“When we graduate from our two-year program, we’re actually coming out with the same types of projects that Iowa State [University] is doing, which makes our portfolios…just as good as a four-year colleges’,” states Kara Scherbring, one of Kirkwood’s interior design students in the video below, in which she and other students share their love and enthusiasm for the program.
Part of the success of Kirkwood’s interior design program comes from Jillissa Moorman’s approach to teaching and design and her commitment to professional learning. In a paper for the History of the Community College course, Jillissa wrote, “I want my students to be successful. I want them to learn to think in new ways. I want to inspire their creativity, no matter what their backgrounds may or may not consist of.” She continues by saying this approach is easier when her students feel valued and respected. A large portion of her course is dedicated to collaboration, team-building, and open communication. Her goal is not just for her students to enter the workforce but to become leaders in the workforce.
Jillissa’s commitment to professional learning also inspires her students to succeed and motivates them to become leaders in interior design. Professional learning is important for everyone in interior design because the field is ever changing, such as new technology, products, and codes. In order for Jillissa to stay relevant, she attends events, conferences, exhibits, and shows. She also continues to practice interior design through her own company. In her paper’s conclusion, she wrote the following:
“I, much like my students, am constantly learning. I am constantly doing new things, or going to see new products, or connecting with new people, or taking certification exams, or traveling in search of new designs and inspiration. The development of my knowledge is just as important, if not more important, than the development of student knowledge, because students learn from me based on what I know. Professional development in my subject area is huge, and I really try to make sure that I know as much as I can about Interior Design so that my students will as well. The more I know, the more I can share. The more I share, the stronger my students can become. The stronger my students become, the more of an impact they could have on the world.”