MC senior Austin Gauley of Owensboro, Kentucky picked up the same honor in May 2011 in Philadelphia, Pa. Both competed against hundreds of interior design students.
Based in Peachtree City, Georgia, Cooper Lighting is the leading manufacturer of track and recessed lighting in North America.
Much of the behind-the scenes work to press for accreditation was tackled by Berdami and professor Margaret Bateman. They coordinated two Council of Interior Design Accreditation visits to the Clinton campus within the last three years.
The interior design professors thanked their students, Art Department faculty and administrators for their support and participation in the accreditation process. “This achievement would not be possible without their involvement,” Berdami said.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Ron Howard was more than pleased. “This is a wonderful accomplishment, one that the Art Department has worked hard to get for many years,” he said. “Special thanks goes to Mandy Berdami and Margaret Bateman and their award-winning interior design students.”
Getting the Council for Accreditation Design’s stamp of approval is a noteworthy achievement. It ensures that students receive a college education that prepares them for future professional growth meeting quality standards, council officials say.
In 2009, Mississippi College interior design program leaders pursued and received the council’s candidacy status. Two years later, the undergraduate program on the Clinton campus received a full accreditation site visit.
Photo: Interior Design Coordinator Mandy Berami and Professor Margaret Bateman with interior design students Kristen Millican of Olive Branch, Kelsey Russom of Olive Branch, and Austin Gauley of Owensboro, Kentucky.