Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Gary D. Phye


The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology and investigate a set of variables that best predict future college success in an undergraduate interior design program. The central aim of this study focused on the following question: From among variables collected as part of college admission, what is/are the best predictor(s) of student college "success" in interior design programs? The list of predictors was organized into three waves of data, where the first wave was high school, the second wave was freshmen Core Program, and the third wave was the sophomore year. An undergraduate interior design program at a large Midwestern university was the focus of this study. This program has ranked among the top 10-15 programs in the nation for the last five years and has a large pool of students competing for the approximately 40 slots each year.

Path analysis techniques were used to explore the relationships of student characteristics and performance measures to determine the best predictor of student future "success." Here, the outcome measure, or criterion, is a performance assessment of a student's "capstone" project, which is designed to incorporate all of the skills and knowledge an interior design student should possess at that given time in their program of study. In all of the path analysis models, the existing admission criteria (portfolio, essay, and CoreGPA) showed no significance in predicting success, nor did they have any relationship to other variables in the models. GPAs were strong predictors as shown in the high school GPA, Core GPA, and the final GPA. Three of the ACT subscores showed significant relationships to the criterion measure. These included the ACT_Math, ACT elementary algebra, and the ACT geometry-trigonometry.


Copyright Owner

Lori A. Brunner



Date Available


File Format


File Size

115 pages