How to Pick an Interior Designer College near Excel Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Excel AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? Some potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key variables when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Excel AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Excel AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Excel AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Excel AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy 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 sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make 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 schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Excel AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Excel AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Excel AL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Excel AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Excel AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Excel AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Excel home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Excel AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Excel AL?
Excel is the birthplace of former University of Alabama and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Lee Roy Jordan. Excel High School (3A) provides education for children in and around the town of Excel. Businesses within the town include Dollar General, post office, a "do-it-yourself" car wash, a laundromat, hardware store, a locally-run diner and one bank.
As of the census of 2010, there were 723 people, 270 households, and 205 families residing in the town. The population density was 425.3 people per square mile (168.1/km2). There were 295 housing units at an average density of 173.5 per square mile (68.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.1% White, 5.0% Black or African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.1% some other race, and 2.4% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 270 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were headed by married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.4% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68, and the average family size was 3.11.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Excel AL
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions 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 excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Excel AL.
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