How to Find an Interior Design Program near Tuskegee Institute Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Tuskegee Institute AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require 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 very important that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But 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 costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference 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 skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Tuskegee Institute AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Tuskegee Institute AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Tuskegee Institute AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually 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 deal with the technical and creative components 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five 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 some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For students who to study in the comfort of their Tuskegee Institute AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Tuskegee Institute AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Tuskegee Institute AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Tuskegee Institute AL school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Tuskegee Institute AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Tuskegee Institute AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Tuskegee Institute AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Tuskegee Institute home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tuskegee Institute 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 as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Tuskegee Institute AL?
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university (HBCU) located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It was established by Lewis Adams and Booker T. Washington. The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site by the National Park Service and is the only one in the U.S. to have this designation. The university was home to scientist George Washington Carver and to World War II's Tuskegee Airmen.
Tuskegee University offers 40 bachelor's degree programs, 17 master's degree programs, a 5-year accredited professional degree program in architecture, 4 doctoral degree programs, and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The university is home to over 3,100 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. Tuskegee University was ranked among 2018's best 379 colleges and universities by The Princeton Review and 6th among the 2018 U.S. News & World Report best HBCUs.
The school was founded on July 4, 1881, as the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers. This was a result of an agreement made during the 1880 elections in Macon County between a former Confederate Colonel, W.F. Foster, who was running on the democratic ticket and a local Black Leader and Republican, Lewis Adams. W.F. Foster propositioned that if Adams could successfully persuade the Black constituents to vote for Foster, if elected, Foster would push the state of Alabama to establish a school for Black people in the county. At the time the majority of Macon County population was Black, thus Black constituents had political power. Adams succeeded and Foster followed through with the school. The school became a part of the expansion of higher education for blacks in the former Confederate states following the American Civil War, with many schools founded by the northern American Missionary Association. A teachers' school was the dream of Lewis Adams, a former slave, and George W. Campbell, a banker, merchant, and former slaveholder, who shared a commitment to the education of blacks. Despite lacking formal education, Adams could read, write, and speak several languages. He was an experienced tinsmith, harness-maker, and shoemaker and was a Prince Hall Freemason, an acknowledged leader of the African-American community in Macon County, Alabama.
Select the Right Interior Design School near Tuskegee Institute AL
Choosing the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations 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 excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tuskegee Institute AL.
More Awesome Cities in Alabama