There are a number of aspiring interior designers in Salt Lake County who would like to take classes - and even graduate - in the field of interior design. But they're disappointed when they find out that there is no longer an interior design program at the University of Utah, that the Salt Lake School of Interior Design is closing its doors at the end of summer, and that the Salt Lake Community College offers only a smattering of classes.

Does this mean that they have to travel to Brigham Young University or Weber State College to enroll in interior design courses?Not at all. They can enroll in a two-year interior design program at LDS Business College.

LDS Business College's interior design department is now housed in a new facility. Classes are small, so students receive individualized instruction. And the professional designers who make up the teaching staff are highly qualified.

Chairwoman of the interior design department is Carla Sevy Rogers, who has been at the college for one year.

Rogers did her undergraduate work at BYU and got her master's in interior design at Iowa State University. She then taught interior design for 20 years - at BYU and the Salt Lake School of Interior Design.

She said that up to two years ago, interior design and fashion merchandising were combined. But when Kenneth H. Beesley took over as the president of the college, he felt these two disciplines were incompatible and should be separated.

Rogers said the interior design program at LDS Business College is unique because students have the opportunity to train in the art of interior design as well as the business of interior design.

Design classes include historical and contemporary furnishings, color theory, perceptual drawing, rendering techniques, drafting, computer design, components of interior design, and portfolio. Business classes consist of accounting, data processing, merchandising, small business management, business of interior design, market research and interpersonal communications.

"I've found that the ones who make it in interior design are those who have a decent head for business," Rogers said.

She added that many design firms are using the computer as a tool. The computer design courses at the college make its graduates very appealing to design firms.

During the final quarter, an interior design student will participate in an internship program with a local design firm.

Upon completing two years at LDS Business College, a student has several options. He can continue his schooling at a four-year university or design school. Or he can enter the job market. Job opportunities include work as an apprentice at a design firm, a sales representative in home furnishings, or a career in residential, commercial, or industrial design.

To obtain an associate's degree in interior design at the college requires only six quarters of course work. The school's Job Placement Service places more than 95 percent of all graduates.

But Rogers says the interior design graduates won't find top-notch jobs at first.

"There's a lot of talent out there. Graduates will have to be content with less exciting jobs and, in many cases, be prepared to move out of state. But if they can get their foot in the door of a good interior design firm, they're usually off to a good start."

LDS Business College, located at 411 E. South Temple, is accredited by Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. The first day of fall classes is Sept. 16.

Those interested in finding out more about the interior design program or other programs at the college should call 363-2765. Registration is now in progress.