NKBA? No Kidding: Be Awesome

April 6, 2015

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) gives Excellence Award to JCCC’s interior design program

If you’re going to remodel a kitchen in Shawnee, or redo a bathroom in Roeland Park, you’re going to want to hire someone with kitchen and bath know-how.

You’ll want a graduate with a degree in kitchen and bath design from Johnson County Community College.

Why? Because the trade association that specializes in kitchens and baths picked JCCC as a top-quality school. The National Kitchen and Bath Association bestowed an Excellence in Education Award to JCCC, one of only 17 schools in the country to receive such recognition.

It is the third time in the award’s history that JCCC, an NKBA-accredited program, has been honored.

How ‘Excellence’ is earned

The associate of applied science degree, officially known as interior design: kitchen and bath, is 68 credit hours. After coursework and an internship, JCCC students are ready to take the test offered by the NKBA to become a certified kitchen and bath designer.

To win the excellence award, JCCC submitted work from students, and those projects were judged by professionals.

Projects, this year specifically for bathrooms, included:

  • a floor plan
  • a construction plan
  • a mechanical plan
  • elevation.

Only those schools whose projects averaged at least 90 points on a 100-point scale received an Excellence in Education Award.

“Receiving the award validates what we do every day,” said Bobanne Kalkofen, professor and chair of the interior design program. “We’re always trying to give our students the best learning environment, the best learning opportunities possible.”

How ‘Excellence’ began

Kristeen Armstrong-Scott, adjunct associate professor of interior design, approached JCCC faculty and administrators with the idea of offering a course of study in kitchen and bath design more than a decade ago.

The owner of Armstrong Kitchens in Overland Park sees the students she’s taught now active in the field.

“We see former students get their professional accreditations, and they are becoming leaders in the NKBA professional chapters,” she said. “They are beginning to hire newer JCCC grads, and they are starting to give back to the program.”

The next step, said Armstrong-Scott, is to establish JCCC as a regional draw for future kitchen and bath designers.

How ‘Excellence’ continues

“A lot of good design process has gone into the planning the interior design program, end to end. So for the department, the excellence awards show that the whole program is indeed well designed,” she said.

“Teamwork is the best design method, and we have always had a great team approach, so we've had the benefit of getting the best ideas available.” 

When you consider that the average bathroom remodel is around $17,000 (and $28,000 for kitchens), having a well-educated designer could mean the difference between a bottom line that’s either dripping red or in the black.

Even more importantly, a good designer pays attention to both your dreams and your budget.

For more information about the kitchen and bath associate of applied sciences degree, contact Kalkofen at 913-469-8500, ext. 3183.