How to Pick an Interior Designer Course near Sylacauga Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Sylacauga 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 essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Sylacauga AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Sylacauga AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new profession in Sylacauga AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Sylacauga AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges 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 conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Sylacauga AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Sylacauga AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Sylacauga AL school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Sylacauga AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Sylacauga AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Sylacauga AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Sylacauga home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sylacauga AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Sylacauga AL?
Sylacauga is known for its fine white marble bedrock. This was discovered shortly after settlers moved into the area and has been quarried ever since. The marble industry was the first recorded industry in the Sylacauga area.
Sylacauga is the site of the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person. On November 30, 1954, a 4 kg (9 lb) piece of what became known as the Hodges Meteorite crashed through the roof of an Oak Grove house, bounced off a radio, and badly bruised Mrs. Ann Hodges, who was taking an afternoon nap.
The first historical account of the area comes from de Soto's chroniclers as he marched south along the east bank of the Coosa River in 1540, encountering the town of Talisi at the edges of the Mississippian-era chiefdoms of Coosa and Tuskaloosa. The inhabitants of the Coosa River Valley were later united as the Creek Indians, whose encounters with the Spanish and French had a significant influence on the history of Sylacauga. Events that occurred between these three groups were partly responsible for the settlement of the village of Chalakagay in 1748 near modern Sylacauga by refugee Shawnee Indians led by Peter Chartier, and Chalakagay was later listed in the French territorial records in 1759 as being a town inhabited by 50 Shawnee Indian warriors. Late in the summer of 1836 all of the Indians remaining in Alabama were taken west by the United States government. The name Sy-la-cau-ga is derived from the Indian words Chalaka-ge which mean "The Place of the Chalaka Tribe". The city was first incorporated in 1838 as Syllacoga and again in 1887 as Sylacauga.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Sylacauga AL
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Sylacauga AL.
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