Press Releases

Catherine Pliess, Interior Designer, selected To Serve on National Grading Panel

By: The Art Institutes

September 23, 2015

Catherine Pliess, Interior Design Program Coordinator of The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, was recently selected to be a Grading Coordinator for the Council for Interior Design Qualification's (CIDQ) Fall 2015 administration. Pliess is one of 6 individuals selected for the vital role of NCIDQ Examination Grading Coordinator Fall 2015.

The NCIDQ Examination consists of three parts: two multiple-choice sections (which are machine­ graded) and a practicum section. The Practicum section of the exam is a three-part drawing practicum graded by interior design practitioners  using established criteria set by a group of "master grader" practitioners called Grading Coordinators.

Passing the examination and earning the respected NCIDQ Certificate signifies that an interior designer has met the rigorous standards for education, experience and examination for interior designers in North America. Graders help CIDQ maintain these standards to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

NCIDQ Examination graders are trained to use a well defined and uniformly accepted set of criteria when grading the practicum exams. Each exam exercise is graded by two different graders, who apply professional judgment within the parameters of the established criteria set by CIDQ. The graders evaluate the entire solution to see if a candidate has demonstrated his or her competence in the area being tested. Exercises that receive conflicting scores during the initial grading will be graded a third time by a Grading Coordinator, with that score replacing the divergent score.

"NCIDQ Certificate holders represent qualified interior designers-those who are deemed capable (through education, experience and examination) to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare," explains Kim Ciesynski, 2013 CIDQ President. "Our graders are responsible for upholding the standards and determining who those qualified individuals are. The role of a grader is extremely important in ensuring CIDQ's mission of public protection is upheld. We value Ms. Pliess’s participation. Our volunteers are the backbone of CIDQ."

All NCIDQ Examination Grading Coordinators are required to be active NCIDQ Certificate holders and former Exam Graders. Pliess earned her NCIDQ Certificate in April, 2005. Ms. Pliess graduated from Arizona State University with a Master of Science and has worked in the interior design field for 22 years. In her current position with The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Pliess is responsible for the academic management of the programs in the area of interior design and industrial design. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale offers a Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design. 

CIDQ® is an organization of regulatory boards and provincial associations in the United States and Canada whose core purpose is to protect the health, life safety and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design. More information about the organization may be found at

The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale is one of The Art Institutes, a system of over 50 schools throughout North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University or Argosy University. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, 1799 S.E. 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316. © 2015 The Art Institutes.  All rights reserved. Our email address is  

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By: The Art Institutes

September 23, 2015