Southeast Interior Design Program Earns CIDA Accreditation

Southeast Missouri State University’s Bachelor of Science in human environmental studies, interior design option, has received six-year accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). The accreditation follows an application process, self-study and program analysis report, and site visit to the campus last November, and means the program has fulfilled the Council’s set standards for postsecondary interior design education. CIDA, an international non-profit organization that accredits programs in the United States and Canada, uses internationally recognized educational standards to review programs. “Accreditation affirms Southeast’s program to be nationally recognized, meeting the highest standards for interior design education,” said Dr. Michelle Brune, professor of interior design at Southeast. “This is an amazing accomplishment for the staff, faculty and University to continue to strive for academic excellence and student success.” Southeast’s interior design program prepares graduates who will create healthy and safe environments that enhance the quality of life. The program strives to develop interior design professionals who critically apply core design and technical knowledge that reflect global and sustainable perspectives within the built environment. Southeast’s interior design program is now one of four programs in Missouri accredited by CIDA. In addition to CIDA, Southeast’s interior design program also is accredited by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “Southeast offers one of the highest standards of interior design education at the best value,” said Nicole Norwitz Beaton, instructor of interior design at Southeast. “It’s exciting we’ll be able to offer students an amazing program that competes with top tier institutions across the nation.” The program currently has 40 students enrolled. Earning a degree from a CIDA accredited institution prepares Southeast graduates for success, said Carol Nesler, instructor of interior design at Southeast. “There are many architectural and design firms whose positions require that candidates graduate from a CIDA accredited program,” Nesler said. “Employers will now know our students have an excellent knowledge base and have received a high quality education. And students will appreciate that the value of their degree and the impact of the knowledge they gained while at Southeast provides more job and graduate school opportunities.” Because CIDA, as part of their process, reviewed the work of Southeast students over the past two years, the new CIDA accreditation may be applied to the credentials of Southeast interior design graduates since May 2015. “It’s rewarding to know the students are getting a degree from a CIDA accredited program and they’re going to be competitive and successful when they leave Southeast,” Brune said. CIDA accredited programs and institutions meet 16 standard requirements broadly addressing the evolving elements of student preparation for interior design practice. These elements include critical thinking, professional values and processes as well as core technical knowledge of interior design. CIDA accreditation standards also address the university systems, structures, and resources fundamental to providing an effective higher education learning environment for interior design study. For more information about Southeast’s interior design program, visit For more information about the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, visit