Interior design program to select fewer students

Although the interior design program is growing in size, it recently started limiting the number of students allowed to graduate within the major in order to better use its resources, officials in the program said.

After three years of declining enrollment, down from 111 students in 2004-2005 to 100 in 2006-2007, the program has grown to 113 students this academic year, according to the TCU Fact Book.

All interior design majors admitted to the university for the 2007-2008 academic year and after, however, are required to submit a design portfolio in the fall of their sophomore year. A maximum of 15 applicants are selected to continue toward their degree, said Jane Kucko, associate professor of interior design.

“We have always required the portfolio,” Kucko said. “But the new policy of 15 people is based on available resources.”

Kucko said controlling the student-teacher ratio was the key element in the policy. Before this academic year, the number of students accepted after submitting their portfolios was unlimited.

The current number of freshmen interior design majors was unavailable at the Office of Institutional Research and the College of Fine Arts.

Freshman interior design major Kassi Wash said students not accepted to continue their degree studies often must choose another path.

“You either change majors or change schools,” Wash said.

Janace Bubonia-Clarke, chair of the Department of Design, Merchandising and Textiles, said she does not think selecting a set number of students will negatively affect the program.

“We have always been very selective with the portfolios,” Bubonia-Clarke said. “We take a maximum of 15 now because that’s what we are able to accommodate.”

Sophomore interior design major Jena Meagher said she agrees.

“Our class was the last class to not have a set number of students taken,” Meagher said. “However, that does not mean that it was any easier to get into the program. The department accepts those that qualify due to work. Even in our class, four or five girls were cut and 17 remain.”