June 08, 2023

By Elisa Fernández-Arias, NKBA


The association recognizes outstanding NKBA Affiliated School programs annually with its Excellence in Education Award. This award is granted to schools based upon the quality of their students’ submissions to the NKBA Student Design Competition, which is sponsored by Fisher & Paykel.

All entrants must be NKBA student members, which is generously sponsored by Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove. All entries are scored on visual appeal, creativity, the elements and principles of design, the NKBA Kitchen and Bathroom Planning Guidelines and NKBA Graphics and Presentation Standards. Student Design Competition winners for 2021-2022 received their awards at the 2023 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas. Through the Excellence in Education Award, the NKBA is proud to spotlight outstanding affiliated programs and educators.

The 2023 Excellence in Education Award Winners

The winners of the 2023 Excellence in Education awards are Century College, Georgian College, Lakeland College and Weber State University. Keep reading to learn more about these schools, how they incorporate the NKBA Student Design Competition as part of their required coursework and use NKBA’s educational resources.

Century College

Century College’s Kitchen and Bath Design Program is a specialized and comprehensive program focused on equipping students with the skills necessary for a successful career in the field. As part of their coursework, students take part in the NKBA Student Design Competition, working on their entry as a part of their Advanced Kitchen and Bath Design Course Final Project.

“The NKBA has such great resources for the students to use,” said Margaret Krohn, CKBD, KBD Program Director and Faculty member. “We work with all of the forms available through NKBA that students can use. We also like to go to KBIS every year, since this is a great optional experience for our KBD Students to see products and hear some great speakers. Our KBD students also have the goal of completing their CKBD Certification after they graduate and gain the work experience needed.”

Georgian College

The kitchen and bath courses at Georgian College offer a unique experience within a close-knit, small-town community. The faculty is dedicated to working closely with students, fostering strong relationships and understanding their individual learning needs. As an integral part of their studio courses, the NKBA Student Design Competition is incorporated into the final semester.

“Our Kitchen and Bath Design program embraces the valuable resources offered by the NKBA,” said Jennifer Lucifora, Kitchen and Bath Design Coordinator and Interior Decorating Faculty member at Georgian College. “All courses within the program include the mandatory use of the knowledge center and NKBA guidelines textbook upon becoming NKBA student members.”

Lakeland College

The Interior Design Technology students at Lakeland College learn in a studio setting where they master design fundamentals, drafting and space planning. With intimate class sizes, students benefit from personalized attention and one-on-one mentorship. Notably, Lakeland College was also the first Canadian institution to be accredited by the NKBA, in 1999, and has founding member status.

Through that membership, “our curriculum supports the knowledge extended by the NKBA, creating a solid base for our students to work from,” explained Rochelle Horne, AKBD, Instructor/Program Head, Interior Design Technology at Lakeland College. She added, “The student membership, with the generous sponsorship by Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove, allows our students access to webinars, student design competitions and invitations to industry events, including KBIS, that create networking and knowledge-building platforms.”

Weber State University

The Kitchen & Bath course at WSU is a comprehensive course that follows NKBA guidelines. It covers nomenclature, incorporates the national competition, discusses lighting and materials and utilizes the technology for students to design contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. The course culminates with a focus on the NKBA Student Design Competition, where students are encouraged to enter their final projects.

“NKBA’s educational resources are used throughout the Kitchen and Bath course and are required course materials,” said Kristen Arnold, Program Coordinator and Associate Professor at WSU’s Interior Design program. “As students learn the fundamentals of kitchen and bath design, they are following NKBA guidelines from the start. Should they choose to go into kitchen and bath design, they have a good foundation for their career.”

More About the Excellence in Education Award

The Excellence in Education award for 2023 was based on submissions to the 2021-2022 Student Design Competition, which receives hundreds of submissions annually. To win the competition, schools must have three student entries that each receive a score of 80 points or above. Since students can submit one kitchen design and one bathroom design to the competition, only the top scoring entry from each student is considered for the Excellence in Education Award. Therefore, this honor is based on the work of three individual students from each school.

The Student Design Competition allows students to showcase their classroom learning, and educators often incorporate it into their curriculum. For more information on Affiliated Schools and the competition, visit the Affiliated Schools Program Page.