How to Pick an Interior Design Program near Tallassee Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Tallassee AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital 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 options are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Tallassee AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an 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 appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. 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 integrating Feng shui principles, Tallassee AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Tallassee AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated 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 offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Tallassee AL homes, there are online accredited 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 challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added 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 be sure that the school 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 earn 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Tallassee 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 fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tallassee AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Tallassee AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Tallassee AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Tallassee AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Tallassee AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Tallassee home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tallassee AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Tallassee AL?
Tallassee (pronounced /ˈtæːləsi/) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census the population was 4,819. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.
The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).
Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Tallassee AL
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tallassee AL.
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