How to Pick an Interior Design Degree Program near Enterprise Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Enterprise AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college 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 courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Enterprise AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need 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, Enterprise AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Enterprise AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Enterprise AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Enterprise AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Enterprise AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Enterprise AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Enterprise AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Enterprise AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts 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 large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Enterprise AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Enterprise home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Enterprise AL?
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County near the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Enterprise AL
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Enterprise AL.
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