Interior Design Curriculum for 21st Century Learners

By LeMay, Angela | Techniques, April 2019 | Go to article overview

Interior Design Curriculum for 21st Century Learners


LeMay, Angela, Techniques


NORTH CAROLINA IS KNOWN BY INTERIOR DESIGN PROFESSIONALS AROUND THE WORLD DUE to the state's presence in the furnishings industry. North Carolina, after all, is home to the world's largest furniture store, the world's largest furniture manufacturer, and the world's largest furnishings industry trade show, the High Point Market (North Carolina Department of Commerce, n.d.). A 2013 Duke University study revealed that the economic impact to the region totaled over $5.39 billion (City of High Point, 2013).

Furniture is big business in the state and, for this industry, career and technical education (CTE) provides students with a pathway toward success. The secondary sequence--Interior Design I, Interior Design II and Interior Digital Applications--provides high school students with foundational knowledge and skills to be successful in careers related to the housing and interior design industry. The curricula are based upon design content knowledge, learning and innovation skills, and technology skills. The work is driven by input received from business and industry (B&I) advisory groups, as well as aligning the new curriculum to the NASAFACS (2017) National Standards 3.0 and the Partnership for 21st Century Learning's (2007) Framework.

In accordance with North Carolina State Board of Education policy SCOS-012, courses are reviewed on a regular cycle, at least once every five to seven years. For existing courses, the purpose of the course review is to validate that the course standards still align with the current business and industry needs as well as economic and education environments. All CTE courses must conform to the "CTE Brand Promise for Curriculum," according to the Curriculum Development Guide (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2017), which requires:

1) A CTE course user guide that includes a standards-based blueprint defining learning outcomes; sets priorities for learning; and aligns with business and industry input related to requisite skills/knowledge, economic/labor market needs, knowledge, skills and abilities as outlined in the National Career Cluster Standards, and industry certifications (if appropriate)

2) Instructional content, activities and resources, including aligned course content, aligned activities that support student learning, connections of the course content to CTE student organizations, and aligned formative assessment items

3) Listing of required equipment, including software and licensing agreements

4) Supporting professional development (PD) to include initial implementation and ongoing PD to support high levels of student performance

5) A CTE-leadership-approved state assessment

PHASE I: Discovery

During the discovery process, data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) on the labor market and occupational outlook indicated that interior design-related professions expected four percent national growth through 2024. However, with North Carolina maintaining a prominent position in the furnishings industry, the state's Department of Commerce projects eight percent job growth in North Carolina through 2024 with an average of 60 new job openings each year. Postsecondary education opportunities available to NC students pursuing a career in design include an associate of applied science in interior design, a Bachelor of Science in interior design, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior architecture, and a Master of Fine Arts in interior architecture. Enrollment trends are promising. Interior design courses accounted for 9,131 enrollments during the 2017-18 school year, a 22 percent increase over the 2015-16 school year (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2018).

In addition, researchers identified several professional industry-recognized certifications/credentials to explore for the pathway, including:

* Adobe Certified Associate (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign)

* Autodesk Certified User Revit Architecture

* Pre-professional Assessment and Certification (Pre-PAC) in Interior Design Fundamentals from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)

North Carolina CTE leadership reviewed the discovery findings and approved the interior design revision project. …

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