How to Find an Interior Design Course near Albertville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Albertville AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business 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 necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Albertville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Albertville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Albertville AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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 a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt 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 a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Albertville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs 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 minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have selected 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, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Albertville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Albertville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Albertville AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Albertville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Albertville AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Albertville AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Albertville home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Albertville AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Albertville AL?
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Albertville AL
Selecting the ideal interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Albertville AL.
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