How to Find an Interior Design Course near Summerdale Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Summerdale AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate 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 carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Summerdale AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Summerdale AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Summerdale AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose 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 required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment 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 facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Summerdale AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools 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 reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a respected 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 distance or online education. 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 perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Summerdale AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Summerdale AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Summerdale AL program you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Summerdale AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Summerdale AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Summerdale AL colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Summerdale home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides 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 in the evening or on weekends near Summerdale AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Summerdale AL?
Summerdale is a rural town in south-central Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. It is the site of the Naval Outlying Field Summerdale. At the 2010 census the population was 862. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Summerdale is located at 30°29'15.468" North, 87°42'4.036" West (30.487630, -87.701121).Alabama State Route 59 passes along the west side of the town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Robertsdale and south 6 miles (10 km) to Foley.
As of the census of 2000, there were 655 people, 255 households, and 184 families residing in the town. The population density was 125.7 people per square mile (48.5/km²). There were 282 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.23% White, 4.89% Black or African American, 1.07% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.92% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. Nearly 2.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Best Interior Design School near Summerdale AL
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in 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 analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Summerdale AL.
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