VCC’s New Kitchen and Bath Design Diploma

VCC’s Kitchen and Bath Design program has had a makeover! This past year Bernie Lyon, Program Coordinator for the Kitchen and Bath Design Program, has taken her curriculum to a whole new level – literally! What was formerly a certificate program is now a diploma program, combining the rigorous and highly regarded Interior Design Certificate with new and updated Kitchen and Bath courses to give students the opportunity to learn cutting-edge design techniques, qualify for National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) licensure and ladder into degree programs at other post-secondary institutions.

The field of Interior Design and its specialized niche in Kitchen and Bath Design require graduates with a professional and forward-thinking approach. Bernie and her team of award-winning instructors have worked hard to ensure students become innovative and knowledgeable professionals in this highly competitive field.

The project began in November 2010, when instructors gathered at VCC to identify their collective vision for the program. From there they worked with Anne Larson of Compass Adult Learning Solutions to define the learning outcomes that would enable graduates to occupy a variety of entry-level positions and to map the curriculum in its entirety. The process not only provided instructors with the opportunity to collaborate and share their expertise, it also enabled them to design a curriculum in which learning activities, assessments, and instructional activities complement one another across courses. The result is a coordinated and well-aligned curriculum that is supported by the shared vision and expertise of its instructional team.

The new program introduces learners to sustainable and state of the art technologies including the 3D modeling program SketchUp to create their designs, and OLED lighting (incredible!). Students are initiated into the profession via numerous field trips, competitions (including the prestigious GE Charette), and events, including the annual IDSwest international tradeshow. They also attend NKBA local Chapter meetings that include dinner, networking, and attendant speakers. Once graduates earn their NKBA Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer credential, it takes seven years of industry experience to be certified as a Kitchen Designer or a Bathroom Designer and another three to earn the uppermost Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer credential.

“We are both thrilled and grateful to be able to offer a Diploma in Kitchen & Bath Design at Vancouver Community College. Thrilled, because this is the first program of its kind in British Columbia, and grateful because without the tremendous support and assistance of Susie Findlay and the Centre for Instructional Development it might never have happened. While working on the curriculum over the past several months, Susie has acted like the Captain of a ship taking us through the swirling waters of Active Pass. Her knowledge, kindness and patient guidance made the challenging work glide smoothly along to our final destination.”

Bernie Lyon, Program Coordinator

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2 thoughts on “VCC’s New Kitchen and Bath Design Diploma

  1. We are thrilled to announce that Alicia Meeker, a student in the Kitchen and Bath Certificate Program ( as of September 2012, a Diploma Program) has won First Place in the International GE Charette competition. Alicia won a $5000.00 Scholarship from GE and prevailed over 401 entries from Colleges, Technical Schools and Universities across North America. This competition is also supported by the National Kitchen and Bath Association and Waypoint Industries.

    The GE Charette is a 3 hour competition in which students receive a sealed envelope of instructions. These instructions describe a client and request that the student design a full kitchen using GE Monogram Appliances. The student must hand draft a finished floor plan with all dimensions complete. As well as the floor plan the student must create either an elevation of the plan or a perspective.

    We are very proud of Alicia!

    Bernie Lyon,
    Program Coordinator

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