This article was originally published online on Design NY’s website. It was written by Karen Marley. Click here to view the article in its original format.
Knowing that high-quality interior design is as much about functionality as it is aesthetics, it begs the question … what does a superb interior design program look like?
Introducing Villa Maria College. Founded in 1961, this intimate, private college located in Buffalo, New York, has a historically rich and ambitious interior design program. Accredited by the Council of Interior Design, interior design students can graduate with an Associate Degree or Bachelor of Fine Arts, which can be augmented with a Certificate in Historic Preservation and/or a Certificate in Furniture Design. The student journey is filled with rich experiences and support.
Support for Success
Villa Maria acceptance standards are rigorous, but once admitted, a student’s focus is on learning, not the distractions of stressful annual portfolio reviews or additional testing to retain enrollment. Moreover, recognizing that cost of materials is a barrier to performance, Villa Maria covers the cost of textbooks, supplies, and printing fees. Enrolled in interior design classes from day one with approximately 9-14 students per class, students receive targeted attention and instruction.
“We have a culture of support, not competition,” says Professor and Program Coordinator of Interior Design at Villa Maria, Sandra Reicis. “Many schools overenroll and foster attrition. In contrast, we empower all our admitted students to succeed.”
An Enriched Education
In alignment with interior design professional organizations, Villa Maria’s interior design program focuses on health, safety, and well-being. The latter emphasizes aesthetics, human comfort, ergonomics, and anthropometrics.
Technical classes are de rigueur, covering construction and building systems, structures for interior architecture, safety and accessibility. Design studios — residential (and universal design), commercial, education, retail, hospitality, healthcare, and global — bring the magic of aesthetics and functionality to life. Opportunities for studying abroad, internships, and connections to valuable professional networks propel Villa Maria students to a near 100% professional employment within six months of graduation and 100% of acceptance of Villa Maria students applying to graduate school programs.
“Our accreditation reviewer said he’d never seen a program with as many strengths and as few weaknesses as Villa,” Reicis says. “Our small college gives students the great opportunities found at larger institutions with all the benefits of a small, student-centered college. Villa Interior Design should never be under-estimated!”
Learn More About Villa Maria’s Interior Design Program