How to Find an Interior Design Course near Pleasant Grove Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Pleasant Grove AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Pleasant Grove AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Pleasant Grove AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new profession in Pleasant Grove AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things 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. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally 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 field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Pleasant Grove AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper 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 program you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Pleasant Grove AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Pleasant Grove AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Pleasant Grove AL school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Pleasant Grove AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Pleasant Grove AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Pleasant Grove AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Pleasant Grove home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pleasant Grove AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Pleasant Grove AL?
Pleasant Grove, Alabama
It was established in 1889, but incorporated as a city in January 1937. The incorporation came about by reason of a rather unusual circumstance. The town sits on land honeycombed by coal mines. For many years the residents had relied on water wells for their water supply. As years passed and more mining was done, Pleasant Grove found itself confronted with a problem. Residents would sometimes go to their well to draw water only to find there was none. The water had gone into the mines.
During the mid to late 30’s, the Federal Government had a program for financing the building of local water systems. In exploring the possibility of securing such funds, it was revealed that in order to secure such financing a community must be legally incorporated. At this time the incorporation became a reality.
The first appointed Mayor of Pleasant Grove was W.P. Stone. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members who serve four-year terms. Elections for city officials is held during the summer of each leap year with four-year terms beginning the first Monday in October. The area known as Pleasant Grove, Alabama was first homesteaded in September 1836. Pleasant Grove is in Jefferson County. Although no one seems to know when or exactly how the town came by its name, old documents indicate that at least part of this area was called Pleasant Grove as early as 1884. Pleasant Grove was made up of four communities which included Frog Pond, Lizard Ridge, Cottage Hill, and Pleasant Grove.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Pleasant Grove AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pleasant Grove AL.
More Awesome Cities in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 15