How to Find an Interior Design Degree Program near Blountsville Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Blountsville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Blountsville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Blountsville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new profession in Blountsville AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Blountsville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Blountsville AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Blountsville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Blountsville AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Blountsville AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Blountsville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Blountsville AL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Blountsville home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Blountsville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Blountsville AL?
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Blountsville AL
Picking the right interior designer program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Blountsville AL.
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