How to Select an Interior Design College near Daleville Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Daleville AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Daleville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Daleville AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Daleville AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty 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 degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Daleville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Daleville AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Daleville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Daleville AL school you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Daleville AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Daleville AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Daleville AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Daleville home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Daleville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Daleville AL?
Daleville is a city in Dale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,295, up from 4,653 in 2000. It is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city's nickname is "Gateway to Fort Rucker", as this U.S. Army post is located just north of town. Cairns Army Airfield is located to the south of Daleville on the road to nearby Clayhatchee.
Daleville, originally known as "Dale's Court House", was founded in 1827 by veterans of the Creek Indian War who had settled in Dale County following that conflict. It was established as the original county seat of Dale County in 1827 but lost that honor when Coffee County split from Dale in 1841, at which time the seat was moved first to Newton, and then later to Ozark in 1870, where it remains today.
Residents of the town formed portions of two regiments of the Confederate States Army during the U.S. Civil War: the 15th Alabama Infantry, famed for charging the 20th Maine on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the 33rd Alabama Infantry. In the latter regiment, Company "G", called the "Daleville Blues", was recruited entirely from Daleville. Several men from this company were killed in a freak train derailment on November 4, 1862 near Cleveland, Tennessee; the remainder would fight with the rest of the 33rd in the Confederate Army of Tennessee until the final surrender in 1865.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Daleville AL
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Daleville AL.
More Awesome Cities in Alabama