How to Select an Interior Designer College near Tuskegee Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Tuskegee AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial 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 alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Tuskegee AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly 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 focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Tuskegee AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Tuskegee AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Tuskegee AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical 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 additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Tuskegee AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tuskegee AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Tuskegee AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Tuskegee AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Tuskegee AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Tuskegee AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Tuskegee home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tuskegee AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Tuskegee AL?
Tuskegee (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/) is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.
Tuskegee has been an important site in African-American history and highly influential in United States history since the 19th century. Before the American Civil War, the area was largely used as a cotton plantation, dependent on African-American slave labor. After the war, many freedmen continued to work on plantations in the rural area, which was devoted to agriculture. In 1881 the Tuskegee Normal School (now Tuskegee University, a historically black college) was founded by Lewis Adams, a former slave whose father, Jesse Adams, a slave owner, allowed him to be educated, and its first, founding principal was, Booker T. Washington who developed a national reputation and philanthropic network to support education of freedmen and their children.
In 1923, the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was established here, initially for the estimated 300,000 African-American veterans of World War I in the South, when public facilities were racially segregated. Twenty-seven buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus.
Choose the Best Interior Design School near Tuskegee AL
Picking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tuskegee AL.
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