Stephen F. Austin State University

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New partnership allows SFA to offer interior design degree in Houston

August 12, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University and Houston Community College are partnering to offer a bachelor's degree in interior design at the HCC central campus. Among the institutional leaders, faculty, staff and community members who attended a signing ceremony were, from left, Dr. Steve Bullard, SFA provost; Kirsteen James, SFA interior design student and HCC alumna; Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi, HCC Central president; Dr. Scott Coleman, SFA regent; Dr. Cesar Maldonado, Houston Community College Chancellor; Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, HCC trustee; Nelda Luce Blair, SFA regent; Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president; Alton Frailey, SFA regent; Eva Loredo, chair of HCC's board of trustees; and Robert Glaser, HCC trustee.

Houston-area students pursuing a bachelor's degree in interior design have a more convenient option as a result of a new partnership between Houston Community College and Stephen F. Austin State University. The institutions have launched a program that will allow students to earn their SFA degree on the Houston Community College Central Campus.

Students who have graduated from HCC in interior design and have completed the core course requirements may enroll in the last 42 hours of SFA interior design courses either online or face-to-face on the HCC campus to earn their bachelor's degree. Dr. Steve Bullard, SFA provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the partnership aligns with the university's strategic plan, "SFA Envisioned."

"Our mission is to reach out and meet students where they are," Bullard said. "We are unified in our belief that we should always put student success first. It's not about the university; it's about the student."

During a ceremony on the HCC campus commemorating the agreement, Dr. Muddassir Siddiqi, president of HCC Central College, said the partnership is a collaboration between two great academic facilities with strong academic offerings in interior design.

"We are embarking on a new journey - one that is characterized by collaboration, innovation and a commitment to positive student outcomes," Siddiqi said. "This partnership is one of the strategies we need in order to meet workforce demands in the region, address affordability and increase access to educational opportunities."

The senior capstone course for interior design majors will be a virtual course joining students on HCC's campus with students on the SFA campus to work together on a team project.

"Firms that have multiple locations work together every day, and we want our students to have this experience," said Sally Ann Swearingen, SFA associate professor of interior design. "Houston is a leader in interior design and architectural firms, and this partnership will allow students a way of mixing with the firms through the American Society of Interior Designers and International Interior Design Association professional organizations."

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in interior design at an accredited university, such as SFA, are allowed to take the first portion of the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam, which is the industry's professional certification. After six months of experience, students are qualified to take the final portion of the exam.

For more information about SFA interior design, call (936) 468-4502 or visit www.sfasu.edu/hms.